4 min article

Unpaid item abuse policy

Most sales on eBay go smoothly, but occasionally a buyer might not pay for an item they’ve committed to buy. When that happens, you can cancel the order 4 calendar days after the listing ended and your item will be relist automatically unless you choose not to relist. We take canceled orders seriously, so falsely reporting an unpaid item is strictly prohibited.

From May 2021, sellers will no longer need to open an unpaid item case if a buyer doesn't pay. Instead, sellers can simply cancel an order if payment hasn't been made starting on the 5th calendar day from when the listing ended. This change is already available to some sellers – if it's available to you, you'll see Buyer hasn't paid as an option when cancelling an order in Seller Hub or My eBay Sold. If you can't see this option, don't worry – it'll be available to you in the coming weeks.

Unpaid items are marked on a buyer’s account, and can lead to actions being taken against them. As such, sellers should never falsely report an unpaid item, and may be subject to a range of actions for doing so. For more details, please see our full policy guidelines below.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What can happen to sellers who abuse the unpaid item process?

Sellers who falsely cancel orders claiming that the buyer didn't pay can lose fee credits, receive limits on buying and selling privileges, and in some cases, have their account suspended.

Can a buyer appeal an unpaid item report?

Yes. If a buyer has proof that they paid for the item, or that the seller refused to accept payment, the buyer can appeal the unpaid item.

Read our full policy

Unpaid item abuse policy overview

Sellers aren't allowed to abuse the unpaid item process, and they're not eligible for a final value fee credit if the buyer has paid for the item. If a seller requests a credit on a completed sale, the buyer can appeal the unpaid item.

Sellers who falsely cancel orders claiming that the buyer didn't pay may be subject to a range of actions, including reversal of all credits for the time period in question, inability to use the final value fee credit system for a period of time, limits on buying and selling privileges and suspension of the seller's account.

Examples of policy violations

 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • A buyer sends full payment to the seller and receives the item from the seller. The seller still opens an unpaid item case.
  • A seller refuses to complete the sale, and then opens an unpaid item case.

Additional information

eBay Money Back Guarantee
If you paid for the item but didn't receive it, the eBay Money Back Guarantee can help. Learn more about what to do if you don't receive your item.

Selling practices
While it's understandable that there may be times when sellers can't complete a sale, they're not allowed to refuse payment at the end of a successful transaction. To find out what sellers are generally responsible for, see our selling practices policy.

If a seller refuses to complete the sale and an unpaid item is recorded on the buyer's account, the buyer can appeal the unpaid item.

Why does eBay have this policy?

To make eBay a safer place to buy and sell, we don't allow false canceled orders claiming that the buyer didn't pay. The ability to cancel orders because the buyer didn't pay is designed to help sellers get paid for items that buyers have committed to purchase. If a seller cancels an order because the buyer didn't pay, the seller may be eligible for credit of any applicable fees.

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