3 min article

Help a buyer with an item they didn't receive

If a buyer doesn't receive their item, they're entitled to a refund unless you can provide tracking information showing that it was delivered.

If your buyer hasn’t received their item and the estimated delivery date has passed, they’ll let you know there’s an issue by opening an “item not received” request.

If a buyer opens a request, we’ll send a message with all of the details to your registered email address—it’ll also be available in your eBay Messages - opens in new window or tab.

Once a request is opened, you have 3 business days to resolve the issue. After that time, either you or the buyer can ask us to step in to help resolve the issue.

Resolve an item not received request

When a buyer opens a request, the funds related to the sale may be be put on hold. Once the issue is resolved, the hold is lifted and you'll receive your funds in your next scheduled payout.

What to do when a buyer opens an item not received request

In the email you received telling you the buyer’s issue, select See request details. You’ll find information on whether the buyer is requesting a refund or would prefer to still receive the item. You’ll also see your response options:

Add tracking details: You’ll need to provide tracking within 3 business days of the request being opened, if you haven’t done so already. In order to be protected, tracking must be from one the shipping carriers integrated with eBay and must include the date you shipped the item, the date it was delivered, and the address it was delivered to. If the order has a total cost (total of item(s), shipping and tax) of $750 or more, it should also show the signature confirmation of the recipient. Learn more about our signature confirmation requirements.

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Here’s how to add tracking information:

  1. Select Add tracking details and then Continue.
  2. Enter the tracking number, or if you don’t have it, the date you shipped the item.
  3. Select the carrier you used from the dropdown list.
  4. You have the option of adding a note to the buyer.
  5. Select Add tracking details.

Refund the buyer: The buyer will get a full refund, including the original shipping costs. Choose this option if you don't have tracking details from one of our integrated shipping carriers showing the item was delivered to the address on the order, or showing the package has been in transit without movement for 7 days or more.

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Here’s how to refund the buyer:

  1. Select Refund the buyer and then Continue.
  2. You’ll see the refund amount, and you have the option of adding a message to the buyer.
  3. Select Refund the buyer.

The buyer will be refunded through their original payment method, and you may be eligible for fee credits. In most cases, the refund takes 3 to 5 business days to process. However, depending on the payment method the buyer used, it can take up to 30 days.

Learn more about how refunds work.

Send a message to the buyer: If you’d like to speak with the buyer directly to try to resolve their issue, you can send them a message. If you and the buyer can’t agree on a resolution within 3 business days, you can ask eBay to step in to help. However, you may not be protected if you don't upload tracking from one of the shipping carriers integrated with eBay and there is no acceptance scan showing before the 3 business days expire.

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You can contact the buyer directly to try to resolve the issue:

  1. Select Send a message to the buyer.
  2. On the next page, enter your message and select Send.

It’s worthwhile asking the buyer to review the delivery address they provided and to check with their neighbors in case the item was delivered when they weren’t home.

Send a replacement item: If the buyer would rather have the item than a refund, use the “Send a message” option to offer them a replacement. Once you’ve sent the replacement, let them know it’s on the way and upload tracking information to the request. 

You should report missing packages to the shipping carrier you used—they may be able to help.

Get help from eBay

If you and the buyer haven’t been able to resolve the issue within 3 business days, you can ask us to step in to help. If we step in to help, you will no longer be able to issue a refund.

The easiest way to resolve "item not received" requests is to provide tracking details showing the delivery address and delivery date of the item.

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