4 min article

Unwelcome and malicious buying policy

To protect our sellers, we have certain policies to make sure buyers understand that placing a bid or buying an item is a contractual obligation. We also provide a range of tools to help sellers protect themselves from buyers who might disrupt their business in some way.

Buyers who don't meet a seller's terms, as outlined in a listing, are not allowed to buy or bid on an item. Buyers are also prohibited from any behaviour that deliberately harms our sellers—for example, placing an excessively high bid for an item when they have no intention of paying, so as to prevent a real sale going through. Please read our full policy guidelines below for details of other, similar restricted behaviours.

Frequently Asked Questions


My current high bidder lives in an area I said I won't ship to. What do I do?

If you clearly stated that you don't ship to the bidder's location, you can cancel the bid. If you run into issues, or the bidder tries bidding again, you can report the buyer to us.

How do I keep certain members from bidding on or buying my items?

When you create a listing, you can include buyer requirements, such as only allowing bidders who live in your country, to buy your items. You can learn more about how to do this in our article on Buyer requirements

If there is a particular bidder or buyer who is causing issues, you are also able to block them.

Read our full policy

Unwelcome buying policy overview

As a seller, you can block bidders and buyers any time before a listing ends, and you can cancel unwelcome bids. After you cancel a bid, you can add the bidder's username to your blocked list - opens in new window or tab to prevent them from bidding again.

As a buyer, you're not allowed to bid on or buy an item in order to harm a listing or to leave negative or neutral feedback or low detailed seller ratings for the seller.

Make sure you follow these guidelines. If you don't, your account may be subject to a range of actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

What are the guidelines?

Not allowed Not allowed

You can't buy with the intent to disrupt a listing.

Here are some examples:

  • You can't place a bid that greatly exceeds the value of the item in order to prevent a sale without intending to buy that item
  • You can't bid on multiple items listed by a seller unless you intend to buy all of the items
  • You can't try to buy or bid on an item if you're on a seller's blocked bidder or buyer list
  • You can't use another account to buy or bid on an item if you're on a seller's blocked bidder or buyer list

As a seller, you can report a buyer who bids on a listing without meeting the listing terms.

Important: Buyers who don't respond or don't pay for items are violating the unpaid item policy, not the unwelcome buying policy.

Preventing unwelcome buying

As a seller, there are several things you can do to prevent unwelcome buying including:

Why does eBay have this policy?

When a buyer bids on a listing with the intent to harm the seller, it costs the seller time and money. This policy helps create a safer and more successful buying and selling experience for all eBay members.

Was this article helpful for you?