6 min article
Handling return requests

Most transactions on eBay go smoothly, but if a buyer changes their mind about an item, or if their order arrives damaged or faulty, they may open a return request.

When you create a listing, you'll add a returns policy and can choose whether or not to accept returns when a buyer changes their mind about a purchase. However, if an order arrives faulty or damaged, or if the buyer receives the wrong item, they're always entitled to return it to you.

What to do when you receive a return request

When you receive a return request, we'll send a message to your registered email address – it'll also be available in your Messages - opens in new window or tab. To ensure the issue is resolved as quickly as possible, we ask that you respond within 3 business days.

In the email, select Respond to request. Alternatively, open your Returns dashboard - opens in new window or tab and select View return details beside the case.

You'll then see the reason the buyer's requesting a return, the date by which you need to respond, and any additional comments from the buyer.

The action you can take on the buyer's return request is determined by the reason for the return and the return policy you stated in your listing.

The buyer received the wrong item, or it arrived damaged or faulty

If a buyer receives an item that wasn't as described in the listing, or if it arrives damaged or faulty, they can return it to you even if your returns policy states you don't accept returns.

Here are your response options:

Accept the return – The buyer will send the item back to you for a full refund, including the original postage cost. You'll also be responsible for covering return postage costs.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Accept the return and then Continue
  2. Choose how you'll arrange for the item to be returned
    • Offer the ParcelPoint or Australia Post service: Select this option to authorise a fully tracked return postage label. The buyer simply prints the label and drops the parcel off. The postage cost is added to your monthly eBay invoice when the package is first scanned
    • Upload your own label: Select the camera icon and choose the label you want to send to the buyer. Then select your carrier and enter the tracking number
    • Confirm you already sent a label: Select your carrier and enter the tracking number. Add a message to the buyer and tick the box beside I provided a return label with the original item
    • Confirm you will facilitate the return: Select this option if you will reimburse the buyer for return postage costs, arrange to pick the item up, or allow the buyer to return the item to your closest store
  3. Select Continue

The buyer has 5 days to send the item back to you. When you receive it, check it carefully and issue a refund within 6 days. To do this, simply go to the case in your Returns dashboard - opens in new window or tab and choose Refund buyer.

The buyer will be refunded through their original payment method, and your final value fee will show as a credit on your next invoice.

 

Give a full refund – You'll issue a full refund to the buyer, including original postage costs, and they'll keep the item. This is a good option for low-value items.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Give a full refund and then Continue
  2. On the next page you'll see the refund amount, simply select Refund the buyer

The buyer will be refunded through their original payment method, and your final value fee will show as a credit on your next invoice.

 

Offer a partial refund – You'll issue a partial refund to the buyer, and they'll keep the item. This can be useful when the buyer isn't completely satisfied with their purchase. For example, if an item arrived with a minor scratch – but the buyer is happy to keep it.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Offer a partial refund and then Continue
  2. Enter the amount you wish to offer the buyer
  3. You can choose to add a message to the buyer
  4. Select Send offer

You can only offer a partial refund once, and the buyer can choose to accept or reject your offer.

 

Send the buyer a message – If you have any questions regarding the buyers request, you can contact them directly. If you can’t agree on a resolution to the issue after 3 business days, you can always ask us to step in and help.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Send the buyer a message and then Continue
  2. On the next page enter your message in the text box provided and select Send
 

Tip
If you'd like to offer a replacement or exchange, you can accept the buyer's return request and have them return the original item. When you send the new item, upload the tracking info to the return request.

 
You accept returns in your policy and the buyer changed their mind about a purchase

If you stated in your listing's return policy that you accept returns, your buyer can return the item to you, even if they've changed their mind.

