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Using the eBay managed returns process


If you sell your items on eBay.co.uk then you can use our managed returns process. Unfortunately the managed returns process is not available on eBay.ie.

Our managed returns gives you and your buyers a simple and efficient way to handle returns. Understand the requirements and follow the return process to ensure smooth and professional transactions with your buyers.

Eligibility

To be eligible to opt in to the managed returns process your account must be in good standing.

Once you're opted in to the eBay managed returns process, there are additional requirements for a sale to be eligible. The return process can be used when:

  • An item is listed and sold on eBay.co.uk. You can be registered on any eBay site.

  • You specify in the Returns policy section of the listing that you accept returns.

  • You haven't already issued a refund for the transaction through PayPal.

  • A buyer uses the process to start a return within your specified return time frame.

  • A buyer pays for the item with PayPal. 

  • A buyer hasn't opened a case (or a PayPal Purchase Protection case), or requested a refund on the credit card associated with the buyer's PayPal account.

  • A buyer wants a full refund or a replacement – not a partial refund or exchange.

  • A buyer hasn't been suspended from the returns process.

  • An item is listed in a category covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

  • A return is UK-based. (Both a buyer's address and your primary return address are in the UK.)

If a buyer tries to return an ineligible item using the eBay managed returns process, we'll ask the buyer to contact you directly.

These requirements may change as we expand the managed returns process over time.

Opting in and getting started

Returns, refunds and replacements

The eBay managed returns process lets you give your buyers an efficient way to return an item for a refund, or to return an item for a replacement. A replacement is an item that is exactly the same as the original item.

Exchanges – for a different size or colour, for example – aren't supported by the returns process.

Sellers who aren't registered on eBay.co.uk may not use the eBay managed returns process for replacements.

Opting in

When the managed returns process is made available to you, you can opt in through the Sell section of My eBay.

Changes to your active and scheduled listings

When you opt in to the managed returns process, all of your active listings are updated and you'll no longer see the Additional returns policy details text field

Take a moment to review your listings to be sure your returns policy settings are correct.

Setting up your returns preferences in My eBay

When opting in to the managed returns process, we'll ask you to set up your return preferences. Select whether you'd like to use your own return merchandise authorisation (RMA) numbers, and if you have multiple return postage addresses.

You can update your returns preferences any time:
  1. Click My eBay at the top of most pages. You may need to sign in.

  2. Click the Account tab, and then click the Site preferences link on the left.

  3. In the Returns preferences section, click the Show link, and then click the Edit link.

  4. Update your return preferences and then click the Save changes button.

Setting up your returns policy in a listing

If you want an item you're listing to be eligible to be returned through the eBay managed returns process, specify in the listing that you accept returns.

To set up your returns policy:
  1. Scroll to the Other things you'd like buyers to know section of the listing form.

  2. In the Returns policy area, click on the Change your returns policy link.

  3. Select the All returns accepted option and then select your returns policy terms from the dropdown menus.

  4. Click the Save button.

The managed returns process

If you specify in the Returns policy section of a listing that you accept returns, a buyer can start a return for that item for any reason, including changing their mind about a purchase. We'll guide both you and your buyer through the process, step by step.

  1. A buyer starts the return process.

    You get an email letting you know that the buyer has started a return.  In addition, funds may be temporarily set aside in your PayPal account for that sale. We ask the buyer to return the item to you within 14 calendar days*. The buyer is instructed to pack the item carefully and return it in the same condition as it was received. Learn more about the item condition policy for returns.

  2. You provide an RMA number and postage address, if needed.

    If you've set your returns preferences to use RMA numbers, multiple return addresses, or both, you'll have 2 working days to provide the information after a buyer starts a return. (For issuing refunds and postage replacements, we start counting working days after you provide returns details, if needed.)

    • If you don't provide an RMA number, the buyer will return the item without one. (A unique return ID will be included on the postage label and packing slip.)

    • If you don't provide a specific return postage address, the buyer will send the item to your primary return postage address.

    We'll ask the buyer to  post the item within 14 calendar days from when you provided the information for the return.

    You can track the status of a return and specify an RMA and return address in the Returns section of My eBay.

  3. The buyer posts the item back to you.

    We provide the buyer with a return postage label. We'll also give the buyer a packing slip to print and enclose in the return package. On the packing slip is a unique returns ID generated by us, along with the buyer's ID. If you use RMA numbers, they'll be on the packing slip too.

    The returns label will use Collect+ Economy labels based on package weight. Delivery confirmation is automatically included so you can track the status of the return package.

  4. You receive the item.

    If you're issuing a refund, thoroughly inspect the item to be sure it meets the item condition policy for returns before refunding the buyer. You'll need to issue a refund within 6 working days of receiving the returned item. After you've issued a refund, your eBay final value fees will show as a credit on your next seller invoice.

*Working days are weekdays – Monday to Friday. Saturdays, Sundays, and bank holidays aren't working days.

Return postage charges

Either you or the buyer is responsible for return postage charges, as specified in your returns policy, except when an item is being returned because it isn't as described in the listing. In this instance, you pay the return postage charges. 

