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Understanding return policies

Did you know? We're making it easier for buyers and sellers to manage returns. In addition, if you don't get the item you ordered your purchase may be eligible for eBay Money Back Guarantee. For more details, read our Spring Seller Release.

Important information for buyers: your legal right to return goods

As an Australian consumer, you have a legal right to return goods purchased from a business and to obtain a repair, replacement or refund if the goods:

  • Are faulty or develop a fault within a reasonable period of time after purchase

  • Are not fit for purpose (i.e. they don't do what the seller said they would do)

  • Don't match the seller's description or sample

  • Are of unacceptable quality, or

  • Fail to meet other mandatory consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law.

Consumer guarantee basics

If a product fails to meet one or more of the consumer guarantees, you can claim a remedy from the seller, such as:
  • A replacement or refund for a major failure, and compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage

  • A replacement or repair if the goods otherwise fail to be of acceptable quality

To exercise these rights, the buyer should contact the Seller and may be required to return the goods and to provide proof of purchase. Remember, your rights to a return, replacement or refund for faulty or non-compliant goods are in addition to any other rights under the seller's return policy or any warranty that comes with the goods.

To use your rights, contact the seller, who may ask you to return the goods.

Please note: Consumer guarantees don't apply if you: 

  • Have simply changed your mind, found the product cheaper elsewhere, or decided you don't like or need the product

  • Misused a product and have caused or contributed to the failure of the goods, for example, by damaging or misusing the goods

Visit the ACCC website for more information about consumer guarantees and your rights.

Knowing the seller's return policy makes shopping easier

On eBay, sellers set a return policy for items they want to sell. Sellers may allow you to return goods if you make an incorrect choice or change your mind, although they're not required to do so by law. It's important to examine the seller's return policy carefully before you bid on or buy the item.

What to look for in a return policy

Does the seller accept returns for incorrect choice or change of mind?  If so: 

  • Under what circumstances can you return the item? For example, does the item need to be in the unopened box it was posted in or can you return an opened box with all of the original materials?

  • Do you have to notify the seller within a certain time period that you plan to return the item? (For example, within 14 days after the item is delivered to you.)

  • What kind of refund does the seller provide? (Money back, item exchange, etc.)

  • Who pays for return postage and packing – you or the seller?

  • Does the seller charge a restocking fee?

About warranties

Sellers and manufacturers often offer warranties on their goods.  It's important to find out what kind of warranty is offered and, in particular:

  • How you go about returning goods under the warranty

  • Where you will need to send the goods

  • Who will bear the return postage costs. This is especially important for international purchases.

This information should be included in the warranty documents, otherwise you can ask the seller.

Also, remember that if the seller or manufacturer do not offer a warranty or if a warranty has expired, this does not limit your rights under the Australian Consumer Law relating to defective and non-complying goods. 

Where to look

  • You'll see a summary of the seller's return policy at the top of the listing page, and the full details at the bottom of the listing.

  • Warranty information may be included as part of the item listing – read through the Description section carefully.

  • If you need more information, you can contact the seller by clicking the Ask a question link near the bottom of the listing.