eBay Return Policy: How to Set it Up 

eBay makes it easy for sellers to set up a return policy to protect both buyer and seller alike. There are a few different types of returns you can accept and rules of be aware off, which we’ll walk you through in this article.

Selling on eBay can be so exciting, especially if you’re making steady sales and gaining loyal customers. However, returns are inevitable in any kind of retail business. 

The good news is that eBay allows sellers to set up a return policy, ensuring that both the seller and buyer are protected. 

Check out this blog post to learn what eBay’s return policy is and how to set up a return policy. 

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What is eBay’s Return Policy?

eBay’s standard return policy gives buyers 30 days after receiving an item to return it for a refund or exchange. However, the seller can set their own return policy, which can range from “no returns accepted” to accepting returns within a specified number of days.

Keep in mind that even if a seller has a “no returns accepted” policy, buyers can still return an item if it’s not as described, damaged, or defective.

Returns Rules

eBay has two types of returns: the eBay Money Back Guarantee and the seller’s return policy. It’s important to understand these different types of returns and their rules so that you can make the most of whichever type you decide to offer. 

eBay Money Back Guarantee 

First up is the eBay Money Back Guarantee. This is a refund policy that eBay offers to buyers who receive an item that is significantly not as described or doesn’t arrive at all. 

Seller’s Return Policy 

The seller’s return policy applies to returns that don’t fall under the eBay Money Back Guarantee, such as when a buyer has changed their mind about a purchase.

As a seller, you are free to set your own return policy for your items, but be aware that eBay has certain guidelines you must adhere to. Your return policy must be clearly stated in your listing. This includes the length of the return window, who is responsible for return shipping, and whether or not a restocking fee will be charged. eBay recommends offering at least a 30-day return window to increase buyer confidence.

Other Return Rules 

It’s also important to note that eBay has a policy called the ‘no returns’ option, which you can choose to enable in your listings. However, this policy only applies to your seller’s return policy and not the eBay Money Back Guarantee. So, if a buyer wants to return an item because it was not as described or didn’t arrive, you will still be responsible for the return.

If you offer free eBay returns, eBay will give you a boost in search rankings, and buyers will see a “Free Returns” badge on your listings. This can incentivize buyers to purchase from you, increasing your overall sales on the platform.

MORE: eBay seller help

How to Set Up eBay Return Policy

Here’s how to set up your eBay return policy:

  1. Log into your eBay account. 
  2. Once you’re logged in, go to the ‘My eBay’ page and click on the ‘Account’ tab. 
  3. From here, scroll down to the ‘Site Preferences’ section and click on ‘Return Preferences’.
  4. Next, you’ll need to decide on the type of return policy you want to offer. eBay simplifies this by offering five different types of return policies: ‘No returns accepted’, ‘30-day buyer pays returns’, 60-day buyer-paid returns, 60-day free returns, and ‘30-day free returns’. You’ll want to choose the policy that makes the most sense for your business.
  5. Once you’ve chosen your policy type, you’ll need to specify the details of your policy. This includes things like who pays for return shipping, whether you offer partial refunds, and any restocking fees you may charge. Be sure to read through eBay’s policies and guidelines carefully to make sure you’re in compliance.
  6. Now that you’ve set up your return policy, it’s important to communicate it to your buyers. The best way to do this is by including it in your item descriptions and on your eBay store page. You can also send a message to buyers who have purchased from you to remind them of your policy.

Make sure to check your eBay messages regularly and respond to any buyer inquiries about returns promptly. You’ll also want to keep an eye on your return rate and adjust your policy as needed (especially if you plan on some time away from your store) to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.

MORE: eBay vacation mode

How to Create Advanced Returns Rules

Advanced return rules give sellers greater flexibility and control over specific cases, such as late deliveries or an eBay item arrived damaged.

To create advanced return rules, follow these steps:

  1. Head to the ‘Return Preferences’ section in the settings tab. 
  2. Create specific rules such as offering returns within a specified timeframe or excluding certain categories from returns.
  3. Include critical details such as the return timeframe, who’s responsible for paying for return shipping, and your process for handling damaged or defective products.

MORE: eBay selling tips.

How to Accept a Return

Once a buyer requests a return, you should respond as quickly as possible. You have three business days to respond to a request to return eBay form, so don’t wait too long. If you don’t respond within three days, eBay may automatically accept the return on the buyer’s behalf. When you respond, you should provide clear instructions on how to return the item and any other relevant information.

When you receive the returned item, you should inspect it carefully. Check to see if the item has been damaged or if it’s still in its original condition. If the item is damaged or not in its original condition, you may be able to deduct a restocking fee from the buyer’s refund. However, if the item is not as described, you should issue a full refund.

Once you’ve inspected the item and determined that a refund is required, it’s time to process the return. eBay has a built-in refund process that allows you to issue a refund quickly and easily. You can choose to issue a full refund or a partial refund if you’ve deducted a restocking fee. Once you issue the refund, eBay will notify the buyer.

While returns may seem like a hassle, they can actually be an opportunity to learn and grow as a seller. Look at your returns and see if there’s a common theme. 

Are customers returning items because they’re not as described? Is the packaging not secure enough? Use this information to improve your listings and your overall customer experience.

Key Takeaways

Setting up a return policy on eBay is crucial for any seller who wants to build a trustworthy and reliable business. 

By following the steps outlined above and with our guide to selling on eBay, you can create a return policy that works for you and your customers, reducing the risk of disputes and negative feedback. Knowing how to return an item on eBay is crucial for buyers and sellers alike.

Remember to stay in communication with your buyers throughout the process, and always handle returns professionally. With a clear and transparent return policy, you can boost your sales and build a loyal customer base on eBay.

Also see our eBay Fee Calculator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The standard eBay return policy for sellers says that they must accept returns within 30 days after the buyer receives the item. However, keep in mind that sellers can also offer extended returns to buyers - up to 60 or 90 days - which can help attract more customers and boost your eBay seller ratings.

eBay sellers don't necessarily have to accept returns - but it's highly encouraged. Buyers are much more likely to purchase from a seller if they know they can return an item that doesn't meet their expectations.

By default, eBay only allows returns for up to 30 days after the buyer receives the item. However, sellers can also offer extended returns that go beyond 30 days.

If a seller doesn't accept a return, the buyer can open a case through eBay's Resolution Center. eBay typically gives sellers 3 days to respond to a return request, but if a seller doesn't respond or refuses the return request, eBay may step in and help resolve the dispute.

By default, eBay only allows returns for up to 30 days after the buyer receives the item. If the buyer wants to return the item after the 30 day period has passed, it's up to the seller's discretion to accept the return.

If a seller has accepted a return from a buyer, they will typically have 3-5 business days to issue a refund. The refund will be issued to the same payment method that the buyer used to purchase the item, such as a PayPal account or credit card.


Adaline Lefe Mary John

Adaline Lefe Mary John

A great researcher and creator, Adaline is responsible for planning and managing content for all our websites. She has over 10 years of experience in creating and managing content.

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