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eBay Seller Protection FAQ
FAQ for sellers
Details on Items Not Received cases
Details on Item Significantly Not as Described cases
Details on refunds and reversals
Other transaction issues
What is the eBay resolution process?
The eBay resolution process is the primary resource for buyers who are unable to resolve disputes directly with eBay sellers.
Buyers claiming they have not received their item or the item they received was not significantly not as described as in the listing, will use the resolution process as their main method for settling the transaction.In some cases under the new system, you can contest buyer cases in similar ways as the current PayPal process—for example, by providing delivery confirmation in the event of an item not received case.
What are the benefits of eBay Money Back Guarantee for me as a seller?
eBay Money Back Guarantee has a number of benefits for sellers:
How are sellers protected from losing a case?
For “item not received” cases, if sellers post the item within their stated handling time and provide a valid proof of delivery for the item, eBay is likely to decide in their favour.
“Proof of delivery” is online documentation from a postal company that includes all of the following:
In cross border cases, where comparable forms of postal tracking do not exist, we will make a decision on a case by case basis.
For significantly not as described cases, sellers may be protected from losing a case if they provide clear documentation that the item was described accurately and consistently throughout the listing and in all associated communications. For example, cases may be resolved in the seller’s favour when the seller provides documentation that:
For eligible cases filed through the PayPal Resolution Centre, sellers are protected from losing a case by PayPal Seller Protection.
What if the buyer received the item but still files an 'item not received' case?
If the buyer receives your item we will only accept an “item not receive” case, if the buyer is able to prove that you did not post the item within your stated handling time and, therefore, the buyer received the item later than reasonably expected. We will also consider any email or other written document you are able to provide, which shows that the buyer agreed to the delayed dispatch time.
In what circumstances may I be responsible for reimbursement even though I may not get my item back?
Where you misrepresented your item’s location in your listing and are now asking the buyer to incur postage charges to return the item to a different location. If you wish to receive the item back, you will be required to pay for the return postage costs (see Item Location Misrepresentation Policy for more information); In certain circumstances where the buyer believes your item is not authentic. For more details, please see the “What happens if a buyer believes an item is not authentic?” section.
Do I have to provide a signature confirmation if the buyer’s address doesn't allow for a signature confirmation?
If the buyer’s address does not allow for signature confirmation (i.e., the buyer’s delivery address is a PO Box or a military base), you must provide delivery confirmation.
Can I appeal an eBay Money Back Guarantee decision?
If a case is closed in the buyer's favour, a seller will have 30 days from the day the case is closed to appeal the decision by providing the appropriate documentation through the eBay Resolution Centre. If the decision is reversed, the seller will be refunded the reimbursement amount back to the reimbursement payment method on file with eBay. Other fees will not be reimbursed. The seller cannot appeal to eBay if they have lost a chargeback or lost a case under PayPal Buyer Protection. In these cases, they must contact the relevant credit card company or PayPal, as appropriate.
Buyers may also appeal decisions. If a buyer successfully appeals a decision originally made in favour of the seller, eBay reserves the right to find for the buyer and reimburse the buyer by requesting that PayPal reverse the funds from the seller’s account to the buyer’s account. Where this is not possible, eBay reserves the right to reimburse the buyer directly and recover the reimbursement sum from the seller by charging the seller’s designated payment method or through other means, as necessary (including, without limitation, by engaging collections agencies).
Will I be charged if eBay closes a case?
If a buyer's case is closedin the seller's favour, the seller will not have to refund eBay or the buyer.
Are all buyers given the option to contact eBay for dispute resolution?
All buyers purchasing items on eBay.co.uk can contact eBay for dispute resolution.
Buyers registered on eBay sites other than eBay.co.uk will continue to use the resolution system currently on their site of registration. We intend to introduce the new resolution process to all eBay sites over time. In the meantime, if you receive a case from an international buyer, you will see the dispute resolution system of the buyer’s site, and so you will need to monitor both sets of emails from eBay about resolution issues, and the existing PayPal Resolution Centre.
How does the eBay resolution process work?
