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Sellers' Frequently Asked Questions about the eBay Buyer Protection Policy on eBay.com & eBay.co.uk

What are the differences between eBay Buyer Protection and PayPal Buyer Protection?

Here are the principal differences between the two programs:

  • The timing is different. On eBay, the seller has seven days (on eBay US) or ten days (on eBay UK) to respond to a buyer's claim. On PayPal the seller has longer to respond.
  • eBay Buyer Protection covers all acceptable eBay payments, not just PayPal.
  • In the event eBay finds a seller at fault for a claim, and the seller has not already refunded the buyer, eBay will reimburse the buyer and request the seller to reimburse e Bay for the amount of the reimbursement through PayPal.

How sellers are protected from a losing a claim?

For "item not received" claims sellers are protected from losing a claim if they provide evidence of proof of delivery to eBay. Proof of delivery is tracking information from a shipping company that clearly displays:

  1. the delivery status of the item as "delivered,"
  2. the date of delivery (which reflects the seller shipped within stated handling time)
  3. the recipient's address, displaying at least the city/state or ZIP code (or the international equivalent), and
  4. for items $250 USD (or local currency equivalent) or more (eBay.com) or for items £150 or more (or local currency equivalent) (eBay.co.uk), proof of the recipient's signature to confirm delivery is required

For "item not as described" claims, sellers may be protected from losing a claim if they provide clear documentation that the item was described properly. For example, claims may be resolved in the seller's favor when the seller provides documentation that: For "item not as described" claims, sellers may be protected from losing a claim if they provide clear documentation that the item was described properly. For example, claims may be resolved in the seller's favor when the seller provides documentation that:

  1. the buyer complains that the item is used, not new, and the listing clearly describes the item as used, or
  2. a defect in the item was correctly described by the seller, or
  3. the item was properly described, but the buyer didn't want it after they received it, or
  4. the item was properly described but did not meet buyers' expectations, or
  5. the item has minor scratches and was listed as used condition.

For eligible claims filed through the PayPal Resolution Centre sellers are protected from losing a claim by PayPal Seller Protection.

Please click here for more details on Proof of Delivery and Proof of Shipment.

How will eBay display new claim alerts?

If you receive notification of a case filed for a transaction on the eBay.com or eBay.co.uk site, you will need to log into the relevant site, and go to the eBay Resolution Centre to manage the case. 

For UK, this is found at: http://resolutioncentre.ebay.co.uk/.
For US, this is found at: http://resolutioncenter.ebay.com/)

Chargebacks for transactions originally paid for via PayPal will continue to be shown in the PayPal Resolution Center.

Can I appeal an eBay Buyer Protection decision?

If a case is closed in the buyer's favor, a seller may appeal the decision by providing the appropriate documentation via the eBay Resolution Centre .

Hong Kong, China, Southeast Asia and Taiwan sellers can also contact our Customer Support by Email for appeal process.

What if my appeal is successful?

If the decision is reversed by eBay on appeal, the seller will be refunded the reimbursement amount back to the original reimbursement method.

Will I be charged if eBay closes a claim on my behalf?

If the buyer's claim is closed in your favor, you don't have to refund eBay or the buyer.

What happens to eBay selling fees for disputed transactions?

The final value fees paid to eBay as part of the original transaction will be refunded if you respond to a buyer's claim by providing the buyer with a full refund including the cost of the item and original shipping (and accepting a return in the case of "item not as described"). eBay fees will also be returned in counterfeit claims where a buyer and seller have not come to resolution.

What happens if the buyer's claim is closed in the buyer's favor?

If we resolve a dispute in the buyer's favor, and refund the buyer for the claim, the seller will be required to reimburse us for the refund. (Please see below on reimbursements "How are reimbursements payments managed under the eBay Buyer Protection?" for more information.)

Sellers with a large number of claims relative to their total sales may be at risk of violating eBay's Seller Practices policy.

If the buyer alleged that the item you sold was not authentic and that claim was resolved in the buyer's favor, eBay may impose sanctions on you, up to and including suspension of your account. See "What happens if a buyer believes an item is counterfeit?" in the US eBay Buyer Protection Policy and in the UK eBay Buyer Protection Policyfor more details.

