Why offer returns?
Buyers are more comfortable shopping with sellers who accept returns, even though most buyers will never return an item. We've found that items that have clear return policies typically sell better than items that don't.
We require all sellers on eBay to specify a return policy, whether the policy is to accept returns or not. We encourage you to offer a buyer-friendly return policy. A generous return policy can help you qualify for eBay Premium Service and attract more buyers. If you sell on eBay as a business, you also have obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.
Sellers' obligations under Australian Consumer Law
In general, if you sell on eBay as part of a business or professional activity, you must provide consumer guarantees when selling to buyers in Australia.
If you're selling goods as a business, you are guaranteeing that those goods, among other things:
Are of acceptable quality (i.e. they are safe, lasting, have no faults, look acceptable and do all the things someone would normally expect them to do)
Are fit for purpose and satisfy any express warranty (i.e. they do what you say they would do)
Have been accurately described and match any sample or demonstration model
Have spare parts and repair facilities reasonably available for a reasonable period of time, unless you've advised potential buyers otherwise
If a product fails to meet one or more of the consumer guarantees and the buyer has not caused or contributed to the failure (for example, by damaging or misusing the goods), they are entitled to a remedy:
A replacement or refund for a major failure, and compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage; or
A replacement or repair if the goods otherwise fail to be of acceptable quality.
You may require that the buyer returns the faulty goods to you, and you may be required to cover the costs of return postage. There is no set time limit within which a buyer can return faulty goods under the Australian Consumer Law, so any time limit you've included in your returns policy on eBay will not override a buyer's rights to a consumer guarantee.
As a seller, you can choose to provide a 'warranty against defects' (i.e. promises about what you will do if something goes wrong with the goods). This is provided in addition to consumer guarantees and does not limit or replace them.
If you offer a warranty against defects, you must include certain information in your warranty documents, including:
Information about how to make a claim (how to contact you and where to send the claim)
Mandatory text to inform buyers that any rights under that warranty are in addition to any other rights they may have under the Australian Consumer Law
Sellers must ensure that goods they sell on eBay comply with Australian Consumer Law (ACL) requirements. We reserve the right to take action where we have concerns that goods sold by a seller may not comply with the mandatory guarantees, or that returns policies and warranty claims may not be being honoured.
Best practices to ensure your listings and sales are compliant:
Don't include any information in your listing description or returns policy that might mislead buyers about their rights. For more information, see our selling practices and the ACCC website.
Ensure that any warranty documents provided with your goods, including any information about warranties in your listings, complies with the ACL requirements (working with your suppliers or manufacturers where necessary).
Have processes in place for resolving consumer guarantees returns and warranty claims. It's important to be responsive to buyers and to provide them with a repair, replacement or refund where required.
Note: The information in this section is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. For advice about your specific circumstances, we recommend you contact the ACCC or consult with a legal advisor.
How to create a return policy
You have to specify a returns policy for each listing. You can enter the details when you list an item, or use business policies to create and manage your return policies. See our recommendations for returns policies.
Your returns policy on eBay
A buyer can return an item for any reason, even if they change their mind about a purchase.
You can specify return requirements (for example, returning an item within a certain timeframe and meeting item condition requirements) for situations where a buyer has changed their mind or chosen the wrong item.
Returns Not Accepted:
You don't accept returns because a buyer has changed their mind or chosen the wrong item.
Australian Consumer Law
If you're selling as a business, a buyer can return an item to you under Australian Consumer Law – for example, because it's defective – regardless of your returns policy.
We recommend you create a returns policy so you can specify your return address and how you'll refund the buyer.
eBay Money Back Guarantee
The buyer could still return an item under eBay Money Back Guarantee if it doesn't match the listing description, regardless of your returns policy. Learn more about what the eBay Money Back Guarantee means for sellers.
To create a return policy when listing an item:
Add other details section of the listing form, select Returns Accepted or Returns Not Accepted from the Return policy drop-down menu.
If you don't see a drop-down menu, click the Change your return policy link and select Returns Accepted or Returns Not Accepted.
If you accept returns:
Select the number of days a buyer has to notify you that they want to return an item.
Select the type of refund you'll give if the item is returned (e.g. money back, exchange).
Select who'll pay for return postage.
Specify a restocking fee, if any.
Recommendations for your return policy
The clearer and more buyer-friendly your return policy, the more secure your buyers will feel shopping with you. The following recommendations can help increase buyer satisfaction, improve the likelihood your item will sell, and earn you higher detailed seller ratings (DSRs). Learn more about our selling practices.
Offer a buyer-friendly policy.
Offer to pay return postage costs and to refund original postage costs when the buyer returns an item because it's defective, isn't as described in the listing or it was damaged in the post.
Don't charge a restocking fee. If you do charge a restocking fee, be sure to select a reasonable amount and limit it to instances where the buyer isn't returning the item in original condition.
Provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions for returns in the Additional return policy details section of the listing form. Specify your return policy for international sales, if it's different from your return policy for sales to buyers in your country. Don't include this information in your listing description where buyers may not see it.
Set a reasonable expectation for when a return will be processed and the money refunded to the buyer. Depending on the payment method, the time frame for a refund to be issued should normally not exceed 5 business days.
Set a reasonable expectation for how long it will take you to process a return and refund the buyer. Depending on the payment method, the timeframe to refund the buyer shouldn't typically be more than five business days.
Be clear about your terms and specify the item condition required for a return. For example, "unopened box" or "opened box with all original materials". Remember that this won't limit a buyer's right to return goods without intact packaging if they are defective or otherwise don't comply with the Australian Consumer Law.
Keep a valid return address on file.
Buyers who misuse returns
To help protect yourself from poor buyer practices, wait until you've received a returned item before issuing a refund.
In situations where the buyer has returned the item in a different condition or the item isn't within your return requirements, work with your buyer to find a solution that you can both agree on. Learn more about managing returns on eBay, including best practices and how to report a problem with a buyer.