3 min article

Avoiding payment problems for items you've sold

When a buyer purchases one of your items on eBay, you can take steps to help ensure you receive prompt payment and avoid potential issues.

Credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal are our recommended methods for accepting payment, but you can also offer buyers other payment methods. To help avoid issues with a transaction, we don’t recommend accepting cash unless the buyer is paying on pickup.

Additionally, managed payments sellers can also offer Apple Pay and Google Pay.

How to avoid payment issues

There are additional protections you can use to make sure transactions are completed smoothly and help avoid payment issues. For example:

  • PayPal offers protection for items sold following the guidelines outlined in PayPal Seller Protection - opens in new window or tab. If you use a different method to receive payment, you should review the policy to see if fraud protection is provided
  • If the buyer pays with a credit card, you can help ensure that it’s valid by contacting the credit card issuer to verify that the name on the card matches both the shipping information and the contact information. If in doubt, ask the credit card company to validate that payment was made before you ship the buyer’s item
  • If a credit card payment is being reversed or can’t be received, contact the credit card company, the issuing bank, or PayPal - opens in new window or tab (if the buyer paid with PayPal) to review your options. If you’re a managed payments seller, learn more about handling payment disputes and chargebacks
  • If you’re selling high-priced items, consider using an escrow service

Ensure you’re paid swiftly by requiring immediate payment when buyers use the Buy It Now option.

How to avoid scams and fraudulent payments

We want eBay to be a safe marketplace for all our members, so if you see something unusual or suspicious, please let us know - opens in new window or tab.

Observe the following:

  • If you believe that a buyer paid or is attempting to pay with fraudulent funds or a stolen credit card, you can report it to us - opens in new window or tab. You should also contact law enforcement in the buyer’s location. We’ll cooperate fully with all law enforcement inquiries
  • If a buyer sends a check or money order that can’t be cashed, report them to us - opens in new window or tab. These payment methods are permitted only for certain categories and for local pickup—you’ll find more information in our accepted payments policy
  • You should never accept overpayment from buyers, especially if the buyer asks you to repay the overpayment. Requests like this are often part of a cashier’s check scheme
  • Before shipping an order, confirm that you have received the buyer’s payment via your permitted payment method

One of our top priorities is protecting our members, so sales that start on eBay can’t be completed off our site. Remember, if a sale is completed off eBay, neither buyers nor sellers are covered by our protection programs if something goes wrong, and you’ll still need to pay fees.

If you’re waiting longer than expected for a payment, contact the buyer to find out if there’s a problem. If the buyer hasn’t paid, you might be able to open an unpaid item case or cancel the transaction.

You’re covered by our seller protection policy when you accept payment through credit or debit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. 

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