When you're responsible for return postage charges

When you're responsible for return postage charges, these charges will be included on your next monthly seller invoice as a fee. These fees may be charged to your automatic payment method on file.

If the buyer uses alternative postage arrangements, you'll need to reimburse the buyer for the agreed-upon postage costs outside of the returns process. You can send payment to the buyer through PayPal or another payment method.

When the buyer is responsible for return postage charges

When the buyer is responsible for return postage charges, we'll charge the buyer's PayPal account.

If you used calculated postage or printed postage labels from eBay or PayPal to send the item, we'll use this package weight to determine return postage charges for the buyer. In some instances, return postage charges may not be based on the actual weight of the package, but on an estimate.

Returns are posted using Collect+ Economy labels based on package weight.
Return postage charges are based on rates negotiated with Collect+. These charges may differ from actual rates to post an item, and are subject to change.

Collect + Tracked (Jiffy Bag up to 2 kg): Drop at shop – deliver to door (3 to 5 working days)

Collect + Tracked (Standard up to 5 kg): Drop at shop – deliver to door (3 to 5 working days)

Collect + Tracked (Heavy up to 10 kg): Drop at shop – deliver to door (3 to 5 working days)

Collect + Default (where weight of package is unknown)

Tracking type

Tracked

Tracked

Tracked

Tracked

Confirmation of delivery

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Signature on delivery

No

No

No

No

Product pricing

£4.50

£5.90

£7.90

£5.96

Compensation  cover

Sale price of item up to £50

Sale price of item up to £50

Sale price of item up to £50

Sale price of item up to £50

Refunds

Refund amounts are automatically adjusted for any postage charges, depending on the reason for return.

When the item isn't as described: 

If a buyer returns an item because it's not as described in the listing, arrives damaged, or is missing parts, then your refund to the buyer is:

Total purchase price (including the cost of the item and any other charges paid by the buyer) + Original postage (if paid for by the buyer) = Total refund

In these situations, you're required to pay for the return postage charges. If the buyer used alternative postage arrangements, you're expected to refund the buyer for those agreed-upon charges through PayPal or another payment method.

All other returns:

If a buyer returns an item for any other reason, including when they change their mind about a purchase, your refund to the buyer equals: 

Total purchase price (including the cost of the item and any other charges paid by the buyer) + Original postage, if the buyer paid original postage = Total refund

In these situations, you may specify in the Returns policy section of the listing that the buyer will pay for return postage charges. If you don’t specify this, you are responsible for return postage costs.

If a return is escalated to eBay

If you don't issue a refund through the return process within 6 working days of receiving the returned item, a buyer could open a case. The refund amount, regardless of the reason for the return, is:

Total purchase price (including the cost of the item and any other charges paid by the buyer) + Original postage (if paid for by the buyer) = Total refund

Timeline for refunds

  • When a buyer starts a return, funds may be temporarily set aside in your PayPal account for that sale.

  • After you've received a returned item, and you've made sure the item's condition is as expected, you'll need to issue the buyer a refund within 6 working days.

  • If you don't issue a refund within 6 working days of receiving a returned item, we may ask PayPal to reverse the buyer's payment for the refund amount. If you don't have sufficient funds in your PayPal account to cover the refund, we may give the buyer the refund and include the refund amount on your seller invoice as a fee, payable through your automatic payment method on file.

Alternative return postage arrangements

In some cases, buyers can start a return through the managed returns process, but won't print or use a return postage label:   

Insurance isn't available for return packages. If either you or your buyer prefers that an item be returned with insurance, the buyer should purchase return postage with insurance instead of using the label provided through the managed returns process.
Occasionally, more than one package is needed to return an item. In these instances, buyers can use the label provided on one package, but are expected to make alternative postage arrangements for the remaining packages. Buyers can also arrange alternative postage for all of the packages that make up the return.
We can only issue a return label for items within the Collect+ size and weight guidelines.
If the package is outside of the Collect+ guidelines, the buyer will need to make alternative postage arrangements.
A return postage label isn't available if the expected postage charges exceed the expected refund.
You and the buyer need to agree on alternative postage arrangements or, in the case of local collection, a way of getting the item back to you safely.

When using alternative postage arrangements, we instruct buyers to include tracking. If the item is valued at or more than £750, delivery confirmation is also required. We give buyers a packing slip and ask them to enclose it with the returned item.

When using alternative postage arrangements, either you or the buyer pays for return postage charges as outlined above.

If you're responsible for return postage charges, we'll ask the buyer to contact you to agree on the service and cost before an item is dispatched. In these instances, you'll need to refund the buyer for the postage charges – or you can provide them with a pre-paid postage label.

Final value fees and PayPal fees

Final value fees

When you issue a refund through the managed returns process and it's successfully deposited in the buyer's account, your eBay final value fees will show as a credit on your next seller invoice.

PayPal fees

When you issue a refund through the managed returns process, your variable PayPal fee is refunded based on the total refund amount. Your fixed PayPal transaction fee isn't refunded. To learn more about variable and fixed transaction fees, see the PayPal User Agreement.

