How returns work

1

Get notified

We’ll let you know when a return is requested.

2

Track the return

Follow its progress on My eBay or Seller Hub.

3

Complete return

Issue a refund, replacement, or exchange.

Click here to watch video.

Returns policies that meet buyers' expectations

We strive to deliver a returns experience that is consistent and competitive with a modern marketplace. Our five return policy options help streamline the returns experience for our buyers. You may choose to offer:

  • No returns accepted
  • 30-day buyer-paid returns
  • 30-day free returns
  • 60-day buyer-paid returns
  • 60-day free returns

Attract buyers with free returns

Move to the policy that can give you up to a 25% conversion lift.†


If you currently offer:

And you move to:

Your conversion lift* could be:

No returns

30-day free returns

15%

60-day free returns

25%

14-day returns (buyer pays return shipping)

30-day free returns

10%

60-day free returns

20%

30-day returns (buyer pays return shipping)

30-day free returns

5%

60-day free returns

13%

Returns Calculator

When you move to free returns, use this calculator to estimate how much you might add to each item you sell to compensate for the cost of returns.

Provide from last 90 days:

Lookup Transactions here

Lookup Returns here

Total cost of return shipping.

Select which policy you currently have and which policy you'll update to:

Simplify customer service

eBay automates some steps—like return acceptance when your policy permits returns due to buyer's remorse. You can customize other steps—like when you issue immediate refunds. This can simplify the entire process for both you and buyers.

Click the tabs below to learn more about customizing and optimizing returns.

Choose when to give immediate refunds

Choose when to give immediate refunds

For instance, maybe you want to always offer immediate refunds for clothes that don't fit—create return rules to let that happen. Your life just got easier!

Customize refund preferences

Partial refund option

You can offer a partial refund if a returned item is damaged, missing parts, or otherwise not in the same condition as when you shipped it.

Enjoy automatic acceptance

Enjoy automatic acceptance

Automatic acceptance of returns simplifies the returns process.

When you're OK with buyers paying to ship back items they no longer want, requests for returns are accepted automatically and we'll provide the buyer with a return shipping label.

In some situations, you may still have three business days to provide your own return label before one is automatically sent to the buyer. This usually occurs if the request is outside your return policy window or for certain return reasons.

No return requests due to buyer's remorse will be accepted automatically if your policy doesn’t permit it.

Offer replacements and exchanges

Offer replacements and exchanges

Offering replacements—items identical to the original—and exchanges—items that are different—can help buyers feel better about their purchase. Just be sure to have plenty of stock when offering either of these options.

You can even allow the buyer to keep the original item in cases when you don't want it back.

Have a question about Service Metrics?

For more information about service metrics and peer benchmarks

Keep returns to a minimum

Maybe it wasn't their size. Maybe it wasn’t quite what they thought. Most sellers on eBay offer returns, but would prefer to keep them to a minimum.

Returns best practices
  • Ensure your products match accurate item description and clear photos.
  • Remove products with high rates of manufacturing flaws from your inventory.
  • Make sure you aren't sending the wrong items.
  • Use checklists for items with many parts, or for multiple items in a combined shipment to avoid missing pieces.
  • Package items securely to prevent damage in shipment.
  • Check returned items carefully before issuing a refund.
  • Issue refunds quickly—preferably within 2 days of receiving a return.
  • Ask eBay to help you resolve an issue.
  • Keep a valid return address on file, and manage multiple addresses through your preferences.
Prevent "item not as described" requests

Reduce the number of items that arrive damaged

  • Improve your packaging to prevent damage in shipment.
  • Inspect refurbished and used items more closely for hidden defects and damage. Call these out clearly in your listing description and photos.

Reduce the number of items that don't work or are defective

  • Ensure new items are described accurately, sealed, and are in their original packaging.
  • Inspect refurbished and used items more closely for hidden defects and damage. Call these out clearly in your listing description and photos.
  • Remove products with high rates of manufacturing flaws from your inventory.

Make sure you aren't missing parts

  • Inspect packages more closely to ensure all items ordered are included and correct.
  • Check open box items to ensure all components are present and function as expected.
  • Use checklists for items with many parts, or for multiple items in a combined shipment.

Make sure you aren't sending the wrong items

  • Inspect packages more closely to ensure all items ordered are included and correct.
  • Check open box items to ensure all components are correct.
  • Use checklists for items with many parts, or for multiple items in a combined shipment.

Make sure your product is authentic

  • It is illegal to sell counterfeits, fakes, or replicas of brand name items. We don't allow these to be sold on eBay. Please refer to our policy on counterfeit and replica items.
  • Misusing brand names and keywords to manipulate search results can also result in false buyer expectations. Don't make comparisons or reference brands that aren't the same brand you're selling.

Ensure your products match their descriptions or photos

  • Clearly and accurately describe your items and return policies.
  • Use lots of high-quality photos and item specifics in your listings to set the right buyer expectations. Photos help buyers to see exactly what they're getting as well as specific details they may be looking for.
  • When selling used items, photos are especially important because they let the buyer see the actual condition of the item along with other details like color.
  • Specify your item's condition using structured specifics and ensure the selected condition is accurate and consistent with the rest of the item description.
Prevent "item not received" requests

As delivery expectations continue to rise, buyers want to be able to track orders and receive them on time. Invalid tracking numbers and use of shipping services that are not integrated with eBay can lead to increased "item not received" buyer requests.

  • Upload accurate tracking information in the correct fields to reduce the possibility of an "item not received" request by up to 60%*.
  • Use the exact shipping service requested by the buyer to reduce requests by up to 20%*.
  • Ship within your stated handling time to reduce requests by up to 65%*.

Tools and resources

Carrier options

Choose from the most trusted shipping carriers and get exclusive discounts.

Shipping calculator

Estimating your shipping costs just got easier.

Refund automation

Choose when to issue immediate refunds.



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* Information based on internal analysis of listings between January 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017.