Every seller on eBay should work with and know how to set up eBay business policies. Setting them up is defining the commitment between you and your buyers, like how long will it take you to ship the products or what are your return guidelines.
Oddly, eBay doesn’t enforce this feature on every seller and you need to opt-in and go through an unfriendly process to set up payment, shipping, and return policies correctly.
So no wonder that it is one of the big questions that many beginners ask when starting selling on eBay. Especially eBay dropshippers. Since it’s one thing to understand the shipping and return terms you want to offer when the products are in your inventory. But dropshipping requires you to set up policies according to the shipping and returns terms you get from your suppliers.
This article is an easy guide for every eBay seller and drop shipper on setting their policies on eBay and on their eBay dropshipping software correctly. And I am going to explain it to you with practical examples, templates, and useful tips.
If I had read such a guide when I just started, it would have saved me from a lot of mistakes!
Let’s get started!
Why are correct Business Policies on eBay important for your eBay seller account
When you create an eBay listing, you must set up relevant policies for your buyers to let them know exactly how they can pay you, how long it will take to ship out an item, what type of shipping methods you offer, and if you accept returns or not.
Failing to deliver the goods as promised and on time will cause unwanted results.
Take into account that eBay is quite strict when it comes to making sure that you keep your promises. And it makes sense… When you do offer a fast shipping option while your competitors don’t offer it, eBay will expose your listing to more potential buyers.
But what if you fail to actually deliver the product within the fast shipping time frame you promised? You can’t expect to get out of it without punishment. Indeed late shipments, lacking to handle returns according to your policy, etc. can result in:
- Negative feedback from customers
- Reduced visibility to your eBay listings on their search engine
- Reduced visibility in the eBay promoted listings feature
- Temporary or permanent suspensions
Negative feedback from a customer is a sales killer. It seems like getting negative feedback will cause the eBay algorithm to reduce your exposure on the platform. And how could you get one by not setting business policies correctly? Customers want to get their item in the exact way they ordered it and if that won’t happen – expect bad feedbacks.
This isn’t meant to scare you or anything, just to let you know how important it is to get this part right. Just remember, the mistakes done in these settings can damage your eBay seller rating.
Let’s see now how to opt-in to business policies on eBay and set up them correctly!
How to Opt in Business Policies on eBay marketplaces:
You need to opt-in, create and manage your policies on the right eBay marketplace where you want to create your listings (eBay com, eBay au, eBay ca, etc.). Make sure to go to the right site of eBay.
I personally always found it weird that you need to opt-in to use this feature and it isn’t activated by default to all sellers. If you know the reason why comment below the article I’d love to know finally understand the reason.
To opt-in your business policies, go to the dashboard in the Account section of “My eBay” or use one of the next links:
- US: https://www.bizpolicy.ebay.com/businesspolicy/policyoptin
- UK: https://www.bizpolicy.ebay.co.uk/businesspolicy/policyoptin
- Germany: https://www.bizpolicy.ebay.de/businesspolicy/policyoptin
- Australia: https://www.bizpolicy.ebay.com.au/businesspolicy/policyoptin
- France: https://www.bizpolicy.ebay.fr/businesspolicy/policyoptin
- Spain: https://www.bizpolicy.ebay.es/businesspolicy/policyoptin
- Canada: https://www.bizpolicy.ebay.ca/businesspolicy/policyoptin
That’s all. eBay business policies opt-in are finished. There you will be able to create your business policies.
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Creating Business Policies on eBay
To create your own business policies on your eBay account, you simply head to the dashboard in the Account section of “My eBay”. That is how you opt into business policies.
If you just started selling on eBay, and those are your first policies – create 3 basic business policies: eBay shipping policy, payment policy, and return policy.
Three simple steps to create your eBay business policies:
- Click on the button “Create policy”.
- From the Create policy dropdown, select a policy type.
- Give the policy a descriptive name and add a brief description.
- Add your policy details and select “Save”.
You will need to name each policy. This is simply to make it easier for buyers to choose between the options you offer. Especially, between your shipping policies.
Choose a name that fit the purpose of the policy. For example, if you dropship products from AliExpress but also sell an inventory you keep at home, call the policies accordingly: “AliExpress shipping policy” and “Home inventory shipping policy”.
The cool thing about eBay policies is that if you have listed an item in the last 90 days, you’ll see some ready-made policies based on your previous payment, shipping, and return preferences — very convenient.
When it comes to your eBay business policies management, you can edit them whenever you want from the same section of policies where you create them. You can change your policies on eBay at any time (if it’s needed).
You can copy, reassign or delete a specific policy for your eBay listings. To do it click on any of the options: create policy, reassign listings (=change), delete policies, or clean up your policies:
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let´s see how to properly set these policies with some practical examples of setting up policies to actual popular dropshipping suppliers.
How to set up eBay shipping policy?