Seller performance and Feedback

Seller performance

In general, if a buyer uses the eBay managed returns process, your seller performance isn't affected. However, if a buyer opens a case involving a return, and you don't resolve the case, your seller performance may be affected. Learn more about how cases can affect your seller performance.

Feedback score

The managed returns process doesn't change existing rules about Feedback.

Resolving problems

After we notify you that a buyer has started a return, you can contact the buyer through Messages in My eBay (to keep a record of the conversation) and ask them not to send back the item. Keep in mind that we ask buyers to send back an item within 6 working days after starting a return, so contact your buyer quickly.
We discourage haggling or trying to dissuade buyers from returning an item. We recommend that you only contact buyers if you feel that you can resolve the problem in another way.
Examples of when you may not want an item returned to you:
  • If an item has a low price or is damaged beyond repair, you may decide to just issue a refund.

  • If a problem is due to operating error and you feel you can adequately troubleshoot the issue and avoid a return.

A lenient return policy can work in your favour. If the item still arrives within your return time frame, we recommend you issue a refund.
Take into account a possible carrier delay – it's possible that the buyer posted the item at the end of the last working day, but Collect+ didn't scan the package until the following morning.
If a buyer doesn't send an item back, and fails to provide evidence of having sent the item back, you don't need to issue a refund.
For each sale (or transaction), a buyer has one opportunity to return an item or items. For multi-quantity listings, a buyer has a single opportunity to return any of the multiple items purchased.
For example, a buyer selects a quantity of 5 when buying T-shirts. The buyer has one opportunity to return any quantity of the 5 T-shirts. If the buyer returns 2 of the 5 T-shirts, the remaining 3 shirts can't be returned later.
You can only refund up to the total amount paid by the buyer. If you want to add a courtesy credit or you need to reimburse the buyer for alternative postage arrangements, you'll need to make a separate payment outside of the managed returns process.
There may be situations where you authorise a refund, but the refund failed, was cancelled, or didn't complete. If a buyer hasn't received their refund within the required time frame, they can open a case. We recommend that you confirm a refund has been completed successfully.
If a buyer posted a return and you think it may be lost in the post, wait for the buyer to open a case. We'll look into the matter at that time.
If you receive a returned item that's been damaged in the post, report the item to us. From the Returns section of My eBay, find the item and select Report a buyer from the Action dropdown menu.

Misuse of returns

Many problems are misunderstandings that can be worked out when buyers and sellers talk to each other  – but occasionally, you may not be able to resolve an issue. If you feel a member is abusing the managed returns process, we want to know about it.

Protecting sellers

If a buyer has done everything in their power to ensure an item is returned to you safely, we suggest you issue a refund to provide great customer service. A lenient return policy is strongly recommended, except in circumstances where the buyer is at fault:

  • The wrong item is returned.

  • You receive an empty box.

  • The item doesn't meet the item condition policy for returns.

  • The item is reported as "not as described" to avoid return postage charges.

If you suspect that a buyer is abusing the managed returns process, contact them through Messages in My eBay (to keep a record of the conversation) and try to resolve the issue. If you still suspect buyer abuse, report a returns issue to us through the Returns section of My eBay.

In instances like this, a buyer may escalate the issue to Customer Support, who will review and consider your communications with the buyer as well as the information you provide in the report. If we determine a buyer has abused the managed returns process or eBay Money Back Guarantee, the buyer may be subject to a range of actions, including limits on buying and selling privileges and account suspension.

Protecting buyers

If you agree to accept returns using the eBay managed returns process, and a buyer acts within all return time frames, but you fail to issue a refund within 6 working days of receiving the returned item, the buyer may file a case. 

eBay Money Back Guarantee does not require a buyer using the eBay managed returns process to wait for the seller to respond before we review the case. eBay Money Back Guarantee recognises that either you or the buyer will be responsible for return postage charges, as detailed in a listing's returns policy.

If we determine that a seller has abused the managed returns process or eBay Money Back Guarantee, the seller may be subject to a range of actions, including limits on buying and selling privileges and account suspension.

Changes to this process

We may update the managed returns process at any time by posting the amended terms on this site.

Opting out

You can choose to opt out of the eBay managed returns process at any time. There are some things keep in mind if you opt out:

  • Your returns policy can't be edited for any listings with a purchase, with one or more bids or Best Offers, or with fewer than 12 hours remaining before the end time.

  • You still need to complete any returns a buyer has already started within the return process before you opted out.

If you opt out, those active listings that can be edited will be updated to remove the restocking fee field and to restore the Additional returns policy details text field. Any editable listings that you created before you opted in to the managed returns process will use your previous return details from this field.

To opt out of the eBay managed returns process:
  1. Click My eBay at the top of most pages. You may need to sign in.

  2. Click the Account tab, and then click the Site preferences link on the left.

  3. In the Returns preferences section, click the Show link, and then click the Edit link.

  4. Update your returns preferences and then click the Save changes button.

We recommend that you review your listings after opting out of the managed returns process to confirm your returns policy settings.
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