What Does Open Box Mean On eBay?

eBay is the number one worldwide platform for buying and selling used goods. It helps us to make use of objects that might otherwise end up in landfills, or it can help us to get our hands on truly prized collectibles!

No matter what you are buying from eBay, its many selling tools make it extremely easy to use and allow for sellers to attract customers that would get a lot of value from their products. 

However, as part of this, many sellers make use of highly specific terms to help describe the products that they are selling, and the condition that they are currently in, and sometimes those same terms can be confusing to the layman. 

For instance, what does the term ‘Open Box’ mean when used in the context of an eBay product? Does it mean that the item is heavily used? Does it mean that the product is damaged? 

To save you the hours spent worrying over what ‘open box’ means, we’ve decided to put together this handy guide so that you can know exactly what you are buying when you’re browsing your way across eBay. Read on below!

What Does Open Box Mean On eBay?

‘Open box’, within the context of eBay, is often used to describe an item that has been opened only ever a few times but never used.

For instance, this may happen if someone ordered an item they wanted, and upon receiving it and opening the box, they found that they did not like the color of the item or something else about it. In such a case, the product is still in pristine and unused condition, but the box has officially been ‘opened’.

Buying ‘open box’ products on eBay can be a great way to save a lot of money, as they are often marked down quite significantly in price, but are still in perfect condition.

If you don’t particularly care for the original packaging that a product comes in, then ‘open box’ is definitely something to look out for. 

Ebay open box products

However, though this is generally the case most of the time, there may be cases in which the product has seen some use from the buyer before being sent back.

Some eBay stores sell products that have been returned to them, or that have been returned to other retail outlets. In some cases, such products may be a little bit more used, but will still be in fantastic condition. 

Some stores, including brick-and-mortar stores, accept returns up to a month after the initial purchase, and even after the item has been used.

Thus, some items listed as ‘open box’ on eBay may have seen some use. Thus it is important to contact the seller to find out what condition a particular item is in, especially when it is listed as ‘open box’. 

Is It Worth Buying An Open Box Item On eBay?

In most cases, yes, it is very much worthwhile to purchase an item that is listed as an ‘open box’ on eBay. Such items are usually sold for a much more discounted price, on the merit of having been opened prior to purchase.

This means that buying an ‘open box’ product can save you a lot of money, especially if you are unconcerned with the condition of the original packaging. 

However, if you are a collector of, for instance, vintage pop culture figures, retro video games, or other collectible memorabilia, then you may want to avoid ‘open box’ products, as the quality of them may be compromised, and most collectors would prefer that their purchases be preserved in their original packaging from when they were first manufactured. 

In order to ensure that you always get value for your money when buying an ‘open box’ product, make sure to chat to the seller of the item to gauge the quality and the condition of the item. You will get the best value for your money if it is in excellent condition. 

Ask them about the condition of the box, and how many times the item has been used or opened, and definitely make sure to ask them whether they have performed a full inspection of the item to ensure that everything is in full working order, and if there are any notable signs of wear and tear. 

What Is The Difference Between ‘Open Box’ And ‘Refurbished’?

These two very distinct types of products very often end up confused with one another. An ‘Open box’ item is an unused item that has only had its box opened before it was returned or sold.

a ‘refurbished’ item, on the other hand, is fully repaired from a damaged state before then being sold again as an undamaged item.

Such items are usually sold at a discounted price, as they are considered to be in ‘damaged’ condition, and they may still show signs of minimal wear and tear.

You may have seen the two types of items being sold within the same space, but they are entirely unique, however, it is easy to see how the two are often conflated. 

What Is The Difference Between An ‘Open Box’ Item And A ‘Used’ Item On eBay?

These are definitely very distinct items. An object on eBay that is listed as ‘open box’ will not have been used at all, or if it has, it will only have been used once or twice and will be inspected to guarantee that it is still in perfect working order.

A ‘used’ item, on the other hand, is one that may have been used any number of times, but will still likely be in working order. Normally, the lower the price, the more likely it is heavily used and may need significant repairs in the future. 


We hope we’ve managed to clear up any confusion, and that you are now confident to make a purchase on eBay that might be listed as ‘open box’. ‘Open box’ items can be a great way to save money, by buying an unused item that is still in perfect working order, but that has previously had its packaging opened. 

However, not all ‘open box’ items are unused, so you must make a point of accurately verifying that the item is in good condition before you purchase. You can do this by striking up a conversation with the seller to discuss.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Open Box Mean Unused?

For the most part, ‘open box’ items on eBay tend to be mostly unused, as they will have been returned before anyone will have used them.

However, some sellers on eBay may still list an item as ‘open box’ even if it has been used a few times. This is why it is important to ensure that the seller has verified that the item is still in perfect condition. 

Are Open Box Items On Ebay Good?

‘Open box’ items on eBay are usually of very good quality. They have likely never been used, and the most that will have been done is that the original packaging will have been opened at some point.

However, some sellers may attempt to sell a highly-used item as ‘open box’, so it is always worth querying the seller to ensure that what they are selling is of a good quality. 

Does open box mean brand new?No. Typically, open box items will have been received by a previous buyer, opened once or twice, but then sent back to the seller before the item has been used.

This means that many ‘open box’ items are similar to brand new items, and may still be in excellent condition, but they are not entirely unused.

Bruno Breen

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