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Buyer protection requests and cases that impact seller performance
In this article
In this article

Policy overview

As a seller on eBay, it's important to remember that you're delivering more than items—you're also delivering service.

To keep customer service a priority, we ask sellers to meet our seller performance standards, including minimizing the number of eBay Money Back Guarantee requests and PayPal Purchase Protection cases that are opened and closed without seller resolution.

For the eBay Money Back Guarantee, when a buyer initially asks to return an item because it didn't match the listing description, or the buyer reports they didn't receive the item, we call the transaction issue at that point a 'request'. The request does count as a defect in the seller performance rating. If the buyer and seller can't resolve the problem, and the buyer or seller asks us to step in and help with the transaction, the request then becomes a 'case.' For PayPal Purchase Protection, the transaction issue is a 'case.'

This policy outlines some of the requirements that must be met for a buyer to open a return request, report an item as not being received, ask us to step in and help with a transaction issue, or a PayPal Purchase Protection case. This policy also provides an overview of requests and cases that count and don't count in your seller performance evaluation.

Buyer requirements for opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee request or PayPal Purchase Protection case

There are a number of systematic checks in place that may prevent an eBay Money Back Guarantee request or PayPal Purchase Protection case from being opened. If a buyer tries to request a return, report an item as not being received, or open a PayPal Purchase Protection case, but it doesn't pass our checks, a request or case won't be opened. We make sure that:

The transaction is eligible for the eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Purchase Protection.
The buyer has paid for the item.
The buyer hasn't already received a refund via PayPal.
A request or case hasn't already been opened for the same transaction (this includes requests and cases under the eBay Money Back Guarantee, PayPal Purchase Protection, or Vehicle Purchase Protection).
Based on delivery estimates, enough time has passed from payment to when a buyer should have received an item.

Requests and cases closed without seller resolution that may be removed

Opened eBay Money Back Guarantee requests and PayPal Purchase Protection cases generally result in a transaction defect. Cases closed without seller resolution count towards a seller's performance evaluation. Our seller performance standards provide detailed information on how cases affect seller status.

Cases in any of the following scenarios are automatically removed from your seller evaluation, don't count as transaction defects, and won't count towards the maximum percentage of cases closed without seller resolution:

  • Cases that have been closed in the seller's favor or no one is found at fault. The defect associated with a request being opened is also removed in this situation.

  • Return requests, reports of an item not being received, and PayPal Purchase Protection cases in which a seller issued a refund before the buyer asked us to step in and help count as a defect, but won't count as a case closed without seller resolution.

  • Cases in which the buyer is found to be abusing the eBay Money Back Guarantee, or found to be opened by a competitor with the intention of negatively affecting a seller's performance standing. The defect associated with a request being opened is also removed in this situation.

  • Cases in which the buyer has been suspended for a severe policy violation. In this situation, both the defect associated with the request being opened and the case that was closed without seller resolution are removed.

If you're sure a case fits the requirements above, and wasn't removed from your seller performance evaluation, please contact us.

Requests and cases that won't be removed

We value sellers who provide excellent customer service. In general, return requests, reports of an item not being received, opened PayPal Purchase Protection cases, and cases closed without seller resolution won't be removed from your seller performance evaluation.

The transaction defect rate that results from the opening of requests and cases won't affect your seller status until you have transactions with defects involving at least 8 different buyers, or at least 5 different buyers to impact Top Rated status, within your evaluation period.

Best practices to help avoid buyers opening requests and cases

Here are examples of best practices that may help prevent buyers from opening requests and cases:

  • Send the buyer a message acknowledging when you receive payment, when you expect to ship the item, and confirmation once you've shipped the item.

  • Upload tracking or delivery confirmation information as soon as it's available.

  • Accept returns, while clearly outlining whether a restocking fee applies.

  • Communicate professionally with the buyer at all times, from listing to sale to delivery.

For more tips, see our selling practices policy.

Why does eBay have this policy?

We encourage buyers and sellers to try and work things out if there are problems with an item. By accurately describing items, shipping on time, and quickly addressing buyer concerns, sellers can help ensure that buyers don't open buyer protection requests and cases, and that any requests or cases that are opened aren't closed without seller resolution.

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