Seller Protections & Policy Updates

Additional protections benefits for Top Rated Sellers who have a strong track record of delivering on their service promise, and simpler policies that are enforced in a more seller-friendly way.

What you need to know

  • Additional protections benefits for Top Rated Sellers
  • New return shipping label credit for false claims
  • Refund deduction for used and damaged returns
  • Simpler policies to help you run your business
  • Correct a policy issue and continue selling without penalty
  • Automatic updates of existing listings to supported return policies
  • Returns exception for Jewelry & Watches
Overview

Additional seller protections benefits for Top Rated Sellers

We protect all sellers from abusive buying behavior and from events outside their control. Your track record matters on eBay, and we’ll support you when you deliver on your service promise and provide a good buying experience.

Top Rated Sellers who reside in the US and list on eBay.com also receive additional protections benefits when they offer 30-day-or-longer returns. They are eligible for a shipping label credit for false “item not as described” claims, and they can protect themselves by deducting up to 50% from refunds for decreased value on used or damaged returns.

Return shipping label credit for false “item not as described” claims

If you are a Top Rated Seller and a buyer falsely claims an item was “not as described,” we’ll protect you on eligible transactions. If a buyer falsely claims an item was “not as described,” we’ll reimburse your return shipping label cost up to $6 per return. You’ll receive the return shipping label credit on your monthly invoice. We’ll also automatically remove any negative and neutral feedback, defects, and open cases in service metrics.

Up to 50% refund deduction for decreased value on used or damaged returns

When you issue a refund for an item that was returned after it was used or damaged by a buyer, and you have a track record of delivering on your service promise, we’ll give you the ability to protect yourself. Top Rated Sellers can deduct up to 50% of the refund to recover the decreased value of the item. If there are any issues with buyers that may negatively impact you, we’ll take care of them by removing any negative and neutral feedback, defects, and open cases in service metrics.

FAQs

Seller Protection FAQs

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  • If I am not a Top Rated Seller, how does eBay protect me?

    When you deliver on your service promise to provide a great buying experience, you are protected from abusive buying activity and events outside your control. Protections include removing feedback, defects and open claims from Service Metrics. Learn more about the many ways we protect you.

  • Why do Top Rated Seller receive additional protections?

    When things go wrong, your track record matters. Top Rated Sellers consistently deliver great buyer experiences and meet the highest standards for selling on eBay. This track record of delivering great buyer experiences allows us to deliver a higher level of protections.

  • How can I qualify as a Top Rated Seller?

    To become a Top Rated Seller, you must satisfy these requirements:

    • Maintain an active eBay account for at least 90 days
    • Complete 100 or more transactions and $1,000 in sales during the previous 12 months with US buyers
    • Have a defect rate less than or equal to 0.5%
    • Close cases without seller resolution less than or equal to 0.3%
    • Have a late shipment rate less than or equal to 3%
    • Upload tracking within your stated handling time, and show carrier validation for 95% of transactions to US buyers

    Once you meet these requirements, we automatically upgrade you to the Top Rated Seller status at your next evaluation.

  • What should I do if I receive a false item not as described claim?

    Top Rated Sellers who offer 30-day-or-longer returns will receive a return shipping label subsidy for item not as described claims on eligible transactions. If a buyer makes a false claim, please accept the return and report the buyer to us. You will receive a shipping label credit to your monthly invoice and we will automatically remove any negative and neutral feedback, defects, and open cases in service metrics.

  • What should I do if I receive a return that was used and/or damaged?

    Top Rated Sellers who offer 30-day-or-longer returns can deduct up to 50% from the refund for the lost value of the item that has been returned after it has been used or damaged. We will take care of any issues with the buyer, including removing any negative and neutral feedback, defects, and open cases in service metrics.

  • Can sellers lose their protections?

    We will not protect sellers who:

    • Take a transaction off eBay. Learn more.
    • Fulfill sales through retailers or marketplaces. Learn more.
    • Misrepresent the location of their item. Learn more.
    • Are rated ‘Very high’ in their Service metrics dashboard
    • Misuse protections, such as:
      • Filing excessive reports for false “item not as described” returns.
      • Giving partial refunds to buyers in cases that do not qualify.
      • Withholding too high of a dollar amount for a partial refund. We monitor and investigate patterns that are not typical.
  • How will I know I am protected?

    You will receive a monthly email detailing the protections you receive and steps you can take to increase your protections.

Overview

We’re simplifying our policies to help you avoid potential disruptions to your business

eBay policies help us provide a secure and fair marketplace for all buyers and sellers. We want you to be able to focus on your business, not on having to learn policies. Starting October 1, 2019, we’re simplifying our policies so that they will be easy for you to understand, as well as help you manage your business consistent with our rules. And if you do need to take an action, we’ll let you know exactly what you’ll need to do to correct it to help you avoid disruptions to your business.

