5 min article

Seller protection policy

We strive to help all our sellers be successful on eBay, so we've put a range of protections in place so you can sell with confidence.

From fair performance evaluations to final value fee credits for unpaid items, we want our sellers to know they're participating in a marketplace they can trust. Please read our full policy below to see the full details of how we aim to protect you when you're selling on eBay.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I make sure I get paid?

When a buyer wins an auction or buys an item, they're obligated to complete the sale by paying you. The vast majority of buyers pay quickly, but if a buyer doesn't pay within 2 days, you can open an unpaid item case. If an unpaid item case closes without payment from the buyer, you'll receive a final value fee credit for your listing.

How am I protected in eBay Money Back Guarantee cases?

If eBay is asked to step in and help after a buyer has opened an eBay Money Back Guarantee case, there are many things that we'll take a look at before making a decision. You'll also be protected from losing a case if certain criteria are met. For example, if you ship an item within your stated handling time and provide tracking information to the buyer before you or the buyer asks us to step in, you're protected.

Read our full policy

Seller protection policy overview

How you're protected

eBay protects you from many events outside your control and is here for you when things don't go as planned.

This policy outlines the protections eBay gives you if:

  • An item arrives late that you shipped on time
  • There are carrier disruptions, bugs, or severe weather
  • A returned item has been opened, used, or damaged
  • A buyer retracts their bid or doesn't pay
  • A buyer changes their order or requests something extra
  • A buyer has an unusual rate of complaints or returns
  • Your Seller Performance Standards are impacted
  • You ship within your handling time to an international buyer
  • You have eBay Money Back Guarantee requests

More information:

An item arrives late that you shipped on time

We automatically adjust your late shipment rate, and remove feedback when:

  • The shipment receives a carrier scan within your handling time, even if it arrives late
  • The shipment receives a delivery scan by the estimated delivery, even if you shipped it late
  • If the shipment doesn't receive any carrier scan and there's no tracking info available, but the buyer doesn't indicate the shipment was late it will not count as a late shipment
 

There are carrier disruptions, bugs, or severe weather

We automatically adjust your late shipment rate, remove canceled transaction defects and remove feedback when:

  • The shipment receives a carrier scan within your handling time, even if it arrives late due to carrier disruption, eBay site bugs, natural disaster or severe weather
  • If the shipment receives a delivery scan within the estimated delivery date range, even if you shipped it late
  • eBay or PayPal instructs you to hold a shipment or cancels the transaction
  • Events listed on the announcement board - opens in new window or tab are covered by this protection
 

A returned item has been opened, used, or damaged

When you offer free returns and accept the return:

  • You will have access to use the partial refund tool for items that come back used, damaged, or missing parts
  • If the buyer leaves negative or neutral feedback for any reason or escalates an eBay Money Back Guarantee claim, we will automatically remove the feedback and protect you from impacts to your standards
  • If the buyer escalates, eBay will resolve the issue directly with the buyer, and you don't need to worry
 

A buyer retracts their bid or doesn't pay

  • If you cancel a transaction when a buyer retracts their bid, we will remove canceled transaction defects and remove feedback
  • If the buyer doesn't pay and you file and close an unpaid item request, we will remove feedback and cancelled transaction defects and you will be refunded the final value fee
  • To prevent unpaid items, you can require immediate payment from buyers
 

A buyer changes their order or requests something extra

You never have to agree to any changes to the terms in your listing or to add additional items. If the buyer demands a change to what you originally offered or something extra, you can either cancel the order or ship under the original terms knowing we will remove feedback and defects when we can see the buyer's demands or request for changes in eBay messages.

 

A buyer has an unusual rate of complaints or returns

  • We have developed ways to detect if a buyer is abusing the returns process and have the ability to prevent them from starting a return
  • We employ several measures to identify when a buyer leaves a lot of negative or neutral feedback or opens a lot of claims or returns. In these situations, we may take action to prevent a buyer from starting a return or a claim and we will remove feedback and defects
  • If we take action on a buyer for violating the Buying Practices policy, we will remove feedback and any defects from that buyer
 

Your Seller Performance Standards are impacted

Fair performance evaluation

To measure your overall performance accurately, we look at your performance as a whole. We also consider a buyer's pattern for opening cases and protect you when necessary.

