Home > Help >Bidding & buying>Resolving buying problems>Return an item
Help
Search Help pages
(Does not search for items or products)
 Searchtips
Return an item

You can use our managed returns process to return some items you purchased on eBay. If you used free Click & Collect for your purchase, you can return items directly to the store you purchased them from.

Here's what you need to know to return an item for a refund or replacement.

Check the seller's returns policy

Before you start a return, we recommend that you check the seller's returns policy. You can review the seller's returns policy on the listing page.

According to Distance Selling Regulations, consumers who purchase items from a business seller over the internet (where there is no face-to-face contact between the seller and the buyer before the contract is made) generally have the right to return the item within 7 working days after the date of receipt.

Some items are excluded from the right of withdrawal. Business sellers are obliged to inform consumers about their right of withdrawal before the purchase. Private sellers may voluntarily offer returns.

The Distance Selling Regulations usually cover sales made over the internet, including:

  • Buy it now listings on eBay.co.uk

  • Second Chance Offers on eBay.co.uk

The UK Distance Selling Regulations don't apply to auction-style format listings on eBay.co.uk. Learn more about the distance selling regulations.

If a seller has specified a returns window when listing the item, the minimum time frame they can select is 14 days. (A 14-day returns period will be required under UK and Irish selling regulations that will become effective in June 2014.) The returns window is the number of days that you have to inform the seller that you intend to return the item.

The returns process

Depending on the item you've bought, you'll have different options to return it to the seller. Start the returns process where you can select the item you'd like help with.

Start a return

If you'd like to return an item you bought on eBay for a refund or a replacement:

  1. Find the item in My eBay and select Return this item from the More actions dropdown menu.

  2. Select the reason for the return. If the item isn’t eligible to be returned using the returns process, we'll ask you to contact the seller directly.

  3. If the item is eligible to be returned using the returns process, we'll provide a return postage label and packing slip. If a postage label isn't available for the item, we'll ask you to contact the seller about alternative postage arrangements.

  4. Pack the item carefully. Include the packing slip, apply the package label, and send the item back to the seller. You can drop the package off at your local Collect+ shop. Return the item within 14 days* of starting the returns process.

  5. Track the status of the returned item in the Purchase history section of My eBay. Find the returned item and click View return details from the More actions dropdown menu.

  6. If you're requesting a refund, the seller will issue it to you within 6 working days after receiving the item. If you're requesting a replacement item, the seller will post it to you within 5 working days of the date you start the returns process.

*Working days are weekdays – Monday to Friday. Saturdays, Sundays, and bank holidays aren't working days.

Timeline: Up to 35 days after the purchase date. For most Buy it now items, business sellers are legally required to accept a cancellation, provided you inform them of the cancellation within 7 days after you received the item. In certain circumstances, the cancellation period can be even longer. Learn more about the Distance Selling Regulations.

Eligibility

If the seller is using the managed returns process, you can use it to return an item if:

  • The item was listed on eBay.co.uk.

  • You want a full refund or replacement item, not a partial refund or exchange.

  • You paid for the item with PayPal.

  • A return is UK-based. (Both the seller's return address and your address are in the UK.)

  • The item was listed in a category covered by eBay Money Back Guarantee.

  • You haven't opened a case, or requested a chargeback on the credit card associated with your PayPal account.

  • You haven't been suspended from the returns process.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You need to follow all return timeframes.

  • Start a return by the time specified in the Returns policy section of the listing.

  • Post the item back to the seller within 14days of starting the returns process when returning an item for a refund.

  • Post the item back to the seller within 14 days of starting the returns process when returning an item for a replacement. We'll start sending you reminders if you haven't returned the item after 14 days.

  • Make sure that you're returning the item in the same condition as you received it. See the item condition policy for returns for more information.

How to return an item if the seller doesn't use our returns process

If the seller hasn't opted in to use our returns process, contact the seller directly from the listing page or in My eBay to agree the returns process.

For most Buy it now items, business sellers are legally required to accept your return (more commonly known as "cancellation or withdrawal" under the law), if you contact them to cancel your purchase within 7 working days after the date of receipt.

If the seller accepts the cancellation, they'll then cancel the transaction. You'll receive an email notification - just click the button in the email to confirm the cancellation.

Cancelling a purchase when you haven't paid

If you've purchased a Buy it now item from a business seller and you haven't paid for and haven't received the item yet, but you just want to cancel the purchase, you don't need to request a return. Instead, contact the seller directly from the listing page or in My eBay.

For most Buy it now items, business sellers are legally required to accept your return (more commonly known as "cancellation or withdrawal" under the law), if you contact them to cancel your purchase within 7 working days after the date of receipt.

If the seller accepts the cancellation, they'll then cancel the transaction. You'll receive an email notification - just click the button in the email to confirm the cancellation.

Exchange an item (from the same seller)

If you want to exchange an item from the same seller we recommend that you contact the seller directly before starting a return.

As the seller may not have another item (ie. in a different size) for an exchange or may use other processes to track this case, you should agree with the seller on the correct process.

Timeframes: Any time after the purchase date. You may want to contact the seller as quickly as possible.

Replacements

Some sellers may offer you the option of returning an item for a replacement, instead of for a refund. A replacement is an item that is exactly the same as the original item. Exchanges – for a different size or colour, for example – aren’t supported by the returns process.

You can request a replacement if:

  • The seller offers replacements in the listing returns policy.

  • The item arrives and isn't as described in the listing, such as with a damaged part, or the item is defective in some way.

  • You’re returning the original item and will be getting the exact same item as a replacement.

