Most items are sold easily. Occasionally, a buyer may receive an item that doesn't match the listing description and open an eBay Buyer Protection case. In this case, the buyer will return the item to you and you'll refund the buyer.
Note: This information will help you if you have an eBay Buyer Protection case. If you've opted in to the eBay managed return process, the steps and time frames for receiving a returned item and refunding a buyer are different. Learn more about using the managed return process.
Receiving a returned item
If you reach an agreement with the buyer for a refund, the buyer should ship the item back to you.
If the buyer asked us to review an eBay Buyer Protection case for an item not matching the listing description, and we determine that the buyer is owed a refund, we'll put the case on hold for 10 days and ask the buyer to ship the item back to you.
We'll ask the buyer to use tracking or a Delivery Confirmation number so we know where the package is in transit, and we're able to confirm that you received it.
If a case was opened and we have confirmation that you received the item, we'll provide a refund to the buyer that covers the cost of the item and original shipping within 3 business days.
If we find in favor of the buyer in a case, we may seek reimbursement from your PayPal account or other reimbursement payment method on file.
Buyers are required to pay return shipping, except for rare situations when a buyer and seller agree to another arrangement or we agree to pay the shipping.
If you've agreed to issue a refund for an item, you must do so within 3 business days of promising the refund, or within 3 business days of receiving the returned item. Go to the Resolution Center to issue a refund.
If the buyer doesn't receive the refund within 3 business days, the buyer can ask us to help. If you agreed to refund a buyer but haven't done so, we will refund the buyer:
If the buyer paid with PayPal, we will deduct the amount of the refund from your PayPal account.
If the buyer didn't pay with PayPal, there aren't sufficient funds in your PayPal account, or PayPal isn't your preferred reimbursement payment method, we'll ask for or use a different reimbursement method.
If you've already designated a preferred payment method, we'll deduct funds from that account.
If you haven't assigned a reimbursement payment method, we will ask you to do so.
If you don't reply to a case by the deadline, or if you and the buyer can't reach an agreement, we will review the case and come to a decision. If we find in favor of the buyer, we'll refund the buyer directly and recover the amount of the refund from you. We'll either deduct the amount of the refund from your PayPal account, or from your preferred reimbursement payment method. Either way, we'll let you know when we're seeking reimbursement.
If we're unable to recover the amount of the refund from you, your account may be limited or suspended until payment is made.