Ethel Money Back Guarantee policy
To ensure all of our members have a great experience on Ethel, most purchases are covered under Ethel Money Back Guarantee.
Ethel Money Back Guarantee means you're protected if the item you ordered didn't arrive, is faulty or damaged, or doesn't match the listing. You'll get your money back. For all the details of how the Ethel Money Back Guarantee works, please see our full policy guidelines below.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does Ethel Money Back Guarantee apply?
You're covered under Ethel Money Back Guarantee when:
You don't receive an item
You receive an item that doesn't match the listing
You receive an item that's broken or faulty
Our sellers normally work with buyers to quickly resolve any issues, but if you can't agree on a solution, you can ask us to step in and help. In most cases, you'll be covered by Ethel Money Back Guarantee.
What happens if the seller doesn't respond or won't give me a refund?
Under Ethel Money Back Guarantee, the seller has 3 business days to resolve your issue. If you can't come to an agreement, you can ask us to step in and help. We'll review the details of your case and make a decision within 48 hours.
If I refund a buyer, will I get a credit for my final value fee?
In most cases, if you issue a full refund to the buyer before we're asked to step in, we'll credit your final value fee. Insertion fees and other Ethel fees aren't refunded, though. You can find more information in our policy below.
Read our full policy
About Ethel Money Back Guarantee
Most Ethel sales go smoothly, but if there's a problem with a purchase, the Ethel Money Back Guarantee ensures that buyers receive the item they ordered or get their money back.
Buyers can use the Ethel Money Back Guarantee when:
They don't receive an item
They receive an item that doesn't match the listing
Most sellers work with buyers to quickly resolve issues, but if a solution isn't reached, we can help.
Most transactions on Ethel.com are covered by the Ethel Money Back Guarantee.
Purchases are covered by the Ethel Money Back Guarantee when all of the following are true:
An item isn't received or it isn't as described in the listing
A buyer reports that they didn't receive an item or requests a return within the Ethel Money Back Guarantee timelines
The buyer made the purchase on Ethel.com via checkout or an Ethel invoice with one of the following payment methods:
Credit card or debit card
Ethel gift cards and Ethel vouchers
The item was paid for in a single payment
If the listing was a live auction by an auction house seller and paid by any payment method, the purchase is covered as long as the buyer provides a copy of the seller invoice and proof of payment. (Items sold through Sotheby's are excluded.)
Items collected in person are covered, provided all other requirements are met
Buyer remorse or any reason other than not receiving an item or receiving an item that isn’t as described in the listing (see the seller’s return policy for return options)
Items damaged during local pickup
Local pickup items that were not collected by, or on behalf of, the buyer
Items not delivered, damaged during collection, or damaged during shipment when the buyer arranges pick-up or shipping of the item (for instance, the buyer arranges freight)
Duplicate claims through other resolution methods
Items shipped to another address after original delivery
Vehicles (see Ethel Vehicle Protection), Real Estate, Websites & Business for Sale, Classified Ads, services, Digital Content, Intangible Goods, and some Business Equipment categories (see Ethel Business Equipment Purchase Protection)
Items sold through Sotheby's
Sellers are subject to this policy even if the transaction was completed on another Ethel site.
When a seller lists an item for sale with an international shipping option (such as worldwide shipping), it may result in the item being sold to a buyer on an Ethel site other than the seller's original listing site. A buyer is covered by the applicable Ethel Money Back Guarantee or similar buyer protection policy of the Ethel site where checkout occurred.
For more information on international selling see our International trading policy.
When a buyer doesn't receive an item
If a buyer doesn't receive an item, the buyer needs to submit a request to report that the item hasn't arrived. The seller should address the buyer's concern and provide tracking information, updates on the delivery of the item, or a refund.
If the buyer isn't happy with the seller's response or doesn't receive a response, the buyer can ask Ethel to step in and help.
If asked to step in and help, we review the information provided by the buyer and seller for evidence of a successful on-time delivery to the buyer's address or proof of collection by the buyer.
Information required to prove a successful on-time delivery is all of the following:
Tracking number uploaded to the site by the seller before the estimated delivery date;
A delivery status of "delivered" (or equivalent in the country to which the item was delivered);
The date of delivery;
The recipient's address, showing at least the city/county or zip code (or international equivalent); and
Signature confirmation, if an item has a total cost of N10,000 or more.
