3 min article

Setting up your returns policy

When you sell on eBay, you need to state whether or not you accept returns, and if so, under what conditions.

When you're listing an item, you need to include information on how long the buyer has to return it after the sale, and who pays for return postage. A generous return policy can help you attract more buyers and qualify for eBay Premium Service or eBay Plus. Whatever you decide your policy is, it needs to be clearly specified in your listings.

From March 2020, we'll automatically update any listings with non-compliant returns options. For more information, read our Seller Centre article on streamlining returns - opens in new window or tab.

Remember that even if you choose not to offer returns, under eBay Money Back Guarantee, the buyer can still return an item if it doesn't match the listing. If you sell on eBay as a business, you may also have obligations under the Australian Consumer Law - opens in new window or tab and we recommend you familiarise yourself with these before selling on eBay.

How to create your return policy

Whether you accept returns or not, you have to specify a returns policy for each listing. You can enter the details when you list an item, or use business policies to create and manage your return policies.

If you accept returns, it means a buyer can return an item for any reason, including because they changed their mind or chose the wrong item. Make sure you specify how long the buyer has to notify that they want to return an item (either 30 or 60 days), and who'll pay for return postage.

If an item is damaged, defective, or doesn't match the listing description, a buyer can return it – regardless of your returns policy. Make sure you've set up a return address - opens in new window or tab.

Handling returns automatically

Return rules let you automate the way that you manage different parts of the return process. For example, you can create rules to:

  • Accept some returns automatically, while continuing to process others manually
  • Refund the buyer automatically and allow them to keep the item, if the return postage cost is higher than the item's cost
  • Provide different return addresses for different items

Handling some returns automatically not only saves you time, it's also great customer service, as the buyer gets their return request sorted out straight away.

Setting your returns rules

Even if you don't accept returns when a buyer's changed their mind, you can use return rules to help you manage returns for items that don't match the listing.

Here's how to set your returns rules:

  1. Go to your Returns preferences - opens in new window or tab.
  2. Under Send a refund, you can choose to let buyers keep the item and automatically refund them if the refund amount is less than a certain amount. Simply enter the amount you're comfortable with.
  3. Choose the return reasons when this rule will apply.
  4. Under Approve a return, you can choose to automatically approve a return if the total refund cost is less than a certain amount. Enter an amount you're comfortable with.
  5. Choose the return reasons when this rule will apply.

Creating advanced returns rules

You can also set more specific rules to handle returns on different types of items. Here's how:

  1. Go to Advanced return rules - opens in new window or tab.
  2. From the Select a rule drop-down, choose Send a refund automatically or Approve a refund automatically.
  3. Fill in the total refund amount(s) and the return reasons.
  4. Create a list of items the rule applies to.
  5. Select the applicable selling categories.
  6. Give your rule a name, then select Save and turn on.

Tip
Changes to your return rules will automatically apply to all future return requests, but won't apply to returns already in progress.

We encourage you to offer a buyer-friendly return policy. To save time and give buyers a quick resolution, you can set up rules to manage some types of returns automatically.

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