Transaction defect rate

  • The transaction defect rate won't count in your seller performance status until you have transactions with defects from at least 4 different buyers within your evaluation period
  • Buyers don't see your defect rate

eBay Top Rated Seller grace period

If you are a Top Rated Seller and fall below the sales and tracking requirements for Top Rated Seller status, you may qualify for the Top Rated Seller grace period. During the Top Rated Seller grace period you retain your Top Rated Seller status and benefits, and you have 2 evaluation cycles to get your transaction count, sales amount, and/or tracking requirements back to minimum program requirements.

You're eligible for the grace period if you fall below Top Rated Seller standards due to any of the following:

  • You have fewer than 100 transactions with US buyers over the most recent 12-month period
  • You have less than $1,000 in sales with US buyers over the most recent 12-month period
  • You've uploaded shipment tracking within your promised handling time for less than 95% (but not less than 90%) of transactions with US buyers in the last 3 months

You're only eligible for the Top Rated Seller grace period when:

  • You otherwise have a Top Rated Seller performance rating; and
  • You've been a Top Rated Seller for the last 3 (or more) consecutive months immediately preceding evaluation

If you don't meet sales and tracking requirements and performance standards after the grace period ends, you will lose your Top Rated Seller status and benefits.

Learn more about becoming a Top Rated Seller.

 

You ship within your handling time to an international buyer

Global Shipping Program

When you use the Global Shipping Program, you're responsible for getting packages safely to the US shipping center. If an item is damaged or lost after reaching the shipping hub, you're protected from:

  • eBay Money Back Guarantee requests and PayPal Purchase Protection cases when:
    • A buyer claims an item isn't received or
    • A package is damaged
  • Negative and neutral feedback when:
    • You win a case alleging damage or loss
    • The feedback comment relates to a problem with shipping

Read the complete seller policies for the Global Shipping Program - opens in new window or tab.

Customs and international carrier issues

We adjust your late shipment rate and remove feedback if you ship internationally, and the shipment receives a domestic carrier scan within your handling time if:

  • The shipment is stuck or delayed in customs
  • The shipment is lost or receives no tracking scans by the international carrier
 

You have eBay Money Back Guarantee requests

If we close an eBay Money Back Guarantee case or appeal request in favor of the seller we will remove negative feedback and defects

If a buyer reports that an item hasn't been received

If you ship an item within your stated handling time and provide tracking information to the buyer before you or the buyer asks us to step in and help with a request, you're protected.

Tracking information needs to include:

  1. A delivery status of "delivered"
  2. The date of delivery
  3. The recipient's address
  4. Signature confirmation, if an item has a total cost of $750 or more

If a buyer reports that an item isn't as described

If the buyer submits a return request because an item isn't as described in the listing, you are protected from negative and neutral feedback if you offer free returns, accept the return, and give a refund.

Other resolution methods

Buyers can't use more than one resolution method to get a refund. After selecting a resolution method, a buyer is required to use that process for the duration of the resolution effort.

  • If a buyer files a chargeback, any requests opened with eBay Money Back Guarantee for the same transaction are immediately closed
  • If a buyer files a PayPal Purchase Protection case, the buyer can't open an eBay Money Back Guarantee request for the same transaction

If you lose a chargeback after you reimburse eBay or the buyer, you can appeal the decision by providing evidence of the lost chargeback.

Keep in mind

Remember that even if the buyer doesn't ask us to step in and help with an item that wasn't received, the request may still count as a transaction defect if you canceled the transaction because you were out of stock. Learn more about our seller performance standards.

Learn more about eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Learn more about the Seller Performance and Feedback policy.

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