Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why All eBay Sellers Should Have a Fair Return Policy

A fair return policy on eBay is critical for building your customer base. Having a fair return policy creates trust between you and your customers. How likely are you to buy something from a stranger on the internet without being able to return it if something isn't right or if you change your mind about it? If you sell on Amazon, you already know that Amazon requires all sellers to offer a 30 day return policy. (If you have not tried selling on Amazon, click here for a great guide that explains it.)

A fair refund policy allows refunds within 30 days. Research shows that the longer the return policy timeframe, the LESS likely customers are to use it. There is no sense of urgency. They forget about it, put the item on a table and it gets covered with other things, and they find it six months later. Consider extending your return policy to 30 days.

Accept returns for any reason, not just if the item is grossly misrepresented, as many eBay sellers state in their return policies. It really doesn't matter why the customer wants to return the item, if they aren't happy, you lose as a seller. The buyer gets the last word, even if they didn’t even read your policy. You are risking negative feedback and losing a customer who will never buy from you again.

Make it clear in your listing that the customer is responsible for paying return shipping fees, unless it is the seller's error. (You sent the wrong item, etc.)

If an item is returned, you can always re-list the item again. Refund the customer’s money, and then go to eBay and find the item in your archived listings. Relist the item with one click, and you are done. You can still get positive feedback from the first buyer, especially if you promptly process his refund and include a professional email thanking him for his business. Make the customer happy and get positive feedback.

Happy Selling!


Paula said...

Great advice. I do offer a return policy and in the past year I've only had two people actually return an item. Its really not that big of a deal and like you said you want to keep the customer happy and avoid getting a negative.

Anonymous said...

What do you do if UPS delivered said product to buyer's front porch and then buyer says that package got soaked and ruined because it had rained and now buyer wants a full refund because item is ruined?

Now seller can't resale item either because it's ruined, should the seller shoulder this whole expense?