How to Return Something on eBay

eBay, the world’s most renowned e-commerce platform, has empowered countless individuals and businesses to buy and sell items with ease.

Yet, as straightforward as it is to purchase an item, there can sometimes be a need to return that item for various reasons.

This guide dives deep into how to return something on eBay, ensuring that you not only get your money back but also have a seamless experience doing so.

Understanding eBay’s Return Policy

Before initiating a return, it’s imperative to comprehend eBay’s overarching return policy:

  • Duration: Most sellers offer a 30-day return window, but this can vary. Always check the listing details.
  • Return Reasons: eBay allows returns for items that are damaged, different from the description, or simply if you change your mind. However, the latter might not always get you a full refund, especially if the item is fine and the mistake was yours.
  • Return Shipping Costs: Depending on the reason for the return, either the buyer or the seller will bear the shipping cost. If the item was defective or not as described, sellers usually pay. If you changed your mind, you might have to pay.

“eBay’s Money Back Guarantee ensures you get the item you ordered or your money back. Always check individual listing details, as some sellers might have different return policies.” – eBay Official Policy

Steps on How to Return Something on eBay

1. Log into Your Account: First, ensure you’re logged into the eBay account you used to purchase the item.

2. Navigate to ‘Purchase History’: Under “My eBay”, you’ll find this option which showcases all the items you’ve bought.

3. Find the Item: Scroll through your recent purchases and locate the item you want to return.

4. Click ‘Return This Item’: This option is usually next to the item details.

5. Specify the Reason: You’ll be prompted to select a reason for the return from a dropdown menu. Be as accurate as possible.

6. Wait for Seller’s Response: The seller has 3 business days to address your return request. They can offer a full refund, partial refund, or a replacement.

7. Ship the Item: If the seller approves the return, you’ll receive instructions on how to send the item back. Ensure you keep a copy of the shipping receipt and tracking number.

8. Receive Your Refund: Once the seller receives the item, they’ll inspect it and issue a refund. This can take up to 6 business days from the item’s arrival.

Best Practices When Returning an Item on eBay

  • Communicate with the Seller: Always start by reaching out to the seller. Sometimes issues can be resolved without needing a full return.
  • Use Original Packaging: If possible, send the item back in its original packaging. This increases the chances of a swift refund.
  • Photograph the Item: Before sending it back, take photos. This serves as evidence in case of disputes.
  • Track Your Shipment: Always use a shipping method that offers tracking. This ensures both you and the seller can monitor the item’s return journey.

What if a Dispute Arises?

In rare cases, there might be disagreements between buyers and sellers. If you find yourself in such a situation:

  1. Keep all Communication within eBay: This ensures that, if eBay needs to step in, they can view all correspondence related to the transaction.
  2. Escalate to eBay: If the seller is unresponsive or refuses a legitimate return, you can ask eBay to step in. This is typically an option after 3 business days from the return request.
  3. Stay Calm and Professional: Always maintain a respectful tone. Most sellers are willing to cooperate and value their reputation.


Returning an item on eBay, while seemingly daunting, is a straightforward process once you understand the steps involved.

By following this guide on how to return something on eBay, you can ensure a hassle-free return experience.

Remember, open communication with the seller and understanding eBay’s return policy are your best allies in this process.

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Edward brings years of experience in a variety of different fields including online marketing & No-code app development, and he's been investing in stocks and cryptocurrency since 2016. Outside of work you'll usually find him watching movies at the local cinema or playing games in the Apple Arcade.

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