Here are your response options:

Accept the return – The buyer will send the item back to you for a full refund, including original postage costs. If you stated in the listing that you'll cover return postage charges, choose how you'll arrange for the item to be returned.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Accept the return and then Continue
  2. Choose your return address from the dropdown menu
  3. Enter a Return Merchandise Authorisation number, if you use them
  4. Select Confirm

The buyer has 5 days to send the item back to you. When you receive it, check it carefully and issue a refund within 6 days. To do this simply go to the case in your Returns dashboard - opens in new window or tab and choose Refund buyer.

The buyer will be refunded through their original payment method, and your final value fee will show as a credit on your next invoice.

 

Give a full refund – You'll issue a full refund to the buyer and they'll keep the item. This is a good option for low-value items.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Give a full refund and then Continue
  2. On the next page you'll see the refund amount, simply select Refund the buyer

The buyer will be refunded through their original payment method, and your final value fee will show as a credit on your next invoice.

 

Send the buyer a message – If you have any questions regarding the buyer's request, you can contact them directly. If you can't agree on a resolution after 3 business days, you can always ask us to step in and help.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Send the buyer a message and then Continue
  2. On the next page, enter your message and select Send
 
 
You don't accept returns in your policy and the buyer changed their mind about a purchase

If you stated in your listing that you don't accept returns when a buyer changes their mind, you're not obliged to accept their return request. However, if you do, you'll be providing a great customer experience and encouraging the buyer to purchase from you in the future.

Here are your response options:

Accept the return – The buyer will send the item back to you for a full refund, including original postage charges. You can advise the buyer that they'll be responsible for covering return postage costs, or you can provide a label.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Accept the return and then Continue
  2. Choose your return address from the dropdown menu
  3. Enter a Return Merchandise Authorisation number, if you use them
  4. Select Confirm

The buyer has 5 days to send the item back to you. When you receive it, check it carefully and issue a refund within 6 days. To do this, simply go to the case in your Returns dashboard - opens in new window or tab and choose Refund buyer.

The buyer will be refunded through their original payment method, and your final value fee will show as a credit on your next invoice.

 

Give a full refund – You'll issue a full refund to the buyer and they'll keep the item. This is a good option for low-value items.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Give a full refund and then Continue
  2. On the next page you'll see the refund amount, simply select Refund the buyer

The buyer will be refunded through their original payment method, and your final value fee will show as a credit on your next invoice.

 

Offer a partial refund – You'll issue a partial refund to the buyer and they'll keep the item. This can be useful when the buyer ordered the wrong thing by accident - for example, the wrong colour or size – and you'd like to offer them a gesture of goodwill.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Offer a partial refund and then Continue
  2. Enter the amount you wish to offer the buyer
  3. You can choose to add a message to the buyer
  4. Select Send offer

You can only offer a partial refund once, and the buyer can choose to accept or reject your offer.

 

Decline the return – If you've stated in your listing that you don't accept returns, you can decline the return request.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Decline the return and then Continue
  2. You have the option of entering your reason for declining the request, but it will not be visible to the buyer
  3. Select Decline return

The return request will then be closed.

 

Send the buyer a message – If you have any questions regarding the buyer's request, you can contact them directly. If you can't agree on a resolution after 3 business days, you can always ask us to step in and help.

More info

Here's what you need to do when you're on the return request form:

  1. Select Send the buyer a message and then Continue
  2. On the next page enter your message and select Send
 

Check buyer returns

Asking eBay to step in

If you don't agree with the buyer's reason for returning the item, choose Send the buyer a message to try and resolve the issue directly with the buyer.

If you can't come to an agreement with the buyer within 3 business days, you can ask eBay to help by going to the case in your Returns dashboard - opens in new window or tab and choosing Ask eBay to step in.

We'll look into the request and resolve the issue as fairly as possible. If we find on behalf of the buyer, you could receive a defect which may affect your seller standard.

If the item arrives faulty or damaged, the buyer is entitled to return it – even if you said in your listing that you don't accept returns.

Was this article helpful for you?
Related Help topics
Didn't find what you need?
Search eBay Help
Contact us.
 
We're here to help.