3 min article

Get help if you bought as a guest

If your item hasn't arrived, has turned up damaged or faulty, or if you just want to return it, let the seller know so they can help you out. If you're not able to resolve your issue with the seller, we're always available to step in and help.

If you don't have an eBay account, or didn't sign in to your account when you made a purchase, you're still protected by our eBay Money Back Guarantee. If the item you bought hasn't arrived, or if it's faulty, damaged or doesn't match the listing, you can get your money back.

If you've changed your mind and no longer want the item, most sellers offer returns. Check the listing to see the seller's full return policy, including how long you have to request a return and any other conditions. If the seller states in their return policy that they don't accept returns, you can ask them to see if they'll make an exception.

Tip
If you need help with an item you bought on eBay as a guest, the first thing you'll need to do is find the confirmation email we sent to you when you bought your item. If you're having trouble finding the email in your inbox, the subject line starts with "Guest Order".

Your item hasn't arrived

If your item hasn't arrived, you're protected by eBay Money Back Guarantee and can ask the seller for a refund. Some sellers may also be able to send you out a replacement item, if they have one.

If your item hasn't arrived yet, here's what you need to do:

  1. Check when the item is due to arrive.
  2. Make sure it's being sent to the right address.
  3. If it's overdue, and the delivery details are all correct, let the seller know there's an issue.

Check when the item is due to arrive

The first thing to do is check your item's estimated delivery date, to see when it's due. To do this, you'll need to select View order details in your order confirmation email. The order details page has all the delivery information for your order, including when it's due to arrive, the postal carrier, any tracking information the seller provided, and your item's current location. If the estimated delivery date hasn't passed yet, it's probably still in transit.

Confirm the delivery address

The order details page also shows the delivery address that you gave the seller when you bought your item. It's worth double-checking that's correct too. If the delivery address is incorrect, you'll need to let the seller know by selecting Contact Seller on the order details page. If they haven't sent your item yet, they'll be able to send it to the correct address. If they've already sent it, you'll need to get in touch with the carrier to see if they can redirect your order to the right address.

Tip
If the estimated delivery date has passed, and the delivery address is correct, you may want to check with a neighbour in case you weren't home when the package arrived and they took delivery of it for you.

Let the seller know your item hasn't arrived

If the estimated delivery date for your item has passed, the delivery address is correct, and you still haven't received your item, let the seller know. Here's how:

  1. Find your order confirmation email. The subject line starts with "Guest Order".
  2. In the body of the email, select View order details.
  3. Select Contact Seller.
  4. Select I haven't received my item yet.
  5. Choose No, I want to contact the seller.
  6. Fill in the details and then hit Submit.

You'll receive a confirmation email once you've let the seller know.

What happens next

Once you've opened your request, the seller has 3 business days to get back to you. If your item still hasn't arrived by then, they'll need to either provide tracking information/evidence of delivery or a refund.

If they're issuing you a refund, you'll receive an email letting you know. It usually takes 3 to 5 business days for a PayPal refund to go through. If you paid with a credit card, it may take up to 30 days to process, depending on your card provider.

You need to return an item

If you want to return an item, either because you've got a problem, or just because you've changed your mind, you start your return by letting the seller know. If the item is faulty, damaged, or doesn't match the listing, you're covered by eBay Money Back Guarantee, and the seller has to accept your return.

If you no longer want an item, check the seller's return policy in the listing to see if they offer returns, how long you have to request a return and any other conditions. To find the return policy:

  • Find your order confirmation email. The subject line starts with "Guest Order".
  • In the body of the email, select View order details.

You can ask the seller if they'll accept a return, even if their policy says they don't offer them – but they may not say yes.

Let the seller know you've had a problem

Here's how to start a return for an item you bought as a guest:

  1. Open the order confirmation email you received when you placed your order, and select View order details.
  2. On the order details page, enter your email address and the access code from the confirmation email.
  3. Select Return item. On the next page select your reason for the return. You can also choose to upload photos showing the item's condition.
  4. Select Request a return.

Tip
If you and the seller agree, the seller could send you a replacement (another of the same item) or exchange (a different, but similar item). The seller should upload the tracking details for the replacement or exchange item to the return request.

What happens next

Once you've opened your request, the seller has 3 business days to get back to you. How they respond will depend on the reason for your return.

