How to Issue a Partial Refund on eBay

While most eBay transactions go smoothly, there are bound to be occasional challenges. Knowing how to deal with refunds as an eBay seller will be crucial to maintaining positive relationships with buyers. In this guide, we take you through the entire process of issuing partial refunds on the eBay marketplace.

Handling partial refunds can be tricky, especially when you don’t or cannot get back the item. However, it can also be your best option to keep your customers and business happy.

So, what is a partial refund on eBay, when should you issue one, and how does the eBay partial refund process work? 

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What is an eBay Partial Refund?

An eBay partial refund is a process in which a seller returns a portion of the amount paid by the buyer for an item, rather than providing a full refund. It is usually paid as financial compensation for issues that arise from a transaction.

Generally, a partial refund on the eBay marketplace does not involve returning the item. That is because the issues that necessitate the refund are usually minor, and partial refunds may be better than an outright return of the item. 

eBay partial refunds help resolve disputes without involving eBay’s Resolution Center. This is beneficial for helping the seller maintain a positive reputation. Note that in cases of partial refund, eBay protects the sellers through policies but is often obliged to favor the customer.

Discussing with customers can help you get a clearer picture of the issues as well as agree amicably on the refund amount. The portion of the original amount you refund depends on the scale of issues on the item, which you can only get when you communicate with customers. 

On requesting a refund, the buyer will be asked to provide the reason for their request which will be used to determine its seriousness.

MORE: eBay seller help

When Can You Issue a Partial Refund?

Knowing when to offer a refund can be a game-changer for sellers. In cases where there’s only a scratch on an item or minor damage that doesn’t affect the product’s functionality, a partial refund is preferable to collecting an item that may no longer be sellable.

Below is a list of scenarios that may warrant issuing a partial refund on eBay:

Item is Delivered Damaged

Items can get damaged during global shipping or local delivery, and the buyer may be willing to keep it if it is still usable or can be repaired. It is common for sellers to refund the buyer as cover for the repair or compensation to make up for the loss in value. 

Keep in mind that when buyers make purchases via eBay Money Back Guarantee Policy, but it is delivered damaged, they are entitled to a return request and refund, even if you have a no-return policy.

Item is Missing Some Parts

If an item arrives with some parts or promised accessories missing, the buyer may request a partial refund from the seller to purchase the missing components. This saves both parties from the hassles of returning the item for a replacement.

The Item Does not Match the Description 

It’s also common to issue a partial refund on eBay when the delivered item does not match the description on the listing page. Whether it’s missing features or a disparity, you could offer an eBay partial refund to compensate the buyer.

Buyer Gets Overcharged for Delivery

If the shipping charges a buyer pays are more than they are supposed to, an eBay partial refund for shipping overcharges, offering a part of the money in a refund is a good idea. This is a great way to make a customer trust you and come back for more purchases.

Buyer Changes Their Mind

A buyer’s change of mind isn’t usually a situation that obliges you to issue an eBay partial refund. eBay allows you to set your return policy as a seller, and you do not have to give a refund unless it is a condition in your policy. However, you can still offer a partial refund if you feel it is reasonable to do so.

Special Buyer-seller Agreement

You may have an agreement with a buyer to issue refunds for special cases not covered within eBay’s standard guidelines. Ensure you document this properly and have everything discussed within eBay’s messaging system, as it will assist you when issues get to the resolution center.

MORE: eBay selling tips

How to Issue a Partial Refund

You can issue a partial refund via eBay-managed payment or PayPal depending on the method that was used initially to complete the original transaction. 

1. Issuing a Partial Refund via eBay Managed Payment

To offer a partial refund using eBay managed payment, here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Visit the eBay website using a Web browser or open the eBay app.

Step 2: Log in to your eBay seller account.

Step 3: Navigate to the Return dashboard.

Step 4: Locate the item you want to issue a refund for and select the “View return details” option beside it.

Step 5: Select “Offer a partial refund” and click “Continue.”

Step 6: Insert the refund amount you want to offer.

Step 7: You may also add a custom message alongside the refund.

