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're still 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.

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 from eBay as a guest, we send you an order confirmation email that has all of the details of your order. The subject line starts with "Guest Order". If you need help with an item you bought as a guest – whether your order hasn't arrived, or if you need to return it for a refund – you’ll need to use your confirmation email.

If you're having trouble finding the email in your inbox, you can use the button below to request that we send you out another.

Find guest order details

Your item hasn't arrived

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

If your item hasn't arrived yet, here's what you need to do:

  1. Check when the item is due to arrive.
  2. Make sure it's being sent to the right address.
  3. If it's passed due, and the delivery details are all correct, let the seller know there's an issue.

Check when the item is due to arrive

The first thing to do is check your item's estimated delivery date, to see when it's due. To do this, you'll need to select View order details in your order confirmation email. The order details page has all the delivery information for your order, including when it's due to arrive, the shipping carrier, any tracking information the seller provided, and your item's current location. If the estimated delivery date hasn't passed yet, it's probably still in transit.

Confirm the delivery address

The order details page also shows the delivery address that you gave the seller when you bought your item. It's worth double-checking that's correct too. If the shipping address is incorrect, you'll need to let the seller know by selecting Contact Seller on the order details page. If they haven't shipped your item yet, they'll be able to send it to the correct address. If they've already dispatched it, you'll need to get in touch with the carrier to see if they can redirect your order to the right address.

Tip
If the estimated delivery date has passed, and the shipping address is correct, you may want to check with a neighbor 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. Find your order confirmation email. The subject line starts with "Guest Order".
  2. In the body of the email, select View order details.
  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.

You'll receive a confirmation email once you've let the seller know.

What happens next

Once you've opened your request, the seller has 3 business days to get back to you. If your item still hasn't arrived by then, they'll need to either provide 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 you a refund, you'll receive an email letting you know. It usually takes 3 to 5 business days for a PayPal refund to go through. If you paid with a credit card, it may take up to 30 days to process, depending on your card provider.

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:

  • Find your order confirmation email. The subject line starts with "Guest Order".
  • In the body of the email, select View order details.

You can still ask the seller if they'll accept a return, even if their policy says they don't offer them – 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. On the order details page, enter your email address and the access code from the confirmation email.
  3. Select Return item. On the next page select your reason for the return. You can also choose to upload photos showing the item's condition.
  4. Select Request a return.

Tip
In some cases, you may be able to request a replacement (another of the same item) or exchange (a different, but similar item). You can request a replacement or exchange if the seller offers them in their return policy, and the total refund value of your item is less than $250.

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 shipping cost. The seller will also pay for return shipping
  • Issue a full refund and let you keep the item – This typically happens with low-cost items where the return shipping 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.

If you can't come to an agreement with the seller within 3 business days, we're always ready to step in and help.

 
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 shipping cost. Usually the buyer is responsible for return shipping 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 shipping 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 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 ship 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 5 business days to send the item back. This email will provide you with the steps on how to send it back, and who's responsible for the return shipping. Who covers the shipping costs depends on why you're returning it.

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

Learn more about return shipping.

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 seller receives the item back from you, or once they've agreed to refund you and let you keep the item, they have 2 business days to issue your refund. When they do, you'll receive an email letting you know.

It usually takes 3 to 5 business days for a PayPal refund to go through. If you paid with a credit card, it may take up to 30 days to process, depending on your card provider.

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 your request. You can ask us for help through your order confirmation email.

Why was my refund less than the amount I paid?
Depending on the condition you sent the item back in, the seller may reduce the refund they issue you. For more details, please see our Condition of returned items policy.

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 shipping. 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.

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