How To Manage eBay Returns Effectively

How To Manage eBay Returns Effectively
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In the last couple of months, I have had my fair share of eBay returns for different reasons. After not having any for more than six months, I was ready to handle them when they eventually came.

Returns were initially my biggest fear, but I was confident enough to handle the rest once I did a few. Altogether, I think I’ve had just a handful of returns, but the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is the ease of the process honestly depends on the customer. The situation tends to stress you out if you have an angry customer who is visibly upset and doesn’t want to agree. But other times, you might be lucky to find someone who isn’t pissed but doesn’t like their order. Those are usually easier. All in all, my biggest advice when handling eBay returns is to be patient.

Here Are Five Few Tips That Can Help You Handle eBay Returns & Refunds Without Stress

Usually, when a customer is displeased with their order, they typically want to return it immediately. But sometimes, I’ve realised that when you try to have a genuine conversation with them and be upfront about your mistakes, you can turn the situation around, which satisfies the customer and changes their mind.

This brings me to the following;

Try communicating with the buyer first to resolve this.

Before the buyer opens an eBay return request, they try to reach out to you first. They explain their dissatisfaction with the order with reasons. Sometimes, the grounds are valid. Other times, they’re ridiculous and should be an oversight, but that is honestly not your place to say. So take some time out to communicate with them. Apologise and admit your mistakes. They’re more likely to change their mind when you’re genuine. If they do, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s also fine. Don’t take it too personally; it is business.

How To Manage eBay Returns Effectively

If they still insist on a return, follow the eBay process step by step.

Obviously, eBay has been in this business for a long time, so they have an efficient process to handle returns. Once the customer insists on getting a refund, ask them to open a return request on eBay. This is the only way eBay can protect your money, just in case the customer is shady. It is also the only way eBay can intervene if it gets out of hand. Don’t try to do anything outside the platform.

How To Manage eBay Returns Effectively

Always send a return label to the customer first before sending a refund.

Sometimes, the customer insists on getting their refund immediately. But you need to clarify to them that they can only get a refund if the item is returned in its original condition. Sometimes, this throws them off because a lot of people don’t have the time or energy to send a return to a post office. So you need to be very patient and wait this out. eBay will give the customer two weeks to return. If they don’t, you get to keep your money.

I’ve had situations where the return request was closed by eBay because the customer didn’t follow through and return the item. The entire process took about three weeks to resolve, but I still got to keep my money. Yes, eBay will keep your payouts on hold for that period, but when it ends, and the customer doesn’t return the item, you get to keep it, which is honestly the best feeling. So, don’t argue with the customer. Explain yourself the best you can and process the return for them, after which you sit down and watch how it all pans out.

How To Manage eBay Returns Effectively

eBay might prompt you to give a refund to a customer while they keep the order. Don’t give in.

While I understand that eBay is trying to create the best experience for their customers, sometimes it might be to their sellers’ detriment. At a few points during the return process, you might be promoted by eBay to refund the customer while they keep the order, don’t give in. This is because you’ll be losing money. If an order is returned, you can still relist it, increase the price slightly to recover the return label and make your profit. Don’t be tempted to refund a customer in haste. Be patient.

How To Manage eBay Returns Effectively

Ensure your listings are accurate to reduce or prevent returns.

While eBay returns are inevitable, they can be avoided to a minimum. My most recent return was a result of an error on my end. I listed a book I got from a charity shop during the lockdown as new when it was preowned. This was an oversight on my back. Of course, the customer was upset that he was expecting a brand-new book.

While it’s easy to rush, ensure the details of your listing are accurate. Better still, please take pictures of pre-owned items so they can’t see the item’s current condition rather than using generic e-commerce images. I know how I study images before making an eBay purchase. It is usually more accurate than any description from the seller.

In Summary,

When dealing with eBay returns, being patient is the best thing you can do to protect your profit. You never know; the customer might forget to drop their order off at the post office. If you’re looking to start selling on eBay, here’s how to become an eBay seller.

Ebun Oluwole
SEO Specialist & Blogger with nine years of experience with B2B & B2C brands in various industries.
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