Seller Protection FAQ
Find answers to all of your eBay questions,
whatever the subject.
- Why are sellers only allowed to leave positive feedback for buyers?
eBay is based on trust between buyers and sellers. We found that generally, when buyers had bad experiences with sellers, they were reluctant to leave neutral or negative feedback out of fear the seller would retaliate by leaving negative feedback for them. When buyers did receive unfair negative feedback, they usually decreased their shopping on eBay.
This made the feedback system less reliable, so eBay updated the feedback system to let buyers effectively evaluate sellers through feedback left by other buyers.
Sellers were given other tools they can use to choose the type of buyers they want to do business with and report issues with buyers who are violating eBay policies. These tools include:
- Buyer requirements: Sellers can add buyer requirements to their listings to prevent unwanted buyers. You can block buyers who have too many policy violations, unpaid items, or who aren't registered with PayPal. This can help you dramatically reduce your number of unpaid items. To access this tool, go to My eBay > Account > Site Preferences > Buyer requirements.
- Purchase requirements: If you use Buy It Now, you can require buyers to pay you immediately using PayPal.
- Report a buyer: Sellers can use the Report a buyer tool to report an unpaid item, an issue with feedback, or any other problem with a buyer. eBay investigates these reports, and will suspend or take action against buyers with repeated issues—as well as remove any transaction defects that are in violation of eBay policy.
- Does eBay mainly side with the buyer in case resolution?
No. We strive to make sure cases get resolved fairly to the satisfaction of both parties. If you feel a case has been resolved unfairly, you can appeal the decision if you have new information to provide to the case, within 30 days from the day the case is closed.
eBay reviews information and documentation from both buyers and sellers in detail before making a final decision. If a seller's appeal is granted, all defects for that transaction will be automatically removed.
- I reported a buyer. Can you tell me the results of my report?
To make buyers feel comfortable about buying, we don’t disclose the results of a report. Reports from sellers help us make eBay a great experience for everyone. As a result of these reports, we’ve been able to take more action to prevent abuse by buyers.
If we take action on a buyer who is reported for policy violations, any transaction defects created by that buyer are automatically removed. We will let sellers know if they have had defects removed either on their seller dashboard or via a monthly communication from eBay.
- What should I do if a buyer is misusing feedback by making demands?
- What is eBay doing to get buyers who repeatedly violate policy off the site?
Backed by a large-scale automated detection system, our team keeps a look out for things that could cause problems for our sellers. When a seller reports a buyer—or when eBay identifies an issue, such as a closed Unpaid Item case or Money Back Guarantee claim—eBay's data analysis model reviews the buyer’s behaviour and scans over 250 variables to see if the buyer has a pattern of violating eBay policies. If it sees a pattern, the Seller Protection team steps in to investigate.
Depending on a buyer’s behaviour, there are a number of actions the team can take, from issuing a warning, to setting buyer restrictions, or suspending the buyer from our site. If we take action on a buyer, all defects created by that buyer will be automatically removed.
- What can I do if I lose an eBay Money Back Guarantee case for an item not as described?
If a case is closed in the buyer’s favour for an item not as described, you can appeal the decision by providing the appropriate documentation—including any new information or communication between you and the buyer—to the eBay Resolution Centre within 45 days of the day the case was closed. If the decision is reversed, you will be refunded the reimbursement amount back to the payment method on file with us. Additionally, any defects for the transaction will be automatically removed.
- I sold an item, but the buyer hasn't paid. What should I do?
If you haven’t been paid for an item you sold, start by communicating directly with the buyer via Messages in My eBay. This will provide a documentation trail in case the issue is ever escalated to eBay.
If you can’t work things out with the buyer, you can open an unpaid item case either manually through the Resolution Centre, or by using the Unpaid Item Assistant to automatically open and close unpaid item cases on your behalf. If you haven’t already set up the Unpaid Item Assistant, learn more about it.
You can open a case as early as 2 days after the transaction ends. The buyer will have 4 days to make payment. If an unpaid item case closes without payment, you will receive a final value fee credit and any transaction defects will be automatically removed.