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eBay UK Autumn Seller Release:
Auto-accepting return requests

By Chris Dawson August 7, 2018 - 1:35 pm

eBay are to start auto-accepting return requests on behalf of sellers, according to their returns preferences, from mid September, regardless of why the buyer wants to return the item. This means that when a buyer opens a return request, this will be automatically accepted if it is within your offered return window. eBay will be rolling out these changes in phases over the course of this year starting in September and say that they will be listening to your feedback as they ramp up this new functionality.

“From 17 September 2018, to meet retail standards and streamline your workflow, we’ll start to simplify and shorten the returns process by auto-accepting return requests and providing buyers with labels for domestic returns as soon as they request a return.”
– eBay

eBay say you retain control

eBay say that this doesn’t mean they are taking away your control of returns. If you’ve chosen to set up your return merchandise authorisation (RMA), you’ll be able to provide your own labels to buyers. You can also continue to setup your automation and returns rules. eBay will automatically accept open “Item not as described” return requests that are within your indicated return window. You’ll be able to choose between using an eBay label or to provide the label directly using eBay’s existing RMA process.

After the return is accepted, a label will be provided to the buyer and once you receive the item, you can choose to process a refund or ask eBay to step in and help if you don’t agree with the reason for the return. The cost of the label will be charged to you in your next invoice.

Check your preferences prior to Auto-accepting return requests

Auto-accepting return requests functionality will be rolled out in phases by eBay throughout the rest of the year. It will be worth reviewing your returns acceptance rules and label provision options prior to the 17th of September when the Auto-accepting return requests starts to roll out.

  • james
    1 week ago

    “eBay say you retain control”
    clearly ebay lies, again.

    this really ain’t gonna work for us at all.
    most of our items don’t fit on an ebay label, causing massive problems when customers try to take a 25kg item down the post office.
    80% of cases opened we send parts or do an exchange, now all of them are coming back needlessly. this doesn’t make our customers happy either.
    a whole lot of hassle for the customer trying to post back a PC desk, when all they needed was one screw posted out, for example.
    specially when they’ve half-assembled the thing before finding they lost a screw.
    plus we can’t re-sell flat pack items that are posted back having been previously assembled.

    yeah i sure feel in control.
    this could well be the final nail in the coffin for our days on ebay.

    • Andy
      1 week ago

      I completely agree with this.

      99% of the time a return case is opened and all the customer wants is a replacement (or in your case the missing part)

      Problem is once they open the request we are forced to issue a label or refund.

      Most people do not realise they are opening a return case, and even tho we do put in huge font on our invoices for customers to only open a return request if they wish to return their item for a full refund return requests still keep getting opened.

      The fact that eBay is directing customers to open return requests, or not making it clear that customers are opening return requests just causes hassle for our customers when in reality a quick message could have the item replacement sent out the same day.

  • Rob
    1 week ago

    Buyers will love this one, once they figure out they can click item not as described and get a free return label straight away. Then drop it off and wait for their automatic refund with in a couple of days.

  • Dave
    1 week ago

    It fills me with dread….

    All it will do for us is create more confusion/frustration for our buyers. Most of the time we’ll resolve the reason why they opened the return in the first place with a message or two within a couple of hours (it’s usually user error in our category), they’ll be happy and on their way. Then over the next day or two, eBay will provide them with a pre-paid postage label asking them to send it back for a refund. We’ll just have pages of returns sitting there open for weeks/months. Great.

    No doubt we’ll be hit with more of the condescending and threatening emails telling me ‘Your buyer is waiting to hear from you’ and to ‘Resolve this request to remain in good standing’ when all has been resolved to my customers satisfaction.

    Removing further control from us of the returns process does not, as eBay says, ‘retain control’.

    Give us control over returns. Allow us to vet each return when it’s been opened, close them down if needs be (If the buyer doesn’t agree, then they open a case to contest. Only at that point should eBay step in.) Simple things, like allowing us to add notes to the returns. Allow us to see the purchase details from within the return instead of going back and forth between screens. Allow us to see the exact listing that they bought it from within the returns page. Just basic basic CRM stuff.

