Negotiating with your eBay seller

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There are a number of ways to 'deal' with your eBay trader ... and in particular here, we're discussing 'dealing' in the sense of negotiating when things go wrong between a buyer and seller.

This Guide is written by a high volume seller who has certainly received their fair share of feedbacks - thankfully lots of great ones - but sadly some nasty unfounded ones too.

What others don't see though are some of the amazing interactions we receive through emails from buyers who think that we're here on eBay simply to 'rip' them off even with over 30,000 positive feedbacks! 

We'd like to teach anyone willing to spend a few minutes reading ...

WHAT TO DO and WHAT NOT TO DO ... when it comes to .... Successful Negotiating

Successful Negotiating is powerful.  Why? because ... It works - resolution IS success!

Negotiating means Be Polite!

Negotiating does not mean Be Rude!

Negotiating does not include Threats!

The following TIP is appropriate for those who tend to launch into a nasty battle of vicious emails which could start off similar to this ...... 'hey u thief! u took my $ & where is my stuff I will rept u to ebay & leve neg f/back! send my stuff now!' ... take a moment to consider that there might be a number of reasons that things haven't gone quite as smoothly as you'd have liked.

Perhaps the seller has had a computer melt down - god only knows that's happened to me!

Perhaps the seller has been in hospital - yep that was me last week!

Or perhaps your payment has been received and the seller simply couldn't work out who the payment belonged to ... - yep that's happened to me too - lots of times!

So ... how do you go about 'negotiating' with your seller to get what you expected?

Leave a Negative? NOPE that doesn't get you the item or resolution you want now, does it!!! What it is guaranteed to do though, is get the seller angry that you didn't bother to let them fix the problem!

Send an email

Nice and polite - so that you get a nice and polite response. Rather than the version we showed above, try something like ..... "Hi there, I paid for item number:  xxx  on the xx/xx/xxxx at the xxx branch of the xxx bank. The amount I paid was xxxx and I'm wondering whether you've received this payment yet and processed my order. Please could you let me know when I can expect my item/s so I can keep an eye on the post. Many thanks, (insert your username here)."

Now ... that was nice and friendly ..... and in most cases, you'll get a nice and polite response back.

What do you do if that doesn't work?

If you made the payment online, check with your bank statement (online is quickest) to see if the payment did go through. Keep in mind that if there is one digit wrong or something typed in the wrong place, your bank will reject it. You don't know that of course at the time you make the payment, causing you sit around waiting for your items to arrive, thinking that all went well with the payment.

However, so many, many times, the payment doesn't go through ... and the seller hears nothing. The next step a seller will take after sending a reminder, which is often ignored, is to open a Non Paying Bidder alert. 


Here all sorts of interesting things happen. Some buyers respond simply by giving the payment information which is great for the seller to then use to process the order, while others all too often, choose to react aggressively, threatening negative feedback, and thinking that they have just received negative feedback. A Non Paying Bidder alert is just that - an ALERT. It is NOT not feedback which can't be changed or resolved.

Once you've completed the necessary details in the Non Paying Bidder alert, the seller will reply (through that system) usually within a couple of days. You'll get some sort of response, but please be patient. Remember, not all eBay sellers work full time on their eBay sales. Some have full time jobs elsewhere, some work part time, some are mothers with small children, some are handicapped individuals who find that selling on eBay gives them some added income and the list goes on. So not everyone is at their computer keyboards 24/7. Although frustrating for you the buyer, just be a little patient.

Lets assume that after a few days, you've still received no response.


At this point, my suggestion is that you Open an Item Not Received or Significantly Not as Described dispute. You'll need the item number for the good/s you've purchased and once the dispute has been lodged, it's in the eBay system. That means that the seller will see the dispute the next time they log on, and that SHOULD get them to respond.

You can begin this process at any time between 10 days and 60 days after the listing has ended.

A few tips to remember....

  • Not everyone is out to 'get you'

  • Not all sellers are scammers

  • Check feedbacks - generally if someone has been around for a long time and their feedback is primarily good (and a powerseller) you can be pretty confident that they're not going to be dealing on eBay just for a quick scam

  • If in doubt, pay by Paypal - you've got the Paypal payment guarantee there to fall back on if necessary (repayment of your payment)

  • If you're a New, or inexperienced eBayer and the person you're dealing with, isn't - stop and think that perhaps, they may have a point. Perhaps your payment DIDN'T go through or perhaps the item really HAS been sent ....

and last but not least ...

  • Lindy's Goodies strongly recommend Registered Post for peace of mind. A small additional cost which offers a tracking number and the ability to make a claim against Australia Post if the item is lost or damaged in transit.


This Guide has been written with the best of intentions for those who avail themselves of our information. It is not intended to offer ALL available situations/options/responses etc. but we feel it's a 'good beginning'.

Take care and have fun eBaying. Oh! If you think this Guide may be of interest to someone else you know, please ask them to have a read and perhaps show us what you think, by reviewing it for us?

Many thanks,

Lindy's Goodies

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