Easier returns, extra exposure for free returns, restocking fee update, and automatic acceptance.
Easier returns for you and your buyers
Make it easy for buyers to find your returns information by displaying it in the Return Policy field in your listings. We make it easy for you, too—simply add your return information in the structured data fields. Buyers value a consistent experienced—don't repeat return information that appears in structured data in your return policy details.
An update on simplifying return options
In May 2017, we announced the retirement of 3- and 7-day return policy options, as well as the Merchandise Credit refund option on eBay.ca. The automatic migration of Good ‘Til Cancelled listings with 3- and 7-day return policies to 14-day return policies will take place in early 2018. You can migrate these listings to 14-day, 30-day, or 60-day returns in advance of this change.
Benefits of offering free returns
As we announced in our 2017 Summer Update, you can gain additional exposure for listings that offer free returns, including:
- Giving buyers options to search for and filter by free return policies
- Highlighting free return policies when buyers visit your listings
- Featuring listings with free return policies in eBay marketing campaigns
Starting Fall 2017, you will have added protection when you offer free returns. You can refund up to 50% of the item price if the returned item is damaged or missing parts.
Restocking fee no longer permitted with free returns
A free return policy means just that—free returns with no additional fees. Starting this fall, you will no longer be able to charge restocking fees when you offer free returns. Current Good 'Til Cancelled listings with free returns that also charge a restocking fee will be automatically updated in early 2018.
If you don't offer free returns, you will still have the option to charge a 10%, 15%, or 20% restocking fee. However, the buyer will only see a restocking fee of “up to 20%” in the listing.
Automatic acceptance of returns
Beginning October 2017, return requests for domestic transactions may automatically be accepted to make the returns process easier for you and your buyers. eBay will automatically accept a return request when all of the following conditions are met:
- The return is domestic and will be shipped within Canada
- The return reason is "Buyer doesn't want the item anymore" (Return reason codes include "Doesn't fit", "Changed my mind", "Found a better price", "Just didn't like it", or "Ordered by mistake")
- Return request meets the seller's return policy
- The buyer pays for return shipping
- The return is not an exchange or replacement request
If you offer free returns, or if you’re required to pay for the return shipping label, automatic acceptance will only occur if you have not replied to the buyer return request within three business days.
Automatic acceptance allows buyers to ship items back to you quickly and efficiently, and get their refunds sooner. You will also save time and receive reimbursement for final value fees.
You can continue to control the efficiency of your return process by creating rules in your return preferences to automatically approve returns or send immediate refunds without requiring the buyer to send the item back.
Why can't I include return information in my item description?
The return policy in structured data fields allow buyers to find your items. This information is often duplicated or contradicted in the item description or policy details field (My eBay > Account > Business Policies). By keeping returns information out of the description, you'll provide a better experience for the buyer.
Where do I communicate additional details about my return policy?
In most cases, selecting details from structured data in your return policy is sufficient. This information is prominently displayed to buyers on both desktop and mobile devices. Use the return policy details field (My eBay > Account > Business Policies) to include information relevant to pre-purchase (i.e., "Courier pickup", "Return to store available", etc.).
Can I still choose "No returns accepted?"
Yes. However, listings that do not offer free returns will not benefit from our new marketing exposure, and may result in lower conversion rates. A generous return policy is important to buyers and increases their trust in you as a seller, so we encourage you to offer free returns.
Am I required to offer free 30-day or 60-day returns?
No. You have a range of return options. However, we strongly recommend free 30-day or 60-day returns, as they are ecommerce standards.
What are you doing to prevent buyers from abusing the return system?
We employ several measures to prevent abuse of free returns:
- Early detection of buyers who might misuse sellers' returns offers to prevent them from starting a return
- Clearly defined guidelines for acceptable returns
- Clearly defined consequences, including restrictions for buyers who do not meet eBay returns policy standards or misuse the platform
Why can I no longer charge a restocking fee if I pay return shipping?
