2 min article

Return postage for buyers

If you need to send an item back to the seller, there are a few different ways of getting the item back to them. Who pays the cost of return postage will depend on why you’re returning it, and the seller’s return policy.

If you're returning an item because it doesn't match the listing description, or arrives damaged or faulty, then the seller is responsible for the return postage costs. If you changed your mind about the item, you'll need to check the seller's return policy in the listing - some sellers offer free returns but usually you'll be responsible for return postage.

Find out more about how to start a return.

Once the seller has accepted your return request, you'll be asked to send the item back. You'll need to send the item back within 14 calendar days of the seller accepting your return.

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 shipping label, you should manually add tracking details to the return

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 send it back. If the seller is responsible for the return postage costs, they decide how they'd like the item to be sent back to them, and they'll let you know which method to use. Generally, they'll ask you to send the item back using one of the following:

  • An eBay return postage label – Learn how to print an eBay return postage label
  • A label from their preferred carrier – If the seller provides you with a postage label, they'll send it to you directly, and you can print it from the "Your postage label is ready" email or message that you'll receive

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

Tip
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 covering return postage

If you're responsible for the return postage costs, you can choose how you'd like to send the item back to the seller. You can either pay for an eBay return postage label, or choose to 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 is important as it lets the seller know the item's on its way. It also lets eBay see the progress of the return in case there's an issue and we're asked to step in and help.

When you use an eBay returns label, tracking information is automatically uploaded.

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.
  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 can purchase your label.

Tip
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.

Return postage costs when you use an eBay label

When you're responsible for return postage costs, we charge your PayPal account if you post the item using an eBay postage label. We may ask you to accept a billing agreement to authorise payment for these kinds of charges.

How to add return tracking details if you used your own label

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 My eBay.
  2. Select the carrier from the dropdown list. If you select 'Other', enter the carrier name.
  3. Enter the tracking number.
  4. Select Mark as sent.

Return an item with alternative postage arrangements

Sometimes returning an item may require alternative postage arrangements, such as:

  • 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 find that 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 valued at £750 or more, 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 must work with them 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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