Choosing Your Returns Policy

When you sell on eBay, you’ll need to choose whether or not you accept returns, and if so, under which conditions. That includes how long the buyer can return the item after the sale, and who pays for return postage. You can select 30 or 60 day returns, and either ‘free’ (seller paid) or buyer-paid. 

You’ll need to clearly state your returns policy in your listings. You can add this information either while listing, or through your business policies. Choosing policies gives you the flexibility to specify different preferences depending on what you’re listing.

You can also speed up certain types of returns by setting automatic acceptances and refunds.

eBay Money Back Guarantee Returns

Under eBay Money Back Guarantee, buyers can always return an item if it’s damaged, defective, or doesn’t match the description. So make sure you’ve specified a valid return address, even if you’ve chosen not to accept returns. As a business, you may also have obligations under Australian Consumer Law. 

We’ll only count return requests for items not as described against your seller performance metrics if you and the buyer can’t resolve the issue, we’re asked to step in, and we find you (the seller) responsible. Cases closed without seller resolution can impact your seller level.

eBay Premium Service

How Returns Work

If you accept returns, the buyer can return an item for any reason, including change-of-mind.

The returns process on eBay is easy: 

  1. The buyer requests a return
  2. You respond to the return request:
  3. The buyer prints a return postage label
  4. The buyer posts the item back to you
  5. You inspect the item and issue a refund
  6. The return is closed and you can relist the item

Staying  on top of your return requests is part of providing great customer service. Make sure you’ve enabled the option in your Communication Preferences to receive notifications from us about new returns requests.

You can also check your current returns from the Seller Hub. 

When responding to a return request, you can: 

  • Accept the return and issue a return postage label 
  • Refund the buyer and allow them to keep the item 
  • Offer a partial refund and allow the buyer to keep the item
  • Message the buyer to resolve an issue without returning the item

If you’re responsible for return postage costs, you can then: 

  • Offer your buyer an Australia Post or ParcelPoint Return option 
  • Upload your own label 
  • Arrange for your buyer to return the item in another way

We’ll automatically generate a unique return ID you can use to match returned items against your eBay listings. You may choose to also issue an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorisation) number to keep track of your returns, but you don’t need to. You can switch this option on from your Return Preferences. Simply select Give Me the Option to Add an RMA.

We’ll keep you updated each step of the way, including when you can expect to receive the returned item and when it’s time to issue your buyer a refund.

Automate Your Returns

You can automate how you manage the return process by setting rules for how you’d like to process certain types of returns. Even if you don’t accept change-of-mind returns, you can use rules to manage returns for eBay Money Back Guarantee claims. 

This saves time, and provides a great experience for buyers by sorting requests straight away. 

For example, you can create rules to: 

  • Accept some returns automatically, while processing 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. 

To set return rules, go to your Returns Preferences. You can then choose your basic return rules - like automatically sending or approving returns -- and when they apply.

To set more specific rules for different types of items, go to Advanced Return Rules, and choose your preference from the Select a Rule dropdown. Then you can simply: 

  • Set total refund amount(s) and return reasons
  • Create a list of items your rule applies to 
  • Select applicable selling categories
  • Give your rule a name
  • Select Save and Turn On. 

When you update your return rules, we’ll automatically apply them to future return requests. They won’t apply to any past sales, or returns already in progress.

Automate returns

Sell More with Free Returns

The better your returns policy, the more attractive your listings will be to buyers. The chart below shows the conversion lift you could expect by moving your listings to free returns: 

If you currently offer:

    And move to: 

    You could increase sales*:

No Returns 

30 day free returns 


No Returns

60 day free returns


*Conversion lift based on Jan 2018 data. Individual results may vary. eBay doesn’t guarantee that each seller will experience the same uplift. ‘Free returns’ refers to when the seller pays return postage, no matter the reason for the return, with no restocking fee.