eBay Return Policies

I recently received a question from a new seller asking what she should do about the following situation. She sold an item to a buyer with 100% feedback. The item was paid for and is currently in transit. The buyer has not received the item yet since it just shipped, but is now asking questions and indicating they may want a refund (even before the item arrives).

The seller is concerned about her protection and not sure what she should do. What if she refunds the money but the buyer does not return the merchandise?

I looked at the closed eBay auction and immediately noticed the seller indicated  “no returns accepted”. This small detail protects the seller since all sales are final. Also, the item was not misrepresented in the description. The buyer should have asked all questions prior to bidding/buying.

The seller has two options, to stick with the no return policy or make an exception.

If the seller decides to bend her rule, then I personally would make sure the buyer agrees to the following terms:

  1. To ship back the item with tags still attached and in perfect condition.
  2. Agree to “accept” the transaction cancellation request via eBay so all fees are returned to the seller.
  3. To pay for all return shipping costs as well as delivery confirmation/tracking.
  4. Communicate tracking details once the item has been shipped.
  5. The PayPal refund will be made once the merchandise is back in seller’s hands.

For potential buyers – If you are thinking about purchasing an item on eBay, always ask questions before bidding. Also, know the seller’s return policy and do not assume he/she will make an exception if you change your mind.

I also have a no return policy with my store; however, if I made a mistake or I misrepresented an item, then I definitely agree to accept a return. Otherwise, I evaluate each request on a case by case basis.

Has a situation like this ever happened to you as a buyer or seller? How was it resolved?

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