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 the item back to them. Who pays the cost of return postage will depend on why you're returning it, and the seller's return policy.

If you're returning an item, you'll need to post it back to the seller. You can do that using an eBay return label, or a label from another carrier. Once the seller has accepted your return request, you'll be asked to send the item back. You'll need to send it back within 5 business days of the seller accepting your return.

Who pays for return postage?

The seller pays for return postage if the item was damaged, faulty, or doesn't match the listing description, or if they offer a free returns policy.

You pay for return postage if you're returning the item because you changed your mind, and the seller's return policy states that buyers are responsible for return postage.

Learn more about what to do when:

How to print an eBay return postage label

If you're sending an item back using an eBay return postage label, here's how to print the label:

  1. Go to Purchase history - opens in new window or tab.
  2. Find the item in Returns and cancelled orders.
  3. Select View return details.
  4. Choose Print label.

If you're responsible for the return postage costs, you'll see the price of return postage, and be able to purchase your label.

Print an eBay return label

Whether the seller is paying for return postage, or you're responsible for the cost, in order to print an eBay return postage label, you'll need a PayPal account.

Tip
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.

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 postage label, tracking details are automatically uploaded.

If you're using your own return postage label, here's how to add the tracking information to your return:

  1. Go to the return request in My eBay - opens in new window or tab.
  2. Select the postage carrier from the dropdown list. If you select 'Other', enter the carrier name.
  3. Enter the tracking number.
  4. Select Mark as sent.

If the seller is paying for return postage

When you're sending an item back to the seller, there are a few methods you can use to post it back. If the seller is responsible for the return postage costs, they decide how they'd like the item to be sent back to them, and they'll let you know which method to use. Generally, they'll ask you to send the item back using one of the following:

They may also contact you to make other arrangements such as returning the item to their store or reimbursing you for return postage.

Tip
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.

If you're covering return postage

If you're responsible for the return postage costs, you can choose how you'd like to send it back to the seller. You can either pay for an eBay return postage label, or choose to send the item back using a carrier of your choice.

If you choose to use your own carrier, we recommend using a tracked service. Tracking is important as it lets the seller know the item's on its way, and also means that eBay can see the progress of the return in case we there's an issue and we're asked to help out with the return.

Return postage costs when you use an eBay label

When you're responsible for return postage costs, we charge your PayPal account if you post the item using an eBay postage label. We may ask you to accept a billing agreement to authorise payment for these kinds of charges.

Anytime you use an eBay return postage label, returns are sent by either ParcelPoint or Australia Post, depending on the item's cost, package weight, and delivery time. 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 are typically less than what you would pay at the post office for the same item.

If the expected postage charges exceed the expected refund or the refund value of a replacement or exchange, an eBay return postage label won't be available.

Other ways to send the item back

Sometimes returning an item may require additional, alternative postage arrangements, like adding insurance to your package, for instance. Select Examples of alternative postage arrangements below for more information.

Examples of alternative postage 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 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. Make sure to include the packing slip, tracking, and for items valued at $750 or more, signature confirmation

When you want to return an item using alternative postage arrangements, and the seller is responsible for the return postage charges, you must work with the seller to agree on the postage service and cost before returning the item.

If you use alternative postage arrangements, the return postage charges 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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