8 min article

Unpaid item policy

To make sure eBay is a place where sellers want to do business, and to manage buyer expectations, our unpaid items policy sets out our rules around paying for items after a buyer has won an auction or agreed to make a purchase.

When a buyer bids on an item or selects Buy It Now, they're committing to paying for the item. If they don't pay within 2 days, the seller can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Center. If the case closes without payment, the seller is eligible for a final value fee credit and we may record an unpaid item on the buyer's account. For more details on how unpaid item cases are resolved, please see our full policy guidelines below.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I bid on several items, but only wanted one, and ended up winning them all. Do I have to pay for those I don't want?

Yes. Each time you bid or select Buy It Now, you're agreeing to pay for the item.

I reported a buyer who didn't pay for an item. What can I do about negative feedback he left me?

We'll remove feedback for you in cases where a buyer didn't pay or respond to the unpaid item process, or who has been suspended. If we see feedback from a buyer who didn't pay, we'll remove it automatically. If we've missed something though, please contact us to ask to have it removed.

Read our full policy

Unpaid item policy overview

When a buyer wins an item or uses Buy It Now to purchase an item, the buyer is obligated to complete the purchase by sending full payment to the seller.

If a buyer doesn't pay within 2 days, a seller can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Center. If the buyer still doesn't pay or reach some other agreement with the seller, eBay may record the unpaid item on the buyer's account.

When an unpaid item case closes without payment from the buyer, the seller is eligible to receive a final value fee credit to their seller account. Also, if the seller relists the item and it sells the second time, eBay may refund the insertion fee for the relisting. Learn more about managing unpaid items and receiving insertion fee credits.

Excessive unpaid items on a buyer's account may result in a range of consequences, including limits on or loss of buying privileges. Even if you don't have excessive unpaid items, we may limit your buying until you've established a good buying history or paid for the items you've committed to.

Examples of policy violations

If you've placed a winning bid or clicked the Buy It Now button in a listing, you've committed to purchasing that item. If you don't pay for it, even if you've changed your mind, you violate the unpaid item policy. Here are some examples:

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Jay looks for a grill on eBay and places a bid. After winning the item, he realizes that shipping the item will cost more than he's willing to spend. He decides not to send payment and simply ignores the invoices that he receives.
  • Sarah is new to eBay and is just browsing. Excited by all the great deals she's finding, she starts placing bids and using Buy It Now on every item that catches her eye. She doesn't realize that she's purchased many of those items and is obligated to pay for them. If she chooses not to pay for the items, she's violating the unpaid item policy.
  • Colin is looking for a new boat. He finds many models that he'd be very happy with and places bids on 3 boats in hopes that he'll be the high bidder on one of the listings. Colin ends up winning 2 boats and pays for the one that he really likes. By not paying for the second boat, Colin is violating the unpaid item policy.

Additional information

False reports

Sellers who falsely report unpaid items may:

  • Have all credits for the time period in question reversed
  • Lose the ability to use the final value fee credit for the time period in question
  • Lose the ability to use the final value fee credit system for a period of time
  • Be subject to suspension

Unpaid items and account limits

  • Buyers who don't pay may have unpaid items recorded on their accounts
  • Unpaid items are separate from feedback, and don't affect a user's feedback score or feedback profile
  • An unpaid item will be recorded on the buyer's account when the seller receives a final value fee credit
  • If you have excessive unpaid items or canceled transactions on your account, we may limit or end your ability to buy
  • Buyers have the option of appealing an unpaid item if they believe it was undeserved
  • Unpaid items are also considered a violation of the buying practices policy

For transactions involving an unpaid item, feedback left by a buyer may be removed when:

  • The buyer didn't pay or respond to the unpaid item case
  • The buyer is suspended
  • The buyer's communication in the Resolution Center undermines the purpose of the unpaid item process and the eBay feedback system

Why does eBay have this policy?

When a buyer doesn't pay for an item they've won or purchased, it costs the seller time and money and holds up inventory. The unpaid item policy helps create a safer and more successful buying and selling experience.

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