From fair performance evaluations to final value fee credits for unpaid items, we want our sellers to know they're participating in a marketplace they can trust. Please read our full policy below to see the full details of how we aim to protect you when you're selling on eBay.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make sure I get paid?
When a buyer wins an auction or buys an item, they're obligated to complete the sale by paying you. The vast majority of buyers pay quickly, but if a buyer doesn't pay within 4 days, you can open an unpaid item case. If an unpaid item case closes without payment from the buyer, you'll receive a final value fee credit for your listing.
How am I protected in eBay Money Back Guarantee cases?
If eBay is asked to step in and help after a buyer has opened an eBay Money Back Guarantee case, there are many things that we'll take a look at before making a decision. You'll also be protected from losing a case if certain criteria are met. For example, if you can show us documentation that you sent the item when you said you did, or that you accurately described the item, you may be protected under the eBay Money Back Guarantee.
Read our full policy
Seller protection policy overview
We want you to be able to sell with confidence. This page explains how we protect sellers, and offers best practices for addressing problems that sometimes come up.
We know how important your Feedback is, and we want your Feedback, detailed seller ratings (DSRs), transaction defect and late shipment rate to be an accurate reflection of your performance.
Automatic transaction defect protections
As outlined in our Seller performance and Feedback policy, we automatically remove defects from your seller performance evaluation, adjust your late shipment rate and remove Feedback in the instances described here. You may request the removal of these if they aren't automatically removed.
- The buyer didn't pay for their order and an unpaid item case is recorded against the buyer.
- The defect, Feedback or late shipment was the direct result of an eBay site issue or program error.
- We take action against a buyer for activity that violates the Buying practices policy.
- We instruct you to hold a shipment or take action to cancel the transaction.
- We take action to close an eBay Money Back Guarantee case or appeal request in favour of the seller.
- The delivery estimate shown in the listing was shortened, but tracking shows the item was delivered by the carrier's longest delivery estimate.
- We can determine through valid tracking that the defect was the direct result of systemic delays in delivery or communication. Examples include: wide-scale postal service delays, items stuck in customs or power outages due to extreme weather. Major delays and disruptions are often posted to our Announcement Board.
There are some circumstances where a defect, Feedback or late shipment can be manually reviewed. For example, you upload tracking that confirms the item was sent within the handling time or the item was delivered by the estimated delivery date, but the late shipment rate wasn't automatically updated because the tracking isn't integrated with eBay. You may appeal a defect, Feedback or late shipment within 90 days of the transaction.
We'll automatically award you 5-star DSRs in the following categories, when:
- Postage and handling charges – you offer free postage, the buyer chose that option and left you Feedback.
- You offer 0-1 business day handling time and upload valid tracking information within one business day;
- At the time the buyer leaves Feedback, there are no communications initiated in eBay Messages* and no pending eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases; and
- There haven't been any requests for contact information between you and the buyer.
*Best Offers, Second Chance Offers, invoices and invoice requests don't affect automatic 5-star eligibility, even if they contain messages added by the buyer or seller.
We'll automatically remove low (1-star) DSRs for Postage time when you offer 0-1 business day handling time and upload valid postage tracking information within one business day of receiving cleared payment.
eBay Money Back Guarantee and PayPal Buyer Protection cases
Most items purchased on eBay.com.au are eligible for eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection. Cases relating to items not received or not as described are counted towards your seller performance evaluation where eBay or PayPal was asked to step in and help and found you responsible. However, you will be protected from losing a case if certain criteria are met.
eBay Money Back Guarantee cases
Here's some more information about what we'll look for if we're asked to step in and help after a buyer's opened a request.
- If a buyer reports that an item hasn't been received
You're protected from losing a case if you send an item within your stated handling time and provide valid tracking information before you or the buyer asks us to step in and help.
Tracking information needs to include:
- A delivery status of "delivered"
- The date of delivery
- The recipient's address
- Proof of signature, for items with a total cost of $750 or more
- If a buyer reports that an item isn't as described
You may be protected from losing a case if you provide clear documentation that the item was described accurately and consistently in the listing. This documentation can include photos of the item that you upload to eBay during the returns process.
- A buyer requests to return an item for a refund because an item isn't new or has minor scratches, but the listing clearly and consistently describes the item as used.
- A buyer opens a return request because of a defect in an item, but the defect was accurately described in the listing.
- A buyer opens a return request because they didn't want the item, but the item was accurately described in the listing.
