4 min overview

Manage returns, missing items, and refunds for sellers

Here's everything you need to know if something goes wrong with an order, or a buyer changes their mind and doesn't want the item anymore.

We’ve temporarily extended our returns timelines and adjusted our eBay Money Back Guarantee policy to help you process returns during COVID-19.

Buyers will now have 21 business days from when you accept their return or issue a label to send their item back to you. Once tracking shows that the item has been successfully returned, you’ll have 5 business days to inspect the item and issue a refund.

You’ll find more information in our article on Additional supports during COVID-19 for buyers and sellers.


If a customer has a problem with their order, or if they change their mind about a purchase, they'll get in touch with you and ask for help. Once the buyer tells you there's a problem, you've got 3 business days to resolve it.

If an item has gone missing and hasn't arrived, you'll either need to provide additional/more detailed tracking details, or offer a replacement or refund. If the buyer got their item but it's faulty, damaged, or doesn't match the listing description, you'll have to work with them to resolve their issue – you'll also have to cover the return shipping costs. If they changed their mind, how you can respond, and who pays for return shipping, will depend on your return policy.

  1. What to do if a buyer has an issue
  2. Unable to resolve the buyer's issue? Ask eBay to step in
  3. Tips for avoiding issues with buyers

What to do if a buyer has an issue

Help a buyer with an item that hasn't arrived

If a buyer doesn't receive their item, they're entitled to a refund or a replacement unless you can provide tracking information showing that it was delivered. When a buyer lets you know they've run into an issue, you should work with them to come to a solution that works for both of you.

Handle a return request

If the buyer wants to return an item to you, your options for responding will depend on why they want to send it back. If the item is damaged, faulty, or doesn't match the listing description, they're covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee, and you'll have to refund them or replace the item. If they've changed their mind, your options will depend on your return policy.

Return shipping

If you accept a return from the buyer, they'll need to send the item back to you before you issue a refund or send out a replacement. Who pays for the return shipping costs will depend on why they're returning the item, and what your return policy says.


Unable to resolve the buyer's issue? Ask eBay to step in

Ask eBay to step in

If you and the buyer haven't been able to come to an agreement after 3 business days, you can ask us to step in and resolve the issue. We'll assess all the information and come to a decision. It's important to remember that if you ask us to step in and we close the case in the buyer's favor, you could receive a defect, which might affect your seller standards – so you should only ask us for help when you've exhausted all other options.

Appeal eBay's decision on a case

If you disagree with our decision after we've been asked to step in, you can ask us to take another look. In order to request an appeal, you'll have to provide additional details for us to take into consideration, such as photographs showing there's nothing wrong with the item. We'll review your new information, and get back to you with our final decision, usually within 48 hours.


Tips for avoiding issues with buyers

Set up your return policy

When you sell on eBay, you can save time managing your return requests by setting up rules that automatically accept returns, or issue immediate refunds. Automating your return process can not only save you time, but also help provide a great experience for your customers.

Avoid disputes with buyers

To avoid problems in the future, our article has best practices for creating listings, and tips on how to pack and ship items, as well as how you should communicate with buyers.

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