Resolving Problems with Buyers
The following is intended as a starting point to address some common questions and concerns, but is not intended to replace the information in eBay’s Help Pages and other resources
Table of Contents
I am having trouble Completing the Transaction with my Buyer
My Buyer was not Eligible or is not following directions!
My Bidder Makes Me Uneasy…I don’t know what I should do….
Things you should know….as a seller……things you can do
I am having trouble Completing the Transaction with my Buyer
If you do not hear from your buyer within a few days, you might try emailing your buyer. If you still do not receive a response, we then generally recommend that you try to give your buyer a call. To request your buyer’s phone number:
1. Click the "Search" button at the top of any eBay page. 2. Click the "find members" button that will appear below the Search button. 3. On the "Find Members" page, scroll down to the second box, labeled "Contact Information" and follow the instructions there. If you are not able to reach your buyer by email or phone, then it is time to file a Non-Paying Bidder Alert. (You can send a payment reminder through the system first…this is optional). Go Here for an overview of this whole process.
eBay understands that it can be frustrating if your Buyer does not follow through, whatever the reason. It is important to remember that, simply leaving feedback (although the Feedback Forum is also very important) is not enough if you are frustrated with a Non-Paying Bidder. By filing a Non-Paying Bidder complaint, you help eBay identify problems and take any necessary action against repeated offenses.
Please check here for an overview on “Closing the Deal”
My Buyer and I have decided to cancel our transaction
While you can’t cancel the listing per se if it has already ended, you can still request a credit of your Final Value Fees by completing the same process described above. You will be given a choice to indicate that you resolved the situation amicably and this will not penalize your Buyer as a Non-Paying Bidder.
My Buyer is No Longer Currently Registered (NARU)
If your buyer is no longer currently registered, eBay does not expect you to find a way to complete the transaction. In fact, we generally do not encourage members to complete transactions with other members unless both are currently registered because it increases the potential for problems and nullifies some of the benefits that eBay offers (Fraud Protection, the Feedback Forum). In this situation, still go through the process that was described above.The difference is that you should receive your Final Value Fee more quickly. Unfortunately, you will not be able to leave feedback for your Buyer.
My Buyer is registered with invalid information!
If your buyer is registered with an invalid email address and/or invalid phone number, please report these offenses to Trust & Safety (each of the pages just linked to includes a link to report the violation) In order to maintain a safe trading environment, eBay requires that all members keep their contact information current.
If your buyer has an invalid email address, you might request their contact information and call them if you have not tried that method already. If eBay cannot obtain updated contact information for your buyer, then their account will be temporarily suspended.
A few days after making your report of invalid contact information, you should request the contact information again. If it has not been updated, if your buyer has been unregistered, or you are otherwise not able to contact your buyer, you should follow the Non-Paying Bidder steps above.
My Buyer was not even eligible to bid on My Item
There are a number of ways in which you might have an unqualified / ineligible bidder on one of your listings. These might include:
- A buyer from a location to which you will not ship - A buyer who has lower feedback and did not follow the directions in your listing In these types of situations, it is up to you to decide if you will complete the transaction, regardless of whether you report the violation. If your buyer is located in geographic region that you do not ship to, you can file for a credit of your Final Value Fees and re-list the item. However, you may want to consider completing the transaction to see how it works because this may open the door and vastly expand the number of your potentials bidders on your auctions in the future if you expand the area to which you will ship. If you decide to do this you can use eBay’s Shipping Center to help you do this. Sometimes a buyer will have simply overlooked something in your listing. In more drastic (but rare) situations, I buyer may have re-bid after you canceled their previous bid or may have used another account to bid on your listing after your blocked a previous User ID. These types of situations are examples of an Unwelcome Buying as is bidding with the intent of disrupting a seller’s listing in some way. (there is more information and links to report your concerns to eBay in the previous link). You as the seller have a number of ways in which you can try to control and manager the bidding on your listings. You have the ability to cancel bids if you need to. However, if you do this, it is a good idea to try to communicate to your buyer so that he or she will understand. There is additional information here under the heading “Preventing Unwelcome Buying” for options on managing your listing. It is a good idea to Know the Rules your buyer must follow and to know How to Protect Yourself as a Seller My Buyer is not following the terms of the listing!
If you feel that your buyer is not cooperating when the listing is over, the most important thing is to try to maintain clear and open communications. This will go a long way toward resolving differences. However, that does not mean that you, as the seller, are required to change the terms after the listing has ended. For example, if your buyer is trying to pay for the auction via a payment method that was not an option in your terms, you are not required to accept the payment. Again, it is important to try to maintain communication but if your buyer will not cooperate and it becomes necessary, you can File a Non-Paying Bidder report and look for a new buyer.
