Cyber Five Frenzy: eBay/PayPal Returns Policy and RLSAs

October 23, 2014

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UPDATED 10/29/2014 

To help all retailers prepare for the holiday rush, we’ll be kicking our blog into high gear, sharing several holiday preparation tips over the span of the next two months. We want to make sure you’re covered from all angles, so two tips per post — one on digital marketing and one on marketplaces — and two blogs per week. We’ll begin with the tips that take the most time to implement and end with the less complex. Let the prepping commence!


October is coming to an end, and once November hits, holiday shopping will steadily pick up. To complete the purchasing cycle, also spend some time reviewing your eBay/PayPal returns policy. Returns are inevitable, even with great products and a superior user experience. Review your current returns setup to ensure your customers have the most seamless experience possible.

To help products fly off your virtual shelves, consider implementing retargeting ads to your existing webstore visitors. That way, you aren’t prospecting blindly but are focusing your efforts on consumers who have already shown interest in your products.

Spend what’s left of this month preparing your newly targeted ads and reviewing your returns policy. You’re going to want to be ready to put your best foot forward once November 1 gets here!

Marketplaces Tip #6: Review your eBay/PayPal returns policy

Let’s face it, nobody enjoys product returns — neither buyer nor seller. Sellers lose sales, and consumers don’t receive the products they expected. As an eBay seller, don’t make these situations worse on yourself by being unable to refund the customer through PayPal.

To receive the Top Rated Plus badge on eBay, you’re required to offer Extended Holiday Returns. This gives buyers until January 31 to return anything purchased between November 1 and December 31 — approximately 90 days. EBay recently announced that extended holiday returns are no longer necessary to earn the Top Rated Plus badge. More details here.

Make sure you extend to the 90-day PayPal refund window to accommodate buyers and to make sure you can refund through PayPal. Of note:

  • You have to call a PayPal rep to make this change, and it goes into effect the moment you call.

  • To revert to a 60-day window in December, then a 30-day window in January, you need to call PayPal again.

Digital Marketing Tip #6: Make use of RLSAs

Google Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) allow you to customise your search ads campaign for people who previously visited your site. You can tailor your bids and advertisements to these specific visitors when they’re searching on Google. RLSAs are a great way to target shoppers with text ads, based on the shoppers’ prior actions and interests when they visited your webstore.

RLSAs deliver, too. In an analysis for one of our customers (using Q4 2013 data), we found that:

  • RLSAs made up 15% of total spend and resulted in 21% of conversions.

  • The RLSA click-through rate was 321% higher than the non-RLSA click-through rate.

  • RLSAs delivered a conversion rate that was 72% higher than that of non-RLSAs.


These tips can take some time to implement, so put them into action pronto. We always love hearing about your progress as we approach one of the busiest times of year, so feel free to update us in the comments below.

Be on the lookout for the next blog post in our holiday series. We’ll discuss strategies for testing cross-border trade as well as looking beyond Google Shopping!


Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor

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