    As an aside, I had to send back something I bought the other day. Now in the purchase history page, the default button is ‘Return Item’. It used to be hidden under the ‘More Actions’ dropdown with ‘Contact Seller’ being the default option.

  • Cambridge_Blue
    1 week ago

    eBay have not got a clue how to run an online marketplace.
    Even Amazon allow the seller to authorise the return and choose whether an unpaid or paid label is provided along with an RMA regardless of what the buyer claims.
    It really is not that difficult but the intelligent fools who run eBay UK just don’t get it and I suspect never will.
    There is so much else that needs to be fixed on their marketplace ‘venue’ before this stupidity was even considered.
    They are simply getting desperate as they see the underlying figures in their business flatten out and they continue to lose ground to Amazon on almost every metric.

  • Pete
    7 days ago

    Unfortunately more buyers will be using Item not as described as their default option when they have ordered the wrong item now they can have their return label and refund authorised without any involvement – our answer to this will be to continue to contact ebay to have the label cost and case overturned – I suggest we all do this as when ebay inbound is swamped they will possibly consider an alternative given their general knee jerk reaction to operating issues

  • Mel
    7 days ago

    We clearly can not retain control with returns if they are automatically accepting these for us. As others have commented, most customers only want a replacement and all can be dealt with through contacting the seller without creating a returns case. This week I had an issue with a buyer who opened a returns case for an item we did not even sell. They were trying to return an item to us we had not sent them and after getting photos was still told by eBay that we had to accept the return and deal with proving it wasn’t ours afterwards, all to remain in good standing. We also sell product that can not go through normal post due to size and this meant we would of had to arrange a courier to collect the item as well. Luckily through speaking directly to the buyer the case was resolved they found our order was correct and cancelled the case. I also agree that the item not as described option is just going to be used by people who have changed their mind and dont want to pay to return the items and again ebay will just accept and refund away.

  • Jon
    7 days ago

    Hi I recently had a problem with a scammer eBay member who bought a Stihl petrol chainsaw had the item 6 days then contacted me to say it was broken the bar retaining bolt thread was stripped as my first and preferred option I offer cash on collection so any item can be viewed and tested so I would not want any buyer coming to collect an item that’s not as described and unfit for purpose he also told eBay it was in a dangerous condition if either of these lies were true it wouldn’t be possible to use it in the first place he also told myself and eBay he had been to a Stihl agent who had quoted that it would cost £150 to repair this item which i had posted to London area I offered to pay half to the repair even though the item was in perfect condition when posted i told my side to eBay who were uninterested the item was returned at my cost and a full refund of my money was given by eBay after it was returned I contacted my local Stihl agent and obtained the repair part needed at a total cost of £7.23 pence so obviously the scammers story was all lies even though the Saw had been well abused and used in the scammers 6 days of ownership and now needs a new chain after repairing the saw I contacted eBay got their usual response on no interest in the truth whatsoever and told me I could appeal their decision but I would have to contact their complaints department in southern Ireland Dublin and that I would have to write by pen and paper so if I did so my first letter would obviously not be received and then I would have to send by recorded delivery more costs to me it strikes me as odd that a company that trades wholly on line would expect it’s seller members to use an outdated antiquated method of redress so it also seems obvious eBay tries it’s best to detere any complainants from bothering to appeal their desisions needless to say I haven’t used eBay since LOL from 1 still August eBay is offering all buyer’s a 60 days no quibble returns policy on your behalf on any used items my other argument with eBay was it has turned its site on behalf of it’s seller members into a free hire shop you can’t get that on the high street

    • FD
      5 days ago

      Tell eBay you’re raising a claim against them, through the County Court “Small claims court”, and be prepared to follow it through.

      Write to their London address.

      It works.

  • jim afferton
    5 days ago

    If ebay issue a label “regardless of why the buyer wants to return the item” it means all sellers are about to become a hire shop.

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