Business policies are settings on eBay that structure the commitment you make to your buyers in terms of shipping, returns, and payments.
Most of the dropshipping sellers that source products from Ali Express uses the same shipping methods and work according to the same returns policies.
The policies presented below have been developed and recommended by many in the dropshipping community, but remember it is your commitment to your buyers and therefore should be adjusted according to your abilities to fulfill them.
In this article you will learn:
How to opt-in to eBay business policies
How to set up payment policies
How to set up return policies and the RMA feature
How to set up shipping policies
- OPT-IN TO EBAY BUSINESS POLICIES-
As a seller on eBay the business policies feature isn't enabled by default, you have to opt it to enable it. Click here to opt in
Tip: Create brand new policies for Ali Express and name them "Ali Express Shipping Policy" and "Ali Express Return Policy".
- PAYMENT POLICIES FOR ALI EXPRESS DROPSHIPPING -
The payment policies tell your buyers in what ways they can pay you. There are many ways to get paid on eBay and the most popular way is via PayPal.
The only two options that are relevant to dropshipping sellers are either PayPal immediate payment and the eBay managed payments.
In the picture we set up as payment option PayPal, we checked the "Require immediate payment" checkbox and we entered the email address of the PayPal account we want to get apid to
- RETURN POLICIES FOR ALI EXPRESS DROPSHIPPING -
When selling on eBay there are two types of returns that might be offered to your 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 are an "any reason, no questions asked" type of returns that you may or may not offer to your buyers
Caution: Consider not following the next recommendation and set up a no-returns policy in your account, choosing to accept returns from Ali Express will cause in getting more traffic but if not being handled the right way could cause return cases to end up in a loss.
Recommended policies to set up
In the policy above offers 30 days of domestic and international "any reason - no question asked" returns which can give you an advantage over your competitors on eBay and therefore generate you more traffic.
The reason drop shipping sellers tend to use this setup is that they set up the shipping of the returns to be paid by the buyer, assuming that no buyers would agree to pay the shipping of products back to China.
How to handle returns when dropshipping from Ali Express
Most of the suppliers on Ali Express tend to refund you if you can prove that the product is damaged, didn't arrive, or that the wrong item arrived. Therefore when a buyer opens a return request on eBay, you must contact them and request proof that you then will open a case with on Ali Express.
In the picture above we also marked the checkbox "Replacement or exchange available" because sometimes when you open a return case in Ali Express the supplier might offer to send you a replacement instead of refunding you.
The Return Address and RMA
Since November 2018 there is a new feature on eBay that automatically approves returns. The way it works is that once a buyer opens a return case either according to your return policy or according to the automatically approved returned they get a return label, with your address on it.
To prevent that, you have to enable the RMA option in the return settings. Once you turn it on, eBay will stop sending the return label to your buyers automatically and instead give you 5 days to upload the return label manually before they automatically generating it.
Work properly with RMA
Once the buyer opens a return case, contact them and explain that if a label will be automatically sent to them from eBay your address will appear on it and that you don’t accept returns there. Explain to them the return process you do offer instead.
You can also take it a step further, change the return address under the addresses settings to something like “please do not return” and “contact us” as name or street address.
- SHIPPING POLICIES FOR ALI EXPRESS DROPSHIPPING -
The shipping policy tends to be the most complicated to set up, but this step-by-step guide will take you through the process and explain everything about it.
The policies for shipping on eBay separates between domestic shipping, meaning shipping to the local country of the eBay marketplace you're selling to, in our example the USA, and international shipping. Since sellers on Aliexpress ships worldwide, the shipping policies are set up accordingly.
In the example above, the policies are set up to both standard shipping (7 to 19 days) and ePacket as shipping services. If you plan to use both the fast ePacket delivery method but also methods like Ali Express standard shipping do not add the second option.
Tip: Read the guide how to use ePacket for dropshipping to learn more about the ePacket delivery method
As you can see from the picture, a $0.97 additional fee is charged for the ePacket option. If you are going to focus only on products that offer ePacket shipping, you will anyway always ship with ePacket, even if the buyers chose the standard shipping option.
So the ePacket fast shipping is only there to lure buyers to choose it and make you some extra profit.
The handling time is a commitment you are making to your buyers about how long it will take to process the orders. Technically speaking, eBay counts an order as processed once you update the order with valid tracking number.
The more days you add to the handling time, the less competitive you become and the less traffic you might be able to generate. On the other hand, if you set the handling time too short and upload tracking numbers too late, your eBay seller level can get harmed and you could lose traffic as well.
It is recommended to set up the handling time to 3 or 4 days and to always process your orders (including placing the order and updating the tracking numbers) as soon as possible after the item is sold.
Suppliers on Ali Express ships internationally, which allows dropshipping sellers to enable international shipping on eBay as well.
The extra-profit using ePacket shipping option can be applied to other countries than the USA because ePacket is being used to ship from China to more than just the USA. Having said that, different suppliers on Ali Express deliver to different countries and might charge different shipping fee to ship to those countries or not ship there at all.
Because it is impossible to go over all of the shipping locations for each listing you add to your store, the decision is up to you on how much you are willing to take a risk. The countries marked in the picture above are, according to our knowledge, the safest countries to enable if you are risk-averse.
The last part you can edit when creating a shipping policy on eBay is the exclusion list of locations you are not planning to ship to. According to the best practices in the industry, the following locations are recommended to be excluded
Learn more about how to set business policies here.