Who Pays Return Shipping For An Ebay Mistake?

I received the following question from a twitter friend, “if you sent the wrong item to an eBay customer would you pay for return shipping on the item or ask the customer to?” Apparently, she purchased an item but received something different. The seller is in the process of sending her original item, but has not mentioned how to handle the return shipping of the item sent by mistake.

Without hesitation, if I made the mistake then I would be fully responsible for paying the return shipping fees. I never want to make my customers work, so here are the options I would offer:

  1. When shipping the original item to the buyer, I would include funds to reimburse for the return shipping (as well as a convenient return label and packaging). If the buyer used PayPal, I would refund original shipping costs via that method.
  2. Ask the buyer if he or she would prefer to keep the item shipped by mistake for a discounted price (then reimburse the difference).
  3. Depending on what the item is, I may suggest the buyer keep the item sent by mistake and then I would also ship their original purchased item.

Now, if the seller does not respond when you attempt to contact him or her, you can take actions through eBay. Click here for more information on “what to do if you don’t receive an item or it doesn’t match the seller’s description“.

If this ever happens to you and the seller works to resolve the issue, I highly encourage the buyer to leave positive feedback about the transaction. The last thing a good seller wants is an unhappy customer and should do whatever it takes to make the situation right.

Has this ever happened to you? How was it resolved?

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