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Buying practices policy
In this article
In this article

Policy overview

We want all eBay members to be able to buy and sell on eBay with confidence. We want our sellers to bring great service and value to our marketplace, and we strive to protect sellers from unfair and unsafe buyer activity.

This policy outlines our expectations for buyer behavior. When buyers don't meet these standards, we encourage sellers to report the concern.

Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including Feedback removal, cancellation of return requests, limits on account privileges (such as use of the eBay Money Back Guarantee), limits on overall buying activity, and account suspension.

Buying behaviors we don't allow

If you've placed a winning bid or clicked Buy it Now in a listing, you've committed to purchasing that item.
If you don't pay for an item, even if you've changed your mind, you're violating our policy, which may result in account restriction or suspension. Learn more about our unpaid item policy.
When you bid on or buy an item, you accept the seller's terms as set out in the listing, provided the listing complies with our listing policies. You're entitled to expect that the seller will do what they've said with regards to shipping, payments, and item returns. We know that exceptional circumstances can arise, and we allow you to make reasonable and limited requests. However, we don't require sellers to fulfill requests that are outside of their terms.
We don't allow unreasonable or excessive demands. We also consider using the threat of negative Feedback, low detailed seller ratings, or opening eBay Money Back Guarantee requests as a way to make demands of the seller to be extortion and we don't allow it.

Allowed

Allowed

  • Asking to use one of the alternative shipping options specified in the listing

  • Asking to use a more expensive shipping option to get the item more quickly, and offering to pay the extra shipping cost

  • Asking the seller if it's acceptable if your payment is briefly delayed due to exceptional circumstances

  • Asking to return an item according to the seller's return policy

  • Asking whether a seller will combine shipping for multiple purchases

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Demanding a change to the shipping method or delivery location, other than those specified in the listing

  • Demanding a change to the payment method or timing, other than those specified in the listing

  • Demanding a partial refund or discount under threat of negative Feedback, low detailed seller ratings, or opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee request or PayPal Purchase Protection case.

  • Demanding additional items or services that are outside of what is contained in the listing

  • Asking the seller to complete the transaction off eBay

Feedback is an essential tool for letting other members know about your experiences with a seller, and we encourage you to be honest. However, we don't allow misuse of Feedback.

Allowed 

Allowed

  • Leaving negative or neutral Feedback with an appropriate comment reflecting your experience

  • Leaving low detailed seller ratings if the seller's performance doesn't live up to your expectations

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Leaving inappropriate Feedback comments, such as comments containing obscene language.

  • Leaving negative or neutral Feedback or low detailed seller ratings because a seller didn't provide additional goods and services not mentioned in the original listing. We consider threatening to do this to be Feedback extortion.

  • Consistently leaving low detailed seller ratings or negative Feedback for sellers who sell the same or similar items as you. We consider this to be Feedback manipulation.

The eBay Money Back Guarantee covers all eligible purchases on eBay.com. If you have a problem with a purchase, you can let us know in My eBay.
We don't allow buyers to abuse the eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Purchase Protection.

Allowed

Allowed

  • Opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee refund request or opening a PayPal Purchase Protection case when you didn't receive the item and you haven't been able to resolve the issue with the seller

  • Opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee return request or PayPal Purchase Protection case after the item you received didn't match the description in the listing

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Claiming you haven't received an item before the estimated delivery date has passed

  • Claiming you haven't received an item when it has arrived

  • Claiming an item isn't as described in the listing when the item condition is consistent with the listing description

  • Opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee request or PayPal Purchase Protection case:

    • When you have already received a refund from the seller or reimbursement from your payment provider

    • When you haven't paid for an item.

    • As retaliation against a seller following a previous dispute

  • Threatening to open an eBay Money Back Guarantee request or PayPal Purchase Protection case against a seller in order to get a discount or additional goods and services, when the item arrived in the described condition

  • A pattern of excessively opening eBay Money Back Guarantee requests or PayPal Purchase Protection cases

We encourage all sellers to specify a clear return policy in their listings. Always check the return policy specified in a listing before committing to pay for an item.
If you want to return an item, review the seller's return policy before initiating a return. Sellers may specify requirements for returns such as time limits, restocking fees, and who pays for return shipping. Learn more about our item condition return policy for returns.

Allowed

Allowed

  • Returning a faulty item or an item that wasn't as described in the listing

  • Returning an item within the terms of the seller's return policy

Not allowed

Not allowed

  • Returning a different item (for example, a used or older model of the same product or an empty box)

  • Not returning the item in the condition that it was sent to you (for example, returning a TV without the remote control)

  • Returning an item that has been damaged after being delivered

  • Claiming an item isn't as described in the listing in order to circumvent a seller's return policy

  • Not following the terms of the seller's return policy

  • A pattern of purchasing items and receiving excessive refunds

Additional information

Acceptable buying practices include adherence to the following policies.

How sellers can report policy violations

To report a buyer who may be violating our policies:
  1. Review the relevant section of this policy (and its related policies) to make sure the buyer is really breaking the rules.

  2. Once confirmed, report the buyer.

When we review a report of a member violating our policies, we look at the circumstances, including the members' history. We make decisions based on the evidence in the individual situation, as well as by evaluating patterns of behavior that create a negative value in the marketplace. If we aren't sure about something or can't prove it with certainty, we may not take any action. Also, because we respect our members' privacy, we can't discuss the results of any investigations.

Why does eBay have this policy?

We work hard to make shopping on eBay safe and fun. We hold sellers on eBay to high standards of customer service. Our selling practices policy sets out our expectations of sellers, and we hold sellers accountable to seller performance standards when buyers report a problem with a purchase. While most eBay buyers follow the rules, we also need to protect sellers from unsafe and unfair behavior, and from buyers who try to take advantage of our protection systems.

Contact Customer Service
You can contact Customer Service to report a listing you think violates this policy. Go to that listing, and then click the Report item link on the right side of the page.

We'll review your report and take appropriate action.
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