The Six Point Plan – Step 3 | Listing – Part 1: Settings

by | Aug 9, 2023 | Best Practice

In Step 3 of the plan we’re creating listings but first, we need to set up the channels and listing tool, as some of these settings are referenced by the listings themselves – things like your shipping options and payment policies.

This step tends to overlap with Step 2 because, in order to test, you need to ensure that you have all your settings configured.

In fairness, each platform and channel works differently so we can onlyb talk in generalities here but the principles so tend to be the same and I will use examples to illustrate each point.



Most marketplaces give you a set of fixed options when it comes to your shipping settings. Obviously, they are aware that they need to allow for their sellers having different couriers, pricing and delivery times so they do tend to be fairly comprehensive but they may not always match up to your situation exactly.

On Ebay, for example, you create a Business Policy (or policies) where you select your shipping time, handling time and courier. On Amazon you have the “Shipping Settings” page which works in a similar. In both cases, you tell them where you ship to, how quickly you ship, how much you charge and the shipping service you use.

In each case, you should understand that you are configuring the settings for the buyer so you shouldn’t worry too much if you can’t find your exact courier or your order cut off time, simply match it up as best you can. When it comes to routing the order through your systems you will be able to map these settings to your own. Most listing tools allow for some form of mapping where you can specify that “Other Courier 48 hour” should map to your internal 48 hour delivery service.

It is worth noting a few things here. You can usually specify more than one service (e.g. a 3-5 service that’s is free and a next day service costing and additional £4.99). Free shipping is strongly recommended as is fast shipping. Ebay Premium listings require a free option and Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime requires both.

💡 TIP: If you build the cost of shipping in to the item price, you can offer multibuy discounts without losing money. If you sell two items, you are effectively charging shipping twice but will typically pack both items into one box. Simply by discounting the cost of shipping for subsequent items you can create an offer and encourage multiple purchases.


Returns & Refunds

I’ve mentioned this before but, a UPS study commissioned by Ebay suggested that 75% of buyers check the returns policy before making a purchase. Treat that as you may but there is a strong case for a generous returns policy.

Standard practice these days is to offer a minimum 15 day returns period, preferably 30 days if you’re feeling brave (remember we’re talking optional returns window here, faulty items etc. are regulated separately). Zalando require their sellers to offer a 100 day returns period which may sound alarming but data shows that very few products are returned after 30 days and you’ll more likely see increased sales with negligible difference in returns rates if you are prepared to risk it.

Most channels make it easy for buyers to initiate a return. Make sure you understand how this works and any time restrictions on issuing refunds. A number of channels require you to issue refunds within a fixed time-frame. You can find your account in hot water if you wait for items to be received back into your warehouse before issuing a refund. If you can, it’s probably best to just issue a refund automatically.



In the main, payment is managed by the marketplace so there is little that sellers need to take care of. The marketplace takes the payment and then reconciles with the sellers on a periodic basis having deducted their fees. In the main, the marketplace is responsible for collecting vat so the main thing to ensure is that they have the details of where to deposit your money.

Sometimes, channels will withold funds in case they need to refund buyers which can cause issues with cashflow. Something to be aware of.


Communications Preferences

It may seem blindingly obvious but it pays to double check your communication preferences to ensure all the relevant people are notified. Pay particular attention to customer messages and cases. Some third party systems can unify messaging from multiple channels but this is only needed if you’re trading numerous channels or have particular issues with returns that you need additional automation.


Brand Building

If you are the brand owner (as opposed to a reseller), you should take the opportunity to register with the marketplace to both build awareness and protect listings from uncscrupulous competitors.

Brand Registry and Ebay’s equivalent VeRO program allow you to report sellers who impinge on your brand. On Amazon, in particular, registering your brand also comes with a number of marketing features not available to other sellers including a Storefront and enhanced descriptions (known as A+).

In all cases, make sure you avail yourselves of any opportunity to talk about your brand and build your presence on the channel. This should include profiles and branded imagery – just be aware of any channel policies here around things like image watermarks and brand claims.


New Account Limits

Most new accounts have restrictions placed on them regarding the number and value of items they can sell. You can often appeal to the channel to have these raised but will either need an Account Manager to fight your corner or enough sales history to prove your trustworthiness.

We’ll discuss this more in when it comes to creating Listings in our next post but, in general, it does make sense to start slowly, ensure you have everything under control and the systems are working as expected before ramping everything up. This is particularly relevant for fulfilment and customer service.