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Unpaid item policy

Policy overview

When a buyer wins an item or uses Buy It Now to purchase an item, they're obligated to complete the purchase by sending full payment to the seller.

If a buyer doesn't pay within 4 days, sellers can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Centre. If the buyer still doesn't pay or reach some other agreement with the seller, eBay may record the unpaid item on the buyer's account.

When an unpaid item case closes without payment from the buyer, sellers are eligible to receive a final value fee credit to their eBay seller account. Also, if they relist the item and it sells the second time, eBay may refund the insertion fee for the relisting. Learn more about receiving insertion fee credits.

Excessive unpaid items or cancelled transactions on a buyer's account may result in range of action, including limits on buying and selling privileges or suspension of the account.

Examples of policy violations

If you've placed a winning bid or clicked the Buy It Now button in a listing, you've committed to purchasing that item. If you don't pay for it, even if you've changed your mind, you violate the unpaid item policy. Here are some examples:

Not allowed

  • Jay looks for a grill on eBay and places a bid. After winning the item, he realizes that shipping the item will cost more than he's willing to spend. He decides not to send payment and simply ignore the invoices that he receives.

  • Sarah is new to eBay and is just browsing. Excited by all the great deals she's finding, she starts placing bids and using Buy It Now on every item that catches her eye. She doesn’t realize that she’s just purchased many of those items and is obligated to pay for them. If she chooses not to pay for the items, she's violating the unpaid item policy.

  • Colin is looking for a new boat. He finds many models that he'd be very happy with and places a bid on 3 boats in hopes that he’ll be the high bidder on one of the listings and win a boat. Colin ends up winning 2 boats and pays for the one that he really likes. By not paying for the second boat, Colin is violating the unpaid item policy.

False reports
Sellers who falsely report unpaid items may:

  • Have all credits for the time period in question reversed

  • Lose the ability to use the final value fee credit for the time period in question

  • Lose the ability to use the final value fee credit system for a period of time

  • Be subject to suspension

Unpaid items and suspensions

  • Buyers who don't pay may have unpaid items recorded on their accounts.

  • Unpaid items are separate from Feedback, and don't affect a user's Feedback score or Feedback Profile.

  • An unpaid item will recorded on the buyer's account when the seller receives a final value fee credit.

  • Buyers have the option of appealing an unpaid item if they believe it was undeserved.

  • Unpaid items are also considered a violation of the buying practices policy.

For transactions involving an unpaid item, Feedback left by a buyer may be removed when:

  • The buyer didn't pay or respond to the unpaid item case.

  • The buyer is suspended.

  • The buyer's communication in the Resolution Centre undermines the purpose of the unpaid item process and the eBay Feedback system.

When a buyer doesn't pay for an item they've won or purchased, it costs the seller time and money and holds up inventory. The unpaid item policy helps create a safer and more successful buying and selling experience.

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