Returns best practices

A clear, generous return policy attracts more buyers.

It’s no secret that shoppers are more likely to buy an item when they’re confident they can return it if they need to. That’s why offering a generous return policy just makes good business sense. To make managing returns as efficient as possible, be proactive about the way you list your item—and respond to buyer questions quickly.

Provide great customer service with the following recommendations:

  • Set a competitive return policy—research what other sellers are offering for similar items
  • Be as detailed as possible when describing your item and its condition, and use high quality photos to minimize the need for a return
  • Clearly state who pays for return shipping, you or your buyer
  • Accept returns no matter what the reason, so buyers know you stand behind your listings
  • Expedite return shipping and handling by customizing and automating some, or all of return requests when it makes sense for your business
  • Keep a valid return address on file—and remember that you can manage multiple return addresses through your return preferences
  • Consider offering free returns to boost sales and buyer confidence
  • Offer an extra–generous return window—30 days or longer is most attractive to buyers, and required for Top Rated seller status starting in May 2016
  • Offer 60–day returns during the holiday season, letting shoppers know they can buy with confidence throughout November and December
  • Wait until items are returned to you, and check them carefully before issuing a refund
  • Issue refunds quickly—preferably with 2 days of receiving a returned item
  • Ask eBay to step in and help if you can’t resolve an issue with your buyer
  • Limit restocking fees—as they can make shoppers less likely to buy

Learn more about how returns work on eBay


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