Many consumers look for free returns policies where the seller pays for return shipping (for any reason) and there’s no restocking fee. We want to deliver those buyers to your listings as well as an industry standard, best-in-class experience. We also know that eBay buyers sometimes find eBay's returns policies confusing and complicated. Simplifying returns variations that a buyer experiences will result in increased buyer confidence—and more sales.
What will happen to my Good 'Til Cancelled listings?
Current Good 'Til Cancelled listings with free returns that also charge a restocking fee will be automatically updated in early 2018.
Why am I only allowed to pick one restocking fee option?
To avoid confusion, we're simplifying the returns variations to help build buyer confidence and conversion. Even though we're limiting the restocking fee options a buyer sees up front, you can still charge no restocking, 10%, 15%, or 20% when issuing the refund. This change only applies to new listings.
What if a return comes back damaged or broken?
If you currently offer free returns (seller pays return shipping with no restocking fee) on an item, you'll be able to issue a partial refund if the item is returned damaged or broken.
What is the easiest way to update my return policy?
To update your return policy, go to My eBay (My eBay > Account > Business Policies). Click "Return options" when creating or updating a listing.
How does automatic acceptance improve the return process?
Buyers are always looking for faster returns. To speed up the process, we are removing a step by automatically accepting a return when the buyer doesn't want the item and is paying for the return. Quick acceptance of returns is an ecommerce standard, and the new policy will make eBay a more competitive marketplace. You also reduce your risk of receiving a defect from a customer support escalation, which could impact your seller performance rating.
If my item is located in the US, will eBay automatically accept a return request from a US buyer?
Yes, if your primary return address is in the same country as the shipping address of the buyer, the return will be automatically accepted.
Does listing on either eBay.ca or eBay.com affect automatic return acceptance?
No. As long as the shipping and return addresses are located in the same country, returns that meet the criteria will be automatically accepted, whether they are listed on eBay.ca or eBay.com.
Does it affect automatic return acceptance if my buyer buys on eBay.ca or eBay.com?
No. As long as the shipping and return addresses are located in the same country, returns that meet the criteria will be automatically accepted, whether they are purchased on eBay.ca or eBay.com.
If I offer free returns, will a return request be automatically accepted?
If an item has a free return policy, the return will not be immediately accepted. You have three business days to manually accept the return. You will also be responsible for the cost of the label. If you do not approve the return request and select a shipping service for your buyer within 3 business days, eBay will automatically approve the request.
Will eBay automatically accept return requests outside my policy (or outside of eBay Money Back Guarantee policy) on my behalf?
eBay will not automatically accept return requests if they are outside of your return policy or the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy. You will need to review and accept those requests as necessary.
Can I opt out of automatic acceptance?
No. If you offer a returns policy, we want to ensure that the return process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. If a buyer requests a return because they don't want an item anymore and the request meets your returns policy, the request will be automatically accepted.
Who pays for the return shipping label cost?
The party responsible for the return shipping label cost depends on your returns policy. For example, if you indicate that "buyer pays" for return shipping, the buyer will need to pay for the label used to ship the item back to you if the buyer doesn't want the item anymore. Alternatively, if you offer free return shipping ("seller pays"), you will be charged for the return shipping label used by the buyer.
What if the buyer prefers to return the original item for a replacement or exchange?
If you offer a buyer the option to ask for a replacement or exchange instead of a full refund in your return policy, the buyer can indicate their preference at the time of the return request. Replacement and exchange requests will not be automatically accepted. You will need to accept them manually and work out details with the buyer.
I would rather provide a full refund for an item than have it returned to me (e.g. the cost of the shipping label may be more than the cost of the actual item price). Is there an opportunity to automate the full refund?
Yes. If you don't want the buyer to return an item back to you for certain reason codes, you can set up return automation rules to automatically send a refund using our return preferences page.