If a buyer has been unsuccessful in resolving a problem directly with you, they can contact eBay. An eBay Customer Support representative reviews the case, runs a fraud check, and confirms that the buyer has already attempted to work with you. If the buyer is in good standing, the agent reviews additional transaction information, such as, item description, buyer and seller track record, seller location, payment, and postage details.
In some situations, we may tell the buyer to wait — if, for example, they haven’t allowed enough time for an item to arrive. Or, they may be informed that their case doesn’t qualify. If the matter warrants further investigation, eBay will contact you. At this point (or at any point during the resolution process), eBay may request PayPal to restrict the funds in your PayPal account associated with this sale (this may result in PayPal deciding to restrict and restricting your access to funds in your PayPal account in order to manage PayPal’s risk exposure pursuant to PayPal policies.).For item not received cases, you have 8 days to arrange one of the following:
At the end of the 8-day period, eBay will check with the buyer to see if they are satisfied. If the buyer is satisfied, the case is closed. If we don’t hear back from the buyer, we won’t refund them or hold you accountable for the transaction.
If the buyer is not satisfied, eBay will review the case. If we find in favour of the buyer, we will remove funds from the seller’s PayPal account to reimburse the buyer for the cost of the item and the original postage cost, in a way similar to how PayPal currently reverses transactions; or, where there are insufficient funds in the seller’s PayPal account or where PayPal is not the reimbursement method of the seller, directly refund the buyer for the cost of the item and the original postage cost, and, in this situation, when appropriate, require the seller to reimburse us for the refund according to the process described in "How are reversals managed in the eBay Resolution system? ". Sellers must have a valid reimbursement method on file with eBay at all times
We understand that there will be times where both the buyer and the seller may be right. In those cases, eBay may absorb the cost to reimburse the buyer without any impact on you.
What are the differences between eBay Money Back Guarantee and PayPal Buyer Protection?
PayPal Buyer Protection will remain in place and buyers can still choose to use it. However, buyers are strongly encouraged to use the eBay resolution process if they have a problem with an item bought on eBay. It will be the primary channel for resolving transaction issues. Once a buyer selects a system — eBay or PayPal — they are required to use that system, and not both, for the duration of the case.
The main differences between the two systems are:
The eBay resolution process is now shorter and simpler. As a seller you have 8 days from the day a buyer raises a case to resolve the issue.
How do the eBay and PayPal resolution systems interact?
The new eBay resolution process is the primary channel for eBay members to resolve transaction issues. Once a buyer selects a system — eBay or PayPal — they are required to use that system, and not both, for the duration of the case. If an eBay resolution case has been closed in favour of the seller and the case is reviewed by eBay again after the decision has been made, sellers will not be asked to refund the buyer under the eBay resolution process.
Will PayPal restrict funds under the new eBay resolution process?
PayPal resolution cases, which will still be available to buyers, will continue as today, with transaction funds being held until the dispute is resolved. Under eBay Money Back Guarantee, we may request PayPal to restrict the seller’s access to relevant funds at any point during the resolution process (This may result in PayPal deciding to restrict and restricting the seller’s access to funds in their PayPal account in order to manage PayPal’s risk exposure pursuant to PayPal policies.).
How are chargebacks managed?
For open resolution cases, filing a chargeback on a credit card-funded PayPal transaction will close the case automatically (on the PayPal or eBay resolution platforms). If the case is already closed and a chargeback arrives, PayPal will dispute the chargeback on your behalf (as happens currently). In instances where PayPal has refunded the buyer but loses the chargeback dispute with the credit card company, PayPal will debit the buyer's account so that the buyer is not refunded twice. Buyers who open a chargeback case on either the eBay or PayPal system after receiving a refund from the seller are abusing the system, and eBay may impose consequences on them.
How will eBay display new case alerts? What about chargebacks?
The eBay Resolution Centre supports simultaneous monitoring of cases from the eBay and PayPal systems. Alerts will be delivered to your email account, and will be visible in the eBay Resolution Centre, and in My eBay.
What if eBay refunds my buyer, I repay eBay, and then I get a chargeback from the buyer?
Sellers who have a case resolved in the buyer's favour, who provide reimbursement to a buyer and 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 back to the original reimbursement payment 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.