Buyers and sellers have an opportunity to appeal our decision within 30 days from the day a case is closed by providing appropriate documentation in My eBay.
- Other resolution methods
Buyers can't use more than one resolution method to get a refund.
- If a buyer files a chargeback, any requests opened with eBay Money Back Guarantee for the same transaction are immediately closed. And if you lose a chargeback after reimbursing eBay or the buyer for a Money Back Guarantee case, you can appeal the case decision.
- If a buyer files a PayPal Buyer Protection case, the buyer can't open an eBay Money Back Guarantee case for the same transaction.
For more information about eBay Money Back Guarantee:
- Learn about eBay Money Back Guarantee in the Seller Centre
- Read the full eBay Money Back Guarantee policy
Note: Other sites also offer eBay Money Back Guarantee. There may be some minor differences between eBay sites, so if you're selling internationally please review the full policy on the relevant eBay site.
PayPal Seller Protection cases (applies on all eBay sites)
PayPal Seller Protection can help protect your eligible sales against claims of items not received, transactions reversed due to suspicion of fraud, or unauthorised payments (for example, payments made with stolen credit cards). For full details, see PayPal's Seller Protection Policy, or contact PayPal Customer Support for assistance.
Seller performance standards
Fair performance evaluation
To measure your overall performance accurately, we look at your performance as a whole. We also consider a buyer's pattern for opening requests and cases and leaving low detailed seller ratings – and protect you when necessary.
Transaction defect rate
- The transaction defect rate won't affect your seller performance status until you have transactions with defects with at least 5 different buyers, or at least 4 different buyers to impact Top Rated status, within your evaluation period.
- Buyers don't see your defect rate.
If a buyer has done everything in their power to ensure an item is returned to you safely in accordance with your returns policy, we suggest you issue a refund to provide great customer service.
We strongly recommend a lenient return policy, except in circumstances where the buyer is at fault. For example:
- The wrong item is returned
- You receive an empty box
- The item is reported as "not as described" to avoid return postage charges and restocking fees
If you suspect that a buyer is abusing the returns options or misusing your returns policy, contact the buyer through Messages in My eBay to keep a record of the conversation and try to resolve the issue. If you still suspect buyer abuse, use the Report buyer option after the request has closed, or report the buyer to Customer Service.
If eBay is asked to step in and help on a return request, we'll review the case and consider your communications with the buyer as well as the information you provide, including any photos of the item, which you can upload to eBay once a return is open. If we determine that a buyer has abused the returns options or the eBay Money Back Guarantee, the buyer may be subject to a range of actions, including limits on their buying and selling privileges and suspension of their account.
You're protected from unpaid items through our unpaid item policy. When a buyer wins an item or uses Buy It Now to purchase an item, they're obliged to complete the purchase by paying you.
If a buyer doesn't pay within 4 days, you can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Centre. If the buyer still doesn't pay or reach some other agreement with you after 4 days, and you close the case, we record the unpaid item on the buyer's account.
When an unpaid item case closes without payment from the buyer, you're eligible to receive a final value fee credit to your eBay seller account. Also, if you relist the item and it sells the second time, we may refund the insertion fee for the relisting. Learn more about receiving fee credits.
Excessive unpaid items on a buyer's account may result in range of actions, including limits or loss of buying privileges.
We automatically remove Feedback when we know or have reason to believe that a buyer hasn't paid.
Learn more about the Unpaid item policy.
Tips for preventing and managing unpaid items:
- Require immediate payment from buyers
- Choose to block buyers by username or select buyer requirements
- Use the Unpaid Item Assistant
We want to help you expand your horizons and grow into new markets, and we understand the challenges that selling across multiple countries can present. From 1 Aug 2017, we are improving how we protect you when selling in emerging markets:
- Late deliveries will no longer count against your late delivery rate metric, as long as you let us know the item has been sent on time, and that you make it right with the buyer if any problems occur.
- We'll remove negative or neutral Feedback caused by delivery delays from buyers in emerging markets.
Emerging markets which are covered by this policy: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan Republic, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), Fiji, French Guiana, Gabon Republic, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jan Mayen, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, South Lesotho, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Svalbard, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Reporting a buyer
The Buying practices policy outlines our expectations for buyer behaviour. Violations may result in a range of actions, including Feedback removal, cancellation of requests or cases, limits on account privileges (such as use of eBay Money Back Guarantee), limits on overall buying activity and account suspension.
To report a buyer who may be violating our policies: