Bought the Wrong Gift? PayPal Will Cover Your Return Shipping Costs

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This year, you won’t lose out on cash if you need to return any holiday gifts you buy using PayPal.

Whether it’s a fruitcake sampler collection, an ugly Christmas sweater or a painting of dogs playing poker, you won’t have to eat the return shipping costs for these well-intentioned — but not quite right — gifts, thanks to the “Return Shipping on Us” program.

How Does It Work?

If you make eligible purchases using PayPal and then decide to return them, you can receive reimbursement on the shipping costs of up to four items. The offer, which began earlier this month, is good until Jan. 31, 2016.

To take advantage of this deal, go to PayPal’s returns website and activate the “Return Shipping on Us” service. Then, if your gift doesn’t work out and you want to return it to the seller, simply follow the instructions to return the item and request your reimbursement.

To request your refund, you’ll need to prove your shipping costs, so be sure to save your shipping receipts. You should receive a refund for the costs within 14 days of your return.

Each refund is limited to $30, and, of course, other Terms and Conditions apply.

Why Is PayPal Paying for Return Shipping?

PayPal hopes this will encourage you to buy from online sellers without worrying about paying for return shipping if the item doesn’t work out.

The program also means online businesses won’t have to pay the cost of return shipping, which is a huge advantage for independent sellers.

PayPal has tested the service in several countries, including Australia, Italy, France and Spain, and it’s now open to U.S. residents.

Your Turn: With this program, are you more likely to pay with PayPal this holiday season?

Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.