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Changes to the Royal Mail 48 eBay Returns tariffs and weights

By Dan Wilson February 21, 2018 - 7:15 am

Royal Mail will be introducing new returns tariffs and weight bands using the 48 service and that will affect sellers who utilise the eBay Returns service. You can read the announcement made on February 20th from eBay here.

You don’t need to opt for Royal Mail, but if you do, then the new tariffs and weight bands will come into action on the 23rd of March. Here are the new terms, inclusive of VAT, that will be coming into force next month:

0-2kg – £ 3.05
2-5kg – £ 5.66
5-10kg – £ 7.58
10-20kg – £ 9.60

You can read up on what Tamebay has previously called mandatory managed returns on this eBay help page. But it’s often surprising how many sellers aren’t familiar with the process and how it works. So it’s worth revisiting. It was first introduced by eBay back in 2014 and as they say:

eBay returns gives you and your buyers a simple and efficient way to handle returns. Understand the requirements and follow the return process to ensure smooth and professional transactions with your buyers. If you specify in the Returns policy section of a listing that you accept returns, a buyer can start a return for that item for any reason, including changing their mind about a purchase.
– eBay help page

eBay returns will be likely be an area of development for the marketplace in 2018. CEO Devin Wenig has indicated that the marketplace will be exploring ways to make it easier for buyers to returns goods when they shop. There’s no doubt that strong returns policies do encourage sellers to buy and reassure them about what might happen if something goes wrong. A decent returns policy can be a great sales tool.

But returns can also be a seller headache and expense, especially when the reason is simply that a customer has changed their mind: so-called buyer remorse.

  • Simon E
    4 years ago

    I just hope that Ebay don’t start down the same route as Amazon.
    Free returns in Jewellery category, that also encompasses luggage and a few other bits, weirdly.

    I believe it’s across EU and I hear that it’s the start of a mass rollout for all categories.
    No automated process like ebay, yet, where you can purchase postage via the platform. Amazon seem to just expect you to magic a label and email it to the customer that will work in their country.

    Happy times ahead from September 2018.

    • Tim
      4 years ago

      eBay is free returns anyway – eBay refund the customer and the customer keeps the item. It has always been that way.

      As for Amazon and selling in Europe – you have to provide a return address in the buyers home country or pay for a return to the UK on their behalf – that is EU consumer law nothing to do with Amazon.

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    we understand the need for a good return system
    though ebay needs to be a little more supportive of seller complaints ,
    when items are returned damaged ,not as dispatched , ,or empty,

  • Dave T
    4 years ago

    Ebay returns system is rubbish and they do not stick to their own returns policy.

    I shipped an item within the UK, Brighton to Scotland using Ebay’s Shutl service. I chose UPS, which to Scotland from the south is a 2 day service.

    The buyer made up a spurious reason for return, I agreed (as there is no way to object ….and they had the item in their hand) only when it arrived back did i know their reason was false and it was not loose etc.

    But, that side, eBay gave them a Collect+ label for the return.

    It cost 30p more than the UPS label I sent it under, it took 8 days compared to UPS’s 2 days…….and the buyer left off the outer box too!

    Ebay’s return policy Item 5 says “The returns label will use Collect+, Royal Mail or Parcelforce labels based on package weight and your buyer’s preference. If an item is being returned because it wasn’t as described, we’ll default the buyer to the cheapest option available for the package weight. Delivery confirmation is automatically included so you can track the status of the return package”.

    The cheapest (and quickest) option was UPS via Shutl, so why does eBay not use its own Shutl services?

    The seller…..me…….who is after all paying for the return…..should have the option to select the service used for the return. It should certainly not cost more than the original cost of getting the item to the buyer as it did here with Collect+.

    When the item finally arrived back via the scenic route Collect + used I spoke to ebay “customer services” all I got was “blah blah blah” “we don’t care”…….another example of eBay focusing on buyers……..but they forget without sellers there would be no buyers.

    Anyways, thankfully I only get 1 return every blue moon, that’s why it frustrates so much when you experience how poor the return service is……and eBay think its great! Doh!

  • Mark
    4 years ago

    EVERYONE SHOULD LISTEN UP!!!

    Ebay returns are a legal minefield that actually will help you no end if you know the law.

    Recently a buyer purchased an item for over £200 he then said the item leaked and of course ebay returns just kick in automatically we can no longer avoid this as typical ebay jump in. But i do not think they have researched the legality of this.
    Just read on.

    The item was returned and we could not believe the condition it was smashed to pieces. It had been put together and then just shoved into the retail box which of course it could no longer fit into as it was built. It was then put in the outer shipping box with no packaging and the very large heavy top section bashed about until it was wrecked.

    Ebay refunded the buyer who was totally obnoxious and said they could not refuse as he had said it was faulty. I should then fill in a seller protection claim and submit photos which i took plenty of at each stage of opening.

    They refused my claim i appealed and they refused again. Stating that they could not determine who was at fault for the damge and said i should.
    1) block the buyer.
    2) Take the buyer to the small claims court.
    3) seek advice form Citizens Advice.
    4) Seek advice from Trading standards.

    I am so glad i rang trading standards.

    The carrier that brought the parcel to me are under no obligation to deal with me as their contract was not with Me. They are also under no obligation to deal with the buyer as their contract was not with him. The only people thay would be prepared to talk with are the buyer of the return label EBAY!!!.
    They said that if pictures showed insufficient packing eBay would also be wasting their time and of course there is no packing.

