eBay UK to require extended Returns over Christmas 2014
You can imagine the fun we have at Tamebay Towers. The revels never cease as we plough through the various FAQs and help pages that eBay publishes just so we can find the choice nuggets that will matter to sellers. You lucky people.
And here’s one I missed until this weekend. You can find it on the New performance measurement to reward great service help page and FAQs published by eBay recently.
“New extended returns period for November through December
For transactions completed between November and December, you’ll need to offer an extended holiday returns period to continue receiving your eBay Premium Service benefits. This includes accepting any returns until 31 January.
You’ll be able to update your listings to reflect this starting in September. We’ll let you know more later on in the year.”
More information will be available later in the year, it seems, and you’ll have the chance to amend listings from September but it’s clearly a push to sell returns as a feature this coming Christmas on eBay.
So are ebay going to promote “sell your unwanted gifts” or “you have until 30th Jan to return your goods”. This is going to affect ebays FVF income although, human nature being what it is, as most returns will result in a seller defect, they will recover this lost revenue through reduced numbers of sellers with TRS status.
Or are ebay going to come up with a “defect amnesty” during the Xmas sales season?
“…to continue receiving your eBay Premium Service benefits…” – does that mean only listings that meet the Top Rated status will need to offer this extended returns period? Or does this have to be rolled out by all sellers across all listings?
If you want your discount you need to offer the extended returns. If you don’t offer it, it won’t count as a defect / strike against being a TRS, just no discount.
I think the first step is to figure out if you are still going to be TRS by Christmas. That seems to be completely up in the air depending on how much descoring effort you put in and how the rules are implemented. If you’re not, then no point worrying.
If you are TRS, then it’s worth noting that — particularly on a first season — almost all consumers will not understand or take advantage of the extended returns period, so the likely effect on returns will be tiny. Furthermore with a lot of gifting, the messaging about returns will not be going to the holder of the gift so you will end up with a few extra returns, but may well be worth participating. Of course, given the sales desert that is January, you might not wish to have even a few additional remorse returns coming back in at that time.
If you are a drop-shipper or a consignment seller, then you will need to ensure that your arrangements with your suppliers are consistent with the extended returns period so that you don’t get left holding the baby.
This was included in the Spring Seller Update announced last month for U.S. sellers as well. eBay is requiring us to offer extended returns if we want to keep our TRS discount off final value fees for any given listing. Most US sellers were less than enthusiastic about the change.
We already offer this for purchases made in October to December, with returns allowed until 31st January. Any business who does not offer this is putting off potential buyers. Its about time ebay started thinking like a retailer and brought in measures site wide to promote these points, instead of fragmented business policies which vary from the lawful to unlawful.
When I was arguing the toss with eBay the other day about defect rates, I asked them to clarify this Xmas returns extension. They said it’s not mandatory, however if you choose not to extend your returns during November and December you will lose your 15% TRS discount for those 2 months but obviously with the rolling 3 month it will pick back up again. We’re undecided as to whether to take the hit on it this year as quite frankly I’m becoming more and more irritated by eBay’s BS goal post moving and the increase in customers blagging so can do without an even bigger headache after Xmas.
ebay sellers are deluded if they think they have the choice ,buyers can return bricks, or empty boxes anytime they wish for refunds plus , paypal and most credit cards have 180 day charge back options,
so sellers may as well accept extended returns and get something from it
Whether it is necessary or desirable to offer a 4 month ‘leasing’ option for your products is a matter for each individual business trading on eBay to decide.
It is not a matter for eBay to determine and has nothing to do with fragmented business policies or lawful trading – that is easily dealt with through other processes.
Ebay should focus on offering a competitive marketplace & trading venue and they sooner they stop trying to become ‘Amazon Lite’ the better for all of us.
We don’t need to be told how to run our business and we are the retailer the customer deals with not eBay!
As to whether offering ever more ludicrous returns periods is good or necessary for any business we consider to be very debatable indeed and in any event it is a matter for each seller dependent upon their category and competition.
We are however, most envious of any online business which has the required fat and juicy gross margins to offer this and take the hit with product returns over such an extended period.
We can assure everyone on here that we do not think it either necessary or good business to offer a 4 month leasing option for a £1000 plus ultraportable here on eBay anytime soon!
Quite right, eBay seems to be in process of introversion to a woolly mammoth only destined for history.
Should be concentrating on bringing together the greatest diversity of worldwide product into a single hub with trustworthy sellers to similar worldwide buyers.