3 min article

Unpaid item policy

Buyers must pay for the items they purchase on eBay within 4 calendar days.

This policy was updated on 18 December 2023. Our policy guidelines have not changed, but the information about activity that doesn't follow this policy has been updated for clarity.

If the buyer doesn't pay within this timeframe, the seller can cancel the order and an unpaid cancellation will be recorded on the buyer's account.

What is the policy?

When a buyer commits to buy something on eBay - by winning an auction, agreeing to an offer with a seller, or selecting Buy It Now in a listing - they are obliged to complete the purchase by sending full payment to the seller.

Before they commit to buy, buyers should note:

  • All the terms that the seller has included in the listing, including postage and handling costs
  • Placing a bid on an auction is a commitment to buy, and bids can only be retracted under exceptional circumstances

A seller may cancel an unpaid order if the buyer doesn't pay or contact them within 4 calendar days.

Failure to pay for items is a violation of our Abusive buyer policy.

When a seller cancels an order because the buyer hasn't paid, the unpaid cancellation is recorded on the buyer's account. Buyers who have excessive unpaid cancellations may have limits imposed by a seller or by eBay, or lose their buying privileges. In some circumstances, buyers can appeal an unpaid cancellation recorded on their account.

Managing unpaid orders

  • Sellers can cancel an order if the buyer hasn't paid after 4 calendar days and up to 30 days after the order is placed. Learn more in our Order cancellation policy
  • Sellers shouldn't use the reason "Buyer hasn't paid" to cancel an order when the buyer has paid, or they may:
    • Have all credits reversed for the time period in question
    • Lose the ability to use the fee credit system
    • Be subject to suspension
  • eBay will automatically remove any Feedback left by a buyer who didn't pay for an order when:
    • The seller cancels the order due to the buyer's failure to pay
    • The buyer is suspended

Activity on eBay is required to follow this policy, the eBay User Agreement and all applicable laws, as well as respect the rights of third parties. If it doesn't, eBay may take action consistent with applicable laws and the eBay User Agreement, and may even be legally required to do so. Such actions may include, as an example only: Removing the listing or other content, issuing a warning, restricting activity or account suspension.

Why does eBay have this policy?

This policy helps buyers understand our rules on purchasing items, which protects sellers while maintaining a fair and safe marketplace.

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