If you have a policy issue, we’ll help you fix it to avoid any disruptions to your business

If we flag a listing for a potential policy issue, we’ll give you an opportunity to correct the issue and avoid disruptions to your business. We’ll clearly communicate the issue to you and advise specific actions you’ll need to take to correct it. We understand that inadvertent mistakes can happen. And if they do, we’ll help you fix them.

When we enforce policy, we’ll help you correct an issue and continue selling

We’re also changing how we take action to enforce our policies and correct the issue while you continue to sell. Under our current method of policy enforcement, your listings could be ended and your account suspended.

However, starting October 1, 2019, we’ll introduce a new enforcement measure called “Hide All Listings” that will temporarily hide all of your listings in buyers’ eBay search results and browsing while you correct a policy issue, rather than end all of your listings or suspend your account. By hiding your listings, any watchers, bidders, or buyers will be able to continue to do business with you. After you correct the issue, all of your listings will be visible in search and browsing again, and you won’t lose any of your item’s sales history. We anticipate Hide All Listings will only apply to a small percentage of eBay sellers.

FAQs

Simpler Policies FAQs

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  • What will happen if I am not following a policy?

    First we’ll let you know if you aren’t following a policy and what steps you’ll need to take to correct the issue. We’ll then give you a grace period to take all the actions you’ll need to resolve the issue.

    If an item cannot be sold on eBay because it is prohibited, we will remove the item to protect you and refund your fees.

    If you relist the item after we remove it, or don’t take steps to correct the issue, all of your listings may be hidden from new buyers for a brief period.

  • What will happen if my listings are hidden?

    All of your fixed price listings will be temporarily hidden in search results and browsing, resulting in new buyers not being able to find them on eBay. However, any watchers, auction bidders, or active buyers will be able to continue to do business with you in My eBay. You can still ship orders, leave and receive feedback, and resolve any buyer problems.

    After this temporary period, your items will automatically return to eBay search with their search history intact so new buyers can find them. While your listings are hidden from buyers’ search results and browsing, you may still edit them as needed to comply with the applicable policy. Keep in mind that as a seller you’re still responsible for all required fees.

  • How will I know what to do to comply with a policy?

    If we flag a potential policy issue, we’ll notify you through email and My eBay messages of the activity that isn’t following the policy and the steps you will need to take to comply with the policy. We understand that inadvertent mistakes can happen. And if they do, we’ll help you fix them.

Overview

Update your returns policies to give buyers a retail-standard returns experience

In 2018, we announced that we will streamline our returns policy options to deliver a retail-standard returns experience to buyers and help increase conversion for sellers.

We encourage you to update your listings to your preferred returns policy options now before we automatically update them for you. Starting in March 2020, we will automatically update any listings, including Good ‘Til Cancelled listings, that offer a returns policy that does not align with one of the five updated returns policy options in the table below.

In addition, when you list new or revised listings, you will only be able to select one of the updated policies.

PREVIOUS RETURNS POLICIES

UPDATED RETURNS POLICIES

No Returns (“Final Sale”)

No Returns (“Final Sale”)

3-day returns

7-day returns

14-day returns

30-day returns

30-day returns

Free 3-day returns

Free 7-day returns

Free 14-day returns

Free 30-day returns

Free 30-day returns

60-day returns

60-day returns

Free 60-day returns

Free 60-day returns

This change will not apply to certain product categories with unique retail standards. Sellers who list items in Collectibles & Art, Cameras & Photo and Medical & Mobility categories can continue to offer 14-day returns for those listings.

In addition, we are updating the returns policy for listings in the Jewelry & Watches category. Starting in early November, items in this category can be offered with 14-day returns in addition to the policies above.

Learn more about eBay returns policies.

FAQs

Returns Policies Requirement FAQs

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  • What will happen if I don’t update my returns policy options?

    In February 2020, if you don’t update your returns policies to one of the five returns policy options, we will automatically update your returns offering to a minimum of 30 days. If you do not agree with the new default, you can change your returns policy options to one of the new policies. If you don’t want eBay to to update your returns policies, we encourage you to update your listings with your preferred returns policy options in advance of the requirement. This change will not apply to certain product categories with unique retail standards.

  • If I offer a generous returns policy, such as free 30-day returns, won’t my return rate increase?

    Our research shows that a generous free returns policy will result in a similar percentage of returns as a less generous returns policy, but with fewer “item not as described” return requests.

  • Why are 30-day returns the minimum return window allowed (excluding special categories)?

    We give listings with generous returns policies greater visibility in the eBay marketplace when buyers filter search results by returns policy, which can increase your chances of making a sale.

  • Will the new returns policy requirement apply to all categories?

    This change will not apply to some product categories that have unique retail standards. Sellers listing items in the Collectibles & Art, Cameras & Photo, Jewelry & Watches, and Medical & Mobility categories can continue to offer 14-day returns for those listings.

  • Where do I update my returns policy?

    You can update your return policy within your listing or, if you are enrolled in Business Policies, you can update them via Account Settings > Business policies. You can also update your returns policy using the bulk edit tool in the Active listings page in Seller Hub.