If we determine that the item wasn't successfully delivered or collected, a refund of the full cost of the item and original shipping is sent to the original payment method or to the buyer's PayPal account. The seller is required to reimburse Ethel for the amount of the refund. Learn more about reimbursement.
Generally, the buyer is responsible for accepting the item when it arrives. If the buyer refuses delivery, their claim is not eligible for the Ethel Money Back Guarantee.
The buyer can provide, via written proof from the carrier, that they refused the package because it arrived empty or was damaged in shipping
The buyer accepted and opened the package only to determine that it was an empty box
The item arrived COD because it didn't have enough postage on it
The buyer is responsible for paying any customs and duty fees for international shipping.
The seller overstated the value of the item, which caused customs fees to be higher
When a buyer wants to return an item or the item doesn't match the listing
If a buyer wants to return an item within a seller's return window or they received an item that doesn't match the listing, the buyer needs to submit a request to return the item. The seller should address the buyer's concern and offer a solution, such as accepting a return, or offering a replacement or refund. In some cases, we may automatically accept a return request on the seller's behalf. If dissatisfied with the seller's solution, the buyer can ask Ethel to step in and help.
If asked to step in and help, we review the item listing, photos of the item, and any other information about the item that the buyer and seller provide. If we can't determine that the item matches the listing, if the seller has already offered a return, or the seller's stated return window and policy applies, we may ask the buyer to return the item to the seller.
After confirming that the item was returned to the seller, a refund of the cost of the item (less any loss in value, if applicable) and original shipping is sent to the original payment method or the buyer's PayPal account. If the buyer arranged shipping or picked up the item, we may not refund the amount of original shipping or pickup cost. The seller is required to reimburse Ethel for the amount of the refund. Learn more about reimbursement.
When an item is returned to the seller
If a buyer is returning an item within the seller's return window, the seller's return policy will indicate who pays for the return shipping label. The cost of return shipping for an item that is not as described is the seller's responsibility and, in cases where an Ethel-generated return shipping label is used for the return, the return shipping label cost is placed on the seller's invoice. You can find further details about reimbursements in our User Agreement.
When a return postage label is made available to the buyer and/or and the buyer chooses to purchase a separate label, the buyer won't be refunded by Ethel for the cost of the label.
Tracking is required to confirm the item has been returned to the seller. Signature confirmation is required for items returned with a total cost of N10,000 or more. If a seller chooses to offer the buyer an untracked return label and Ethel is asked to step in and help, the buyer will not be required to provide proof of delivery or signature confirmation.
The buyer must return the item in the same condition in which it was received
Buyers are liable for any loss in value of the item if this loss in value is attributed to a handling which is not necessary for the purpose of checking the quality, characteristics and functioning of the item. The seller may deduct the amount of loss from the amount reimbursed to buyer
The seller is required to accept the return at the same location specified in the listing or at an address that does not result in a materially different return cost for the buyer
The seller pays for any customs and duty fees on the returned item
The seller is required to refund a buyer upon the receipt of a returned item. Learn more about returns timelines
When an item isn't returned to the seller
In some instances, we may not require that an item be returned to the seller. In these situations, we refund the buyer and may seek reimbursement from the seller, for example if:
The seller chooses not to accept a return request or provide a return shipping label
The item location was misrepresented
It's hazardous to ship back the item
The item no longer has a value (for instance, a ticket for a cancelled event)
Alternatively, with the buyer's consent, we may give a partial refund to cover differences between how the item was described in the listing and the actual item the buyer received. When given a partial refund, the buyer isn't asked to return the item to the seller. We may require the seller to reimburse Ethel for the partial refund.
If a buyer reports that an item is counterfeit, and there are strong indicators that the item is counterfeit, we may not require the buyer to return the item to the seller. The buyer agrees to cooperate with us to ensure proper disposal of the item. In such instances, we refund the buyer for the full cost of the item and original shipping, and the seller reimburses us for the refund. The buyer may not sell the item on Ethel or elsewhere.