You received the wrong item, or it arrived faulty or damaged

Here's how the seller may respond:

  • Accept your return request and offer a full refund – You'll return the item and the seller will then issue you a full refund, including the original postage cost. The seller will also pay for return postage.
  • Issue a full refund and let you keep the item – This typically happens with low-cost items where return postage would cost more than the item.
  • Offer you a partial refund and let you keep the item – This can be a good compromise when you're not completely satisfied with your purchase – for example, if it arrived with a minor scratch – but you're happy to keep it.
  • Send you a message – The seller may ask you for some more details about your return request, or offer to send you a replacement item instead of a refund.

When the seller replies, we'll send you an email with details of the next steps.

If you can't come to an agreement with the seller within 3 business days, we're always ready to step in and help.

 
You changed your mind about an item

Here's how the seller may respond:

  • Accept your return request and offer a full refund – You'll return the item and the seller will then issue you a full refund, including the original postage cost. Check the seller's return policy in your order details to see who is responsible for return postage costs.
  • Issue a full refund and let you keep the item – This typically happens with low-cost items where return postage would cost more than the item.
  • Offer you a partial refund and let you keep the item – This can be a good compromise when the seller doesn't accept returns, but wants to offer you a gesture of goodwill – say if you ordered the wrong thing by accident.
  • Decline your return request – Sellers can only decline your return request if you changed your mind about an item and they stated in the listing that they don't accept returns, or if you missed the seller's deadline to start a return.
  • Send you a message – The seller may ask you for some more details about your return request, or offer to let you exchange the item.

When the seller replies, we'll send you an email with details of the next steps.

Tip
You can always check the status of your request by going to View order details in your order confirmation email, then selecting Resolutions.

Sending the item back

When the seller accepts your return, they may let you keep the item (normally if it's lower value item, or if they're giving you a partial refund), or you may need to send it back to them before they'll issue your refund.

If you have to send the item back to the seller, you'll receive an email to your messages with the subject "Send the item back", and you'll have 5 business days to post it, using tracked delivery. Who covers the postage costs depends on why you're returning it.

Adding tracking details to your return helps protect against delays or issues in the refund process. If you use an eBay returns label, tracking details are automatically uploaded. If you're using your own label, you should manually add tracking details to the return

Learn more about return postage.

 

When you're sending the item back, repack it carefully, and remember it has to be in the same condition as when you received it. This means it can't be used or altered in any way, and you'll need to include any additional items or paperwork that came with it, such as:

  • All original packaging such as boxes, bags, tags and UPCs
  • Accessories such as cords and remote controls
  • Certificates, manuals, warranty and rebate cards
  • "Free gifts" or bonus items
  • All items included in a bundle

Getting your money back

Once the seller receives the item back from you, or once they've agreed to refund you and let you keep the item, they have 3 business days to issue your refund. When they do, you'll receive an email letting you know.

It usually takes 3 to 5 business days for a PayPal refund to go through. If you paid with a credit card, it may take up to 30 days to process, depending on your card provider.

Get help from eBay

Most of the time if you have an issue with a purchase, the seller will be able to solve it for you. However, we're always ready to step in and help. If the seller doesn't sort things out within 3 business days, you can ask us to step in within 21 business days of opening your request, through your order confirmation email. Learn more about asking eBay for help.

Why was my refund less than the amount I paid?

Depending on the condition you sent the item back in, the seller may reduce the refund they issue you. For more details, please see our Condition of returned items policy.

Where do I return a Click & Collect item?

If you collected the item from the retailer, you'll need to take it back to the store along with your purchase confirmation. Check the seller's return policy for specific instructions.

If your item was sent to a collection point at a Woolworths store, you'll need to post it back to the seller. Simply follow the instructions above for starting a return request.

What should I do if I sent the item back, but the seller didn't receive it?

When returning an item you should always use tracked delivery. If you didn't, and think the seller should have got the item back by now, contact the seller through the return request.

Can I return more than one item from my order?

Depending on the listing, you can return one item or multiple items. Here are your options:

  • Lots, sets and bundled items – You need to return the entire quantity of the order. For example, if you bought a set of paintbrushes you can't return just one of them
  • Multi-quantity listings – You can return any quantity of your purchased items. For example, you selected a quantity of five t-shirts at checkout. You can return some or all of them, but you only have one opportunity to do so. If you choose to return two t-shirts, you can't return the other three later
  • Multiple listings from the same seller – You can return each item. For example, you buy three books that the seller listed individually, but you paid for all of them at once at checkout. You can return each book individually

If the item you received doesn't match the listing, or if it arrived faulty or damaged, you can return it even if the seller's returns policy says they don't accept returns.

Was this article helpful for you?
Related Help topics