Step 8: Click “Send offer.”

The client will receive the offer, which they can choose to accept or reject. Bear in mind that an eBay partial refund can be offered once for an item. So, it is crucial that you have an understanding with the buyer before offering a refund. With this method, you have two months to execute the refund after the original transaction.

2. Issuing a Partial Refund Via PayPal 

To issue a refund through PayPal:

Step 1: Select the “Activity” tab at the top of the homepage. This will reveal a list of transactions.

Step 2: Choose the specific transaction you want to issue a partial refund.

Step 3: Navigate to “Refund this payment” option

Step 4: The full sum of the transaction will be displayed by default. However, you can edit the refund amount depending on your agreement with the buyer.

Step 5: Confirm that all the other details are correct. 

Step 6: Now, issue a refund.

Here, you have up to 180 days from the time of the initial transaction, to issue a partial refund.

MORE: How to ship items on eBay

How Does A Seller Issue a Partial Refund without a Return?

Sellers must understand the eBay refund process for items that will not be returned because this is the best option for them sometimes. Accepting an item back from the buyer may attract a full refund, leading to a waste of time, money, and energy for a product you may not be able to sell to another buyer. 

By issuing an eBay partial refund, you can file it under a sale and compensate the buyer. You can issue a partial refund without return using the steps outlined for eBay managed payments.

Here are other things you should do for refunds without a return:

1. Evaluate the issue and your options: Depending on the nature of issues that come up, it may be better to issue a partial refund or a full one with a return of the item. 

2. Communicate with the buyer for an agreement: This is essential as it helps to calm them down. If the only way to address the concern is through a partial refund, reach an agreement on the amount with them.

3. Involve the eBay Resolution Center: If you can’t reach an agreement with the buyer, it may be a good idea to involve the eBay Resolution Center. They will mediate between you and the buyer to reach a satisfactory resolution for both parties.

4. Keep necessary records: While most of the refund records will be available on the eBay platform, it’s still a good idea to keep your own records of necessary details for future reference.

5. Monitor buyer’s feedback: Even after issuing a refund, you can reach out to customers to see if their concerns have been resolved. This makes them happy to drop positive seller feedback or change any negative one they’ve submitted earlier.

MORE: eBay refurbished

Key Takeaways

eBay partial refund is valuable for both sellers and their customers. It allows the seller to minimize loss due to issues with the items they sell and lets the buyer get adequate compensation for missing parts or other inconveniences.

Since success on eBay relies on seller-buyer relationships, understanding how to issue partial refunds is an essential skill sellers should have. By knowing when and how to issue a partial refund, you’ll achieve a better seller reputation and prevent unwanted loss.

However, it is crucial to maintain open communication with the affected buyers and analyze the situation to prevent a future recurrence. Remember to read eBay policies and follow guidelines as they’ll protect you from eBay return fraud. You can also check out different eBay seller tools to make the process go more smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes. You can issue partial refunds to customers on eBay when there's an issue with the items they buy. It allows the buyer to keep the item, with the partial refund serving as compensation or cover for repair or replacement.

To issue a partial postage refund on eBay:
  • Go to the sellers hub on your dashboard and select "paid and shipped."
  • Locate the item you want to refund postage on
  • Select the refund option beside it.
  • Enter the reason you want to issue a postage refund and select an amount.
  • Click send.
Note that, as a seller, you’re obligated to pay for the return shipping fee or refund postage in a situation whereby an item was delivered damaged, faulty, or not matching to the listing description. However, if the buyer returns an item as a result of their change of heart, you don’t have to refund postage. But you can decide to partially refund them as a way of maintaining a positive relationship with the customer.

The amount you can get for a partial refund on eBay varies depending on the item value and specific issue. An agreement can be reached between the buyer and seller on the refund amount, which could either be a percentage of the original price or a specified amount.

To see the partial refunds you've issued, locate the order on your eBay account and click to open the details. You'll see a record of the refund, including the date, amount, and any other details.

A partial refund is referred to as such because it is not a full repayment. Rather, it is a reimbursement of only a portion of the entire amount paid for the item.


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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