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Responding to a request when your buyer doesn't receive an item

Most sales go smoothly, but occasionally there may be a problem. We help buyers and sellers work together to resolve issues with transactions.

If your buyer reports that they didn't receive an item, we give you options for responding to the buyer. Once a buyer opens a request for a refund or replacement when they haven't received an item, you must reply within 3 business days or the buyer can ask us to step in and help. Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Important: If you sell on or, refund requests from these buyers may have different timelines. Learn more about responding to requests on international eBay websites.

Provide tracking information

If a buyer opens a request about an item that they haven't received, you can resolve the request by providing proof of delivery. We ask you to provide tracking information that shows:

  1. The delivery status of the item as delivered.

  2. The date of delivery (which shows you shipped the item within your stated handling time).

  3. The buyer's address, displaying at least the city and province or ZIP/Postal code of the address shown on either the Order Details page or PayPal's Transaction Details page.

  4. For items valued at US$/C$750 or more, proof of recipient's signature.

If the tracking information shows that the item is still in transit, we may ask the buyer to wait.

If you shipped an item without tracking information, you can ask us to step in and help. We review the situation, but may still find you responsible for refunding the buyer if the item hasn't yet arrived.

Refund the buyer

If the buyer asked for a refund, and you haven't yet shipped the item, refund the buyer, including the cost of the item and original shipping.

Once the request for a refund is complete, you receive a final value fee credit.

Offer another solution

If the buyer still wants the item, and you can provide it, you can ship the item immediately with tracking information. Upload the tracking information to My eBay, so the buyer knows when the item will arrive.

You can always offer another solution, as well. It's important that you and the buyer try to come to an agreement. Contact the buyer through Messages in My eBay, so there's a record of communications.

More about refunds

Once the buyer opens a request for an item they didn't receive, funds related to the sale in your PayPal account may be put on hold. When you resolve the situation with the buyer, or we find in your favour, the funds are again available for use.

If you've agreed to refund the buyer for an item that wasn't received, you must do so within 3 business days.

If the buyer doesn't receive the refund within 3 business days, the buyer can ask us to step in and help.

If a buyer asks us to step in and help, either because you didn't respond to a refund request, or you and the buyer can't reach an agreement, we review the request and come to a decision. If we find in favor of the buyer, we refund the buyer directly and recover the amount of the refund from you. That amount includes the cost of the item plus the original cost of shipping. We either ask PayPal to remove the refund amount from your PayPal account, place the amount on your seller invoice or charge your payment method on file. We let you know when we're seeking reimbursement.

If we're unable to recover the amount of the refund from you, we may limit or suspend your account until payment is made.

You can appeal within 30 days from when we make a decision by providing new documentation. For example, you may be able to show that the buyer received a refund twice, through both PayPal and a credit card.

Contact Customer Support

If you're looking for more help or have a question to ask, please contact us.

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