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Creating your return policy

eBay- Creating your return policy

In this article
In this article

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

We require all sellers on eBay to specify a return policy, whether the policy is to accept returns or not. We encourage you to offer a buyer-friendly return policy. A generous return policy 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.

If you accept returns, a buyer can return an item for any reason, even if they change their mind about a purchase. This is true as long as the return meets your 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," under the eBay Money Back Guarantee the buyer can still return an item if it doesn't match the listing 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 eBay hassle-free returns. If you use eBay hassle-free returns, the requirements are a little different.

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:

    • Select the number of days a buyer has to notify you that they want to return an item

    • Specify the type of refund you'll give

    • Specify who will pay for return shipping.

    • Enter additional return policy details in the text box. Don't include return policy details in the listing 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 until January 31 to return an item. You can add this 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.


The clearer and more 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. Learn more about our selling practices policy.

Offer a buyer-friendly policy.

  • Offer to pay return shipping costs and to refund original shipping costs when the buyer returns the item because it's defective, isn't as described in the listing, 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 buyer isn't returning the item 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 how long it will take you to process a return and refund the buyer. Depending on the payment method, the time frame to refund the buyer shouldn't be more than 5 business days.

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

  • Specify the correct return address. You can keep multiple addresses on file and select the appropriate one for each return.

Keep a valid return address on file.

To update your return address:
  1. Go to My eBay > Account tab.

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

  3. Next to Primary return address, click Change.

Buyers who misuse returns

Once a buyer opens a return request for any reason, funds related to the sale in your PayPal account may be put on hold. When you resolve the situation with the buyer, or we find in your favor, the funds are again available for you to use.

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

In situations where the buyer has returned the item in a different condition or the item isn't within your return requirements, 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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