All about Returns

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.

Returns Policy

eBay strives to meet the buyers' expectations while meeting the sellers' capacity. 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

We recommend you provide buyers with free returns. See how a flexible and customer-friendly return policy can help you increase your sales. You can increase conversion lift from your ads up to 5%-25%*.

If you currently offer: And you go over to: Your sales will increase by*:
No returns 30-day free returns 15%
No returns 60-day free returns 25%
14-day returns (buyer pays return shipping) 30-day free returns 10%
14-day returns (buyer pays return shipping) 60-day free returns 20%
30-day returns (buyer pays return shipping) 30-day free returns 5%
30-day returns (buyer pays return shipping) 60-day free returns 13%
* Conversion lift seen based on Q3 2017 data. Individual results may vary. eBay does not guarantee that each seller will experience the same lift or any lift at all. The term Free returns refers to when the seller pays return shipping no matter the reason for return, with no restocking fee.

Return Policy options

eBay automates some returns steps. This can simplify the entire process for both you and buyers. 

Learn more about customizing and optimizing returns:

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 enable that to happen and any buyer wishing to return items under these circumstances will receive automatic return approval.

Partial refund option

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

Enjoy automatic acceptance

Automatic acceptance of returns simplifies the returns process. No return requests due to buyer's remorse will be accepted automatically if your policy doesn’t permit it.

When you're OK with buyers paying to ship back items they no longer want, Requests for returns are accepted automatically.

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.

Keep returns to a minimum

There are many reasons for return: the size did not fit, the item was damaged in shipping or the buyer just changed their mind about buying it. Most sellers on eBay offer returns, but would prefer to keep them to a minimum.

Keep in mind that eBay Service Metrics is largely geared towards returns number due to being “Item not as Described”.

How to keep returns to a minimum

Returns best practicies

Prevent “Item not as Described” requests

Prevent “Item not Received” requests

  • Ensure your products accurately match the Item Description and the photos are clear
  • 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.
  1. Ensure your products match their descriptions or photos
    1. Clearly and accurately describe your items and return policies.
    2. 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. 
    3. 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.
    4. Specify your Item's Condition using structured specifics in the Sell Your Item form and ensure the selected condition is accurate and consistent with the rest of the item description. 
  2. Make sure your product is authentic
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  3. Reduce the number of items that don't work or are defective
    1. Ensure new items are described accurately, sealed, and are in their original packaging.
    2. Remove items with high rates of manufacturing flaws or items of poor quality that customers are complaining about from your inventory. 
  4. Make sure you aren't sending the wrong items
    1. Inspect packages closely to ensure all items ordered are included and correct.
    2. Check Open Box Items to ensure all components are correct.
    3. Use checklists for items with many parts, or for multiple items in a combined shipment.
  5. Reduce the number of items that arrive damaged
    1. Improve your packaging to prevent damage in shipment.
    2. Inspect refurbished and used items more closely for hidden defects and damage. Point these out clearly in your listing description and photos.
  • 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%**.
** Information based on internal analysis of listings between January 1, 2017 — September 30, 2017.

FAQs

Is offering returns optional for sellers?

Yes, offering a return policy is an option for all sellers. You can offer returns on individual or all items and distinguish between domestic and international return policies.

Listings from Top Rated Sellers must offer a 30-day free return policy to qualify for the Top Rated Plus discount and seal. Please note that there is one more requirement for this discount: the Handling Time should be reduced to 1 day.

Can buyers request a return even if I don't offer returns?

Buyers are able to request a return for any reason.

Can I use Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) numbers?

Yes.

How do I add RMA numbers?

Select the "RMA number" option in Return Preferences.

Returns_Eng_09.jpg

Can buyers initiate a single return for more than one item?

No. Unless they were purchased as part of a multi-quantity item, buyers must initiate a return for each item individually.

How are multi-quantity items handled?

Buyers are able to return multiple quantities of the same item with a single return, but can only initiate one return for each multi-quantity item purchase. For example, if the buyer initiates a return for 3 of 10 shirts purchased as a multi-quantity item, they will not be able to initiate a return for the remaining 7 shirts at a later date.

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