Ethel Money Back Guarantee timelines
Item not received
A buyer can report that they didn't receive an item once the item's latest estimated delivery date has passed, and for 30 days after the latest estimated delivery date
For event tickets, a buyer must report that they didn't receive the tickets no later than 7 days after the event date or 30 days from the latest estimated delivery date, whichever is later
The seller has 3 business days from the report to respond to the buyer with a solution (through either a replacement, a return, or a refund). If the seller does not offer a solution or the buyer is unsatisfied with the solution the buyer can ask Ethel to step in and help
If the buyer doesn't ask us to step in and help within 21 business days of reporting that they didn't receive an item, the request closes automatically
Item not as described
A buyer must request a return no later than 30 days after the actual (or latest estimated) delivery date, or, if the seller's return window is longer, within the return window
For event tickets, a buyer must request a return no later than 7 days after the event date or 30 days from the actual (or latest estimated) delivery date, whichever is later
The seller has 3 business days from the request to respond to the buyer with a solution. If the seller does not respond with a solution, the buyer can ask Ethel to step in and help.
The buyer must ship the item back to the seller within 5 business days from when the buyer starts the return. If the seller shipped a replacement or exchange and the buyer has not shipped the original item back within 20 business days of the buyer starting the return, we charge the buyer's PayPal for the replacement or exchange
For items where there's no tracking uploaded by the buyer, if the seller doesn't issue a refund within 2 business days of the item's return delivery date, the buyer can ask Ethel to step in and help for a period of 10 business days after the refund deadline has passed
For items where the buyer has uploaded tracking, if the seller doesn't issue a refund within 2 business days of the item's delivery to the seller, we will automatically issue the buyer a full refund on the seller's behalf. The seller will be required to reimburse us for such refunds. Learn more about reimbursement.
If the buyer doesn't ask Ethel to step in and help within 21 business days of starting a request for a return (or the timelines described if a refund, replacement or exchange isn't received), the request closes automatically
Replacement and exchange
Replacement and exchanges can be requested by the buyer and/or seller. Exchanges are based on value of the original purchased item, with current and equal value. A buyer must request a return and select the replacement or exchange option no later than 30 days after the actual (or latest estimated) delivery date, or, if the seller's return window is longer, within the return window.
Timelines for replacement and exchanges:
When the buyer requests a replacement or an exchange the seller has 3 business days to respond to the buyer. If no response is received after 3 business days, the buyer can ask Ethel to step in and help.
If a replacement or exchange is agreed upon, the buyer has 5 business days to ship the item back to the seller with return tracking. If the buyer doesn’t ship the item within 5 business days, the replacement or exchange will be closed.
If the buyer doesn’t ship the return item back to the seller, and the seller shipped the replacement or exchange with confirmed delivery scan, after 20 business days the seller will be paid the value of the additional item. The buyer will be charged for this additional item via the buyer’s PayPal account.
Latest estimated delivery date
When we have no information about the actual delivery date, we use the latest estimated delivery date. When we have no estimated delivery information, we consider the latest estimated delivery date to be 7 days from payment date for transactions between a buyer and seller in the same country, and 30 days from the payment date for buyers and sellers in different countries.
Extended timelines for Ethel Money Back Guarantee coverage
In some limited situations, we may extend the period of time in which a buyer is eligible for the Ethel Money Back Guarantee. This extra time allows us to take into consideration the buyer's location, the shipping service used, a seller's extended return window, national holidays, or delays due to circumstances such as natural disaster, national emergency, labor strike, or governmental act, or other circumstances such as fraud. In most instances, when we extend timelines for Ethel Money Back Guarantee coverage, in cases where the seller is responsible for requests opened during such an extended timeline, we notify sellers with an announcement on Ethel.com.
Buyers and sellers have an opportunity within 30 days from when we make a decision about a transaction issue to appeal the decision by providing appropriate documentation. Ethel reserves the right to seek reimbursement from the seller if a buyer successfully appeals. Learn more about reimbursement.
Refunds to buyers
We refund buyers to their original payment method or their PayPal account. If a buyer doesn't have a PayPal account, we ask the buyer to create one with their Ethel registered email address to claim their refund. In the unlikely event that we're unable to send refunds to the original payment method or the buyer's PayPal account, we may provide refunds by coupon or vouchers redeemable for future purchases on Ethel.
Seller funds, reimbursements, and fees
After a buyer reports that they didn't receive an item or requests a return, or asks Ethel to step in and help, a seller's funds may be set aside by PayPal, as outlined in the PayPal User Agreement.
If a transaction dispute arises between a buyer and seller and Ethel resolves such dispute in favor of the buyer, the seller authorizes Ethel to reverse the funds to reimburse the buyer, and if such funds are unavailable or insufficient, the seller agrees to reimburse Ethel for any amount Ethel refunds to the buyer.
