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How to Solve eBay Sales Issues

Lily O'Halloran


How to Solve eBay Sales Issues

Most eBay sales are smooth sailing. These easy-going, easy-flowing deals are what addict us to selling on eBay. Though most days bring sunny transactions, storm clouds are known to blow in every once in a while causing a ripple in our otherwise calm sea of sales. Small disturbances must be taken care of promptly lest a riptide occur.

Learn how to manage eBay sales issues before they gain momentum, so that you can protect your feedback and future transactions from disaster. Let's take a look at the most common seller concerns...


My buyer won’t pay. Is there anything I can do?

Yes! You do have recourse. eBay wants all sellers to enjoy their selling experience, so they created an unpaid selling process for this particular issue.

Before you begin the process, determine that the buyer is refusing to pay. Open the lines of communication. If the buyer claims to have paid, try your best to trace the payment. If you still can’t resolve the issue, then open a case at eBay’s Resolution Center. Take note that cases can only be opened from 7 to 45 days after the auction’s end. Buyers have 7 days to respond to the case. Close your case when you resolve the issue or within 60 days. (eBay will close cases at 61 days, and you will not receive a fee credit.) Once a case is closed, it cannot be reopened. If a buyer refuses to pay and you close your case, you have a few choices:

  • Receive a credit for the final value fee of the auction.

  • Use the Second Chance Offer to sell to another bidder on the listing.

  • Relist the item, and receive a credit for the final value fee and the new insertion fee.

Credits show up in your eBay account within 7 to 10 days. If you close your case with the option “I feel I have no other option but to end communication with buyer,” eBay’s Trust and Safety team will be alerted to the issue. The buyer may receive an unpaid strike, which can lead to a suspended account.


Can I cancel my auction before it ends?

Under some circumstances it becomes necessary to close a listing before it ends. Auctions can be ended early, but the seller must have a valid reason. If you discover your item is lost, broken, or suddenly unavailable for sale, you should try to end the auction immediately. During the last 12 hours of an auction specific requirements must be met to cancel the listing. Restrictions for ending auctions that have less than 12 hours remaining are as follows:

  • If the item has zero bids: You can cancel the auction.

  • If an item has one or more bids: You can cancel the auction, but you must sell to the high bidder.

  • If the item has one or more bids and a reserve that has been met: You can cancel the auction, but you have to sell to the high bidder.

  • If the item has one or more bids and a reserve that has not been met: You can cancel the auction.

If you are trying to an end your auction because of a mistake in the listing, try to fix the auction first. You may be able to change the listing or add to the product description depending on how much time is left and the number of bids. Alternatively, you can try communicating with bidders to let them know of the situation. The buyers may wish to retract their bids, or you can cancel the bids.

A word of caution: Canceling bids is not a way to get around selling products for less than you desire. Sellers who frequently use this function will be investigated.


I think my trading partner tried to buy my item fraudulently. What should I do?

If you suspect a buyer is trying to pay with fraudulent funds, contact eBay. You may want to contact your local authorities as well as that of the buyers. eBay will cooperate with law enforcement investigations.

Never accept a payment for more than the cost of the item you are selling. This is a known scam! Scam artists send checks or money orders for more than the requested amount. Then they ask the seller to cash the payment, and reimburse them for the extra funds – usually by instant wire transfer. The problem: The check or money order is fraudulent. Contact eBay and the proper authorities right away.

Also note that PayPal protects sellers from fraud when PayPal Seller Protection guidelines are followed, which is a great reason for sellers to accept PayPal payments.


Can I prevent a deadbeat buyer from bidding on my auctions?

Yes! You can prevent certain buyers from bidding on your auctions, if you know their eBay user id. Simply go to the Blocking a Bidder/Buyer page. Enter the user id of the bidder you want to block and submit.



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