3 min article

Get help if you bought as a guest

If your item hasn't arrived, has turned up damaged or faulty, or if you just want to return it, let the seller know so they can help you out. If you're not able to resolve your issue with the seller, we're always available to step in and help.

If you don't have an eBay account, or didn't sign in to your account when you made a purchase, you could still be protected by our eBay Money Back Guarantee. If the item you bought hasn't arrived, or if it's faulty, damaged, or doesn't match the seller's description, you can get your money back when it's covered under the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

If you've changed your mind and no longer want the item, you can ask the seller if they'll accept your return. Most sellers are happy to help out.

Your guest order confirmation email

When you buy an item as a guest on eBay, we’ll send you an order confirmation email with all your order details. The subject line starts with “Order Confirmed”. If your order hasn’t arrived, or if you need to return it for a refund, you’ll need to use your guest order confirmation email.

If you can’t find your guest order confirmation email, select the button below and we’ll send you a link to your order details.

Find guest order details

Your item hasn't arrived

If your item hasn't arrived, check if you're protected by the eBay Money Back Guarantee. If so, you can ask the seller for a refund, or for them to send you out a replacement item (if they have one).

Check when your item is due to arrive

The first thing to do is check your item’s estimated delivery date in your order confirmation email. You can also select View order details in your order confirmation email to find out the carrier, any tracking information the seller provided, and your item’s current location. If the estimated delivery date hasn’t passed yet, your order is probably still on its way.

Confirm your delivery address

It’s a good idea to check that the delivery address you used at checkout is correct. You’ll find the address your order is being sent to in your order confirmation email and on the order details page.

If your delivery address is incorrect, select Contact the seller on the order details page and ask the seller if they’ll cancel the order. They can then relist the item and you can buy it again with the correct address.

Tip
If the estimated delivery date has passed, and the delivery address is correct, you should check with a neighbour in case you weren't home when the package arrived and they took delivery of it for you.

Let the seller know your item hasn't arrived

If the estimated delivery date for your item has passed, the delivery address is correct, and you still haven't received your item, let the seller know. Here's how:

  1. Open your order confirmation email. The subject line starts with "Order Confirmed".
  2. Select View order details in the body of the email.
  3. Select Contact Seller.
  4. Select I haven't received my item yet.
  5. Choose No, I want to contact the seller.
  6. Fill in the details and then hit Submit.

Once you've opened your request, you'll receive a confirmation email and the seller will have 3 business days to get back to you.

What happens next

If your item still hasn't arrived, the seller will need to provide either tracking information/evidence of delivery, or a refund or replacement.

  • If they've agreed to send you another item, they'll let you know the details about sending it out to you
  • If they’re issuing a refund, it should be processed within 2 business days. Your refund will be sent to your original payment method and funds are usually available within 3-5 business days. If your refund is sent to a credit card, depending on the card provider, it can take up to 30 days to show on your statement

If tracking details show the item was delivered to your postcode after you opened the item not received request, we'll send an email to you and the seller. Your request will then close automatically within 24 hours. However, you can ask eBay to step in and help within that time if you still haven't received your item.

You need to return an item

If you want to return an item, either because you've got a problem, or just because you've changed your mind, you start your return by letting the seller know. If the item is faulty, damaged, or doesn't match the description, you're covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee, and the seller has to accept your return.

If you no longer want an item, check the seller's return policy in the listing to see if they offer returns, how long you have to request a return and any other conditions. To find the return policy:

  1. Find your order confirmation email. The subject line starts with "Order Confirmed".
  2. Select View order details in the body of the email.
  3. Select the description of your item to go to its listing.
  4. Go to Returns to see the seller's return policy.

You can still ask the seller if they'll accept a return, even if their policy says they don't – but they may not say yes.

Let the seller know you've had a problem

Here's how to start a return for an item you bought as a guest:

  1. Open the order confirmation email you received when you placed your order, and select View order details.
  2. Select Return item.
  3. Select your reason for the return and select Next.
  4. You can add a message to the seller and also upload up to 10 photos showing the item’s condition.
  5. Select Confirm return.

What happens next

Once you've opened your request, the seller has 3 business days to get back to you. How they respond will depend on the reason for your return.

