return policies

A Reseller’s Guide to Understanding Return Policies

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In the fast-paced world of online commerce, resellers face a significant challenge that can make or break their business – the absence of a robust return policy. While it may seem like a hassle for sellers to process returns, the reality is that refusing or neglecting to accept returns can have severe consequences for their bottom line.

returns and refunds

Impact on business without a return policy

Reduced customer trust

  • The lack of a return policy signals potential distrust among customers.
  • Buyers may hesitate to make purchases, fearing being stuck with unwanted products.

Abandoned shopping carts

  • Without the safety net of a return policy, shoppers are more likely to disregard their shopping carts.
  • Potential sales opportunities are lost as a result.

Negative publicity

  • Dissatisfied customers will likely share issues on social media and review platforms.
  • Negative reviews can tarnish the reseller’s reputation and deter potential customers.

Decreased repeat business

  • A customer-friendly return process contributes to positive experiences.
  • Resellers with such policies avoid losing repeat business as customers seek alternatives with more accommodating return options.

Competitive disadvantage

  • In a competitive e-commerce landscape, resellers needing a flexible return policy may retain customers to competitors.
  • Shoppers tend to choose sellers offering a smoother, more accommodating return experience.

Impact on long-term success

  • Consumer expectations continue to evolve, and convenience is critical in purchasing decisions.
  • Resellers not adapting to customer demands risk long-term success as buyers seek more customer-centric alternatives.


Finally, a customer-friendly return policy is not just an added feature; it’s a business imperative. The impact of not accepting returns extends beyond lost sales – it affects customer trust, brand reputation, and overall competitiveness in the ever-evolving world of e-commerce. Resellers must recognize the significance of adaptability and prioritize customer satisfaction to secure their place in the market.

sorting through clothes on a rack

Marketplace guidelines

Each marketplace has its own set of guidelines and regulations that dictate how returns are managed.

eBay: The Auction Giant

  • Return Window: Varies (typically 30 days).
  • Key Considerations:
    • Detailed item descriptions and clear images are essential.
    • Communicate promptly and professionally with buyers to resolve issues.
    • Learn more about setting up a return policy on eBay.

Poshmark: Fashion Resale Haven

  • Return Window: 3 days after delivery.
  • Key Considerations:
    • Accurate and detailed item descriptions are crucial.
    • Respond promptly to customer inquiries and issues.
    • Learn more about the Poshmark return policy.

Mercari: Easy Selling, Easy Returns

  • Return Window: Varies (typically three days).
  • Key Considerations:
    • Clear communication with buyers is essential.
    • Provide detailed product descriptions and high-quality images.
    • Learn more about the Mercari return policy.

Depop: Style and Individuality

  • Return Window: Varies (usually within seven days).
  • Key Considerations:
    • Highlight the unique aspects of your items in your listings.
    • Engage with the Depop community to build trust.
    • Learn more about the Depop return policy.

Grailed: The High-End Marketplace

  • Return Window: Varies (typically within three days).
  • Key Considerations:
    • Authenticity is paramount; provide proof of authenticity when selling high-end items.
    • Clearly state all item details and conditions.
    • Grailed may or may not refund buyer fees. Learn more about their Terms and Conditions. 

Vestiaire Collective: Luxury Resale Hub

  • Return Window: 14 days.
  • Key Considerations:

Kidizen: Kid’s Fashion Resale

  • Return Window: Varies (typically within five days).
  • Key Considerations:
    • Highlight the condition and features of children’s items.
    • Provide customer service to build trust with parents.
    • Learn more about Kidizen’s Return Policy

Etsy: Handmade and Vintage Marketplace

  • Return Window: Varies (often within 30 days).
  • Key Considerations:
    • Clearly define your shop policies, including the return process.
    • Showcase the craftsmanship and uniqueness of your handmade or vintage items.
    • Learn more about Etsy’s Return Policies.

Facebook Marketplace: Local Connections

  • Return Window: Varies (usually within 14 days).
  • Key Considerations:


Successful reselling on diverse online marketplaces requires a nuanced understanding of each platform’s unique return policies. By tailoring your approach to fit the guidelines of eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, Depop, Grailed, Vestiaire, Kidizen, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace, resellers can build trust with buyers, reduce the likelihood of returns, and establish themselves as reputable and reliable sellers within these thriving ecosystems. The key lies in staying informed, communicating transparently, and adapting to the ever-evolving world of online reselling. 

lady with package at laptop

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