Simpler policies

Simpler policies that are enforced in a more seller-friendly way.

What you need to know

  • Correct a policy issue and continue selling without penalty
  • Automatic updates of existing listings to supported return policies
  • Returns exception for Jewellery & Watches

Simpler policies overview

We’re simplifying our policies to help you avoid potential disruptions to your business

eBay policies help us provide a secure and fair marketplace for all buyers and sellers. We want you to be able to focus on your business, not on having to learn policies. Starting October 1, 2019, we’re simplifying our policies so that they will be easy for you to understand as well as help you manage your business consistent with our rules. And if you do need to take an action, we’ll let you know exactly what you’ll need to do to correct it to help you avoid disruptions to your business.

If you have a policy issue, we’ll help you fix it to avoid any disruptions to your business

If we flag a listing for a potential policy issue, we’ll give you an opportunity to correct the issue and avoid disruptions to your business. We’ll clearly communicate the issue to you and advise specific actions you’ll need to take to correct it. We understand that inadvertent mistakes can happen. And if they do, we’ll help you fix them.

When we enforce policy, we’ll help you correct an issue and continue selling

We’re also changing how we take action to enforce our policies and correct the issue while you continue to sell. Under our current method of policy enforcement, your listings could be ended and your account suspended.

However, starting October 1, 2019, we’ll introduce a new enforcement measure called “Hide All Listings” that will temporarily hide all of your listings in buyers’ eBay search results and browsing while you correct a policy issue, rather than end your listings or suspend your account. By hiding all of your listings, any watchers, bidders, or buyers will be able to continue to do business with you. After you correct the issue, all of your listing will be visible in search and browsing again, and you won’t lose any of your item’s sales history. We anticipate Hide All Listings will only apply to small all percentage of eBay sellers.

Simpler policies FAQs

First we’ll let you know if you aren’t following a policy and what steps you’ll need to take to correct the issue. We’ll then give you a grace period to take all the actions you’ll need to resolve the issue.

If an item cannot be sold on eBay because it is prohibited, we will remove the item to protect you and refund your fees.

If you relist the item after we remove it, or don’t take steps to correct the issue, all of your listings may be hidden from new buyers for a brief period.

All of your fixed price listings will be temporarily hidden in search results and browsing, resulting in new buyers not being able to find them on eBay. However, any watchers, auction bidders, or active buyers will be able to continue to do business with you in My eBay. You can still ship orders, leave and receive feedback, and resolve any buyer problems.

After this temporary period, your items will automatically return to eBay search with their search history intact so new buyers can find them. While your listings are hidden from buyers’ search results and browsing, you may still edit them as needed to comply with the applicable policy. Keep in mind that as a seller you’re still responsible for all required fees.

If we flag a potential policy issue, we’ll notify you through email and My eBay messages of the activity that isn’t following the policy and the steps you will need to take to comply with the policy. We understand that inadvertent mistakes can happen. And if they do, we’ll help you fix them.

Returns policies requirement overview

Update your returns policies to give buyers a retail-standard returns experience

In 2018, we announced that we will streamline our returns policy options to deliver a retail-standard returns experience to buyers and help increase conversion for sellers.

We encourage you to update your listings to your preferred returns policy options now before we automatically update them for you. Starting in February 2020, we will automatically update any listings, including Good ‘Til Cancelled listings, that offer a returns policy that does not align with one of the five updated returns policy options in the table below.

In addition, when you list new or revised listings, you will only be able to select one of the updated policies.

No Returns (“Final Sale”)
No Returns (“Final Sale”)

3-day returns

7-day returns

14-day returns

30-day returns

30-day returns

Free 3-day returns

Free 7-day returns

Free 14-day returns

Free 30-day returns

Free 30-day returns
60-day returns
60-day returns
Free 60-day returns
Free 60-day returns

This change will not apply to certain product categories with unique retail standards. Sellers who list items in Collectibles & Art, Cameras & Photo and Medical & Mobility categories can continue to offer 14-day returns for those listings.

Learn more about eBay returns policies.

In addition, we are updating the returns policy for listings in the Jewellery & Watches category. Starting in early November, items in this category can be offered with 14-day returns in addition to the policies above.

Returns policies requirement FAQs

In February 2020, if you don’t update your returns policies to one of the five returns policy options, we will automatically update your returns offering to a minimum of 30 days. If you do not agree with the new default, we encourage you to change your returns policy options to one of the new policies. This change will not apply to certain product categories with unique retail standards.

Our research shows that a generous free returns policy will result in a similar percentage of returns as a less generous returns policy, but with fewer “item not as described” return requests.

We give listings with generous returns policies greater visibility in the eBay marketplace when buyers filter search results by returns policy, which can increase your chances of making a sale.

This change will not apply to some product categories that have unique retail standards. Sellers listing items in the Collectibles & Art, Cameras & Photo, Medical & Mobility, and Jewellery and Watches categories can continue to offer 14-day returns for those listings.

You can update your return policy within your listing or, if you are enrolled in Business Policies, you can update them via Account Settings > Business policies. You can also update your returns policy using the bulk edit tool in the Active listings page in Seller Hub.