Simplified Returns

Streamlined return policy options, and 30-day free returns requirement for Top Rated Plus benefits.

What you need to know

  • We're reducing the number of returns policies options.
  • Top Rated sellers will be required to offer 30-day free returns to be eligible to receive the Top Rated Plus discount and badge. Some category exceptions apply.
Overview

Streamlined returns policies

Starting in May 2018, we will streamline our returns policy options. Buyers' expectations are continuously evolving and we strive to deliver a returns experience that is consistent and competitive with the changing marketplace. Our simplified return policy options will help drive a retail-standard returns experience for buyers and may boost your sales. We recommend that you begin changing your returns policies now.

The five return policy options will be:

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

Restocking fees will no longer be a return option.

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.

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

Sellers will also be able to issue a partial refund for all returns where the item is returned used or damaged 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.

You will also have the flexibility to set different return policies for domestic and international returns. For example, you can choose to offer free returns domestically, and in the same listing, offer paid returns to international buyers.

Because we are standardizing returns, we will remove the "additional return policy details" field that some sellers may use to detail their returns policies. Removal of the field will simplify returns for buyers.

FAQs

Streamlined returns policies FAQs

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  • Why is eBay making this change?

    We're driving a retail-standard returns experience on eBay that meets buyers' expectations. Our simplified returns policies options may also contribute to higher conversion for sellers.

  • What do I have to do?

    Starting May 2018, if you currently accept 14-day returns, you can change your return policy to 30-day returns. You will also be able to specify a different return policy for international buyers.

    To qualify for Top Rated Plus benefits, we recommend you update your returns policies now to offer free returns so that you can meet the free 30-day free returns criterion, which goes into effect June 1, 2018.

  • Can I still choose to not accept returns?

    You are not required to accept returns for "change of mind" (or remorse). However, we encourage you to consider accepting remorse returns as part of your business practice. Returns are a regular occurrence in retail and commerce. They're also a major consideration for buyers when they choose where to purchase online.

    A generous returns policy is important to buyers and helps increase their trust in you as a seller.

  • If I offer more generous returns, won't my return rate increase?

    Our research shows that a generous free returns policy can result in fewer item "significantly not as described" return requests. We are also giving listings with free returns policies greater visibility if buyers filter search results by returns policy, which can increase your chances of making a sale.

  • Will the change apply to used and refurbished items as well?

    Yes. The change applies to all item conditions.

  • Where do I update my return policy?

    You can update your return policy by clicking "return options" when creating or updating a listing.

  • Can I continue to offer replacements and exchanges?

    Yes. You can continue to offer replacements and exchanges as part of your return policy, but the details will not be shown on the item description page. You will, however, have the ability to handle a replacement or exchange while processing your return as usual.

  • How can buyers learn about eBay return policies?

    Buyers can refer to eBay returns to learn about eBay return policies.

  • How can I make sure my buyer receives a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number before they send the item back to me?

    You can decide to offer a RMA number by checking the appropriate box in your Return Preferences page.

  • Does this change apply to all categories?

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

    Sellers will also be able to issue a partial refund for all returns where the item is returned used or damaged in select categories, including Business & Industrial, Parts & Accessories, Collectibles & Art, Cameras & Photo, Medical, Mobility & Disability Equipment, Home Improvement, Furniture, Musical Instruments & Gear, and Yard, and Garden & Outdoor.

Overview

Top Rated Plus update

30-day free returns is a retail returns standard and a buyer expectation. Starting June 1, 2018, Top Rated Sellers will be required to offer 30-day free returns to be eligible to receive Top Rated Plus benefits. eBay Top Rated Sellers earn those benefits by offering an elevated experience to their buyers. When you offer 30-day free returns, you’re offering a superior retail returns experience.

Exceptions

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

You will be required to offer 30-day returns in the following categories to be eligible to receive Top Rated Plus discounts:

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

You will be required to offer 14-day free returns in Products in Collectibles & Art categories to be eligible to receive Top Rated Plus discounts.

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

  • Prepaid Phone Cards
  • Virtual Currency

Learn more about Top Rated Plus benefits.

Seller protection on free returns

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. 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.

Learn more

FAQs

Top Rated Plus update FAQs

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