2 min article

Ask eBay to step in and help for sellers

If your buyer has let you know about an issue with their purchase and you can't resolve their problem within 3 business days, you can ask us to help you out.

When something goes wrong with an order, we know sellers do their best to make things right for the buyer. Sometimes though, you can’t resolve the buyer’s issue, or you might disagree with their reasons for opening a return. When this happens, you can ask eBay to step in and help out. We’ll review the details and get back to you and the buyer with a resolution within 48 hours.

If asked to step in to help, we may ask the buyer to return the item to you if any of the following apply:

  • We can't determine that the item received by the buyer matches the listing description.
  • You offer returns and your stated return window applies.
  • You already offered to accept a return.

If we're asked to step in and help and the item is returned used or damaged, you will not be able to issue a partial refund even if you qualify to issue partial refunds under our seller protections. If you do not respond, the amount will be deducted from the total of your Available, Processing and On hold funds without requiring the buyer to ship the item back. If the total of your Available, Processing, and On hold funds are insufficient to cover the outstanding amounts you owe, eBay will charge your on-file payment method for the remaining amounts owed. Learn more about Refunding buyers - opens in new window or tab or how to Choose your payment method for selling costs- opens in new window or tab.

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

When you can ask eBay to step in

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 us to step in immediately after the 3 business days though – if you're still working things through with the buyer, you have up to 30 days after their purchase to ask us for help.

If any issues come up after an item is returned to you, you'll be able to report the problem and ask us to step in and help by following the instructions below.

How to ask eBay to step in

You can ask us to step in and help through the Returns - opens in new window or tab or the Requests and disputes - opens in new window or tab tab in Seller Hub - opens in new window or tab, or next to the order in My eBay Sold - opens in new window or tab. See the instructions below to find out how:

How to ask eBay to step in and help in Seller Hub

  1. Go to Seller Hub - opens in new window or tab and open the Returns - opens in new window or tab or the Requests and disputes - opens in new window or tab tab.
  2. Select See details next to the request.
  3. If you want us to help, select Report problem or Ask eBay to step in and help, and follow the instructions from there.

How to ask eBay to step in and help in My eBay Sold

How to ask eBay to step in and help with a return request in My eBay Sold:

  1. Find the order in My eBay Sold - opens in new window or tab and select View return details.
  2. Select Report problem, and follow the instructions from there.

How to ask eBay to step in and help with an item not received request in My eBay Sold:

  1. Find the order in My eBay Sold - opens in new window or tab and select View request details.
  2. Select Ask eBay to step in and help, and follow the instructions from there.

What happens after you ask eBay to step in 

After we're asked to step in, we'll review your case and resolve it in the fairest way possible. We normally come back with an answer within 48 hours, though occasionally it might take longer if we need more information. Once we've made a decision, we'll let you and the buyer know.

  • If we close the case in your favour, the case will be closed immediately and you won't need to do anything else
  • If we close the case in the buyer's favour, we'll 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 standard

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

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