8 min article

Unpaid item policy

To make sure eBay is a place where sellers want to do business, and to manage buyer expectations, our unpaid items policy sets out our rules around paying for items after a buyer has won an auction or agreed to make a purchase.

When a buyer bids on an item or selects Buy It Now, they're committing to paying for the item. If they don't pay within 4 days, the seller can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Centre. If the case closes without payment, the seller is eligible for a final value fee credit and we may record an unpaid item on the buyer's account. For more details on how unpaid item cases are resolved, please see our full policy guidelines below.

Frequently Asked Questions


I bid on several items, but only wanted one, and ended up winning them all. Do I have to pay for those I don't want?

Yes. Each time you bid or select Buy It Now, you're agreeing to pay for the item.

I reported a buyer who didn't pay for an item. What can I do about negative Feedback he left me?

We'll remove Feedback for you in cases where a buyer didn't pay or respond to the unpaid item process, or who has been suspended. If we see Feedback from a buyer who didn't pay, we'll remove it automatically. If we've missed something though, please contact us to ask to have it removed.

Read our full policy

Unpaid item policy overview

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

If a buyer doesn't pay for an item 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.

Note: Excessive unpaid items on a buyer's account may result in range of actions, including limits or loss of buying privileges.

Examples of policy violations

If you've placed a winning bid or clicked the Buy It Now button on a listing, you've committed to purchasing and paying for that item. Not making that payment, even if you've changed your mind about wanting the item, violates the unpaid item policy. Here are some examples:

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Jay looks for a grill on eBay and places a bid. After winning the item, he realises that postage 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 realise that she's just purchased many of those items and is obliged to pay for them. If she chooses not to pay for the items, she's in violation of eBay's 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.

Additional information

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 credits 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 account limits

  • 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.
  • Unpaid items will automatically be assigned to the buyer's account when the seller receives a final value fee credit.
  • If you have excessive unpaid items or cancelled transactions on your account, we may limit or end your ability to buy.
  • Buyers have the option of appealing an unpaid item if they believe it was undeserved.

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 process.
  • 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.

Why does eBay have this policy?

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 place to buy and sell.

Was this article helpful for you?