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Creating your return policy
In this article
In this article

Buyers are more comfortable shopping with sellers who offer returns, even though most buyers will never return an item. We've found that items with clear return policies typically sell better than items that don't.

All sellers on eBay are required to specify a return policy, whether your policy is to accept returns or not. We encourage you to offer a buyer-friendly return policy. This can help you qualify for Top Rated Plus and attract more buyers. Accepting returns can also provide your buyers with a way to resolve concerns without filing a case.

If you accept returns, a buyer can return an item for any reason, including when they change their mind about a purchase—as long as the return meets the return requirements—for example, returning an item within your stated time frame, and meeting item condition requirements.

Important: Even if you specify "no returns accepted," the item could still be returned if it doesn't match the item description. Learn more about what the eBay Money Back Guarantee means to sellers.

The recommendations and instructions on this page are for sellers who handle returns outside of the eBay returns process. If you've opted in to the eBay returns process, there are different requirements.

How to create a return policy

To create a return policy:
  1. In the Add other details section of the listing form, select Returns Accepted or No returns accepted from the Return policy drop-down menu. If you don't see a drop-down menu, click the Change your return policy link, and then select Returns Accepted or No returns accepted.

  2. If you accept returns:

    • Specify the number of days a buyer has to notify you of wanting to return an item after receiving it.

    • Specify the type of refund you'll give if the item is returned.

    • Specify who will pay for return shipping.

    • Enter additional return policy details in the text box. Don't include return policy details in the item description.

    • Specify whether you want to offer extended holiday returns.

You can also use business policies to create your return policy.

About extended returns

During the holidays, you can give buyers who purchase items between November 1 and December 31 an extended time period for returns-through January 31. You can add an extended return window to all or just some of your listings.

When you offer extended holiday returns:

  • You still see your other return preferences in the listing form.

  • Buyers see that the listing offers extended holiday returns when they view the item.

  • Your listings automatically revert to your non-holiday return policy at 12:01 am Pacific Time on January 1.

If you're a Top Rated seller, you need to offer extended holiday returns in order to qualify for Top Rated Plus discounts on your eligible listings.

Learn more about extended holiday returns.


The more clear and buyer-friendly your return policy, the more secure your buyers will feel shopping with you. The following recommendations can help increase buyer satisfaction, improve the likelihood your item will sell, and earn you higher detailed seller ratings (DSRs). For more information on what is and isn't allowed in listings, see the selling practices policy.

Offer a buyer-friendly policy.

  • Offer to pay return shipping costs and to refund original shipping costs when the item is being returned because it's defective, isn't as described, or it was damaged in shipping.

  • Don't charge a restocking fee. If you do charge a restocking fee, be sure to select a reasonable amount and limit it to instances where the item isn't being returned in original condition.

  • Offer an extended return window from November 1 through January 31.

Be specific.

  • Provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions for returns in the Additional return policy details section of the listing form. Specify your return policy for international sales, if it's different from your return policy for sales to buyers in your country.

  • Set a reasonable expectation for when a return will be processed and the money refunded to the buyer. Depending on the payment method, the time frame for a refund to be issued should normally not exceed 5 business days.

  • Be clear about your terms and specify item conditions required for return. If you like, you can reference the item condition policy for returns.

Keep a valid return address on file.

To update your return address:
  1. Go to My eBay and then click the Account tab. (You may be asked to sign in.)

  2. Click Addresses on the left side of the page.

  3. Next to Primary return address, click the Change link.

Buyers who misuse returns

To help protect yourself from poor buyer practices, wait until you've received a returned item before issuing a refund.

In situations where the item has been returned in a different condition or the item is not within your stated item conditions, be sure to work with your buyer to find a solution that you can both agree on. If you encounter a buyer who is unwilling to follow your return policy, you can report the buyer to us.

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