Simplified Returns

Enhanced and streamlined returns automation, partial refund guidance, and customization of your international return policies.

What you need to know

  • Enhanced automation for a faster, retail-standard returns process.
  • New returns policy options will automatically be updated.
  • New partial refunds guidance for buyers and sellers.
  • Customize your international return policies.

Enhanced automation for a faster returns experience

Starting July 2018, we will automate two steps in the returns process for buyers and sellers. The changes will save up to a week of processing time for you and your buyer.

faster returns experience

We are increasing automation to save you time and give you quicker access to funds on hold. It also delivers a streamlined returns experience for buyers by providing them immediate access to return labels and faster refunds. There are two changes to the returns process:

  1. We are expanding our returns automation and may immediately accept a return request by providing a return shipping label to a buyer when you receive a return request.
  2. You will have two business days to review a returned item and issue a refund. If no action is taken, eBay may automatically issue a refund on your behalf two business days after the tracking number shows a confirmed delivery status. At that time, we will close the return for you with no impact to your seller performance.

You can continue to control the efficiency of your returns process by creating rules in your Return Preferences to automatically approve returns or send immediate refunds without requiring the buyer to send the item back.


Enhanced returns automation FAQs

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Streamlined returns policies

In our 2018 Spring Seller Update, we announced that we are streamlining our returns policy options to deliver a returns experience that is consistent and competitive with the changing marketplace.

Starting in August 2018, listings that you have not updated to one of the new returns policy options, including Good ‘Til Cancelled, will automatically be updated for you.

streamlined returns

Certain product categories have unique retail standards and sellers of those products will be able to offer variations on the updated returns policy options. Categories that will continue to have the option to offer 14-day returns include Collectibles & Art, Cameras & Photo and Medical, Mobility & Disability Equipment.


Streamlined returns policies FAQs

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  • Why is eBay making this change?

    We are making this change to simplify returns for buyers and sellers, and improve the returns experience on eBay.

  • What is the easiest way to update my returns policy?

    To update your returns policy, go to My eBay (My eBay > Account > Business Policies). Click "return options" when you create or update a listing.

    If you don’t use Business Policies, you can also update your return policy by clicking "return options" when you create or update a listing.

  • What happens if I update my listings using a third-party listing tool which hasn’t yet updated its return policy options?

    Beginning in May 2018, if your third-party listing tool hasn’t yet updated its APIs and you continue to create or revise listings with an outdated return policy, we will notify you to make adjustments to your return policy settings to ensure that they are compliant. However, in August 2018, you will no longer be able to list using the outdated return policies.

  • Which categories are exempt from the 30-day free returns requirement in order to receive the Top Rated Plus benefits?

    Free 30-day returns are required for all categories to be eligible for the Top Rated Plus seal. However, there are exceptions in select categories to receive the Top Rated Plus discount.

    You are not required to offer free 30-day returns in the following categories to be eligible to receive Top Rated Plus discounts. However, you are required to offer 30-day returns in these categories.

    • Parts & Accessories
    • Musical Instruments & Gear
    • Listings with Freight Shipping Specified
    • Media

    You are required to offer free 14-day returns in products in Collectibles & Art categories—which include these sub-categories—to be eligible to receive Top Rated Plus discounts:

    • Antiques
    • Art
    • Coins & Paper Money
    • Collectibles
    • Collectible Comics
    • Entertainment Memorabilia
    • Pottery & Glass
    • Sports Memorabilia, Fan Shop & Sports Cards
    • Stamps

    You are not required to offer returns in these categories to receive Top Rated Plus discounts. We will expand this exception to include the following categories:

    • Prepaid Phone Cards
    • Virtual Currency

Partial refunds

As we announced in our 2018 Spring Seller Update, when you offer free returns, you can decide to issue partial refunds to buyers when the item is returned in an altered condition. We have created a new condition of returned items policy to educate buyers that the returned item must be in the same condition in which it was received.

If you do not offer free returns, you will still be able to issue a partial refund for items returned in an altered condition in select categories including Business & Industrial, Parts & Accessories, Collectibles & Art, Cameras & Photo, Medical, Mobility & Disability Equipment, Home Improvement, Furniture, Musical Instruments & Gear, and Yard, Garden & Outdoor.


Partial refunds FAQs

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International returns policy

Starting late May 2018, you will have the flexibility to set separate return policies for your international transactions by updating your return options when you create or update a listing. For example, you can choose to offer free returns domestically, and in the same listing, offer paid returns to international buyers.

return policy options

We will only update your international returns policy to match your domestic returns policy if you accept buyer-paid returns.

If you do not accept returns, we will not set a returns policy for international returns. If you offer free domestic returns, we will not change your international returns policy to include free returns. You can set a separate returns policy for international returns yourself.


International returns policy FAQs

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