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Return shipping 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 ship the item back before the date stated in this email. If you don’t ship the item back by that date, we may close your request and you will not receive a refund.

Who pays for return shipping?

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

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

Learn more about what to do if:

How to print an eBay return shipping label

Here’s how to print an eBay return shipping label:

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

If you’re responsible for the return shipping costs, you’ll see the price of return shipping, 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 shipping 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 returns label, tracking details are automatically uploaded.

Here’s how to add the tracking information to your return if you’re using your own return shipping label:

  1. Go to the return request in Purchase History - opens in new window or tab.
  2. Select the shipping 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 $750 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 shipping

There are several ways you can send an item back to the seller. If the seller is responsible for the return shipping 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 contact you to make other arrangements, such as returning the item to their store or reimbursing you for return shipping.

If the seller is responsible for return shipping, it’s important that they cover the costs. If the seller won’t cover the cost, let us know by asking eBay to step in.

If you’re paying for return shipping

If you’re responsible for the return shipping costs, you can choose how to send the item back to the seller.

  • You can ship using an eBay label, in which case we will deduct the label cost from your refund
  • You can purchase a label directly from a carrier of your choice and upload it to the return

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

Return shipping costs when you use an eBay label

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

Anytime you use an eBay return shipping label, returns are shipped by either USPS First-Class or Priority Mail, depending on the item’s cost, package weight, and delivery time. In some instances, return shipping charges are estimated rather than based on the actual weight of the package. These charges are based on rates eBay negotiated with the USPS and are typically less than what you would pay at the post office for the same item.

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

Other ways to send the item back

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

Examples of alternative shipping arrangements

  • Shipping a return with insurance: Shipping insurance isn’t available on eBay return shipping labels. If you or the seller prefers that an item be returned with insurance, purchase your own return shipping with insurance instead of using the return shipping label provided
  • Returning multiple packages: We generally provide one return shipping label for each return requested through My eBay. If you need multiple return shipping labels to ship multiple packages back to the seller, contact the seller to make alternative shipping arrangements for the packages
  • The item is outside USPS guidelines: An eBay return shipping label is only available for items within the USPS size and weight guidelines. Otherwise, you need to make alternative shipping arrangements
  • The item was originally delivered by freight or local pickup: When the seller is responsible for return shipping costs and you need to make alternative shipping arrangements, contact the seller to agree on the service and cost before sending the item. Make sure to include the packing slip and tracking.

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

If you use alternative shipping arrangements, the return shipping 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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