9 min article

Offers to buy or sell outside of eBay policy

When a transaction that started out on eBay is completed outside of the eBay platform, the buyer and seller are no longer covered by eBay protection programs and the eBay Money Back Guarantee. As such, contacting another eBay member to discuss moving a purchase off eBay creates a risk of fraud, and is not permitted. Please see our full policy guidelines below for more details.

Buyers and sellers aren't allowed to share or request direct contact information prior to completing a sale. They also can't use information they've obtained on eBay to contact each other to buy or sell off eBay. Sellers who listed an item on eBay must pay all fees for the eBay services they've used, even if the sale is completed off eBay (such as cash on delivery, pay on pickup, or paid by check or money order).

If a seller or buyer asks you to complete a transaction outside of eBay, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I paid for my item with cash but now I can't find the sale in my Purchase history. Am I covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee?

If you didn't use eBay checkout to complete the purchase on eBay then it won't show up in your Purchase history, and you aren't covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee. Always complete your transactions on eBay to ensure you're covered by our protection policies. If a seller asks you to complete a transaction in another way, please contact us.

I want to pay in cash and pick up the item in person. What should I do?

If the seller has selected local pickup and cash payment as an option, then you can select Buy It Now, or if you win an auction you'll be able to select Cash on pickup at checkout.

Can I exchange contact information in order to see an item before purchasing it?

You can only exchange direct contact information after you've purchased the item. For local pickup transactions, you can select to pay by cash upon pickup in checkout if the seller made that payment option available when they listed the item.

I have a lot of questions about the item, can I call the seller?

No. Exchanging direct contact information with other eBay members is against our rules. You should keep all communications in eBay Messages by selecting Contact seller in the item’s listing.

My seller offers Best Offer. Does that mean we're completing the transaction outside of eBay?

No, you're not completing the transaction outside eBay when you make a Best Offer. Best Offer transactions are negotiated using eBay channels and are completed on eBay.

Read our full policy

Offers to buy or sell outside eBay policy overview

We don't allow our members to use eBay to contact each other to make offers to buy or sell items outside of eBay. Also, members can't use information obtained from eBay or any eBay systems to contact each other about buying or selling outside of eBay.

Sellers are liable for fees arising out of all sales made using some or all eBay Services, even if sales terms are finalized or payment is made outside of eBay.

Sellers are also liable for final value fees if they offer or reference their contact information, or ask for a buyer's contact information, in the context of buying or selling outside of eBay, even if the item does not sell.

If you receive an offer to buy or sell outside eBay, please report it - opens in new window or tab.

Make sure you follow these guidelines. If you don't, you may be subject to a range of actions. We may limit, restrict, or suspend you from buying, selling, or using site features. All of your listings may be removed, displayed lower or not shown in search results, without refunding any or all applicable fees. You may also forfeit special account status and any discounts. You may be subject to the application of fees and recovery of our expenses in policy monitoring and enforcement.

Watch the video series about our policy on offers to buy or sell outside of eBay:

What are the guidelines?

Allowed Allowed
  • Sellers can end a listing early in order to sell an item at the current bid price to the high bidder
  • Bidders can ask sellers to end a listing early and sell at the current bid price, but sellers don't have to honor the request
  • Sellers can use eBay's Private Offer feature to send a customized offer within My Messages to a specific buyer for an active fixed price listing
  • When selling an item with a fixed price, you can choose the Best Offer option when you list your item, which gives buyers a chance to negotiate the price with you
 
Not allowed Not allowed

Some examples of activities that aren't allowed include:

  • Using member contact information obtained from eBay or using any eBay system to offer to sell any listed item outside of eBay
  • Posting or displaying contact information in a listing, including email, phone number, and mailing address, without the permission of eBay or except as required by law
  • Canceling a listing to sell to a buyer who found the item on eBay
  • Ending an auction-style listing early to sell the item to the winning bidder a price higher than the current bid
  • Including, requesting, offering, or referencing contact information or an offer to buy or sell an item outside of eBay within a Best Offer, email message, or other communication with an eBay user
  • Offering to sell an item to a non-winning bidder without using Second Chance Offer
  • In your listing page or in communications with another eBay member you can't refer to or promote your personal website (including links to home page web addresses that promote websites outside of eBay), sales outside of eBay, or other businesses.
 

How to tell if you're buying or selling on eBay

The best way to tell if you're actually transacting on eBay is:

  1. Open a new browser and type www.ebay.com.
  2. Click My eBay at the top of the page and sign in.
  3. Check to see that the listing you've bid on, bought, or sold appears in the Purchase History or Sell sections.
  4. If your transaction doesn't show up in My eBay, then you didn't buy or sell the item on eBay.

Why does eBay have this policy?

Offers to buy or sell outside of eBay are a potential fraud risk for both buyers and sellers, and are not protected by the eBay Money Back Guarantee and other buyer protection programs. Additionally, these offers may be an attempt to avoid eBay fees. This is unfair to other sellers and violates our policies.
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