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.

Sellers don't need to open unpaid item cases any longer. Instead, orders can be canceled if a buyer hasn't paid within 4 calendar days. If you still have open unpaid item cases, you have 36 days from the date they were opened to close them. If you don't close them within 36 days, we'll close them for you, but you won't be eligible for a final value fee credit and the unpaid item won't be recorded on the buyer's account.

Credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal are our recommended payment methods, 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.

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:

  • eBay offers protection for items sold following the guidelines outlined in our Seller Protection article
  • If a credit card payment is being reversed or can’t be received, see our article on handling payment disputes and chargebacks for more information
  • If you’re selling high-priced items, consider using an escrow service

Tip
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

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.

Tip
If the buyer hasn't paid within 4 calendar days after the listing ended or from when they agreed to buy using But It Now, you can cancel the order.

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

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