First of all, understand that your shipping policy on eBay shows buyers your handling time, how you ship your products, from where, how much time the shipping takes, its cost, and other shipping-related questions.
Logically, shipping from US and China, for example, will have different delivery times, costs, etc.
You can create as many shipping policies as needed. Just give them the corresponding names and descriptions. It will help to pick the right policy quicker.
Among the different policies, the shipping policy is the most complicated one to set up. So let me break it down for you in these small segments.
Let´s see how to create these policies.
eBay shipping policy example for local suppliers
If you ship products from US suppliers (and not internationally), you can set the next shipping options:
Firstly, you set the shipping cost: e.g. “flat”.
Secondly, pick the delivery method you would use.
The example above was set up for dropshipping from Amazon using an Amazon Prime account. If you dropship from a different US dropship supplier, verify that you can handle such fast shipping or choose a longer shipping time.
In the “cost” box, indicate the shipping fees you charge (it´s optional).
Handling Time: This is the commitment you make to your customers about how long it will take to process every order. eBay counts an order as processed from the moment you upload a valid tracking number.
So, the sweet spot is between 3-4 days. Just make sure you process your orders as soon as possible. If I were to choose 1 or 2 days, all items that are late (meaning their tracking number is uploaded after that amount of days) will cause damage to my ‘Tracking uploaded on time and validated’ metric on eBay. And I obviously want to avoid that because it affects my store’s rating on eBay directly
International Shipping: here you indicate countries where YOU ship.
If you only ship within the country of your eBay marketplace, keep “No international shipping“. Just to clarify: if you set this business policy on eBay US and you picked this option, then it will mean that you ship only within the US market, and so on.
Go through the exclusion list to pick locations and countries where you WILL NOT ship. If you are dropshipping, check if your supplier offers the same shipping terms to Alaska & Hawaii and US Protectorates – in most cases, it will not. Besides, I usually exclude all domestic options and PO boxes.
GSP: If you are sourcing products from the US and you sell on eBay com, you can opt-in to the GSP program and let not only US buyers but also international buyers purchase your products. eBay will handle the packages for you. An even better option than GSP which is both cheaper and offers free international returns is HipShipper.
Example of eBay shipping policy for International suppliers
The majority of eBay dropshipping beginners tend to source items from AliExpress, Cj Dropshipping, or other eBay wholesalers. However, the shipping policy will be different for them because the products will come from ANOTHER country.
So, let´s see how to set the shipping policy in this case.
Domestic Shipping: This means that you will be shipping to the local country of eBay marketplace, United States. You would need to set up a domestic shipping service and an international shipping service since AliExpress sellers ship worldwide.
Set your delivery method to both standard shipping (7 to 19 days is the estimated delivery time, usually) and ePacket as shipping services.
Handling Time: This means how long you will process an order.
Remember to check your supplier order processing time. For example, on Ali Express takes typically 24 hours until you get a tracking number, but it can happen with sellers (especially if you don’t choose the AliExpress standard shipping option) also 3 days to process the order and provide you with the tracking number – set the handling time accordingly.
International Shipping: The good thing about AliExpress, is that suppliers ship worldwide which can allow you to enable that option. But keep in mind that suppliers on the website deliver to different countries and charge different shipping fees.
It is impossible to go over every shipping location for each of your eBay listings, the final decision is up to you as a seller, if you want to risk it or not.
The countries marked in the picture below, according to our knowledge, are the safest countries to enable if you are risk-averse.
Lastly, you can also exclude countries that you do not plan to ship out to. Here’s a list of countries that according to the best practices, are recommended to exclude:
By the way, I showed you how to set an eBay shipping policy on eBay.com. But you can apply the same principles for shipping policies on other eBay marketplaces.
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How to set up Return Policy on eBay?
Returns are an important part of every eCommerce store. When you offer a possibility to return or replace your product, you show your buyers that you take responsibility for the goods you sell online.
Such a possibility tends to increase the conversions of your e-shop. Unfortunately, it naturally also increase the product returns as well, so make sure to learn how to process a return.
When selling on the eBay marketplace, there are two types of returns that might be offered to buyers:
- Automatically approved returns: These returns are accepted automatically by eBay when an item doesn’t arrive, arrives not as described, or arrives damaged.
- Returns by the return policy terms: There is an “any reason, no questions asked” type of returns that you may or may not offer to your buyers. This can be offered in a lapse of 30 days for domestic and international shipping. This will certainly give you an advantage over other competitors.
Quick Pro Tip: Those sellers or eBay dropshippers, who use international suppliers, tend to set up the shipping of the returns to be paid by the buyer. It’s because they assume that buyers would not agree to pay the shipping back to China.
And they are right to do so, I am not sure I’ve heard of a single buyer that agreed to ship the product back to China, unless it was an expensive product.
