eBay Mandatory Managed Returns Price Increase

By Chris Dawson March 23, 2015 - 7:24 pm

Managed Returns lgeBay have announced that the will rise to a minimum of £2.99 (incl. VAT) from the 30th of March this year. Previously the minimum charge sellers incurred when a buyer decided to return an item was £2.78.

This is the cost of Royal Mail Tracked 48 and the price hike is as a result of Royal Mail’s annual price changes.

Unfortunately there’s no way around this price increase, it’s part and parcel of the mandatory Managed Returns process on eBay. The only thing that you can do is to tot up the percentage of returns you receive over the course of a year, divide by the number of total sales and build the cost into your prices.

  • Martin
    2 years ago

    Strange Royal Mail’s communications said most prices changing by 1-2% only, and this represents a whopping 7.5% increase. Who is fooling who?

    Incidentally, on OBAs Royal Mail continue to charge a fuel surcharge on the grounds the competitors do it, but I don’t see My Hermes doing this or any of the agencies like Parcelmonkey, Parcel2Go, Interparcel etc. In addition the surcharge rate hasn’t changed despite the drop I fuel costs.

  • JD
    2 years ago

    eBay are still on the make.

    And they continue to poke the finger at buyers and sellers of small items.

  • james
    2 years ago

    “Unfortunately there’s no way around this price increase, it’s part and parcel of the mandatory Managed Returns process on eBay. ”

    – in other words

    “its highly illegal anti-trust corporate monopoly profiteering”

  • Jimbo
    2 years ago

    You could provide your own returns label and have the item returned standard 2nd class.

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      Jimbo’s idea is interesting but for sellers of some items it might encourage returns – but including a return label may also help to prevent a defect getting accrued.

      Personally I believe that whilst returns should always be possible, they should also involve some degree of hassle. If made too easy you encourage couch potato’s to order speculatively and abuse the protection that eBay & PayPal offer. Whilst returns for genuine reasons are totally fine (and I have no issue), they still suck!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • jimbo
      2 years ago

      I didn’t mean including a return label with the order. I meant email a PDF return label rather than excepting eBay’s £2.99 option. This is possible through “eBay managed returns process”.

  • Paul
    2 years ago

    “Unfortunately there’s no way around this price increase, it’s part and parcel of the mandatory Managed Returns process on eBay. ”

    Or you could set up a returns contract directly with Royal Mail at £2.14.

    • 2 years ago


      We were paying £2 last year for a contract for 1K of items.

      So how much profit are eBay making out of their Royal Mail contract?

  • Ian A
    2 years ago

    This micro management of OUR businesses is another incentive to try make sales direct through PayPal. For my luxury goods most seasoned buyers are willing to pay direct as they know they can save at least the ebay fee on the price. This is how ebay failed in china is it not? Not letting folk do business how they want. The only difference is there is no ebay competitor in the UK, not for small sellers of used goods anyway.

  • 2 years ago

    We didn’t opt in to the managed returns process and continue to refund buyers return costs via paypal manually if needed. Do you regret opting in now.!

  • Joe
    2 years ago

    eBay continue to trot out the line ‘we don’t make any profit on managed returns’ yet the increase announced is far more than the actual price increases by RM.

    • radroach
      2 years ago

      On the face of it it doesn’t seem possible to have engineered this to be a break even operation, they must either be making or losing money on it, I suspect the former.

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      I am not familiar with the new pricing for Managed Returns and fortunately we have only had one return through it. On the rare occasion we get a return the buyer contacts us direct and this is certainly down to the letter we include with every order, and this also avoids our getting a defect.

