Returns are the scourge of all shops and stores regardless of whether they are physical shops on the high street or virtual stores online. eBay store returns are no different. It can be incredibly frustrating having to deal with returns, and if there is nothing wrong with the item, just the customer changing their mind, it can smart a little. It is an effort on your part, and you have to refund money and process returns at your cost. So how can you minimise the pain?
You Are Not Alone
First, of, remember this isn’t personal. The law dictates that customers have a right to return items they purchase online. It is advisable to tackle this head on by making sure that you have to create a returns policy. This should offer a 30-day return process, and you should show this on your listings. On the plus side, this helps with your credibility as a buyer, and not all customers return their items. If you are an eBay Top-rated Seller, a 30-day return policy is compulsory.
Now, Manage the Damage
If you create watertight business policies, you can add your returns options, as well as preferred postage and payment. This makes the whole process clearer for all involved. These business policies are applied to your listings which saves time as the policy will negate the need for you to add the payment, postage and returns information to each listing. The plus side here is saving time.
Make Returns Automatic
Using the eBay platform, you can automate some of the returns processes. By specifying key criteria, you can automate approving a return if it meets the return reason and price you specify, and send a refund if you have decided to allow the buyer to keep the item (again using the return reason and price as your specified criteria. eBay can also handle RMA numbers if you wish to use them. You can create as many rules as you need, but also leave certain cases requiring your attention if you prefer.
Keep Things Timely
If a customer requests a return, you have eight days to take action. Within this time frame you have to either:
- Accept the return (item returned to you) or
- Refund your buyer (buyer keeps the item) or
- Partially refund your buyer (buyer keeps the item) or
- Start a dialogue with the buyer (if you feel the issue can be resolved without return/refund)
With automatic returns, eBay will send a postage label to the buyer if you are accepting the return. They have 14 days to get the item back to you from the date they made the request. Who pays for return postage depends on why the item is being returned.
There will also be a packing slip for the buyer to include with the return, using a unique tracking number to help you sort the return when it arrives.
If you are using RMA numbers that will be printed on the packing slip. Using RMA numbers is a matter of choice – you can if you want, but you do not have to. Tip: The bigger the shop, the more useful these numbers become!