How much time do buyers have to wait before filing a claim?

Buyers can contact eBay customer support at any time with issues or questions. However, we may ask buyers to wait until a reasonable amount of time after payment has cleared before pursuing a claim. In most cases, we will look at the total of:

  • The seller's stated handling time prior to shipment
  • Estimated transit time based on the type of shipping and the destination of the item, allowing for customs clearance if the item was sent internationally
  • Plus an extra cushion of three days in most cases, to accommodate shipping variability

In cases where the seller offered overnight shipping and the buyer selected it, we will require only one day of cushion. In cases where the seller did not specify handling time or a shipping carrier, we will not accept item not received claims until after 7 days (on eBay US) or 10 days (on eBay UK) from the payment date.

In the event of a national emergency or extreme weather conditions, we may at our discretion ask buyers to wait longer.

Buyers can file item not as described claims upon receiving the item, but are encouraged to first contact the seller to resolve the issue.

Is there a time limit for a buyer to place a claim?

Generally, buyers will have 45 days from payment to file a claim—the same as with the current PayPal dispute resolution system. Exceptions may be made based on factors such as member account information, listing information, item location, and shipping method.

What if the item is still in transit when the buyer claims the item was not received?

If tracking shows that the item was sent within the seller's handling time window, but has not yet arrived, we may ask the buyer to wait. We also may extend the amount of time buyers should wait depending on circumstances-for example, if the item was sent using a slower shipping service, or was sent internationally.

What if the item is stuck in customs because the buyer won't pay the import fees?

Cross-border trade disputes will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis using all available transaction information. Cross-border sellers can also facilitate reviews of their cases by specifying in their item description that cross-border buyers are responsible for any customs duties, taxes, etc. imposed by the buyer's home country.

What if eBay refunds my buyer, I repay eBay for the refund, and then I get a chargeback from the buyer?

Sellers found at fault for an eBay Buyer Protection claim, who provide reimbursement to a buyer then lose a chargeback, may appeal the eBay Buyer Protection decision by providing evidence of the lost chargeback through the eBay resolution Centre. If the decision is reversed, the seller will be refunded the reimbursement amount back to the original reimbursement method.

Buyers who open a chargeback after receiving a refund are abusing eBay Buyer Protection and maybe subject to consequences outlined in our "Abusing eBay" policy.

I gave the buyer a partial refund for the item they claimed was not as described in the listing. Is this sufficient?

We will check with the buyer to see if they are satisfied. If yes, then we would take no further action. If no, we may find for the buyer. If we refund the buyer the remaining balance, we may seek to recover the additional amount from you.

Carrier transit time estimates can be wrong. Why are you using them?

We rely on carriers' own transit time estimates as the best indication of how long the item will take for delivery. In most cases we add a cushion of at least three days after the expected handling plus shipping time to adjust for this. We may lengthen this period based on the type of shipping used by the seller and the location of the buyer. We recognise that transit times in cross-border transactions may be considerably longer.

The buyer has conflicting addresses between eBay and PayPal. Which one do I use?

If there is a conflict between addresses listed on the PayPal "transaction details" page and the eBay "view order details" page, we'll consider sellers to have met their shipping obligations under eBay Buyer Protection if they choose either address.

The buyer returned a brick instead of the item. What do I do?

If the buyer returns a different item, or the same item but in worse condition, the seller should appeal to eBay immediately. We will review the case, and if we find in the seller's favor we will repay the seller any funds we have reversed from their account and record the incident on the buyer's record. If a pattern emerges, we will take action against the buyer for fraud. We also track the number of times a seller claims this happens, to monitor for potential abuse.

When does an item "not as described" claim become a "forced return" for sellers?

We respect sellers' return policies, and buyer remorse is not an acceptable justification for an item not as described case. However, if it appears based on information from the buyer and information in the item listing that the item is not as described, then the buyer must return it to the seller to qualify for a refund. The primary exception to this is that buyers who obtain a manufacturer's or law enforcement certification that the item is in fact not authentic will not be required to return the item to the seller. Instead, we may require proof of destruction of the item from the buyer. (Please refer to the eBay Buyer Protection Policy section on counterfeits for more information.)

