One of the biggest changes announced in eBay UK’s Seller Release 2018, is extending the minimum returns period that eBay business sellers need to offer from 14 days to 30 days in certain categories. We take a look at the implications of this change and what you need to do as an eBay business to comply.
How eBay returns work
The returns process for buyers on eBay is similar to most online retail businesses, but as a retailer you have to follow eBay’s procedure and requirements.
All eBay sellers have to state a returns policy, and following distance selling rules, business sellers have to make customers aware that they have a right to cancel their purchases within 14-days. Currently eBay UK sellers have to offer at least a 14-day return policy for all categories, however, for certain categories this will be changing in May.
It’s important that you stay on top of any return requests through eBay, as they affect your Seller Standards. If you receive a return request you have eight calendar days to either:
- Accept the return
- Refund the buyer, in full or partially, and let them keep the item
- Message the buyer for more information or to resolve the request without returning the item.
You can automate eBay returns, by adding your preferred postage, payment and returns options to the business policies you apply to your listings. Find out more about setting up your returns rules here.
eBay also offers a Money Back Guarantee to shoppers if the buyer doesn’t receive the item or it doesn’t match the description.
What’s changing for eBay returns
Intended to give buyer’s more confidence when shopping on eBay, the number of returns policy options available for new listings in a number of categories is being reduced.
From May 2018, the 14-day returns option will be removed when creating a new listing for all items (new, used and refurbished) in these categories:
- Health & Beauty
- Home & Garden
- Sports, Hobbies & Leisure
- Vehicle Parts & Accessories
For these categories there will only be the choice of four returns policy options:
- 30-day buyer pays return postage
- 30-day free returns
- 60-day buyer pays return postage
- 60-day free returns
The ‘Additional return policy details’ field will also be removed from May 2018. This is where buyers can include further details about their returns policies, but eBay is looking to standardise returns, so this will no longer be available.
What you need to do
Initially, these changes will only affect you when you create a new listing. But, eBay is recommending that you start to update listings in these categories to ensure that all your returns policies match one of the four options.
You’ll need to update your return policies set in your item specifics and within your listing - if these are inconsistent, then eBay will use the policy in your item specifics to resolve any issues.
Later in 2018, any listings that aren’t in line with the 30-day or 60-day returns policies will be migrated by eBay.
Find out all the changes that eBay are making in their Spring 2018 Seller Release here.