2 min article
Resolving unpaid items with buyers

After you've made a sale on eBay, it’s usually a smooth process to complete the transaction with the buyer, but sometimes you might find yourself in a situation where the buyer hasn't yet paid for the item they bought. If that happens, contact the buyer to try and resolve the issue, but we're always here to step in and help if needed.

If you're a high volume seller, you can automate how you manage unpaid items using Unpaid Item Assistant. If you just sell occasionally or you haven't yet set up Unpaid Item Assistant, here's what you can do if a buyer doesn't pay:

  • Get in touch with the buyer to find out why they haven't paid. Sometimes it's just that they didn't realise they won the auction, they're not sure of the postage cost or don't know how to pay
    Contact the buyer
  • Send the buyer an invoice to remind them to pay. In your Sold items in My eBay, select the item, then select More actions, and choose Send invoice
    See your sold items - opens in new window or tab

If the buyer doesn't respond to your message or invoice and still hasn't paid, here's what you should do:

  1. If it's been more than 4 days since the listing ended, you can select Report an unpaid item. This lets us know you're having a problem and starts the formal process for resolving the issue – we call this opening a case. You need to report a case within 32 days of the listing ending.
    Report an unpaid item
  2. After opening a case, the buyer has 4 days to respond or pay for the item. On the fifth day, you can close the case by going to the Resolution Centre - opens in new window or tab and selecting Close case. Under Have you received payment from the buyer?, select No. The unpaid item is then recorded on the buyer's account, the final value fee will be credited back to you, and you can relist the item.

It's important to close out any unpaid item cases. If you don't close an unpaid item case within 36 days, we'll close it for you, but you won't be eligible for a final value fee credit.

We recommend waiting to send your item until you've received payment from your buyer.

Using Unpaid Item Assistant

If you enable Unpaid Item Assistant on your seller account, it automatically opens and closes unpaid item cases when a buyer doesn't pay. It can save time and ensure you don't miss a final value fee credit if you forget to close a case.

You can use Unpaid Item Assistant if:

  • You use eBay checkout, which means that the buyer pays through the standard checkout flow, (not cash on delivery or with a cheque)
  • Buyers pay using PayPal or a credit card

When you opt in to Unpaid Item Assistant you can set up your preferences for receiving notifications and for automatic relisting items after a case has closed without payment. You also have the option to exclude certain buyers from having unpaid item cases automatically created.

Enable Unpaid Item Assistant

If a buyer doesn’t pay, try contacting them or resending the invoice as a reminder to pay.

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