2 min article

Asking eBay to step in and help for sellers

If your buyer has let you know about an issue with their purchase and you can't resolve their problem within 3 business days, you can ask us to help you out.

If you can't resolve the buyer's issue, or disagree with their reasons for opening a return, you can ask eBay to step in and help. We'll review the details and get back to you and the buyer with a resolution within 48 hours.

If asked to step in and help, we may ask the buyer to return the item to you if any of the following apply:

  • We can't determine that the item received by the buyer matches the listing description
  • You offer returns and your stated return policy applies
  • You already offered to accept a return.

If eBay steps in to help with the return at any stage and the item is returned used or damaged, you will no longer be able to issue a partial refund to the buyer, even if you qualify to issue partial refunds under our seller protections.

If the buyer requested a return because they received an item that's different to the listing, or it arrived damaged or faulty and you hadn't responded to the return request, when eBay steps in we may refund the buyer and the amount will be deducted from the total of your Available, Processing and On hold funds, without requiring the buyer to send the item back. If the total of your Available, Processing and On hold funds are insufficient to cover the outstanding amounts you owe, eBay will charge your on-file payment method for the remaining amounts owed. Learn more about refunding buyers or how to choose your payment method for selling costs.

Ask eBay to step in

You can ask us to step in and help through the Returns - opens in new window or tab or the Requests and disputes - opens in new window or tab tab in Seller Hub - opens in new window or tab, or next to the order in My eBay Sold - opens in new window or tab. See the instructions below to find out how:

How to ask eBay to step in and help in Seller Hub

  1. Go to Seller Hub - opens in new window or tab and open the Returns - opens in new window or tab or the Requests and disputes - opens in new window or tab tab.
  2. Select See details next to the request.
  3. If you want us to help, select Report problem or Ask eBay to step in and help, and follow the instructions from there.

How to ask eBay to step in and help in My eBay Sold

How to ask eBay to step in and help with a return request in My eBay Sold:

  1. Find the order in My eBay Sold - opens in new window or tab and select View return details.
  2. Select Report problem, and follow the instructions from there.

How to ask eBay to step in and help with an item not received request in My eBay Sold:

  1. Find the order in My eBay Sold - opens in new window or tab and select View request details.
  2. Select Ask eBay to step in and help, and follow the instructions from there.

Tip
Whenever possible, we recommend resolving your buyer's issue and not asking us to step in. If we close the case on behalf of the buyer, you could receive a defect that may affect your seller standards.

When you can ask eBay to step in

Once the buyer has let you know that they have an issue, you have 3 business days to make things right. After that, if the matter hasn't been resolved, either of you can ask us to step in and help out.

You don't have to ask us to step in immediately after the 3 business days though – if you're still working things through with the buyer, you generally have up to 30 days after the request was opened to ask us for help.

If any issues come up after an item is returned to you, you'll be able to report the problem and ask us to step in and help by following the instructions above.

What happens after you ask eBay to step in

We'll review your case and resolve it in the fairest way possible. We normally come back with an answer within 48 hours, though occasionally it might take longer if we need more information. Once we've made a decision, we'll let you and the buyer know.

  • If we close the case in your favour, the case will be closed immediately and you won't need to do anything else.
  • If we close the case in the buyer's favour, we'll issue them a full refund and then the amount will be deducted from your Available, Processing and On hold funds. You won't receive a final value fee credit if this happens, and the case will be counted as "closed without seller resolution", which may affect your seller standards.
  • If you don't agree with our decision, you can always appeal by providing new information within 30 days of the case being closed.

We recommend trying to resolve the buyer's issue within 3 business days. After that, we can step in and help. However, a case closed in your buyer's favour may affect your seller standards.

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