Should The Fear Of Getting A Return Stop You From Selling On eBay?

Should The Fear Of Getting A Return Stop You From Selling On eBay?

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Let’s talk returns. Does the fear of returns stop you from selling on eBay? 

We get asked about returns frequently, mainly because we do larger items. Often, our flips are $500, $1,000, or $2,000, so a return is a big deal. Last year we only had three returns, and we won two out of three, so we’re going to dive into how to prevent returns and how not to be scared of them. Returns are a part of the business, so they will happen, but you can handle them.

We typically sell larger, higher-profit items, so we’ll give you our playbook of what works for us. We don’t accept returns in our business. That doesn’t mean we don’t get them, but we do our best to prevent those from happening.

Accepting returns can help your items be seen more in specific categories, such as clothes or shoes that need to be sized right, and then if they don’t fit, people want to return them. Of course, you’ll offer returns for things like that within whatever window you offer, which makes sense.

Under Promise, Over Deliver

For our business model, taking returns doesn’t really make sense. So we want the buyer to know everything they need before purchasing an item. We don’t want them to change their mind on a $2,000 piece of equipment or appliance and not be able to return it, so we underpromise over-deliver. 

We pick apart the item we are selling and note scuffs, scratches, and any defects in the description and photos. You are trying to turn a buyer away from your item because you want them to know the true condition of it. You don’t want a buyer having false expectations.

Add a video to your listing too. Videos help provide accurate pictures of items. Stay away from terms like mint, excellent, or great condition. That establishes higher expectations.

I say things like, expect normal wear and tear on this item because it is used. Please see the pictures for the condition. Set proper expectations for the buyer because you don’t want a $1,700 return.

Typically the stuff that we’re selling, we’re selling at around 50% of retail. Now, when the buyer does find this, first of all, he can’t find it anywhere else. When they get that item, they’re not going to wanna return an item that they’ve got for 50% off of retail because that’s what they want.

Like right now, we have a turbo chef oven that we paid $400 for. We have it listed for, I think it, well, we have two of them, but I think one of them is like almost $10,000; the other one is $8,500. These are new items. They cost over $20,000. 

Should The Fear Of Getting A Return Stop You From Selling On eBay?

Returns From Shipping

When we do get a return request, it’s because the item is damaged in shipping. It’s a damaged claim. Even if it says return, we dig in deeper, and that’s when we find out it’s damaged on delivery. We’ll ask what the box looks like and then contact the shipping company to make it right. Make sure you are packaging your items according to the carrier’s guidelines. Pay extra for insurance and take pictures of the packaging process.

In those cases, the buyer will get their money back. Typically you’re not going to lose money when you’re doing everything correctly. 

This is huge on oversized items. Sometimes you may have to do a damaged tag where they’ll pick up the item, inspect it because you have insurance, and return it. If possible, you want to do that, so you’re not paying the shipping to that buyer and then from the buyer to you.

Should The Fear Of Getting A Return Stop You From Selling On eBay?

Keep Good Communication With Your Buyer

Keep good communication with your buyers, even if it’s turned into a shipping claim. If they Ask for a return request and don’t accept returns, you need to figure out why. It’s probably going to be shipping, and you go down that rabbit hole. Take some time to talk to someone to get advice, and then reply. Don’t just automatically process a refund without digging deeper and asking questions to see if it’s a shipping issue.

Show Notes

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Robert Stephenson

I grew up in Central Florida and have lived here my whole life. I first got into buying and selling items when I was 16 years old, and have been hooked ever since. It has mostly been a hobby that makes some extra cash, but sometimes it serves as my main income as well. I don't plan on stopping any time soon. I find too many fun toys for my family (or myself), and just love the whole process.

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