Buyers are more comfortable shopping with sellers who offer returns, even though most buyers will never return an item. We've found that items with a clear returns policy typically sell better than items that don't have one.
All sellers on eBay must specify a returns policy for their items, whether your policy is to accept returns or not. If you don't specify a returns policy, eBay will select a default returns policy for you.
As a business seller you are obliged to inform your consumers about their right of withdrawal before the purchase. As a private seller you may voluntarily offer returns. Learn more about your return rights and obligations.
Important: Even if you specify 'no returns accepted', the item could still be returned if the buyer opens a case because the item wasn't as described. Learn more about receiving a returned item and refunding your buyer.
The minimum time frame that you can specify for your returns policy is 14 days. While this is a longer time frame than the 7-day cancellation period that applies under current UK and Irish distance selling rules, a 14-day returns period will be required under UK and Irish selling regulations that will become effective in June 2014.
The returns window that you enter is the number of days that a buyer has to inform you that they intend to return the item.
The recommendations and instructions on this page are for sellers who handle returns outside of the eBay managed returns process. If you've opted in to the eBay managed return process, there are different requirements.
How to create a returns policy
To specify your returns policy:
Scroll to the Add other details section of the listing form.
Select Returns Accepted or Returns Not Accepted from the drop-down menu.
If you accept returns:
Select the time limit within which the buyer needs to notify you that they intend to return the item.
Select who will pay for return P&P - you or the buyer.
Enter additional returns policy details in the text box.
Continue with your listing.
Tip: Don't include returns policy details in the item description as buyers may not see it.
Learn more about managing returns on eBay.
Returns policy recommendations
The clearer and more buyer-friendly your returns policy is, the more secure your buyers will feel shopping with you. The following recommendations can help increase buyer satisfaction, improve the likelihood your item will sell, and earn you higher detailed seller ratings (DSRs). For more information on what is and isn't allowed in listings, see the Selling practices policy.
Offer a buyer-friendly policy
You're legally required to pay return postage costs and to refund original P&P costs when the item is being returned because it's defective, isn't as described, or it was damaged in the post.
You are not legally permitted to charge restocking fees or any type of administration fee.
Use the fields provided to indicate who would pay for return postage (you or the buyer), and time limits (how long buyers have to return the item after they receive it).
Remember, if an item is being returned because it's not as described, you are legally required to pay the return postage costs.
Provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions for returns in the Additional return policy details section of the listing form. Don't include this information in your item description where buyers may not see it. Make sure the information in the listing doesn’t conflict with the returns policy options you’ve selected.
Specify how the refund is issued. (You do need to offer a refund via the same payment method that the buyer used, unless agreed otherwise with the buyer.)
Set a reasonable expectation for when a return will be processed and the money refunded back into the buyer's account. Depending on the payment method, the time frame for a refund to be issued should normally not exceed 5 working days.
Be clear about the condition of the item required for returns - for example, 'unopened box' or 'opened box with all original materials'. If you like, you can reference the item condition policy for returns.
(Note: Under the Distance Selling Regulations, business sellers can't insist that buyers return the item in a certain condition.)
Keep a valid returns address on file
To update your returns address:
Go to My eBay and then click the Account tab. (You may be asked to sign in.)
Click Addresses on the left side of the page.
Next to Primary returns address, click Change.
Buyers who misuse returns
To help protect yourself from poor buyer practices, wait until you've received a returned item before issuing a refund.
In situations where the item has been returned in a different condition or the item is not within your stated item conditions, try to work with your buyer to find a solution that you can both agree on.
If your buyer is misusing returns (eg returning a damaged item or an empty box), please report the buyer. We'll investigate and if we find that the buyer is breaching our Buying practices policy, we will take action. This may include cancelling cases in the Resolution Centre, or limiting the buyer's account privileges.
Learn more about handling problems with your buyers.