eBay Shakes Up and Smooths Out the Returns Process

eBay Inc. Staff

eBay’s new managed returns process is intended to create a hassle-free return experience.

With a variety of return procedures, restrictions and policies, it’s often impossible to know what returning an eBay purchase will be like. Sometimes it can be fast and easy; other times it’s like pulling teeth. But with eBay’s new managed returns platform, the return process will never be the same.

Fast and free shipping and hassle-free returns are quickly becoming a basic standard of service levels for the industry. Buyer expectations have been rising quickly over the last few years, and Marketplaces is keeping pace with them.

Buyers’ top asks have been free/discounted shipping, easier returns/exchanges, online tracking ability and a clear returns policy.

The managed returns process virtually automates returns for sellers and buyers, streamlining the communications between them. It launched as a pilot on July 10 for select eBay sellers, and goes public on an opt-in basis today for eBay Top-rated sellers. Eventually, it will become the long-term solution for all transactions on eBay.

"The managed returns platform is a big step in our plans for driving long-term growth and fostering trust between our buyers and sellers and between our customers and eBay,” said Carl Gish, Vice President of Global Shipping, Marketplaces. “Buyers want returns, sellers need to offer them and our new managed returns platform makes it easy for both. It's another example of eBay building and strengthening the marketplace community.  Great job by all the teams that made this happen.”

Buyers and sellers will get clear, consistent guidelines and procedures for the returns process. They’ll also receive the necessary tools to create packing slips and pre-paid shipping labels for tracking and receiving returned items, which will help process refunds quickly and efficiently.

“Providing an eBay managed returns process to our customers has been a top goal of the Managed Marketplaces team in 2012,” said Ken Moss, Vice President, managed marketplaces technology. “We are taking a key step towards providing a safe and trusted place for our buyers and sellers to interact with each other.  The eBay-wide collaboration on this project was amazing to see.  The teams nailed a very complicated deliverable and made it look beautiful and easy.”