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Trading tips for buyers

As a buyer, follow these steps to help ensure a successfule trading experience.

Before bidding or buying

Before you bid or buy, make sure you've reviewed all information in the listing. Once you bid on or buy an item, you've committed to purchase it. 

Evaluate the listing

Review the shipping terms, refund and return policy, and other terms and conditions.
Make sure you're eligible to bid on or buy the item. For example, a seller may require buyers to have a PayPal account.
Make sure the seller accepts your preferred payment method and that the payment method offers some form of purchase protection.

Know the item

Confirm the authenticity of the item.
If you have questions, use the Ask a question link in the listing. 
Use common sense. If something seems too good to be true, it often is.

Make sure we can communicate with you

Update your contact information, including your email address, whenever it changes.
Make sure you don't have any spam blocking software installed that blocks us from communicating with you.

Important: If the seller offers to sell you the item directly without going through eBay, don't respond. Instead, report it to us immediately.

Before sending payment

Understand the seller's accepted payment methods, and open a PayPal account if necessary.
Keep records of all purchases.

Resolving transaction problems

If you ever have a transaction problem, we can help. If you didn't receive your item or it wasn't what you were expecting, you can request a refund from your seller or ask to return the item. You may be entitled to a refund through the eBay Money Back Guarantee if the seller can't resolve the issue. Contact us so we can help.

About the buyer's commitment to purchase

If you're the winning bidder in an auction-style listing or if you use Buy It Now, you're obligated to purchase and pay for the item. In auction-style listings, all bids are active until the listing ends.

If you don't pay for an item, the seller can report the unpaid item to us by opening an unpaid item case. The unpaid item case is resolved when you pay for the item or both you and the seller agree to cancel the transaction. If the situation isn't resolved, an unpaid item may be recorded on your account.

Unpaid items can lead us to take actions such as account restriction or suspension.

If you feel an unpaid item was recorded unfairly and want it removed from your account, you can appeal the unpaid item.

Contact us

Have a question? We can help.

 Contact us

Ask eBay members

Get help from other eBay members. Visit the Answer Centre to post a question.