On the weekend before the recent Black Friday event, we got wind of eBay’s email to a select group of sellers inviting them to open an eBay store free of charge for the first two months.
However, instead of being thrilled about it, the email recipients regarded the invitation with suspicion.
They didn’t like the clause which states that sellers have to pay the return shipping cost regardless of the reason for the return.
We’ve copied verbatim the clause in question from one seller’s post in the eBay forums:
“TERMS AND CONDITIONS
By invitation only
What is the Promotion?
Invited sellers (“Sellers”) who accept the offer and then sign up for a Monthly or Yearly eBay Store subscription, pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein, will receive a waived subscription fee (the “Promotional Rate”) for the first 2 months of the subscription start date (collectively referred to as “Promotion”).
*Source: eBay Q3 2017 Internal Data. 15% lift reflects conversion when moving from no returns to 30-day free returns. Individual results may vary. eBay does not guarantee that each seller will experience the same lift. Free returns: seller pays return shipping no matter the reason for return, with no restocking fee.”
Sellers are subject to fraud
eBay’s message was, according to sellers who aired their grievances on the eBay boards, clearly intended to benefit fraudulent buyers, not them.
It gives cunning individuals the license to return a damaged item similar to what they actually purchased from an eBay seller, except that the latter is in good working condition, and then get a full refund.
Sellers wonder if eBay have a mechanism for establishing the authenticity of returned items, otherwise the company’s free returns policy will put store owners at a disadvantage.
An eBay moderator jumped into the lively discussion board to explain the following:
“When we state that a seller pays for the return no matter the reason for the return we are clarifying that the seller would pay for returns in both situations of remorse and in situations where the item did not match the description.”
How does this issue affect you as a seller on the eBay platform? Let us know in the comments below.
As always, to your continued success,
Dave & Matt