9 min article

Seller protections

When you sell on eBay, we protect you from abusive buying behavior and from events outside your control.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How am I protected from abusive buyers?

If eBay finds a buyer's behavior is abusive, we will take action on the buyer and remove negative and neutral feedback and defects, including opened cases in service metrics.

What if something happens that is outside of my control?

We will protect you by removing negative and neutral feedback and defects when things happen that are outside your control, such as weather or carrier delays, or when the item arrives late but tracking shows you shipped on time.

 

Protections for Top Rated Sellers

Top Rated Sellers sellers are eligible for these protections when all the following criteria are met:

  • Your seller performance level is Top Rated Seller at the time of the protection
  • You reside in the US (including US territories) or Canada
  • You don't have a "Very High" rating in any of your service metrics
  • The item was listed on eBay.com
  • The listing offered 30-day or longer returns

A buyer falsely claims an item was not as described

When you report the buyer - opens in new window or tab and we determine the buyer made a false claim:

  • We will subsidize the return shipping label cost up to $6.00 per return. It may take up to 60 days for this amount to be credited to your account
  • We'll automatically remove any related negative or neutral feedback
  • The return won't be counted in your "Not as described" rate in service metrics

Ensure you have completed the return and issued a refund to the buyer. You can also use the Report buyer option within the return request.

An item is returned after it was used or damaged by the buyer

If you accepted a buyer's return request but the item is returned in a different condition than it was originally sent:

  • You can deduct up to 50% from the refund to recover the lost value of the item
    • We'll automatically remove any related negative or neutral feedback
    • If the buyer had requested the return because the item didn't match the listing, we won't count the return in your "Item not as described" rate in service metrics

Make sure you report the buyer - opens in new window or tab and send the refund within 2 business days after receiving the item back. You can do this from the return request. If eBay steps in to help with the return at any stage, you'll no longer be able to deduct an amount from the buyer's refund.

If we're asked to step in after you've issued the refund, it won't be counted as a case closed without seller resolution. We'll keep the return open for up to 10 days while we work with the buyer to resolve their concerns, and you won't need to do anything else.

Learn more about refunding the buyer.

 

Protections for all sellers

Abusive buying activity

When we determine that a buyer has violated the abusive buyer policy, we will remove any associated negative or neutral feedback and defects, including any open cases in service metrics. For abusive buyers, we may also limit their ability to request returns on eBay. In serious cases or repeated abusive behavior, we may suspend the buyer's account.

You can assist us by reporting the buyer - opens in new window or tab and clearly describing what they are doing. This will help us investigate potential policy violations and take actions to protect you.

See the abusive buyer policy for examples of buyer behavior that isn't allowed.

An item is returned after it was used or damaged by the buyer

Sellers who are not Below Standard are eligible for this protection for listings that offer free returns.

If you accepted a buyer's return request but the item is returned in a different condition than it was originally sent:

  • You can deduct up to 50% from the refund to recover the lost value of the item
    • We'll automatically remove any related negative or neutral feedback
    • If the buyer had requested the return because the item didn't match the listing, we won't count the return in your "Item not as described" rate in service metrics

Make sure you report the buyer - opens in new window or tab and send the refund within 2 business days after receiving the item back. You can do this from the return request. If eBay steps in to help with the return at any stage, you'll no longer be able to deduct an amount from the buyer's refund.

If we're asked to step in after you've issued the refund, it won't be counted as a case closed without seller resolution. We'll keep the return open for up to 10 days while we work with the buyer to resolve their concerns, and you won't need to do anything else.

Learn more about refunding the buyer.

A buyer retracted their bid or didn't pay

  • If a buyer retracts their bid and it disrupts your auction, you can choose to cancel the order and we'll remove any related negative or neutral feedback and canceled order defects
  • If the buyer doesn't pay within the time allowed and you cancel the order, we'll remove any related feedback and canceled order defects

To prevent unpaid items, you can require immediate payment from buyers

A buyer demanded something not offered in the original listing

You never have to agree to any changes to the terms in your listing (for example, including additional items or giving a discount). If a buyer demands a change to what you originally offered, you can choose to cancel the order or you can complete the transaction under the original terms. We'll remove any related negative or neutral feedback and canceled order defects when we can see the buyer's demands in eBay messages.

