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Managed Returns start, Easy Returns retired.

By Chris Dawson September 27, 2013 - 8:44 am

Managed Returns lgeBay have started to roll out their new Managed Returns Process, at the same time they’ve retired the Easy Returns flow sellers will have become accustomed to.

Sellers will be invited to join the Managed Returns Process over the next few months, so it might be next year until you receive an invitation.

If you’ve not been invited to join yet, or if you decide that the Managed Returns Process is not for you, then buyers will have to send a message through eBay to request returns now that the Easy Returns flow has been retired. One of the big disadvantages of losing the easy returns flow is that you’ll no longer automatically get your final value fees refund.

No automatic final value fees refund leaves the seller to open a cancel transaction request and hope the buyer agrees. That’s a step back to the old days where a buyer with a less than great buying experience gets hassled by the seller to agree to cancel the transaction (even if they are at fault and simply ordered the wrong item). It would appear it’s the only way to get your fees back however, plus it’s a manual process.

The new Managed Returns Process however is pretty hands off for the seller. Once you’ve opted in, so long as the buyer paid with PayPal, they can initiate the returns, print out a return label which is currently with Collect Plus, and you as the seller simply get notified that the item is on it’s way back.

Limitations are a parcel size of 60 x 50 x 50cm and weight no more than 10kg. The process is also restricted to the UK only. Also there’s standard insurance, but it only has coverage of up to £50 so if an expensive item goes missing it’s not clear if it’s the buyer or the seller who’s going to have to foot the bill.

Someone also has to pay for the labels. If the buyer says it’s a simple change of heart, then they’ll pay for the label via their PayPal account. However if they claim that the item is significantly not as described then the seller will be billed for the cost of the return label on their next invoice. eBay tell us that about 55% of return in the US where the process has been running for some time are paid for buy the buyer.

It’s time to decide if you want to use the new Managed Returns Process and if you decide to then opt in when you receive the invitation. If it’s not for you then the Easy Returns Flow is no longer available and you’ll have to deal with all returns requests manually again.

  • CJ
    3 years ago

    None of my customers can actually use managed returns, despite me opting in.

    They just keep redirected to send me a message.

    Anyone else?

  • LJ
    3 years ago

    CJ – Ebay only implemented Managed Returns today I believe, and from what they have told me it is only available to your most recent sales forward. I received my first managed return request this afternoon.

    However….Is this new process not completely open to abuse by customers? From what I can see all they have to do is state that their item is “significantly not as described” and Ebay will forcibly bill me the seller for the return postage cost.

    • CJ
      3 years ago

      Thanks hopefully that will be resolved now.

      1. Yes this is completely open to abuse from buyers

      2. I have no option but to opt in as handling 5-10 returns a day manually is not viable

      3. No one knows how much these returns actually cost

      4. According to the article 45% of US returns are paid for buy the seller! I pay for less than 5% of my returns – because they are not my fault.

  • Cambridge_Blue
    3 years ago

    We will have nothing to do with this daft process from eBay.
    Once the scallies have worked out that the seller is paying for the return via this method every one will be claimed as a SNAD.
    Good luck trying to get that cost recovered from your buyer!
    Given the costs incurred in paying for the returns label vs the fees we will take our chances thanks.
    We retain the right to control this process at our discretion.

  • Toby
    3 years ago

    Great Idea from eBay except for the INAD option, where the seller pays for the return, as all buyers will start claiming INAD just to get a Free Returns label.

    Had this not been included, we would opt-in, currently we’re not going to opt-in & entertain those freeloaders

  • 3 years ago

    Do you know what? eBay would experience so much less friction with introducing these (very good ideas) if they only policed their buyers thouroughly and rooted out the ‘scallies’.

    eBay if you want to emulate Amazon emulate their buyer policing.

    And then:
    Happy sellers, happy to support these (very good) initiatives.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    whats newif selling on ebay your often abused if the gain out weights the cost we will suffer the abuse

  • Julia
    3 years ago

    This is appalling. I sell clothes so I have to deal with quite a few returns. The easy returns flow was great and enabled me to automatically receive a refund of my fees. Now I’m at the mercy of the buyer who probably is already narked at having to foot the bill for the return postage costs! I’m a small scale seller so really can’t absorb those costs at the moment.

    The managed returns scheme is not suitable for me as I don’t sell anything larger than a small parcel so Collect+ would be too expensive. eBay should really have an alternative option. Badly thought out, in my opinion.

  • admiralhardinge
    3 years ago

    This is a typical ebay good idea, but only half thought through so half baked. The issues being raised are so predictable it is hard to understand how ebay manage to release something without making sure it is watertight first. It isn’t very professional.

    What is the betting ebay are taking a commission from Collect + and charging us the normal rates? Ebay simply haven’t publicised the costs, and that is the very first question I wanted answered. At the very least ebay need to be offering sellers discounted rates in view of the potential big increase in business for Collect +. Did they even try to negotiate this?

    The INAD situation is a complete no-no as far as I am concerned.

    I’m looking at RM returns but currently use My Hermes where I can when I am at fault. I send the customer the My Hermes pre-paid label by e-mail. I refund immediately I can confirm the customer has left the package at the My Hermes drop off point. Rates are better than Collect +. Fortunately I only have around 3-4 returns per month so it isn’t a big hassle.

    The big issue with both Collect Plus and My Hermes is that they have far from universal coverage, particularly in rural areas, when suprisingly there is usually a post office nearer.

    I shan’t be opting in.

    • Cambridge_Blue
      3 years ago

      Thanks for that information concerning returns from Collect+ and MyHermes – appreciated.
      We have been looking again at our returns process and trying to get better control of costs like many.
      Given the small/medium parcel scam at post offices we and our customers are still paying over the odds regularly.
      Unfortunately RM tracked returns are simply not feasible (volume & cost mix) so we have to look other providers.
      We will check our My Hermes this week to see what rates they offer.

  • Allen
    3 years ago

    £4.89 seems to be the minimum cost on Collect+ website. I will not be opting in, I simply can not afford this cost for most of my items.

  • James
    3 years ago

    From the eBay website, seems they have people who misuse the system covered. I have experimented with this and a DVD with free postage did not give the option to print a label, instead asking me to contact seller to arrange delivery on occasions where the seller was liable for return postage:
    “With eBay hassle-free returns, you’re protected against buyers who misuse returns. For example, if you suspect a buyer chose your item description as the reason for their return to avoid paying return shipping or to circumvent the stated terms of your return policy, just click the “Report a returns issue” link in My eBay and hold off on issuing the refund.

    An eBay customer support agent will promptly investigate. In many cases, eBay will pay return shipping and even remove any negative feedback.”

  • Dave P
    3 years ago

    Just a heads up that you don’t actually have to have the buyer agree to the cancellation.
    Any cancellation requests that have not been responded to after a certain number of days (i think 8?) can be manually closed by the seller. The final value fees are then credited to the account.

    I agree with admiralhardinge in that it could be a good idea but it has not been fully thought through.

    The fact they have not advertised prices is frankly bizarre. How can they expect anyone to make a business decision without any info on finances? When I rang CS they had not been informed either.

    One thing that caused a lot of problems was that they didn’t announce the old system would be retired. We therefore confused, and angered, a lot of buyers as we kept telling them to request a return in the resolution center which was no longer possible.

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