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.

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. 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.

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

For help with a return request:

  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.

For help with an item not received request:

  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.
 

Tip
Whenever possible, we recommend resolving your buyer's issue and not asking us to step in. If we close the case in favour of the buyer, you could receive a defect that may affect your seller standards.

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.

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.

What happens after you ask eBay to step in 

After we're asked to step in, we'll review your case and will aim to 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 round a resolution, we'll let you and the buyer know.

  • If we resolve the case in your favour, the case will be closed immediately and you won't need to do anything else
  • If we resolve the case in the buyer's favour, we'll issue them a full refund and then seek reimbursement from you. You won't receive fee credits if this happens and you may also receive a defect, which can affect your seller standards
  • If you don't agree with our resolution, you can always appeal by providing new information within 30 days of the case being closed

For more information about how eBay decides the outcome of a case, see our eBay Money Back Guarantee policy.

We recommend trying to resolve the buyer's issue within 3 business days. After that, we can step in to help. However, if we resolve a case in your buyer's favor, your seller standards may be affected.

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