What resolution experience do international buyers and sellers see?
We are not introducing the new resolution system to all eBay country sites at once, so buyers registered on eBay sites other than eBay.co.uk will continue to use the resolution system currently on their site of registration. If you receive a case from an international buyer, you will see the dispute resolution system of the buyer’s site, and so you will need to monitor both emails from eBay about resolution issues, and also the existing PayPal Resolution Centre.
If you do not resolve a case you receive from an international buyer or reimburse us for any amount that we have paid to the international buyer, we reserve the right to restrict or prohibit your access to, and your activities on, our sites. Over time, we will launch the new resolution system on all eBay sites.
How much time do buyers have to wait before opening a case?
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 passed before pursuing a case. In most cases, we will look at the total of:
Buyers can open an item Significantly Not As Described case as soon upon receiving the item but are encouraged to first contact the seller to resolve the issue.
What proof will eBay accept from me when buyers open an item not received case?
We require proof of delivery. You will need online documentation from a postal company that includes all of the following:
We strongly encourage you to provide the postal service you use in your listings. Providing the dispatch time in your listings is mandatory, and is important to assess how we will deal with the buyer’s case. We also encourage you to use trackable postage services that include delivery and, where required, signature confirmation, and upload the tracking information into My eBay.
What if the item is still in transit when the buyer open an item was not received case?
If tracking shows that the item was sent within the seller’s stated handling time, but has not yet arrived, we may extend the delivery time window. We also may extend the amount of time buyers have to wait depending on circumstances — for example if the item was sent internationally. However you are responsible for delivering items all the way to the buyer, not just to the courier. So even if the item was dispatched promptly, if it doesn’t show up at the buyer’s address within the allotted time (subject to reasonable cushion time), then you are responsible, regardless of whether you provided delivery confirmation.
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. We will not accept cases filed by international buyers where the sole complaint is high customs duties. Sellers who sell internationally can also facilitate reviews of their cases they receive by specifying in their item description that international buyers are responsible for any customs, duties, etc. imposed by the buyer's home country.
Delivery time estimates can be wrong. Why are you using them?
We rely on carriers' own delivery 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 estimated handling plus delivery time to adjust for this. We may lengthen this period based on the type of P&P you used and the location of the buyer. We understand 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 Money Back Guarantee if they choose either address.
How does eBay review significantly not as described cases?
We compare buyers’ cases that the item was not as described to what was stated in your listing. Accordingly, you should describe your items clearly and consistently. There should also be pictures clearly showing the condition of the item and any defects.
If you do not resolve the buyer’s complaint, depending on how the buyer’s complaint matches what was in the listing, we may:
How much time must elapse before a buyer can file an item significantly not as described case?
Buyers can open a case as soon as the item arrives.
Does the buyer have to return the original item? Who pays for return postage?
The buyer must return the item to you to qualify for a refund. The buyer will pay for return postage.
Here are the criteria for return postage:
What if the item returned by the buyer is stuck in customs because the buyer won't pay the customs fees?
You will be responsible for any customs fees incurred on the returned item. You should find that customs authorities will waive fees for returned items.
The buyer returned a different item than the one I sent. What do I do?
If the buyer returns a different item, or the same item but in worse condition, you should appeal to eBay immediately. We will review the case, and if we find in your favour we will repay you any funds which have been reversed from your account and record the incident on the buyer’s record. If a pattern emerges, we will take action on the buyer for fraud. We also will track the number of times a seller cases this happens, to monitor for potential abuse.
I don't offer returns in my listings. Why does eBay tell my buyer to return the item to me?
We respect sellers’ return policies, and a buyer simply not wanting an item is not an acceptable justification for an item significantly not as described case. However, if we determine based on information from the buyer and information in the item listing that the item is significantly not as described, then, the buyer must return it to you to qualify for a refund. Most items sold by business sellers using the Buy-it-Now format are covered by the Distance Selling Regulations, which give consumer buyers the right to change their mind.
You should also see how the Distance Selling Regulations affect your returns policies.
I gave the buyer a partial refund for the item they claimed was significantly not as described. 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 hold you accountable for the significantly not as described item and ask the buyer to return the item to you. If we then refund the buyer the remaining balance, we may seek to recover the additional amount from you.
