5 min article

Return postage for buyers

If you need to send an item back to the seller, there are a few different ways of getting it back to them. Who pays for return postage depends on why you're returning it, and the seller's return policy.

Once the seller has accepted your return request, you need to send the item back within 5 business days. You can do that using an eBay return label, or a label from another carrier.

We recommend using a tracked service for return postage. Items valued at $750 or more should also have signature confirmation.

Uploading tracking to the return request lets the seller know the item is on its way, and eBay can see the progress of the return in case we're asked to step in.

Who pays for return postage

If you're sending an item back because it doesn't match the listing or it arrived damaged or faulty:

  • The seller pays for return postage.
  • The seller should provide a way for you to return the item, or offer you a refund.
  • You'll need to send it back using the postage label or other method provided by the seller.

If you changed their mind or ordered the wrong item:

  • The seller's return policy in the listing determines who pays for return postage.
  • If they offer a free returns policy, the seller should provide a way for you to return the item. You'll need to send it back using that method.
  • If the seller's return policy states that buyers are responsible for return postage, you'll have to pay but you can choose how you'd like to send it back. You can either pay for an eBay return postage label, or use a carrier of your choice.

If the seller is responsible for return postage, it's important that they cover the costs. If they don't provide a paid method of return postage, or if they don't offer to reimburse you for return postage, let us know by asking eBay to step in.

Printing an eBay return postage label

eBay return postage labels are available for most domestic returns. You'll see this option if the seller has offered an eBay label, or if you're paying for return postage.

Here's how to print an eBay return label, if one is available:

  1. Go to your Purchase history - opens in new window or tab and find the item in Returns and cancelled orders.
  2. Select View return details.
  3. Choose Get a return label.
  4. Follow the instructions to select your parcel size and drop-off location.
  5. Select Download label.

If you're paying for return postage, you'll see the postage cost and you can pay using PayPal or a credit card.

Print an eBay return label

You don't need a special printer or self-adhesive labels when printing return postage labels. Simply print the label on normal paper and tape it to the package. Make sure the barcode is clear so the carrier can scan it easily.

When you use an eBay return postage label, returns are sent by either ParcelPoint or Australia Post, depending on the item's cost, package weight, your location and the seller's return address. In some instances, return postage charges are estimated rather than based on the actual weight of the package. These charges are based on rates eBay negotiated with Australia Post and ParcelPoint, and are typically less than what you would pay at the post office for the same item.

Returns that aren't eligible for an eBay label

Sometimes you'll need to use a label from another carrier or agree on another way to send the item back, including:

  • Sending items internationally: eBay return labels are only available for items returned within Australia. If you or the seller are overseas, you'll need to buy your own international postage or make alternative arrangements.
  • Sending a return with insurance: Postage insurance isn't available for eBay return labels. If you or the seller prefers to insure the item, you'll need to buy your own return postage with insurance.
  • Returning multiple packages: You can only buy one eBay return label per item. If you need to use multiple packages to send something back, you'll need to buy your own return postage for each package.
  • The item is outside ParcelPoint or Australia Post guidelines: You can only buy eBay return labels for items up to a certain size and weight. If the package is outside of these limits, or can't be sent through the mail, you need to buy your own return postage or make alternative arrangements.
  • The item was originally delivered by freight or local pickup: You won't be able to buy an eBay return label. You need to make alternative arrangements with the seller, such as arranging a pickup or dropping it off to them.

Using a label from another carrier

One way for the seller to help you return the item is to provide a pre-paid postage label for their preferred carrier. Some sellers include a label in the original package, so they'll ask you to use that.

Sellers may also buy a label and then send it through the return request – you can then print it from the "Your postage label is ready" email or message that you'll receive in Messages - opens in new window or tab.

If you're paying for the return, you can buy tracked postage from your preferred carrier.

Where to purchase your own label

If you're not using an eBay return label, you may be able to use one of these providers:

For bulky items over 70kg, you may need to work with the seller to make alternative freight arrangements.

Adding tracking to your return

Adding tracking details to your return helps protect against delays or issues in the refund process.

If you use an eBay return label, you just need to mark the item as sent in the return request – tracking details are uploaded automatically.

Here's how to add tracking information to your return or mark it as sent:

  1. Go to your Purchase history - opens in new window or tab and find the item in Returns and cancelled orders.
  2. Select View return details.
  3. Select Mark as sent.
  4. If you didn't use an eBay label, select the carrier from the drop-down list, then enter the tracking number.

Other ways to send the item back

You and the seller may come to an alternative arrangement about returning the item, such as bringing it in to one of their stores. The seller should contact you through the return request with specific instructions about what to do.

Please ensure you reply to the seller through the return request so that we can see that you've been in touch.

Sending funds for the return postage cost

If the seller's paying for return postage and you agree that they'll send you funds to cover the cost of the return, make sure you've agreed on the postage service and cost before sending the item back. You can either use a postage calculator on the carrier's website to find out how much a tracked service will cost, or get a quote and send it to them.

The seller should send you a separate PayPal payment in advance for the return postage charges, as these aren't included in any eBay Money Back Guarantee refund you'll receive.

When returning an item, use a carrier that provides tracking and upload the details to the return request.

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