Things to keep in mind when requesting a replacement:

  • If you're requesting a replacement because the item wasn't as described in the listing, such as with a damaged part, the seller is responsible for the return postage charges.

  • If you're unable to return the item because it's unsafe to post (such as a ruptured and leaking battery) or broken beyond repair, you'll need to open a case in the Resolution Centre.

  • The seller will post the replacement to you within 5 working days of the start of the returns process. You can track the progress of your replacement item in the Purchase history section of My eBay. Find the returned item and click View return details from the More actions dropdown menu.

  • Post the item back to the seller within 5 working days of starting the returns process. We'll start sending you reminders if you haven't returned the item after 5 working days.

  • If you don't post the original back to the seller within 30 days, you'll be charged for the replacement item.

  • If you send the original item back to the seller, and the seller doesn't send a replacement, the return will be treated as a refund.

If a request for a replacement is escalated to eBay:

  • If you’d like to open a case, you'll have 14 days from either the day the replacement was delivered to you, or the day the original was returned to the seller – whichever is latest.

  • If you use alternative postage arrangements, return postage charges will not be included in any refunds, even if seller agreed to pay return postage charges.

Post the item

Either you or the seller is responsible for return postage charges, depending on the seller's returns policy and the reason for the return. In most cases, sellers require that buyers pay for return postage, but some sellers offer free return postage – check the Returns policy section of the listing. If you're returning an item because it isn't as described in the listing, the seller is responsible for return postage charges.

When you're responsible for return postage charges, we'll charge your PayPal account if the item is dispatched using our postage label. The first time you use the return process and you're responsible for return postage charges, we'll ask you to accept a billing agreement to authorise payment for these kinds of charges.

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 contact the seller to agree on the service and cost before you return the item.

Your legal rights and obligations

The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 generally apply to sales to consumers made by sellers acting in the course of a business, which have been made at a distance (in other words, where there's no face-to-face contact between the seller and the consumer before the contract is made). The Distance Selling Regulations apply to items purchased via Buy it now listings and Second Chance Offers on eBay.co.uk. However, they don't apply to auction-style listings on eBay.co.uk.

These regulations provide a period of 7 working days after the date of receipt within which the consumer can cancel the contract (often referred to as the "cooling off" period) and get their money back, including the original postage and packing charges. The consumer may be asked to return the goods at their own expense, but only if the seller informed them of this requirement before the contract was made (otherwise, the seller is responsible for collecting the goods).

The regulations above only apply to transactions between a business seller and consumer buyer. However, even a consumer seller is required to ensure that the item is correctly described.

Learn more about the sale of goods law in our Safety Centre.

Quick answers about the process

Quick answers

What items can be returned on eBay?

All items from UK business sellers can potentially be returned. You can see the seller's returns policy at the top of every listing (in the centre, under the price).

For most Buy it now items, business sellers are legally required to accept cancellations made within 7 working days after the date the buyer received the item.

However, there are some legal exceptions when items can’t be returned. Learn more about the sale of goods law in our Safety Centre.

Why don't I see the 'Return this item' link for all items?

The Return this item link is only available for 35 days after the transaction. There are some legal exceptions for items on which items can't be returned, i.e. in specific categories. Some business sellers may also use their own returns processes rather than the eBay returns process.

In this case, contact the seller directly from the listing or in My eBay to agree on the returns process.

Learn more about which items are legally eligible for a return in our Safety Centre.

I want an exchange rather then a return. What can I do?

If you want to exchange an item from the same seller, we recommend that you contact the seller directly.

As the seller may not have another item (ie. in a different size) for an exchange or may use other processes to track this case, you should agree with the seller on the correct process.

I've started a return, but the seller isn't responding. What can I do?

If you've started a return, the seller will receive a reminder after 7 days if they haven't responded.

If the seller hasn't responded within 10 days after you started the return, contact customer support

When should I open a case for an item which is significantly not as described instead of a returns case?

If an item is significantly different from the item description, ie. the colour or the size is not what you ordered or the quality is significantly different from the description, you should first contact the seller. In most cases these issues can be resolved by direct communication.

If the seller is a business seller and you want to use your right of withdrawal under the Distance Selling Regulations, you should first open a returns case.

If the seller doesn't respond or rejects the return, you should then open a 'Significantly not as described' case in our Resolution Centre to ensure that your purchase is covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee programme.

I have started a return, but the seller rejected it. What can I do?

For most Buy it now items, business sellers are legally required to accept cancellations made within 7 working days after the date the buyer received the item.

There are some legal exceptions on which items can't be returned and where a seller has the right to decline your return request. Learn more about your legal rights and obligations in our Safety Centre.

What can I do when I don't get a refund or the refund is not what I expected?

For most Buy it now items, business sellers are legally required to accept cancellations made within 7 working days after the date the buyer received the item.

 In these cases, the business seller is legally obliged to issue the refund within 30 days after you notified them of the cancellation, and some business sellers will issue the refund immediately.

 If you haven't received the refund within 30 days or it's not what you expected, you should contact the seller first to solve the problem. You can use the Contact the seller link within the returns case. If the problem can’t be solved, learn more about your legal rights.

I have closed the return case accidentally. What can I do?

If you close the case, you can't re-open it and you won't be able to open another case for this purchase.

Contact the seller directly to arrange the return, the refund or further steps.

Contact Customer Support
If you're looking for more help or have a question to ask, contact us.
Contact us

Have a question? We can help.

 Contact us

Ask eBay members

Get help from other eBay members. Visit the Answer Centre to post a question.