2 min article

Return postage for buyers

There are several ways you can send an item back to the seller. Who pays the cost of return shipping depends on the seller's return policy and the reason for the return.

When the seller accepts your return request, you’ll either receive a return shipping label from eBay or the seller, or you’ll be asked to purchase a label directly from a carrier.

We’ll send an email to your Messages - opens in new window or tab with the subject line “Send the item back” with all the details of your return request. You’ll need to post the item back before the date stated in this email. If you don’t post the item back by that date, we may close your request and you will not receive a refund.

You'll need to send it back within 10 business days of the seller accepting your return.

Who pays for return postage?

The seller pays for return postage if the item was damaged, faulty, or doesn't match the listing description, or if they offer a free returns policy.

You pay for return postage if you're returning the item because you changed your mind, and the seller's return policy states that buyers are responsible for return postage.

Learn more about what to do if:

How to print an eBay return postage label

If you're sending an item back using an eBay return postage label, here's how to print the label:

  1. Go to Purchase history - opens in new window or tab.
  2. Find the item in Returns and cancelled orders.
  3. Select View return details.
  4. Choose Print label.

If you're responsible for the return postage costs, you'll see the price of return postage, and be able to purchase your label.

Print an eBay return label

You don't need a special printer or self-adhesive labels when printing return postage labels. Simply print the label on normal paper and tape it to the package. Make sure the barcode is clear so the carrier can scan it easily.

Adding tracking to your return

Adding tracking details to your return helps protect against delays or issues in the refund process. If you use an eBay return postage label, tracking details are automatically uploaded.

If you're using your own return postage label, here's how to add the tracking information to your return:

  1. Go to the return request in Purchase History - opens in new window or tab.
  2. Select the postage carrier from the dropdown list. If you select 'Other', enter the carrier name.
  3. Enter the tracking number.
  4. Select Mark as sent.

If you're returning an item that has a total cost of £450 or more, you'll need to use a tracked service with signature confirmation. Learn more about our signature confirmation requirements.

If the seller is paying for return postage

When you're sending an item back to the seller, there are a few methods you can use to post it back. If the seller is responsible for the return postage costs, they'll let you know how they want the item to be sent back to them. Generally, they'll ask you to send the item back using one of the following:

The seller may also contact you to make other arrangements such as returning the item to their store or reimbursing you for return postage.

If the seller is responsible for return postage, it's important that they cover the costs. If they don't provide a paid method of return postage, or if they don't offer to reimburse you for return postage, let us know by asking eBay to step in.

If you're paying for return postage

If you're responsible for the return postage costs, you can choose how you'd like to send it back to the seller. You can either pay for an eBay return postage label, or send the item back using a carrier of your choice.

If you choose to use your own carrier, we recommend using a tracked service. Tracking lets the seller know the item's on its way, and also means that eBay can see the progress of the return in case we there's an issue and we're asked to help out with the return.

Return postage costs when you use an eBay label

When you're responsible for return postage costs and using an eBay postage label, we deduct the amount from your refund.

If the expected postage charges cost more than the expected refund or the refund value of a replacement or exchange, an eBay return postage label won't be available.

Other ways to send the item back

Sometimes returning an item may require additional, alternative postage arrangements, like adding insurance to your parcel, for instance. Select Examples of alternative postage arrangements below for more information.

Examples of alternative postage arrangements

  • Posting a return with insurance or compensation: Postage insurance or compensation may be available on eBay return labels. If you or the seller prefers that an item be returned with insurance, check the options when printing an eBay postage label, or purchase your own return postage with insurance
  • Returning multiple packages: For each return requested through My eBay, we generally provide one return postage label. If you need multiple return postage labels to send multiple packages back to the seller, contact the seller to make alternative postage arrangements for the packages
  • The item was originally delivered by freight or collected in person: When the seller is responsible for return postage costs and you need to make alternative postage arrangements, contact them to agree on the service and cost before sending the item. Make sure to include the packing slip, tracking, and for items with a total cost of £450 or more, a tracked service with signature confirmation is required

When you want to return an item using alternative postage arrangements, and the seller is responsible for the return postage charges, you'll need to work with the seller to agree on the postage service and cost before returning the item.

If you use alternative postage arrangements, the return postage charges aren't included in any eBay Money Back Guarantee refund you’ll receive.

When returning an item, use a carrier that provides tracking and upload the details to the return request.

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