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Simplifying Returns

As online retail continues to grow, buyers’ expectations and standard practices for returns are also evolving. To help our sellers meet those rising expectations, we are simplifying our return options to deliver a returns experience that is consistent and competitive with the changing marketplace.

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What you Need to Know

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  • We’re simplifying the number of return policy options
  • The “Additional return policy details” field, restocking fees and the option to issue a refund via merchandising credit will no longer be available.
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Simplifying Return Policies

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From May, we are simplifying our return options to deliver a returns experience that is consistent and competitive with the changing marketplace. This will help drive a retail-standard returns experience for buyers and help boost your sales.

The five return policy options will be:

  • Returns not accepted
  • 30-day returns
  • 30-day free returns
  • 60-day returns
  • 60-day free returns.

You will also have the flexibility to set different return policies for domestic and international returns. For example, you can choose to offer free returns domestically (seller paid), and in the same listing, offer paid returns to an international buyer (buyer paid).

You will no longer be able to apply restocking fees for returned items. However, when you offer free returns we will allow you to issue a partial refund, if an item is returned in a condition other than the one in which you sent it. For example, if a brand new item’s packaging was opened before it was returned, you can give the buyer a partial refund to cover a potential decrease in the value of the item.  In such events, we will resolve an associated Money Back Guarantee case in your favour and starting in June, we will also remove any negative or neutral buyer feedback in accordance with our policies.

As we are standardising returns, we will remove the “Additional return policy details” field that some sellers may use to detail their returns policies as well as the option to issue a refund via merchandise credit. Removal of this field and refund option will simplify and streamline returns for buyers.

Please note: Partial refunds cannot be issued to cover the cost of return shipping on free returns.

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How do you Benefit?

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The update in the return policies will result in a retail-standard returns experience that meets buyers’ expectation when shopping online. You may see a conversion lift by updating your existing return policies. For example, we found that sellers who changed their returns policies from “Returns not accepted” to “60-day free returns” experienced an average 37% lift in their conversion rate*.

If you currently offer: And move to: YOUR CONVERSION LIFT* COULD BE:
No returns 30 day free returns 26%
No returns 60 day free returns 37%
14 day returns 30 day free returns 14%
14 day returns 60 day free returns 23%

*Conversion lift seen based on January 2018 data. Individual results may vary. eBay does not guarantee that each seller will experience the same lift. “Free returns” refers to when the seller pays return postage no matter the reason for return, with no restocking fee.

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What you Need to Do

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We recommend that you begin updating your return policies. From May, for all new listings, 3, 7 and 14 day returns, restocking fees and the option to issue a refund via merchandising credit will no longer be an option.
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