eBay Spring 2020 Seller Release: Faster Returns

By Chris Dawson February 26, 2020 - 4:23 pm

As a buyer there’s only one thing more frustrating than buying something and finding it’s not what I wanted and that is opening a returns case and the seller taking a full week to respond so that I can return the item. And yes, we are all aware that sometimes it may be the buyers fault for not fully reading the description and sometimes the seller may have erred, but the fact of life is that the return is going to happen and the only remaining question whether the seller will drag their feet or if they’ll enable faster returns.

Now, eBay have recognised that more than 90% of the time, sellers on eBay UK respond to buyers returns requests within 3 business days and that is now to become the new standard from May 2020, Previously, the time a seller has to respond when a buyer opens a return request or an eBay Money Back Guarantee (eMBG) was 8 calendar days and for most people (especially businesses) that’s pretty excessive.

Business days are classed as Monday to Friday, but eBay will take all UK-wide bank holidays into account. The only thing to remember will be if you’re selling on an overseas site where local rules will apply.

This change is simply intended encourage faster returns and isn’t intended to bounce you into an instant refund. A response is classed as any action to address a request or report within the Resolution Centre. For example, approving the return, providing a label, sending a refund or providing an item tracking number within the Resolution Centre.

Hopefully this will put an end to the very few sellers on eBay who take a week to make their first response to a returns request and then, if they’re providing an eBay label, take another week to accepting the request and provide the label.

Let’s be honest, we all hate returns even if they are legitimately our fault, but the only thing dragging a return out does is irritate a buyer who is already irritated.

The net result of these changes is that you will need to deal with return requests at least twice a week, but if you’re a typical seller you probably already address them on a daily basis to get them out of the way.

  • Rob
    1 month ago

    The easier ebay keep making the return process the more buyers abuse the system or buy things on a whim and then send them back without realising the cost to businesses as they get the return approved straight away and get their money back straight away. If they have to wait a while then maybe they will think or check a listing more carefully before buying.

    I wish ebay would not get as involved in returns as the more they get involved the more that seems to go wrong. Only this week they issued the wrong prepaid label as they can’t manage to combine item weights when buyer wanted to send two items back bought at the same time on the same invoice. ebay’s answer, sort it out in 4 days or will will refund the buyer and they keep the item. Even thou they made the mistake.

    • 1 month ago

      3 working days for a business to respond is plenty of time, way more than necessary. All the good businesses will be responding much quicker than that, same day or next working day, so that new 3 day figure ebay came up with must have been dragged down by some proper slackers.

      It doesn’t make it any easier for buyers, as they have virtually everything auto-approved nowadays.

    • Rob Oakley
      1 month ago

      @Gav, yes usually respond with in one working day of request if buyers remorse or I have made a mistake. But if it is a fraudulent return where they just want a free postage label why speed things up for them.

    • 1 month ago

      You’re prioritising seller convenience over a smooth customer journey.

  • SAM
    1 month ago

    I never get a chance to respond anyway,they just accept the return automatically.
    To be fair it has helped a lot with those out for eBay Freebies, “no problem sir just request a return automatically accepted no hassles. ( if they make a fuss their at it) they can tell all their buddies in their Facebook groups to go for easier targets.
    Nothing ever comes back…

  • NorthCrystal
    1 month ago

    Now expecting some Senior Manager at eBay to come out and say they were not aware of sellers bearing the costs of the “freebies” returns…..

  • Leanne
    1 month ago

    The majority of our returns have been based on lies or buyers being to bone idol to actually read the description. Why should eBay care as long as they get their 10% and every other fee that they put on the business seller.

  • Mark
    1 month ago

    Everyone on eBay knows the best returns system is to say item not as described.
    Ebay immediately charge you for the return and they don’t care what you say to them.
    We sell an item and people say “not as described” they explain it was not as big as it looked in the picture. Yet the item specifics give all the measurements. Even the first paragraph of the description gives the sizes.
    but ebay charge us immediately and then say contact us when you receive the item back which we do and they do not refund or do anything to the buyer What a farce.

    We sell a training collar for a dog and people buy it try it on then use it for a week then say defective. I ask why they say it did not stop my dog pulling.

    We do not sell it and say no need to train your dog.

    I should by a pair of trousers and say defective after 4 weeks saying i did not pull any women at the nightclub so they must be faulty nowt to do with the fact i am ugly.
    We are not a library

  • james
    1 month ago

    I wouldn’t be bothered by this, but you don’t actually have any days to reply on ebay. i’ve had cases decided against me within seconds of being opened with no prior conversation on ebay, and highlighting to ebay the fact that ebay’s T&C’s actually have time limits on them for me to reply, which have been completely ignored, doesn’t help a jot. so this update is largely meaningless.

  • Jason
    1 month ago

    Online sales channels are just become free hire shops for buyers. A guy brought 3 items and used them all for a 3 weeks then said they were not as described and charged me for the return. The items were well used and he left me positive feedback after they were returned. eBay didn’t care. Cast me nearly £200 in postage and lower resale price. New buyers were over the moon with them

  • jim
    1 month ago

    we have even experienced a buyer request a return stating change of mind
    when they were told in that case they pay return postage
    the request was changed to not as described
    we were then stung for the return postage
    from the US

    • Carl
      1 month ago

      I feel for you.
      I have not had that happen, but my annoyance is with the ones that return because they simple didn’t read or couldn’t bother reading the listing.

      My usual “Item Not As Described” for [CDs] is “there is a crack to the front of the case”
      Listing states: “there is a crack to the front of the case”

      My Classic one: Sorry, I thought this was a DVD (listed in CD category, with CD in the title, and CD in the description.

      Latest one is a special lamp with two bulbs. Listing stated one lamp and two bulbs. Yet “Not As Described” was used because they thought there would be two lamps.

      All those 3 were perfectly as described. Return was automatic so couldn’t be stopped.
      But it is apparently okay because once I get the item back, I can report them…

  • 1 month ago

    I bought a dehumidifier last October which has stopped working. Although warranty was for a year the seller Amazadeal ignored my emails and eBay and PayPal won’t help. Lesson learned buy from store.

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