Seller protection

eBay values your safety when selling online. If you meet your commitments as a seller, eBay will protect you if you face abusive buyer behavior or events outside your control. Sellers may not misuse the seller protections provided by eBay. Sellers who do not follow this policy may lose their eligibility for protections.

What is an abusive buyer?

eBay’s has an abusive buyer policy describing buyer behavior that is not allowed.

See detailed abusive buyer policy here.

You should report the buyer and clearly describe what they are doing. This will help eBay investigate potential policy violations and take actions to protect you.

What actions will be taken by eBay in cases of abusive buyer behaviour?

When eBay sees violation of the policy by a buyer, it will remove negative and neutral feedback and defects posted by that buyer, including open cases in service metrics. Engaging in activity as described in this policy may result in a range of actions, including the loss of eBay Money Back Guarantee coverage, issuing warnings to buyers, blocking buyers from requesting returns or refunds on eBay, blocking buyers from opening claims, and account suspension.

As a seller, you are protected in any case of abusive buyer behavior:

1. An item is returned after it was used or damaged by the buyer

  • You get a refund based on the condition of the returned item — you can deduct up to 50% from the refund for the lost value of the item.
  • eBay will remove feedback, defects, cases in service metrics, and take care of any remaining issues with the buyer.
  • eBay will complete the return and report the buyer.

Take into consideration that if eBay is asked to step in and help, you will no longer be able to issue a partial refund to the buyer. Learn more about refunding the buyer.

2. A buyer retracts their bid or doesn't pay

If the buyers don’t pay straight away, it could just be that they are inexperienced or are having problems with their electronic payment system. eBay’s detection methods identify high-risk buyers who might be bidding on or purchasing several similar items at once. If this happens, eBay will take action before the transaction takes place.

  • eBay identifies buyers that haven’t paid, so any negative or neutral feedback they leave for you will be automatically removed. Moreover, if you file and close an unpaid item request, you will be refunded the final value fee.
  • If a buyer retracts their bid and it disrupts your auction, you can choose to cancel the transaction and eBay will remove any feedback and cancel transaction defects.
  • To prevent unpaid items, you can require immediate payment from buyers.

3. A buyer demands something not offered in the original listing

You never have to agree to any changes to the terms in your listing (e.g., adding additional items or discounts). If a buyer demands a change to what you originally offered, you can choose to either cancel the order, or you can complete the transaction under the original terms. eBay will remove feedback and cancel transaction defects based on the buyer's demands in eBay messages.

What should be done from your part?

In any case of abusive behavior, you should report the buyer and clearly describe what they are doing, so that eBay can investigate potential policy violations and take actions to protect you.

You’ll find the Report a buyer functionality on both your Sold items list and in the Resolutions center. This will take you to the Resolutions center that allows sellers to report abusive buyers so eBay can take action on them.

What are events outside your control?

Events outside your control include any case in which you haven’t delivered your responses to a buyer due to external factors, such as weather or carrier delays, or when the item arrives late but tracking shows you shipped on time.

1. An item has arrived late but tracking shows that you shipped on time

eBay automatically adjusts your late shipment rate and removes feedback when:

  • The carrier scan shows you shipped within your handling time, even if it arrives late.
  • The carrier scan shows the item arrived by the estimated delivery, even if you shipped it late.
  • If there is no tracking or the carrier didn't scan the shipment, it will not count as a late shipment if the buyer doesn't indicate that the shipment was late.

2. Severe weather or carrier disruptions have caused the item to arrive late

eBay automatically adjusts your late shipment rate, removes canceled transaction defects and removes feedback when:

  • Your shipment was impacted by delivery delays caused by weather or other carrier-caused events listed on the announcement board.
  • The shipment receives a carrier scan within your handling time, even if the item arrives late.
  • eBay instructs you to hold a shipment or cancels the transaction.

How are you protected if there are customs and international carrier issues?

eBay adjusts your late shipment rate and removes feedback when you ship internationally and the shipment receives a domestic carrier scan within your handling time.

Eligibility for protections

If you do any of the following, you are not eligible for any seller protections:

  • Operate with a false identity.
  • Not follow through with your service promises (such as not honoring your return policy).
  • Have a history of serious policy violations, such as selling counterfeits, using prohibited forms of drop shipping or taking sales off eBay.
  • Misuse the protection, such as excessively reporting false 'Item not as described' requests or unfairly giving too low a partial refund.

Transactions not eligible for protections

Most transactions on eBay are covered by seller protections. However, the following situations are not covered:

  • Items that violate eBay's prohibited and restricted items policies.
  • Items in categories excluded from eBay Money Back Guarantee.

And more, see details.