What you need to know
- When you offer free returns you'll be able to offer a partial refund if a returned item has been used or damaged, and eBay will protect you.
eBay seller protections
Starting June 1, 2018, when you offer free returns, you'll have greater control to manage your business, and you can decide to issue partial refunds to buyers. For example, if a buyer uses or damages an item and returns it, you can decide to issue a partial refund and we'll take it from there. If a buyer escalates a case, we'll take care of it for you so you can focus on your business. Plus, we'll protect your reputation from any negative feedback.
We also protect you from events outside your control, and support you when things don't go as planned.
By offering free returns, you'll have the flexibility to set your shipping and returns policies. If a buyer asks for something different or extra, or if we identify a buyer who frequently returns items, we'll step in and protect you. We'll also take care of situations when you ship your items on time and provide tracking—even when they arrive late.
We'll protect you
You can expect eBay to protect your reputation and standards and to monitor buyer behavior after the sale.
Protections from events outside your control include:
- When you ship an item on time and provide tracking, and it arrives late.
- If you're impacted by carrier disruptions or severe weather.
- If your buyer retracts their bid or doesn't pay.
- If a buyer changes their order or requests something extra.
- From buyers that have an unusual rate of complaints or returns.
- If the buyer returns an item after they opened it, used it, or sent it back in a condition other than the one you sent it in.
Learn more about eBay seller protection.
eBay seller protections FAQs
Why is eBay making this change?
We encourage you to offer free returns, which is a retail standard and buyer expectation. Now when you offer free returns, you'll have greater control to manage your business, and you can decide to issue partial refunds to buyers.
If I offer free returns, how will eBay protect me in these situations?
A buyer uses or damages an item and returns it.
Starting June 1, 2018, if you offered free returns and an item is returned damaged or missing parts, you can issue a partial refund and we will protect you from any buyer claims and remove any negative or neutral feedback.
A buyer leaves negative feedback because I issued a partial refund.
If you issue a partial refund on a free return, we will remove any negative or neutral feedback.
A buyer doesn't follow my returns policy.
We employ several measures to protect you:
- Early detection to stop buyers who might misuse returns offers to prevent them from starting a return.
- Clearly defined guidelines for buyers about acceptable returns.
- Restrictions for buyers who misuse returns.
- We will not automatically accept return requests if they are outside of your returns policy or the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy. You will need to review those requests as necessary.
A buyer tries to force me to pay for return shipping by claiming my item was "significantly not as described."
We have developed ways to detect if a buyer is misusing the "significantly not as described" reason for a return early in a returns process, and have the ability to prevent them starting a return.
A buyer leaves a lot of negative feedback or opens lots of claims or returns.
We employ several measures to identify such situations. When they occur, we may take action to prevent a buyer from starting a return or claim that an item was "significantly not as described." We will also remove feedback and defects.
A buyer demands a change to the order or extras outside of the original agreement.
You never have to agree to any changes to the order terms, or to additional items. You can either cancel the order or ship under the original terms. We will protect you from feedback, canceled transaction defects and claims when we can see the buyer's demands or changes in eBay Messages.
My shipment arrives late or is lost due to events beyond my control.
If your shipment arrives late or is lost due to severe weather, carrier outages, customs delays, or eBay platform bugs, we will protect you from negative feedback, late shipments, and escalated claims if you provided the buyer with a valid tracking number that shows you shipped the item on time.
I use the Global Shipping Program and my shipment is damaged due to events beyond my control.
In situations where the package is damaged because of severe weather or limitations of a shipping carrier of a developing nation, our Global Shipping Program protects you from feedback and other potential impacts that may affect your performance metrics.
A buyer retracts their bid or doesn't pay.
If you cancel a transaction because a buyer retracts their bid, we will protect you from canceled transaction defects and feedback. If the buyer doesn't pay, we will protect you from feedback and you will be refunded the final value fee.