Is eBay Ending Return Shipping Label Program?
An eBay community member reported a troubling experience with not one, but two customer service reps telling them eBay is discontinuing support for purchasing return labels on the platform. 🤯
Just got off the phone with eBay, thought maybe I misunderstood but was assured multiple times I didn’t. I offer free returns and have a store with a couple thousand items. A return generated yesterday but it did not generate a return label, instead it asked us to provide a return label.
Assuming it was a glitch I called eBay and inquired about it and was informed in no uncertain terms that with the “new update” they will no longer be offering return labels and all return labels will need to be purchased separately and uploaded.
Maybe this is old info and everyone knew this was happening but I was frustrated. That is not only a major inconvenience but also going to be more expensive, time consuming, and time sensitive. Running a large store with many returns a week it is an unnecessary hassle.
I have always offered free returns because of top rated plus and the 10% discount of final value fees but with the new increased cost and time it doesn’t seem worth it. I am not saying I’m leaving eBay over it but I definitely won’t be offering free returns anymore, which sucks because I really feel it’s an important element to giving the customer the best experience possible but eBay is forcing my hand unfortunately.
The agent said this was a soft rollout but assured me over time eBay is completely phasing out offering labels for buyers. Does anyone else have any thoughts or info on this? Have I just been out of the loop and everyone knew about this?
Other sellers in the forum questioned the information this seller had been given and advised it's sadly not uncommon for customer support to give incorrect answers just to get callers off the phone.
The original poster confirmed they had felt the information may not be correct, but they had been told the same answer from multiple reps.
Thank you for replying. It felt like the agent was wrong, there was a language barrier to begin with, however, I called back after I made this post and was told the exact same thing.
This item was not an old return, it was sold this week and didn’t fit and return was requested. Both agents put me on hold and needed to “ask the right department” but both came back and said the same thing, “there is a new update and they are slowly rolling out no longer facilitating return labels and that sellers who offer free returns in the future will be responsible to provide their own labels”.
I asked where I could see info on the new update because I didn’t see anything about it in any of the seasonal updates this year and the second agent told me it hasn’t been made public. Again with the second agent there was a bit of a language issue but it was clear enough. He said not to expect it with every return for a couple months until the system is in place but that my return was basically picked at random. I said ok that was pretty much it.
I don’t know, was hoping someone else had info. It’s not so much about the label cost, pirate ship is comparable to eBays usps rates, it’s about the inconvenience and extra time involved, which is money, and significant money at high volume for a service eBay has been facilitating since I’ve been selling and every other major platform facilitates that I’m aware of.
My bet was the reps were incorrect for one simple reason - eBay can't make money on labels that are purchased offsite.
Like any large volume shipper, eBay can and does negotiate significantly discounted rates with all the carriers and while they may pass some of the savings on to users, they certainly don't have to. Of course those contracts are private, so we have no way of knowing what eBay is really paying for shipping rates or if/how much of a profit center it may be for them.
But even if they aren't making much (or any) money directly on return labels, those labels are counted in their overall volume, which is what gives them leverage to negotiate rates. If their shipping volume is lower because less labels are being purchased from them, the carriers may not give the same discounts when the contract comes up for negotiation again.
eBay community staff escalated the issue to the shipping team and eventually confirmed return label service is not going away.
We've received clarification directly from our shipping team who stated
"There have been no changes to eBay return shipping labels, and no plans to make changes. If the package meets the size requirements set by the return carrier, you can purchase a return shipping label through the return request and send it to your buyer. They can then print the label and use it to send the item back to you. Here’s the Help Hub article for reference."
While it's good to know they are not discontinuing this service, it is very troubling that eBay's customer support continues to be so poorly trained that multiple reps would give out such convincing, detailed stories about a policy update that apparently doesn't even exist.
Someone get eBay's new Head of Customer Service Experience Ty Bake on the case - additional coaching is needed pronto!