eBay facilitates millions of fast-paced transactions each day. It’s not uncommon for a small percentage of eBay buyers to change their minds about the item they have purchased. In some cases, they may have realized that the actual item differs from its description.

In other cases, they may have received an item with minor damages. Fortunately, buyers have the option to return an item and request a refund if it didn’t meet their expectations. Alternatively, if they received an item with minor damages, they can choose to keep it and request a partial refund as compensation.

As such, eBay sellers can choose the partial refund amount they wish to issue depending on the shipped item’s condition. This article will explain what eBay partial refunds are, how to issue a partial refund, and when to fulfill a partial refund request.

What is a Partial Refund on eBay?

A partial refund occurs when a seller offers to refund a percentage of the total amount the buyer paid. This is different from a full refund, where the buyer is refunded the entire amount.

For example, if you purchased a brand new table lamp for $250 and returned it in good condition, the seller would refund approximately 90% – 95% of what you initially paid to compensate for any shipping costs incurred or minor scratches during transport. 

eBay buyers and sellers both have numerous reasons to request partial refunds and the refund amount (or percentage depends on the condition of the returned item). We’ll discuss each of these reasons in the following sections.

Guidelines for Partial Refunds

While sellers can choose how much money they wish to refund the buyer, eBay has offered a set of guidelines to promote consistent seller practices regarding partial refunds.

The recommended refund amounts for items returned in various conditions are shown in the table below.

Condition of Returned ItemRefund Amount
Excellent Condition100%
Good Condition90% – 95%
Fair Condition70% – 85%
Poor Condition65% – 50%

You can find the full refund deduction guidelines table in the seller’s help section on eBay’s website.

How to Issue a Partial Refund on eBay?

Issuing a partial refund on eBay is a simple and straightforward process. However, this process can differ depending on whether the customer has chosen to keep the item or if they have returned it. We’ll share more information about this below.

Offering Partial Refunds for Items that the Buyer Has Returned

If the buyer has to chosen to return the item, the steps to issue a partial refund are as follows:

  1. Log in to your eBay Account using your login credentials and navigate to the Seller’s Hub.
  2. Go to the “Returns” section on your dashboard.
  3. Then, locate the item you have received the partial refund request for and click “View Return Details”.
  4. Next, select the “Offer a Partial Refund” option and click on “Continue”.
  5. Enter the refund amount you wish to send the buyer. You can also fill out an optional message in the text box on the page. Some sellers use this option to send out messages apologizing for the item and inviting the buyer to purchase from them again in the future.
  6. Once you have finalized the details, click the “Send Offer” button. The partial refund will proceed if the buyer chooses to accept the partial refund amount you stated. If the buyer rejects your offer, they will likely dispute the partial refund amount and this process must be repeated after you’ve reached an agreement.

Offering Partial Refunds for Items that the Buyer Decides to Keep

If the buyer has chosen to keep the item, the steps to issue a partial refund will be as follows:

  1. Click the “My eBay” tab on the right side of the eBay page. Hover your cursor over “Orders” under the Seller Hub heading and select “Paid and shipped”.
  2. Scroll down to the buyer and the order that you want to give the partial refund. Click the down arrow next to the “Purchase shipping label”. This should reveal a dropdown menu with various options.
  3. In the dropdown menu, select “Send refund”.
  4. Complete the Two-Step verification process using the method you set up with your eBay account. You will then be directed to a “Refund the buyer” page.
  5. Once you’re on that page, click “Select a reason for refund” and click the “Other adjustment” option. You can also add an optional note to the buyer in the textbox on this page.
  6. Scroll down and you will see input boxes under a “Refund” header for each item that the buyer has purchased along with the amount paid for the respective items. Enter the amount you wish to refund the buyer for each of the items that require it.
  7. Click the “Review Refund” button and look through the details summarized in the window that pops up.
  8. If these details appear correct, click the “Send Refund” button.

When Sellers Should Offer Partial Refunds

There are many situations in which eBay sellers should consider offering buyers a partial refund. Some of these situations are described below.

Improving Customer Satisfaction

If a buyer messages a seller indicating that they aren’t fully satisfied with their purchase, issuing a partial refund after verifying the details can create a good impression of a seller’s quality of service.

This can lead to the buyer leaving the seller a higher rating, providing positive feedback, or making repeated purchases. Each of these benefits the seller’s eBay business.

Avoiding Disputes

Buyers who are unsatisfied with their purchases may get into a dispute with the seller. Such disputes can be time-consuming and costly to the seller. 

For example, eBay sellers who challenge a dispute or fail to respond to a buyer’s dispute request are required to pay a dispute fee. Instead, sellers can avoid this fee and a potentially lengthy dispute process by offering the buyer a partial refund upfront.

Avoiding Negative Feedback & Ratings

Some buyers may give an eBay seller a poor rating and leave negative feedback after being unsatisfied with their purchase. Such ratings and feedback will be publicly visible on the seller’s eBay page. This can damage the seller’s reputation and reduce the number of orders they receive in the future.

eBay sellers can attempt to appease such buyers by offering them a partial refund prior to any dissatisfaction. This will reduce the likelihood that the buyer leaves a poor rating and negative feedback.

When Buyers Should Request Partial Refunds

As a buyer, you may end up buying an item that did not meet your expectations but you are not sure if it qualifies for a refund request. Some legitimate reasons why you should request a partial refund are described below.

Change of Mind

As an eBay buyer, you may end up changing your mind about a purchase for numerous reasons. Some items may not be worth the price you pay upon closer inspection, whereas others may not perform their intended function.

Product Discrepancies

Another common issue that a buyer may face is when the item they received doesn’t match the details the eBay seller listed on their page. In this situation, you are entitled to request a partial refund or potentially a full refund if the item is returned in excellent condition.

Minor Damages

During transit, items may get damaged due to mishandling or rough movements causing scratches or small dents. Such items may still function properly, but their housing or other components may have visible signs of damage.

As such, the buyer has received a product that is in a poorer condition than when they purchased it. Therefore, it will be within your right to ask for a partial refund or request an exchange.

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Agnes Aui

Head of Marketing
at freightcourse

About the Author

Agnes is the Head of Marketing at freightcourse and seamlessly blends her strong background in content management with strategic marketing expertise.

She brings a wealth of knowledge to readers, specializing in various e-commerce topics such as order fulfillments, purchasing, payments, and more.