How to Refund a Buyer on eBay

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Someone operating a business through eBay will need to be aware of the return policy as a dissatisfied customer happens to every seller at some point. This complete guide contains everything a business owner needs to know about the eBay return policy and how to issue a refund.



What is the eBay Refund Policy?

The eBay return policy is very straightforward and follows three simple steps as you can see below. The reasons for returning the item will determine the options of the seller, and these will be examined in detail further below. The eBay process to issue a refund works as follows:

  • Buyers open a return application via the website after changing their minds.
  • Enter reasons for returning the order.
  • Send the order back.
  • Receive a full refund, partial refund, or replacement item.

Sellers on an eBay shop have three days to respond to a return application once it has been registered. Once the return has been accepted, the customer either receives a return shipping slip or will be instructed to cover return shipping themselves, depending on why the buyer changed their mind about a purchase. There is an eBay money-back guarantee which covers most transactions, so buyers will get their money back if their order either didn’t arrive, arrived defective or damaged, or doesn’t match the listing.

Why the Buyer May Want to Return an Item

There are four reasons why an honest buyer changes their mind about a purchase:

  • Item doesn’t match the information in the listing description.
  • Delivery of the wrong item.
  • Damaged or defective item.
  • Item arrived too late / no longer needed.

How to Issue a Refund via eBay: 7 Simple Steps

The refund process from a seller’s point of view is obviously more complicated than it is for the buyer, so here we will run through the steps necessary to perform a refund through eBay.

1. Check your Returns Policy

A business owner should always check their returns policy before issuing a requested refund as there may be a ‘no returns’ rule for certain items. Check or edit your policy via the Sell option after clicking on the My eBay tool at the top of any eBay page.

2. Accept or Decline the Refund Request

There is a Returns dashboard on your seller’s homepage where you can accept or decline refund requests. You must respond within 3 business days to each request, though you have the right to dispute the refund claim if you believe it is unwarranted.

3. Select ‘Send Refund’ from the Drop Down Menu in the Seller Hub

To issue a full refund, select View Return Details on your dashboard and select Send Refund. You will need to add or edit some extra details before finalizing the refund.

4. Select a Reason for the Refund

You have the option to add reasons for the refund for future reference. These can simply be the reasons provided by the buyer or more detailed reasons with extra insight from the seller.

5. Select the Amount to Be Refunded

Full refunds will automatically prompt you to refund the total paid for the item by the buyer along with the shipping cost of the problem item, but you can edit the partial refund cost.

6. Decide How the Item will be Sent and Who Pays Shipping Costs

The shipping fees of the problem order will be covered by whichever party is responsible for the return. If the problem is the order articles arrived damaged or faulty, then it is the responsibility of the seller to cover the return shipping costs. If the seller is covering the shipping for their part, then they must choose the most suitable carrier for the article from the shipping options available.

7. Send the Refund and Confirm

Once the additional details have been edited or confirmed, click Continue and the next page will show you the money to be refunded. Finally select Refund the Buyer from the options.

What Happens Next?

Once the return is accepted and the refund process above is complete, eBay gives the buyer the date by which the articles need to be on their way

Read more:
How to Refund a Buyer on eBay

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