14 Day Return Policy Compulsory for Business Sellers on eBay UK

As some of you may know already  the Government here in the UK are bringing in some changes to the Distance Selling Regulations (DSR’s not to be confused with ‘Detailed Seller Ratings’)  Which state that all businesses that sell goods over a distance i.e not face to face must now offer a 14 day cancellation policy.

As of this week eBay have rolled out their own policies to this effect , as they promised they would in the Spring Seller Update 2013.  So as of  this week (October 7th), all business sellers on eBay UK will be required to set a minimum period of 14 days in which buyers can cancel a transaction and get their money back.  eBay UK explained the reasoning behind their early adoption of the 14 day cancellation policy,

“We’re setting 14 days as the minimum period that sellers can specify for allowing a buyer to cancel a transaction. This is consistent with new UK and Irish selling regulations, effective in 2014.” The regulations currently require merchants to offer a 7-day return policy… to make sure we continue providing the quality service our buyers expect when shopping online and that they feel confident buying on eBay.”

This is great news for eBay UK sellers as with these generous policies it is sure to make the buying decision a lot easier for shoppers especially as we approach the Christmas season.  At UnderstandingE we really think this policy will help eBay UK see it’s busiest online trading period this Q4 in 2013.

Return Postage

Another pain point for a lot of buyers when buying on eBay is the whole ‘Who pays for return postage’ mystery, with quite a lot of sellers failing to mention this in their listings.  eBay have taken note and acted on this point too.  Business sellers will now also be required to specify which party is responsible for paying for return postage in such cases. eBay UK explained what happens if sellers do not heed these requirements:

“If you’ve not already specified these options, we’ll now automatically default to 14 days as the period in which the buyer can cancel the transaction and “buyer pays returns postage costs” where the item is returned for remorse reasons.”

There are a few limitations to be aware of.  The UK Distance Selling Regulations do not apply to auction-style format listings on eBay.co.uk, and do not apply to all types of items. “If your listing doesn’t fall under the Distance Selling Regulations, you’re not legally obliged to refund a buyer if they change their mind,” eBay UK stated. “However, you may choose to provide a service that goes beyond the minimum legal requirement in order to encourage consumers to buy from you.”

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