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Your No-Nonsense Guide to Returning eBay Orders

As easy as 1, 2, 3.

Last Updated on June 13, 2022

If you’re a careful shopper, the idea of buying something on eBay might be a bit nerve-wracking.

While established and popular high street fashion brands have got the returns process down, it’s a little more complicated on eBay – or so it seems.

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Regardless, the reselling platform has seen a huge spike in sales ever since it was announced it had partnered up with Love Island this year.

The auction site is dressing contestants in secondhand outfits for the first time ever, bringing preloved fashion to a huge audience.

If you’re feeling inspired to buy something on eBay but want help with returns, you’re in the right place. As an avid eBay user for over a decade, I know a thing or two about how it works.

It’s not as tricky as it first seems if you know what to do. Here’s my no-nonsense guide to returns.

Wear Next may receive a small commission if you click a link from one of our articles onto a retail website and make a purchase.

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How to return an eBay item

If your order turns up damaged, is the wrong item, or doesn’t match the listing description, you can return it and get a refund. You’re covered under eBay’s Money Back Guarantee for this, whether the seller offers returns or not.

If you don’t like it or change your mind, you need to ask the seller if they’ll accept a return. You can usually find this information in the original listing, as well as how long you have to apply for the return.

Your seller has 3 business days to resolve the return issue, but if they don’t, you can request eBay to help.

It’s a good idea to check if the seller accepts refunds before buying the item.

To return your eBay item, first find it under your Purchase History and select ‘Return this item.’

You then need to select the reason for the return, and if it’s damaged, you can add images to illustrate why you’re returning it. Then select send.

The seller has 3 business days to get back to you, and once they do, you’ll receive a message in your eBay inbox telling you to send your item back.

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Selection of blue denim vintage jeans on a rail

Are returns on eBay free?

You’ll need to send your item back using tracked postage. Who pays for the postage depends on the reason you’re returning it.

If the item was damaged or faulty, the seller will pay for this. Some sellers also offer a free returns policy.

If on the other hand you change your mind and the seller’s return policy says that buyers must pay for return postage, this is on the buyer.

How to ship eBay return

After your return has been accepted, you have 10 business days to send your order back using tracked postage.

This is particularly useful, as it can protect you against any issues that come up in the returns process. eBay actually offers returns labels, which you can generate on the website. The tracking details are automatically uploaded if you’re using one of eBay’s returns labels, but if you’re doing it yourself, you can add the tracking details manually.

In terms of packaging, make sure you package your item up carefully as you may lose money if the item is received by the seller damaged.

Do I need the original packaging to return to eBay?

In my experience, no – but you do need to include all the items that were in the original packaging (unless you’re not returning them).

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