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What to do when a buyer doesn't pay (unpaid item process)

If you don't receive payment for an item you've sold, we're here to help.

If the buyer is no longer registered on eBay, you can open a case right away in the Resolution Centre. Under I sold an item, select I haven't received my payment yet.

If the buyer is still registered, please give the buyer 2 days to pay. You can check the payment status through PayPal or their other payment method. If you still haven't received payment after a reasonable amount of time, here's what you can do next:

1. Talk to the buyer

You can solve most problems by talking directly with the buyer. If you don't have it, you can get the buyer's contact information.

Get tips on communicating with your trading partner

2. Work it out in our Resolution Centre

If you can't work things out directly with the buyer, you can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Centre. You must open the case on the same eBay country site where you sold the item.

Timeline: Opening a case - 2 to 32 days after the sale

To open an unpaid item case:
  1. Click the Resolution Centre link at the bottom of most eBay pages.

  2. Select I haven't received my payment yet and click Continue.

Timing is important
There limited timeframes when you can open and close the case, and be credited for certain fees.

  • If you don't receive payment, you can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Centre as early as 2 days or up until 32 days after the listing ended.

    For example, if the listing ended on 5 October at 11.15 am, you can open the case from 11.15am on 7 October.

  • If the buyer doesn't pay, you need to manually close the case in the Resolution Centre. You can do this as early as 4 days after you opened the case, or up to 36 days after the listing ended.

  • If you don't close the case, it expires on the 37th day after the listing has ended and you won't receive a final value fee credit.

3.  We contact the buyer to request payment

Timeline:

  • We contact the buyer immediately after you opened the case

  • The buyer has 4 days from the time you opened the case to pay

During this time the buyer can also contact you to request a payment extension or make another arrangement. Of course you can agree to the buyer's request, but you're not obliged to make special arrangements.

If the buyer doesn't pay within 4 days, you can close the case and an unpaid item may be recorded on the buyer's account. If the buyer has contacted you and you've agreed to extend the payment deadline, you can wait up to 36 days after the listing ended to close the case.

4. Close the case

Timeline: As soon as 4 days and up to 36 days after the listing ended

If the buyer pays using one of eBay's approved electronic payment methods (such as PayPal), the case closes automatically. But if they pay using another method, you need to go to My eBay and mark the item as paid.

If the buyer doesn't pay, you should close the case in the Resolution Centre and request a final value fee credit. You must do this within 36 days after the listing ended. If you haven't closed the case on the 37th day, eBay automatically closes it, and you don't receive a final value fee credit. Also, the unpaid item won't be recorded on the buyer's account.

To close the case:
  1. Log in to the Resolution Centre and find the case.

  2. Under Have you received payment from the buyer?, select Yes or No.

Once the case is closed by you or eBay, you can't re-open it.

If your problem isn't resolved

  • If the buyer didn't pay, you may be credited for the final value fee.

  • You can extend a Second Chance Offer to another bidder.

  • You can relist the item (and you may be credited for the insertion fee as well as the final value fee).

  • If you want a refund for your credit, find out how to request a refund from eBay.

  • When you close the case, our Trust and Safety team is automatically alerted. Actions may include recording unpaid items on the buyer's account, which may lead to limits on or loss of buying privileges.

  • The buyer can appeal the unpaid item case.

If you suspect fraud, report the buyer

If you think your buyer bought or tried to buy an item fraudulently, read our information about fraudulent payment and report the buyer. We don't provide mediation, collect payment or force a member to complete a transaction. We will, however, review reports of attempts to purchase items using fraudulent funds and take appropriate action in accordance with our policies.

You can also:

  • Contact the police. We'll cooperate with any investigation after you've closed the case in the Resolution Centre.

Tools for sellers

  • Buyer requirements

    Protect yourself from unpaid items by setting buyer requirements. For example, you can block members who already have unpaid items recorded on their account from bidding on or buying your items.

  • Unpaid Item Assistant

    If you sell a lot of items, save time by using Unpaid Item Assistant to manage your unpaid items for you. Unpaid Item Assistant can open a case on your behalf if the buyer doesn't pay within a certain timeframe, and then close the case and relist the item automatically if the matter isn't resolved.

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