The settings in this policy example were set for Aliexpress to eBay dropshipping are the next:
- domestic returns marked as accepted;
- I chose buyer to pay for the return shipping;
- marked possible product replacement and exchanged;
- enabled international returns;
- set 30 days for requesting a product return;
- set buyer as a person who pay for return shipping;
- enabled product replacement and exchanged.
For local suppliers, like Amazon, you can set the returns to be paid by the seller. When you process a return on Amazon you get a return label that the shipping was already paid for, by Amazon. You can also set the return time to 90 days with Amazon and up to 180 days with suppliers like Home Depot.
Handling returns for Aliexpress to eBay dropshipping (or other Chinese suppliers):
When buyers want to get a refund, always ask for proves. The more the better.
The big reason behind this claim is that most suppliers from AliExpress will refund you back if you can prove that the item is either damaged, different from the description, or the item was not received.
That’s why: when you open a return request on AliExpress and you’re able to provide a proof you will almost definitely get an immediate refund. You must contact the buyer on eBay ASAP and request proof. Afterward, open a case with AliExpress and provide then that proof.
Notice one thing though about return on AliExpress. It’s going to take about 14 days for you to get the money back meanwhile you’ll have to already return the money to your buyer on eBay. It’s not that you’re losing money, but you will need the ability to finance the few days gap.
You can also mark the checkbox “Replacement or exchange available” because sometimes when you open a return case in AliExpress, the supplier might offer to send you a replacement instead of a refund.
eBay Payment Policy Template
The payment policy on eBay will tell your buyer how they can pay you.
Basically, you set the payment methods your buyers will be able to use to pay for your products. Mark the “Require immediate payment” option to advise your buyers that they need to pay at the moment they place an order.
Nowadays, almost every eBay seller has enrolled in eBay Managed Payments (a new system of how eBay processes their payments). That’s why you might not see the box for your PayPal address on your payment policy.
That’s all! Your eBay business policies are now set!
Set up eBay business policies in your Dropshipping Management Tool
If you are a dropshipper and using eBay lister software (listing management software, dropshipping tools, etc.), you want to make sure that you updated your business policies there as well. Otherwise, hello errors and product returns!
So, let’s quickly go through this process on DSM Tool – eBay dropshipping software. We will use AliExpress as the supplier for these practical examples.
The first thing you need to do after you have set a new business policy on eBay (or you have updated, deleted it, etc.), is to update your eBay business policies from DSM Tool!
1) Go to your Lister Settings on DSM Tool.
2)Locate your policies there and click on the button Refresh.
3) Then click on the Update button.
It will synchronize the changes you made from eBay with DSM Tool but it won’t select the policies you want to set up necessarily. So make sure you select the right ones.
These are going to be the default policies that will be used for every product that you publish. But what if you source products from different suppliers that require different business policies?
To do that, set up the business policies eBay per supplier in the following way.
Set up different business policies for different suppliers
The cool thing is that you can make extra settings for the specific dropshipping suppliers you use. You can set up different policies for each website you source products from and the Rapid Lister will automatically assign those policies to any new product you add to your store from those websites.
Do it from the same Lister tab on DSM Tool settings.
Locate the Business Policies for a Specific Source under the default business policies section. Click on the plus to add new settings.
Choose your supplier and assign the necessary eBay business policies (payment, shipping, and return) to it. They need to be already set up on eBay!
You can repeat these actions for other suppliers you use to source your products on eBay.
It´s a very useful feature that saves your time. However, it´s super important to pick the RIGHT policies and set them correctly on eBay beforehand.
Choosing your eBay business policy template
Now, here comes the cool part. You can actually modify the look of how your eBay business policies are showcased to the buyers!
Let me explain how this works:
When you import a new product to the “Rapid Lister”, DSM Tool imports the information of the product and injects it into the listing template.
This template will contain a written explanation of your policies (shipping, return, and payment).
DSM Tool already comes by default with a text that fits most sellers. But I recommend you review the text and adapt it according to your specific business policies and suppliers.
The steps are quite simple, just head over to the Templates Settings — pick your supplier, make your changes and then click “Save”!
Remember to adjust the information for different suppliers! Otherwise, it will mislead buyers. For example, if you will just copy the information from the Amazon template and paste it into your Aliexpress template. The shipping info will be completely different in reality!
In addition, this information will appear as the text in your eBay product description, only if you will use some design template for the listing.
To sum it up, we’ve covered the three major business policies you need to set up in your eBay store. The information and examples you got in this article are relevant to every eBay seller, dropshipper or not. Likewise, you can apply them to different eBay markets and other eCommerce marketplaces.
Above all, now you know that it’s important to set business policies not only on eBay correctly but on your dropshipping software as well. And the settings will vary on the sourcing website you work with.
Keep in mind that DSM Tool works with more than fifty supplier websites, from Chinese retailers and eBay wholesalers to US dropshipping suppliers.
The important takeaway from this article is that you understand the importance of setting up your business policies and understand how to set them up.
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