2 min article

Business policies

Whenever you create a listing, you need to choose a set of business policies: the payment, shipping, and return details you specify for buyers. You can make the listing creation process, and the management of any existing listings, more efficient by creating policy templates that store your preferences for each of these areas.

Business policies are important because they let buyers know how they can pay you, how long it will take you to ship an item, the delivery services you offer (including shipping and packaging costs), and whether you accept returns.

Rather than setting your preferences in these areas on a listing-by-listing basis, you can streamline the process by creating templates. These templates can then be applied when creating new listings or even used to update multiple existing listings.

For the best business policies experience, ensure that you opt into Seller Hub - opens in new window or tab.

If your business policy preferences vary depending on what you're selling, you can create a range of different templates. This gives you the flexibility to apply different payment, postage, or return details depending on what you're listing. To start using business policies, you need to opt in - opens in new window or tab.

Creating business policies

You can create and manage policies from the business policies - opens in new window or tab dashboard in the Account section of My eBay.

You can create your policy templates by following these steps:

  1. From the Create policy dropdown, select a policy type.
  2. Give the policy a descriptive name and add a brief description.
  3. Add your policy details and select Save.

Updating business policies

You can edit, copy, reassign, or delete your policies whenever you choose. If you update a policy, any listings using that policy will automatically be updated with your changes.

Keep in mind that there are a few restrictions on revising listings, so it may not be possible to update all your listings with the new policy. In this case, only listings that can be updated with the new information will be changed, and listings that can't be edited will remain unchanged.

If you want to delete a policy that is currently being used in any active or scheduled listings, you need to reassign new policies to these listings first.

Policies named "Copy of…"

If you change your shipping, payment or return policy, we'll update all compatible listings associated with that policy to use your new terms.

Any listings that are incompatible with your updated policy terms or are restricted from being revised will no longer have this updated policy applied to them. An automatically generated policy, beginning with "Copy of" will be applied to these incompatible listings. This "Copy of…" policy is a duplicate of your policy before your updates were made, so there will be no contractual changes between you and a buyer for these listings.

Give your policies descriptive names such as "Shipping policy, International" so you can easily find the one you need.

Business policies in the eBay app

Business policies users can now view and select existing policies from the eBay app when listing an item.

To access business policies for your listings in the app:

  1. Tap Selling at the bottom of the app homepage.
  2. Tap List an Item.
  3. From the Listing Summary page:
    • Tap the pen symbol beside Delivery to see your existing shipping policies
    • Tap the pen symbol beside Preferences to see your existing payment or return policies
  4. If you want to change the selected policy for this listing, tap on the policy you want then tap Done.

Up to 26 of your most frequently used policies are shown for each type of policy in the selection screen. You can use the search bar to find the policy you need. If the policy you'd like to use is not there, you can add it to the listing using a desktop browser.

Business policies are only available in the app from version 6.2 onwards so if you're using an earlier version of the app, go to the Android Play Store or the iOS App Store to update to the latest version.

Although opt-in to business policies is global, each marketplace requires its own set of business policies. For example, a business policies user on the ebay.com site can only use policies created on ebay.com. If that same seller wishes to list on ebay.de or ebay.ca, they must create policies on that specific site in order to use them, so that the policies reflect the regional shipping options of that marketplace.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a lot of business policies. Is there a way to make them easier to manage?

Yes. Select Clean up policies on the Manage business policies page - opens in new window or tab. If you have any policies that aren't being used in active listings, or haven't been used recently, we'll remove them.

I sell items of different sizes and weights. Is there a way to change the shipping cost without creating a different shipping policy for each package size?

Yes, you can override the shipping cost for individual listings without creating a different shipping policy. When you create the listing, next to the dropdown box where you select the shipping policy, select Edit shipping cost for this listing only.

What happens if I want to opt out of business policies?

You can opt out any time by selecting the Opt out link on the Manage business policies page - opens in new window or tab. Your active listings won't be affected, but if you want to make changes to payment, shipping, and return terms, you'll need to do that individually on each future listing. You can also opt back in to business policies at any time; however your old policies will be deleted when you opt out. You will need to create new policies and associate your listings to them using a bulk editing tool if you opt back in.

I get an error when I try to opt in to business policies. What can I do?

This usually means there are large numbers of business policies created in the background already associated with your account, and our automated processes were not able to clean them up. Please contact our customer service team for help.  

Why are there policies with some random characters in the policy name that I did not create?

These are created when a policy revision has failed. Policy revisions can fail for a few reasons, such as a listing having a pending sale or best offer, or expiring in less than 12 hours. For example, if you revise “PolicyA” and some of the listings fail to revise, a new policy spin-off will be created to preserve the original settings with a name such as “Policy2f364de7aa74000”. In this case, “PolicyA” has the new, revised attributes, and the spin-off policy maintains the original attributes.

Visit the Manage business policies page - opens in new window or tab to check the update status for progress and error status. When the updates are complete, you will see the update status as "Updated successfully [Activity log]". Select the Activity log and download the error report to check for failures.

After the issues are resolved, you can assign these listings to the target policy or choose a different compatible policy.

If the error message next to the item id states that the listing is restricted, the only option is to wait for the listing to end or cancel or accept any pending offers associated with that listing. You can then remove these auto-generated policies.

Your business policies are important: they let buyers know how they can pay you, what your dispatch time is, the delivery services you offer (including shipping and packaging costs), and whether you accept returns.

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