There are a number of different situations in which sellers have been unclear about the identity of their seller. Some of these scenarios have included: - Your buyer contacts you and wants you to ship to a different address - You have two different people claiming to be your buyer - Your buyer provides you with a name and/or different address when contacting you than the information that you received from eBay. In some situations, you will probably be able to resolve your concerns through communication. When you are unclear or uneasy about the contact that you have received, you should obtain your buyer’s contact information through eBay. You can then send an email or make a phone call based on the information that eBay has on file. If you are still concerned or in more complex situations, you should contact Trust & Safety and report the details of your concerns. This would apply to situations where you have received payments from two different people, other misrepresentation of identity issues, and in situations in which you have not been fully reassured and feel comfortable completing the transaction. For emails you have received (including confirmation notices from please include a copy of the full email and the full email headers.
My Buyer says that he/she did not bid on My Item
Occasionally, sellers have been contacted by their buyer and have been told that they did not place the bid. There are situations of an unauthorized account takeover in which bids are placed, but this is one of the less common reasons for an account takeover and does not happen very often. In this type of situation, the buyer needs to contact eBay so that the situation can be reviewed further. You, as the seller, are not required to act on the buyer’s behalf (although we appreciate the concern). If your buyer has clearly stated that they are not going to complete the transaction, you should file a Non-Paying Bidder report and choose the reason that you feel would best correspond. The buyer is responsible for all the activity on their account even if they did not place the bid. In many cases, a household member or friend may have placed the bid without the account holder knowing. If eBay discovers that they buyer’s account was subject to an unauthorized takeover, we will work the buyer to restore control and will not hold any Non-Paying Bidder marks against your buyer.
I have been asked to cancel my listing and sell directly
eBay considers it to be a Transaction Interference violation for member to try to solicit a seller and try to purchase an item outside of eBay. We would advise that you, as a seller, not accept such an offer. There are a number of important reasons for this rule. Many sellers do not appreciate receiving such unsolicited offers. But, most importantly, off-site transactions do not members to take advantage of the services that eBay provides. Not only can members not leave feedback for each other, but also off-site transactions are not eligible for eBay’s Fraud Protection Program
I feel that I have been defrauded by my buyer
While “fraud” on eBay tends to be a term more often associated with buyers’ complaints against sellers, buyers can defraud sellers as well. If you are concerned about:
- A suspicious request that you received from a buyer, - A payment you have been given being fraudulent or have received such a report, - Notification of counterfeits payments and documents, - A situation pertaining to a chargeback, - A request to use an escrow site not endorsed by eBay or any other unresolved questions or issues, please contact Trust & Safety further
My Buyer expects something that doesn’t seem reasonable
Sometimes sellers report that buyers expect things that are not reasonable but are not necessarily a violation that has been discussed here or elsewhere on the eBay site. It is often helpful to discuss with others sellers in this and other forums regarding their experiences to help you deal with your own. It may be that your buyer is knew and does not fully understand how eBay works or how things are “normally done”. An example of this might be when a buyer expects a seller to send the item first and then to be able to pay for it after delivery. A little bit of patience and explanation might quickly resolve such misunderstandings as might referral to pages on eBay that may address some of the specific concerns. If the situation cannot be quickly resolved, then you might consider online Dispute Resolution or contact Trust & Safety with questions that you might have.
I’m nervous that my buyer is going to leave negative feedback
Every eBay member is entitled to leave what they feel is appropriate feedback for a transaction partner. Since feedback is permanent and cannot be removed except in a limited number of circumstances, eBay encourages that members to everything they can to resolve matters before leaving feedback that might be damaging. If you are having difficulty with one of your buyers, the best thing is to keep the communication as open as possible. However, sometimes matters may not get resolved to the satisfaction of both transaction partners. If you, as a seller, find yourself in fear of negative feedback from your buyer, you will need to weigh the various options and make the best decision possible. Please remember that a small number of negatives will probably not significantly affect you if your positive feedback outweighs it. Also, in most instances, other members can tell when negative feedback was left only out of retaliation because of the way in which the Feedback Forum has been designed. Unfortunately, eBay cannot prevent negative feedback in general nor retaliatory feedback from being left. If we tried to control the Feedback Forum in such a manner, it would defeat the purpose for which it was intended. The Feedback Forum is meant to be a means of free and open communication. Because feedback is designed in this manner, eBay considers it a violation for members to use the threat of negative feedback to try to coerce another member into doing something that is unreasonable. Please report possible Feedback Extortion violations to Trust & Safety for further review. For more serious disputes, eBay encourages consideration of online Dispute Resolution as an alternative.