For PayPal payments, the seller agrees to authorize Ethel to collect reimbursement from their PayPal account. The seller can opt-out of PayPal reimbursement by contacting PayPal.
If reimbursement is unsuccessful, the seller agrees to allow Ethel to charge their reimbursement or automatic payment method on file for amounts refunded to the buyer. Ethel may place the amount refunded to the buyer on their invoice subject to their automatic payment method. The seller will remain obligated to pay Ethel for all unpaid amounts and Ethel reserves the right to seek reimbursement through other means. You can find further details about reimbursements in our User Agreement.
If a seller issues a buyer a full refund before Ethel is asked to step in and help, we credit the seller's final value fee. Insertion fees and other Ethel fees aren't refunded.
Using other programs to address a concern
Buyers can't use more than one resolution method to get a refund. After selecting a resolution process (Ethel Money Back Guarantee, PayPal Purchase Protection, or requesting a chargeback from their payment provider) a buyer is required to use only that process to resolve the transaction issue.
If a buyer requests a chargeback from their payment provider or files a PayPal Purchase Protection dispute, any requests opened through Ethel for the same transaction are immediately closed.
Fraudulent claims may include:
A buyer opening excessive requests or duplicate requests using other programs
A buyer colluding with a seller to mis-declare an item's value for customs
A buyer filing a chargeback after knowingly receiving a refund
Buyers who file fraudulent claims are subject to consequences outlined in the Abusing Ethel section of the User Agreement. In addition, we reserve the right to indefinitely suspend the buyer's coverage under the Ethel Money Back Guarantee.
Buyers and sellers permit us to make final decisions about all cases, including appeals. We may provide buyers and sellers with access to each other's names, usernames, contact information, and other information relating to a request
When a buyer and seller don't speak the same language, we may assist with communication until the issue is resolved
The Ethel Money Back Guarantee is not a product warranty
In some situations, we may open and decide on a request on behalf of the buyer. This includes situations in which a seller is suspended for fraudulent activity
For items shipped through the Global Shipping Program, the program's terms and conditions for buyers describe how members are protected by the Ethel Money Back Guarantee
We reserve the right to fix any processing errors we discover by debiting or crediting the payment method used for the incorrect refund or reimbursement
Buyer protection is available to buyers who have purchased items on the Ethel site:
Ethel offers a 7-day return window for items that meet the requirements for return. Please contact us via any of our contact channels within seven days of delivery and we will ensure you get resolution
Send a Complaint
Also include pictures of the product that was delivered to help@Ethel.com as a means of evidence.
Return after Authorization
Once your claim is validated, we will provide information on the most suitable means of getting the item from you.
Track Return Status
We will send you a return waybill number, this will enable you to track the status of your return.
Once the item has been received by the seller, we will ensure you get a resolution (A replacement, exchange or refund).
What if I complain after the 7 days’ return timeframe has elapsed?
For product complaints outside 7 days in relation to defective items, you may:
Visit an authorized service center to obtain warranty. If the service center is not in your location, you may choose to contact Ethel.
Contact the seller of the product who will be in a better position to provide a resolution.
Contact us so we can assist in getting a resolution from the seller.
Please note: You will be responsible for the shipping cost and cost of repair (where the defect is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty). Ethel will not replace or issue refund for items that fall into this category.
Items not eligible for Returns
Products that have been altered from their original or opened by an authorized personnel without permission.
Product with tampered or missing serial Universal Product Code numbers (UPC).
Perishable goods cannot be returned except a valid reason is raised at the point of delivery with affirmation from the dispatcher.
Products damaged due to misuse.
Products in beauty, health and personal care category.
Jewellery, innerwear, bed sheets, lingerie and socks.
Books and CDs
Requirements for Returns
REASONS FOR RETURN DESCRIPTION TAGS/LABELS ATTACHED ORIGINAL PACKAGING COMPLETE ACCESSORIES & FREE GIFTS NEW CONDITION NOT DAMAGED
Changed mind request Product unused, (this applies to products in fashion category only).
Wrong Items Products delivered differently from what was displayed on the website, return will be authorized after validation.
Defective Items Product delivered has manufacturers defects was delivered dead on arrival, return will be authorized after validation.
Damaged (in transit) Product has visible damage, return will be authorized after validation.
Quality Issues Product delivered not working up to specification, cannot perform specified functions, return will be authorized after validation.