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Item not received issues

What to do when a buyer opens an item not received request

If your buyer hasn’t received their item and the estimated delivery date has passed, they’ll let you know there’s an issue by opening an “item not received” request.

Tip. Communication with the buyer before he or she asks eBay to open a request is the best way to try to resolve the issue. So keep an eye out for messages from your buyers and respond promptly.

If a buyer opens a request, eBay will send a message with all of the details to your registered email address — it’ll also be available in your eBay Messages.

Once a request is opened, you have 3 business days to resolve the issue. After that time, either you or the buyer can ask eBay to step in to help resolve the issue.

When a buyer opens a request, the funds related to the sale may be put on hold. Once the issue is resolved, the hold is lifted and you'll receive your funds in your next scheduled payout.

In the email you received telling you the buyer’s issue, select See request details. You’ll find information on whether the buyer is requesting a refund or would prefer to still receive the item. You’ll also see your response options:

You’ll need to provide tracking within 3 business days of the request being opened, if you haven’t done so already. In order to be protected, tracking must be from one the shipping carriers integrated with eBay and must include the date you shipped the item, the date it was delivered, and the address it was delivered to. If the order has a total cost (total of item(s), shipping and tax) of high value items (750 USD/CAD/AUD or 450 GBP or 550 EUR or more, depending on the international site you are selling), it should also show the signature confirmation of the recipient.

To add tracking information:

  1. Select Add tracking details and then Continue.
  2. Enter the tracking number, or if you don’t have it, the date you shipped the item.
  3. Select the carrier you used from the dropdown list.
  4. You have the option of adding a note to the buyer.
  5. Select Add tracking details.

If you and the buyer haven’t been able to resolve the issue within 3 business days, you can ask eBay to step in to help. If eBay steps in to help, you will no longer be able to issue a refund.

How to get help from eBay

If you can’t resolve the buyer’s issue, or disagree with their reasons for opening a request, you can ask eBay to help. See the instructions below to find out how.

In Seller Hub:

  1. Go to Seller Hub and open the Requests and disputes tab.
  2. Select See details next to the request.
  3. Select Report problem or Ask eBay to step in and help, and follow the instructions from there.

In My eBay Sold:

  1. Find the order in My eBay Sold and select View request details.

Select Ask eBay to step in and help, and follow the instructions from there.

Whenever possible, we recommend resolving your buyer’s issue directly and not asking eBay to step in. If eBay closes the case on behalf of the buyer, you could receive a defect that may affect your seller standard.

Once the buyer has let you know that they have an issue, you have 3 business days to make things right. After that, if the matter hasn't been resolved, either of you can ask us to step in and help out.

You don't have to ask eBay to step in immediately after the 3 business days though — if you're still working things through with the buyer, you generally have up to 30 days after the request was opened to ask us for help.

What happens after you ask eBay to step in?

eBay will review the details and get back to you and the buyer with a resolution within 48 hours:

  • If eBay closes the case in your favor, the case will be closed immediately and you won’t need to do anything else.
  • If eBay closes in the buyer’s favor, eBay will issue them a full refund and then seek reimbursement from you. You won’t receive a final value fee credit if this happens and you may also receive a defect, which may affect your seller standards.

If you don’t agree with the decision, you can appeal by providing new information within 30 days of the case being closed.

How to appeal eBay’s decision

If you don’t agree with the decision after eBay has stepped in to help resolve an issue between you and your buyer, you can appeal by providing new information within 30 days of the case being closed.

When you make an appeal, eBay will review the case and any new information you provide and come back to you with a final decision. We’ll normally get back to you within 48 hours, though occasionally it can take a little longer.

Tip. If you’ve received feedback from a buyer that you don’t think is accurate or fair, take a look at this article.

You’ll need to provide new, additional information to back up your appeal. This can include things like:

  • Tracking details showing the buyer received the item before the case was closed. If the order’s total cost (total of item(s), shipping and tax) is high (750 USD/CAD/AUD or 450 GBP or 550 EUR or more, depending on the international site you are selling), signature confirmation is required.
  • Proof the buyer received a refund before the case was closed.

To start an appeal, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Seller Dashboard.
  2. Expand Closed without seller resolution to see your options.
  3. Select See cases and find the item in the list.
  4. Select See details and then send an appeal.

In some situations, a buyer may ask their bank or other financial institution to open a payment dispute if they believe there’s an issue with their order. Payment disputes can take the form of a chargeback or other type of dispute. For more information on how to handle these requests, and how eBay can help, take a look at handling payment disputes.

Best practices for avoiding issues with buyers

When a buyer has an issue with an order, it doesn’t only risk creating an unhappy customer, it can also create extra work for you. Below are some tips to consider while listing and shipping your item.

  • When stating your handling time, make sure it’s something you can manage. Failing to ship on time can lead to your item arriving later than the estimated delivery date.
  • Be sure to ship to the address listed in checkout.
  • Use the shipping carriers integrated with eBay, or a / any service providing tracking number.
  • Ship the item within the estimated handling time in your listing.
  • Upload tracking as soon as you ship the item.
  • If a buyer lets you know that they have a problem with their purchase, you should respond to them as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that you have 3 business days to resolve their issue before they can ask eBay to step in to help.
  • Respond to any buyer messages in a timely manner. When communicating with the buyer, do your best to be polite and professional in your responses, even when they’re upset or angry. It helps to provide a better customer experience, and it might make it easier to come to an agreement about their issue.
  • Consider adding insurance so that you’re covered if the item is lost in transit.
  • For high value items (750 USD/CAD/AUD or 450 GBP or 550 EUR or more, depending on the international site you are selling), use a shipping service that includes signature confirmation.
  • Report any missing packages to the shipping carrier you used — they may be able to help.

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