You received the wrong item, or it arrived faulty or damaged

Here's how the seller may respond:

  • Accept your return request and offer a full refund – You'll return the item and the seller issues you a full refund, including the original postage cost. The seller will also pay for return postage
  • Issue a full refund and let you keep the item – This typically happens with low-cost items where the return postage would cost more than the item
  • Offer you a partial refund and let you keep the item – This can be a good compromise when you're not completely satisfied with your purchase – for example, if it arrived with a minor scratch – but you're happy to keep it
  • Send you a message – The seller may ask you for some more details about your return request

When the seller replies, we'll send you an email with details of the next steps. 

You changed your mind about an item

Here's how the seller may respond:

  • Accept your return request and offer a full refund – You'll return the item and the seller issues you a full refund, including the original postage cost. Usually the buyer is responsible for return postage costs in these cases. However, check the seller's return policy in the listing to see if they will cover it
  • Issue a full refund and let you keep the item – This typically happens with low-cost items where the return postage would cost more than the item
  • Offer you a partial refund and let you keep the item – This can be a good compromise when the seller doesn't accept returns, but wants to offer you a gesture of goodwill – say if you ordered the wrong thing by accident
  • Decline your return request – Sellers can only decline your return request if you changed your mind about an item and they stated in the listing that they don't accept returns. Or, if you missed the seller's deadline to start a return
  • Send you a message – The seller may ask you for some more details about your return request

When the seller replies, we'll send you an email with details of the next steps.

Tip
You can always check the status of your request by going to View order details in your order confirmation email, then selecting Resolutions.

Sending the item back

When the seller accepts your return, they may let you keep the item (normally if it's a lower value item, or if they're giving you a partial refund), or you may need to send it back to them before they'll issue your refund.

If you have to post the item back to the seller, you'll receive an email to your messages with the subject "Send the item back", and you'll have 10 business days to do so. This email will provide you with the steps on how to send it back, and who's responsible for the return postage. Who covers the postage costs depends on why you're returning it, and the seller's return policy.

Adding tracking details to your return helps protect against delays or issues in the refund process. If you use an eBay returns label, tracking details are automatically uploaded. If you're using your own return postage label, you should manually add tracking details to the return

Learn more about return postage.

When you're sending the item back, repack it carefully, and remember it has to be in the same condition as when you received it. This means it can't be used or altered in any way, and you'll need to include any additional items or paperwork that came with it, such as:

  • All original packaging such as boxes, bags, tags, and UPCs
  • Accessories such as cords and remote controls
  • Certificates, manuals, warranty, and rebate cards
  • Free gifts or bonus items
  • All items included in a bundle

Getting your money back

Once the item is delivered to the seller, your refund should be processed within 2 business days.

Your refund will be sent to your original payment method and funds are usually available within 3-5 business days. If your refund is sent to a credit card, depending on the card provider, it can take up to 30 days to show on your statement.

Get help from eBay

Most of the time if you have an issue with a purchase the seller will be able to solve it for you. However, if after 3 business days the seller hasn't been able to resolve your problem, we're always ready to step in and help. After the 3 business days are up, you can ask us to step in at any time within 21 business days of opening the request. Before you can ask us to step in, you'll need to create an eBay account.

To register for an account, select View order details in your order confirmation email, then select Register on the Order Details page.

Once you've registered an account, you can ask us to step in and help.

What should I do if I sent back the item, but the seller didn't receive it?

When returning an item you should always use tracked postage. If you didn't, and think the seller should have gotten the item back by now, you can ask us to step in and help.

Can I return more than one item from my order?

Depending on the listing, you can return one item or multiple items. Here are your options:

  • Lots, sets, and bundled items – You need to return the entire quantity of the order. For example, if you bought a set of paintbrushes you can't return just one of them
  • Multi-quantity listings – You can return any quantity of your purchased items. For example, you selected a quantity of five t-shirts at checkout. You can return some or all of them, but you only have one opportunity to do so. If you choose to return two t-shirts, you can't return the other three later
  • Multiple listings from the same seller – You can return each item. For example, you buy three books that the seller listed individually, but you paid for all of them at once at checkout. You can return each book individually

If the item you received doesn't match the description in the listing, or if it arrived faulty or damaged, you can return it even if the seller's returns policy says they don't accept returns.

Was this article helpful for you?

Related help topics