5 Ways eBay Clothing Sellers Can Reduce Returns

eBay clothing returns
Formal wear is a high return item on eBay. Getty Images

Buying clothing online is tricky. You can't be 100 percent sure the item will fit, that the color will match, or the fabric will be exactly what you are looking for. The problem is that the only thing between the seller and buyer is a computer screen. The customer can't touch, feel, closely examine, or try on clothing virtually. Almost every online clothing retailer has a no-questions-asked return policy, and eBay buyers expect the same from eBay sellers.

The eBay Guarantee states, 

"We want you to have a great shopping experience. That’s why you’ll find eBay sellers who include generous return policies for the items they sell. And it’s why we offer the Money Back Guarantee. If you have any questions, or want to know how you’re covered, check out the frequently asked questions."

Some sellers won't sell clothing because they assume there is a high return rate. There are several ways eBay sellers can reduce returns when selling clothing. The idea is to be proactive and think ahead.

Always Provide Measurements

Different brands of clothing run differently. A size 8 in a Ralph Lauren brand item is not the same as a size 8 in a Target Brand. The more expensive the designer, the smaller the size usually runs. eBay shoppers know to measure a similar item they already have that fits properly and compare the measurements to the item for sale on eBay. Having complete and accurate measurements on clothing listings increases the likelihood that it will be a good fit for the customer.

 

One good way to take and communicate measurements to buyers is with photos. Lay the garment flat and lay the measuring tape across it. Rather than having to read the measurements, the buyer can see the measurements in a photo. It is best to provide buyers with as much information as possible for a better chance for a good fit while preventing a return.

 

Write Complete Concise Descriptions

People are visual shoppers in real life and on the internet. They would rather look at photos than read a description. Photos don't help with search engine optimization (placing higher in searches) so that is where you must take the time to enter text the search engine can find. Write a clear and thorough description including the fabric content, color, features like buttons or pockets, manufacturer, and any imperfections. A well-written description is also necessary if a buyer opens an Item Not As Described (INAD) case. If eBay ever has to decide a case, you have already done your homework and provided all the details that a buyer may dispute. Again, an accurate description provides full disclosure to the buyer. The objective is to inform the buyer before the purchase is made. 

Don't Sell Formal Wear

Formal wear such as prom gowns, evening wear, or pageant dresses are high return items. The purpose of these items is usually a one-time event. Buyers may come to eBay in search of the perfect dress for a special occasion, knowing full well they will return the item after the event is over. This is also common in formal wear stores which is why they often have a no-return policy.

Avoid this problem by not selling this type of product.

Use Tyvek Wristbands

You can make sure the buyer won't wear the item and return it by affixing a Tyvek wristband to the garment in a prominent place. These wristbands are used for events and must be cut off to be removed. You can include a caveat in your return policy that the band must be attached in its original position for a full refund. The item could certainly be tried on, but not worn in public. Tyvek bands only cost a few cents each, can be personalized with your eBay store name or logo, and can be purchased on eBay

Don't Take It Personally

Returns are going to happen so just accept it as part of the eBay process. Your buyer is not returning an item to make you angry, to upset your budget, to deplete your Paypal account, or because they don't like you.

Returns are strictly business. Handle returns professionally, give the customer excellent service, and re-list the item when you get it back.