eBay Tips 2008: Return Policy

When it comes to considering a Return Policy for your eBay listings, two things immediately spring to mind. I’ve spoken to countless sellers and it seems to me that the number of returns that most sellers get, compared to the despatches they make, represents a tiny percentage. For most, they are a pain and a hassle but not necessarily frequent. Needless to say, the better the listing is, the less likely a return. And sometimes, of course, you’ll just get someone you just can’t please.

My other thought relates to buyers. A good Return Policy is a huge reassurance to a buyer. It encourages them to bid because it makes them feel safer: they can return the goods if they want to. It soothes a furrowed brow.

So, while we’re thinking about customer focused listings, reviewing your Return Policy and making sure it’s as clear, flexible and friendly as possible is one thing that can make a difference and convert browsers into buyers.

Some things to consider:


Legal requirements
: The Return Policy you offer will depend upon what you sell and be determined by the style of business you run. But as a basis, know what you’re legally obliged to offer. Of course, regardless of whether or not you express your legal requirements, your buyers can enjoy the benefits. Find out about the legal obligations here. Again, even some of the legal obligations are dependent on the goods sold.

It’s a cost of doing business: There’s not much point fretting too much about returns. They are an inevitable cost of doing business, whether you’re a small time trader or a high street giant. Some canny sellers I know specifically budget for returns across all their sales when they calculate their prices (perhaps a little extra on your P&P?) to therefore generate a ‘Returns Fund’ that covers the ones that go awry.

Be as flexible as you can
: It’s hard to over-express how popular Return Policies are with buyers. Don’t forget that many eBayers aren’t that tech savvy or experienced as online shoppers. For many, still, coming to eBay is scary and daunting. Offering a Return Policy which appeals to that massive number of convenience orientated shoppers, makes sense. By being flexible, you may attract many more buyers and not see a corresponding rise in Returns.

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