4 min article

Unpaid item abuse policy

Most sales on eBay go smoothly, but occasionally a buyer might not pay for an item they’ve committed to buy. When that happens, you can let us know by opening an unpaid item case. We take these reports seriously, so falsely reporting an unpaid item is strictly prohibited.

Unpaid items are marked on a buyer’s account, and can lead to actions being taken against them. As such, sellers should never falsely report an unpaid item, and may be subject to a range of actions for doing so. For more details, please see our full policy guidelines below.

Frequently Asked Questions


What can happen to sellers who abuse the unpaid item process?

Sellers who falsely report unpaid items can lose fee credits, receive limits on buying and selling privileges, and in some cases, have their account suspended.

Can a buyer appeal an unpaid item report?

Yes. If a buyer has proof that they paid for the item, or that the seller refused to accept payment, the buyer can appeal the unpaid item.

Read our full policy

Unpaid item abuse policy overview

Sellers aren't allowed to abuse the unpaid item process, and they're not eligible for a final value fee credit if the buyer has paid for the item. If a seller requests a credit on a completed sale, the buyer can appeal the unpaid item.

Sellers who falsely report unpaid items may be subject to a range of actions, including reversal of all credits for the time period in question, inability to use the final value fee credit system for a period of time, limits on buying and selling privileges and suspension of the seller's account.

Examples of policy violations

Not allowed Not allowed
  • A buyer sends full payment to the seller and receives the item from the seller. The seller still opens an unpaid item case
  • A seller refuses to complete the sale, and then opens an unpaid item case

Additional information

eBay Money Back Guarantee
If you paid for the item but didn't receive it, the eBay Money Back Guarantee can help. Learn more about what to do if you don't receive your item.

Selling practices
While it's understandable that there may be times when sellers can't complete a sale, they're not allowed to refuse payment at the end of a successful transaction. To find out what sellers are generally responsible for, see our selling practices policy.

If a seller refuses to complete the sale and an unpaid item is recorded on the buyer's account, the buyer can appeal the unpaid item.

Why does eBay have this policy?

To make eBay a safer place to buy and sell, we don't allow false reports of unpaid items. The ability to report unpaid items is designed to help sellers get paid for items that buyers have committed to purchase. If a seller reports an unpaid item and the buyer still doesn't pay, the seller can also get a final value fee credit.

Was this article helpful for you?