What happens if a buyer believes an item is counterfeit?
eBay Money Back Guarantee applies to items that are suspected of being counterfeit , subject to the above and these additional terms:
Eligible cases that meet the conditions and are not excluded under this policy may count as criteria, infringement or a violation by the seller of our prohibited and infringing items policy. As a result, we may impose sanctions on the seller, up to and including suspension of the seller’s account.
How does eBay determine if an item is eligible under eBay Money Back Guarantee, and what are the consequences?
We evaluate whether a buyer’s case is eligible using the following criteria.
Sellers with repeated cases relative to total sales may be at risk of violating eBay's Seller Non-Performance policy. Consequences of violating this policy include:
How are reversals managed under eBay Money Back Guarantee?
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 cases where eBay has arranged for a refund of your buyer under the eBay Money Back Guarantee 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 happens if I successfully appeal a case?
If your appeal is successful, the case will be closed and will not be used for seller performance measurement purposes. In some situations, eBay may still refund the buyer at eBay's own expense. If eBay decides that you have complied with the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy in relation to a case — including successful appeals — your Buyer Satisfaction Rating, the measure used for eBay’s Seller Non-Performance policy, will not be impacted.
I object to this resolution case. What are the consequences for not repaying eBay for the amount of the transaction or other amounts due to eBay?
You are required to pay eBay bills promptly. Failure to pay promptly (including, for example, where you don’t have a valid reimbursement method on file with eBay) may result in consequences including loss of selling fees for transactions in respect of which buyers have opened cases, loss of eBay Top-rated seller account level status and associated fee discounts, selling limits, account suspension, and referral to a collection agency.
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 case by providing the buyer with a full refund including the cost of the item and original postage (and accepting a return in an "item significantly not as described" case) within 8 days from the date the case was opened.
What happens if the buyer's case is closed in the buyer's favour?
If we resolve a case in the buyer's favour, and refund the buyer for the case, the seller will be required to reimburse us for the refund. (Please refer to the eBay Money Back Guarantee Policy section on reimbursements from sellers for more information.)
Sellers with a large number of cases relative to their total sales may be at risk of violating eBay's Seller Practices policy.
If the buyer alleges that the item you sold wasn't authentic and the case was resolved in the buyer's favour, eBay may limit your account, up to and including suspension of your account. For more details, see "What happens if a buyer believes an item is not authentic?" in the eBay Buyer Protection Policy.
What is a reimbursement payment method?
The reimbursement payment method is a payment method on file to pay for your outstanding balance to eBay in cases where eBay arranged for a refund of your buyer under the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy. The reimbursement payment method will be charged if eBay has decided a case in favour of a buyer and removal of funds from your PayPal account has failed or PayPal is not your preferred reimbursement method.
When this happens for the first time, you will receive an email from eBay to put a reimbursement payment method on file. For future cases where eBay has arranged for a refund of your buyer 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.
Is there a time limit for a buyer to place a case?
Generally, buyers will have 30 days after actual (or latest estimated) delivery date to file a case — the same as with the current PayPal dispute resolution system. Exceptions may be made to buyers based on factors such as member account information, listing information, item location and postal method. Sellers will be asked to work things out with the buyer, if the seller and the buyer are unable to come to agreement, we won’t require reimbursement from the seller for the case.
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 a case when the buyer has not paid you.
Will my excellent buyer satisfaction rating be taken into account during this process?
Yes. In addition to transaction and listing details, we will also consider whether the case is an isolated complaint for an otherwise high-performing seller.
Will the buyer be able to leave negative Feedback on a transaction if a seller successfully appeals a dispute?
There is no link 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. All the current reasons for Feedback removal will still apply.
What should I do to make sure my buyers are satisfied?
What can I do to protect myself from buyer abuse?
If your buyer is misusing returns or abusing the eBay Money Back Guarantee programme, please report the buyer.
If we find that the buyer is breaching our Buying practices policy, we will take action. This may include cancelling cases in the Resolution Centre, or limiting the buyer's account privileges
Learn more about handling problems with your buyers.
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:
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.
Have a question? We can help.