    Trading standards said that the moment eBay purchased the returns label from the carrier they assumed full responsibility for the item. As their terms state the item must be suitably packaged and protected for the journey ahead.

    They do not know what is being shipped they do not know if it is packaged correctly so would have no claim against the carrier and that i was to take eBay to the small claims court. Where eBay would immediately be deemed liable for a refund and anu costs i incurred.
    I wrote them a nice letter explaining this and was immediately told i could have a refund for the full amount.

    I then spoke with a lawyer friend of the family who said this is how deep a hole they have dug for themselves.
    Reality police show has police sat on a motorway regularly waiting for bad boys in the north of the UK driving bad stuff to the south and they get intercepted what fools.
    They should just list a bag of sugar on ebay to be bought by bad boy in the north and post it. Northern bad boys says item is damaged. eBay jump in and supply return label. Bad boy packs bad bad product instead of sugar and ships to bad boy in south.
    eBay state in the terms they are responsible for safe packaging of said item.

    Naughty Naughty Ebay,

    another badly though out intervention by eBay

    • Rob
      4 years ago

      I had an expensive pair of curtains come back via ebay returns via collect plus as the customer did not like them but paid for the return label through ebay. When they came back I was on holiday and they got left in a trailer in the garden for a few days. Got home to find them sitting in a pool of water. Refunded the buyer straight away as not their fault and ebay would refund them anyway. Contact ebay and told to contact the parcel company. They say as not the contract holder they won’t speak to me and I need to speak to eBay. eBay then tell me to contact the customer to work it out with them. I then point out they are the contract holder and responsible for the parcel which was left in an unsuitable place. Eventually they fully refunded me out of a gesture of goodwill.

      When ever it is their responsibility to give you a refund or money back it is always out of goodwill and never cause they have to.

      Finding more and more buyers chancing returns by blaming the seller and then eBay provide the shipping label either by sending it to the buyer and crediting my account. Which looks like from the buyers side they won so then go and do it again the next time they want to return an item.

      If ebay want sellers to accept more returns with longer returns periods why don’t they pay all returns shipping costs no matter what the reason.

  • Toby
    4 years ago

    The ebay returns system is just an unpleasant joke. We have had empty boxes ( up to me to prove it was empty!!!) Completely different products ( purchased a pool pump returned a half used tin of paint). Item used incorrectly, put together incorrectly, then blatantly broken on purpose ( foot print on it)… claimed faulty. We get items claimed to be fake ( offical reciept from the manufacturers was not enough for ebay!), items claimed to be not as described (wrong shade of white apparantly!) oh the list goes on.
    The one thing they all have in common is you have no chance of appealing and winning. To prove an item has been delivered i have to provide actually proof… to prove it was not as described, faulty, mis sold etc the buyer has to provide nothing but their word, and any evidence to the contray is simply dismissed.
    The key to shopping on ebay is to remember that if you want it for free…. its simple, so long as you dont mind lying.
    This is the face of Scambay nowdays.

  • Steve Lane
    4 years ago

    For the fist time, I got tangled up in the Ebay returns system. A customer bought a 12v motor and gearbox in a kit of parts that needed a gear to be fitted. The gear is easy to fit and is tightened with a grub screw. I had received a few emails from the customer through eBay messaging saying that the item was working, but when fitting a gear the customer had cracked a plastic casing. Eventually the customer asked for a return as the item was faulty and the gears were not meshing. I had no choice but to accept the return. Paid for the return label, and waited to see what I got back. Give the customer his due he did sent the item back, and the plastic case was broken, but the motor and gearbox worked fine. I complained to eBay that the customer has misused the returns system, and did get my money back for the returns label, but no way could I get my money back for the original purchase, or the original delivery. When I asked about what would happen to the customer I was toldthat nothing would. He would keep the refund and ebay would pay to refund me. Ebay are making it too easy for unscrupulous customers to get free items or their money back.

  • Jo
    4 years ago

    I sold a pair of brand new Clarks shoes once and few days after they arrived at the buyers (I sent recorded delivery), they opened a case against me saying they had fall apart but I never heard of Clarks shoes doing that before. I had to accept the return, with me pay for them to be returned and when I got them back you could see that both shoes had been cut by scissors, I made a complaint to eBay and all I got was they were refunding the buyer has they could not prove that the buyer did it and they said the buyer could say I did it. Why the hell would I cut them up and they fall apart with the buyer and she said she had worn them for day or so and they had her claim saying than had fall apart where when she was wearing them. Ebay r rubbish to there sellers

  • Mark
    4 years ago

    In reply to all those that were not helped by the eBay returns just remember eBay are responsible for the whole item once they supply the postage paid label. So is na empty box shows up they agreed the product was packed properly to enter the carriers shipping process and if its smashed then exactly the same is applicable and you just need to tell them you are going to the small claims court as they are responsible not you not the buyer just eBay. You can claim your unavoidable expenses such as the costs of small claims £60 and any legal advice you needed plus the return shipping costs.
    They will reimburse you immediately.
    Any solicitor will tell you they do not have a leg to stand on and they should stay out of the process if they do not want to be held responsible. Even buyers can use that process. They buy an expensive item claim its faulty eBay provide a returns label then the buyer sends back a house brick.
    Again eBay started and ended the shipping process so are fully responsible for the packing and safe delivery of the item back. So a £500 purchase is had for free and the seller forces eBay to pay.

    That is why amazon let you all buy your own returns labels They are not stupid.

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