      Reading this post it seems eBay are now planning to profit from Managed Returns. Because we are a business we were opted in and had no choice. We certainly would not have choosen to opt in. At the time eBay said it was a free service. So now they are adding a charge. Well I’m not suprised, in fact I’m just suprised it took them so long!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • Gemma
    2 years ago

    eBay keep telling us we should offer free postage to our customers as that’s what customers want. I want them to give us as customers free postage too, but it seems that eBay have suddenly realised that postage costs money and isn’t actually free…

    Incidentally Tracked Returns is a contract service and the price doesn’t go up when Royal Mail’s prices increase. They will have a contract review date and if they they are returning enough, any increase would be minimal and if they are exceeding their targets they will get a reduction. In any event the price that eBay are charging is substantially higher that our contract for our small two person business and I find it hard to believe that we could negotiate a better deal than eBay… They can only be profiteering.

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      Our take on returns is simple. If faulty we will refund in full and pay all outbound and return costs. If ordered in error then we will accept a return but expect the buyer to pay both outbound and return costs. I think this is fair.

      On the one occasion we have had a “Managed Return” and despite the buyer stating it was ordered in error there was no facility to deduct outbound postage so we had to refund in full and then ask the buyer to refund our outbound shipping cost which was about £3.50.

      The buyer then said “but its Freepost so why do I owe anything” (incredible, isn’t it?). Legally she had every right but I do not accept “armchair and abusive/bad buyers” costing us money. After much hassle (persued on principal) the cheapscate bytch eventually coughed up £2.

      I would love to know of a “free” shipping service, it would save us a fortune. Maybe we should relocate to China?

      Lond live The Revolution!! :)

    • Craig
      2 years ago

      We have had one managed return service where the customer had selected express delivery at an additional charge. We therefor had to refund the item and the £7.50 even though we paid the extra to deliver that to the customer within 24 hours. This system is 100% in favour of the buyer and at huge cost to the seller. Treat the sellers poorly and they will go and then its simple, less sellers. less buyers!

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      our attitude is much like ebays concerning buyers , we feel they should lose nothing by shopping on ebay,
      though were we differ with ebay is that we dont think they should gain by dishonesty no matter what

    • Chris
      2 years ago

      How do you actually enforce this?
      I thought under DSR it was you had to refund the buyer the item cost AND original shipping cost.

      I’ve never quite got it, when you sell say an item of clothing for £10 + £3 P&P.
      They receive it, it doesn’t fit, they send it back – then you have to refund £13 total.

      But the postage may have cost me the seller £3.

      On the other hand, on your scenario the buyer would have paid £3 initial postage and £3 return postage, so £6 and they haven’t even got the item.

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      Lets use the £10 + £3 shipping example by Chris.

      With managed returns, if the buyer states item was faulty or not as described, the seller has to refund the original £13 AND pay the return cost stipulated under Managed Returns. This is fair.

      If however the buyer give Ordered In Error as the reason for the return then they pay the return cost and the seller only has to refund the original £13. Not fair.

      Either way the seller still loses the outbound shipping which if ordered in error is unfair.

      Sadly distance selling regulations (or whatever the new name for it is) gives buyers the option of inspecting goods at their home. Whilst most buyers are very honest and reasonable, there are a few bad buyers (armchair, dishonest, etc…) who take advantage and abuse the system at no cost to themselves.

      eBay say they monitor all returns and if a buyer is repeatedly using (or abusing) the syatem they will intervene and possibly close the buyers account. Unfortunately I doubt this will ever result in eBay contacting all the abused sellers and saying “good news, so-and-so is abusing the MR system so here’s a credit for all the shipping you have lost”!

      The only solution I can think of is to include a letter with the order asking the buyer to contact you directly if there is any issue. This can enable you to contact the buyer, explain the outbound shipping and do a partial refund, thereby not using Managed Returns and possibly also avoiding a Defect. If ordered in error most buyers understand and are happy to pay outbound and return shipping. It works for us.

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • Tinker
      2 years ago

      We can live with the buyer clicking a few quid and cost the odd rogue into the price , its ebays defect that adds insult to thievery that we dont like the taste of

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      I am never happy about “losing a few quid”.

      In fact I’m not happy about “losing a few quid” even when we screw up, which thankfully is very rare.

      Losing mony is always losing!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

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