I object to this resolution case. What are the consequences for not repaying eBay for the amount of the transaction?

You are required to pay eBay bills promptly. Failure to pay may result in consequences including loss of selling fees for disputed transactions, loss of PowerSeller status and associated fee discounts, selling restriction, account suspension, and referral to a collection agency.

What should I do to make sure my buyers are satisfied?

  • Follow all eBay policies.
  • Write detailed listing descriptions with accurate item condition such as used, new, or refurbished. Clearly describe any flaws.
  • Include multiple pictures of an item in your listings, especially if there are flaws.
  • Ship with a carrier that provides shipping and/or delivery confirmation.
  • Upload item tracking information to My eBay. If you print labels with PayPal or eBay, the tracking information is uploaded automatically.
  • When an item has shipped, mark it as shipped in My eBay.
  • Communicate with your buyers - most issues can be resolved this way.

What can I do to make sure this process runs smoothly?

  • Send the item to the shipping address on the "Order Details" page.
  • Always ship within your stated handling time.
  • If you accept pre-orders or sell made-to-order goods, clearly specify the expected delivery time and be sure to ship within that delivery time.
  • Reply promptly - within 3 days - to eBay's requests for documentation and other information including proof of delivery.

What if the buyer never paid for the item? Can they still call eBay with a dispute?

Buyers are welcome to contact eBay for any reason. However, eBay will not permit claims when the buyer has not paid you.

Will the buyer be able to leave negative Feedback on a transaction if I successfully appeal a dispute?

There is no product linkage between eBay's resolution process and the Feedback system. As is the case today, buyers will be free to leave Feedback regardless of dispute resolution outcomes and all the current reasons for Feedback removal will still apply.

What can I do to protect myself from buyer abuse?

You should report buyers who are abusive, either by contacting eBay Customer Support or by following eBay's process for reporting inappropriate behaviour.

What else should I do to protect myself as a seller?

eBay has taken steps to ensure you have clear options to resolve issues before and after communication between you and a buyer breaks down. The following processes are available to you as an eBay seller:

  • Report a buyer abusing the Feedback system. Use the Contact Us link on any eBay Help page. Feedback is removed when a buyer doesn't respond to an unpaid item report.
  • Provide the required documentation when buyers claim their item was not received.
  • PayPal Seller Protection provides coverage in the event of payments made via PayPal which are subject to chargeback, reversals and claims made via the PayPal Resolution Centre

Cancellation of the transaction and tax

Please note that the resolution of a dispute through this programme does not change users' obligations to maintain appropriate records for tax purposes demonstrating that a transaction has been cancelled.

How are reversals managed under the eBay Buyer Protection?

In the event eBay finds in favour of a buyer — and you haven't already refunded the buyer — eBay will arrange for a refund of the cost of the item and postage to be sent to the buyer. eBay will then remove funds from your PayPal account to reimburse the buyer. If there are insufficient funds in your PayPal account or if PayPal is not your preferred reimbursement method, we will charge your alternative reimbursement method. For future claims where eBay has arranged for a refund of your buyer under the eBay Buyer Protection Policy, we will notify you and continue to charge your preferred reimbursement method. Sellers must have a valid reimbursement method on file with eBay at all times.

What resolution experience do cross-border sellers see?

We are not rolling out the new resolution system to all eBay country sites at once, so in non-US or non-UK transactions, the resolution experience will vary based on which eBay site the item was listed or was sold to. Over time, we will launch the new resolution system on other eBay sites.

In the meantime, if the listing or transaction site is not yet part of the eBay resolution process, your buyers will use the existing PayPal resolution process for that site. Please note that when listing on an eBay site (e.g. a non-US or non-UK site), by choosing the "international shipping" option and/or by making available your items to buyers on other eBay sites, you may be subject to the eBay Buyer Protection Policy and other policies that are applicable to the eBay sites where your items appear. Sellers will use the resolution process initiated by the buyer. Your resolution responsibilities and protections are as outlined on the eBay site at which the purchasing buyers purchased your item and initiate the resolution process.