 

Events outside your control

An item arrived late but tracking shows that you shipped on time

We automatically adjust your late shipment rate and remove negative or neutral feedback when:

  • The carrier scan shows you shipped within your handling time, even if it arrives late
  • The carrier scan shows the item arrived by the latest estimated delivery date, even if you shipped it late
  • If there is no tracking or the carrier didn't scan the shipment, it will not count as a late shipment if the buyer doesn't indicate the shipment was late

eBay International Shipping

When you use eBay International Shipping, you're responsible for sending the item your buyer purchased safely to the US shipping hub. If an item is damaged at the hub, or if the buyer reports that an item was lost or damaged during international shipping, we'll work with the buyer to resolve the issue. You're protected from:

  • eBay Money Back Guarantee cases and payment disputes if:
    • A buyer reports an item hasn't arrived, or
    • A buyer reports an item was damaged during shipping
  • Negative and neutral feedback and/or defects when:
    • A buyer reports loss or damage and we determine you are not responsible
    • The feedback comment or defect relates to a problem with shipping, and tracking shows that you shipped the package to the US shipping hub on time

For more information, see our Seller Center page about eBay International Shipping - opens in new window or tab.

Customs and international carrier issues

We adjust your late shipment rate and remove negative or neutral feedback when you ship internationally and the shipment receives a domestic carrier scan within your handling time.

Severe weather or carrier disruptions caused the item to arrive late

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

  • Your shipment was impacted by delivery delays caused by weather or other carrier-caused events listed on the announcement board - opens in new window or tab
  • The shipment receives a carrier scan within your handling time, even if the item arrives late
  • We instruct you to hold a shipment or cancel the order

 

Other protections

Seller performance standards

Fair performance evaluation

Our monthly seller performance evaluations are intended to look at your performance as fairly and accurately as possible. For example:

  • We adjust the evaluation period according to how much you sell to make sure we're getting a fair sample
  • We take into account how many different buyers are involved when determining whether any transaction issues will affect your account standing
  • You won't be subject to consequences for service metrics when your rate is under 1% in a specific category or if you have had fewer than 10 'item not as described' or 'item not received' requests from unique buyers
  • If you are Top Rated, this will be shown in your feedback profile. Otherwise, other eBay members can't see your seller level

For full details of how performance is evaluated, please read our Seller standards policy and Service metrics policy.

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 two evaluation cycles to get your transaction count, sales amount, and/or tracking requirements back to minimum 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.

eBay Money Back Guarantee requests

If we close an eBay Money Back Guarantee case or appeal after having determined that you've met your obligations to the buyer, we will remove any related negative or neutral feedback and defects.

If a buyer reports that an item hasn't arrived

If you ship an item within your stated handling time, and you upload tracking before the estimated delivery date from one of eBay's integrated shipping carriers that shows evidence of successful delivery, you won't be responsible for refunding the buyer.

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, we'll remove any related negative or neutral feedback if you offer free returns, accept the return, and give a refund.

If a buyer doesn't ship a return

In cases where we don't receive proof of shipment from your buyer while the return request is open, we'll remove any negative or neutral feedback left for that transaction once the case is automatically closed.

Duplicate claims

Buyers can't use more than one resolution method to get a refund. If a buyer files a chargeback or buyer protection claim with their payment provider:

  • We'll close any open "Item not received", return, or order cancellation requests for that transaction
  • The buyer won't be able to open an eBay "Item not received" or return request for that transaction

eBay Guaranteed Fit

When a buyer opens a return for a vehicle part or accessory covered by eBay Guaranteed Fit - opens in new window or tab and selects the reason "Doesn't fit my vehicle", we'll cover the cost of an eBay return label. If the item doesn't qualify for an eBay return label, you'll be responsible for providing a way for the buyer to return the item.

 

Protections for payment disputes

If a buyer files a payment dispute and the transaction is eligible for protection under our Payment dispute seller protections, we'll cover the amount of the dispute, waive the dispute fee, and remove negative and neutral feedback related to the transaction.

Learn more about seller protections for payment disputes.

 

Eligibility for protections

Most transactions on eBay are covered by seller protections. However, the following types of items and listings are not covered:

 

Loss of protections

If you do any of the following, you may lose your eligibility for seller protections:

  • Operate with a false identity
  • Fail to follow through with your service promises (such as not honoring your return policy)
  • Have a history of serious policy violations, such as selling counterfeits, using prohibited forms of drop shipping, or taking sales off eBay
  • Abuse or fraudulently use the seller protections – for example, you have a history of:
    • Reporting buyers for false 'Item not as described' requests when you had not described the item correctly
    • Unfairly deducting too much from the buyer's refund when an item is returned in a different condition. In these cases, the deduction should only be used to recoup the actual lost value of the item
    • Misusing or manipulating the eBay Guaranteed Fit program

See our Seller protections abuse policy for more information.

If eBay steps in to help with a return or item not received request:

  • You'll no longer be able to deduct an amount from the buyer's refund when an item is returned used or damaged by the buyer
  • If we determine that you're responsible for refunding the buyer, we won't remove negative and neutral feedback and it will count as a "case closed without seller resolution"

Learn more about the Seller performance and feedback policy.

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