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Seller protection policy
In this article
In this article

How you're protected

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.

More information:

Automatic transaction defect protections
We automatically remove the defects from your seller performance evaluation, and the Feedback related to the defect from your Feedback profile, in the instances described here. You may request the removal of these types of defects and related Feedback if they are not automatically removed.
  • The buyer didn't pay for their order and an unpaid item case is recorded against the buyer.

  • An eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Purchase Protection case is ruled in the seller's favor.

  • The defect was the direct result of an eBay site issue or an eBay program error.

  • We take action on a buyer for activity that violates the Buying Practices policy.

  • eBay or PayPal instructs you to hold a shipment or takes action to cancel the transaction.

  • We can determine through valid tracking that the defect was the direct result of systemic delays in shipping or communication. Examples include: wide-scale shipping carrier delays, items stuck in customs, or power outages due to extreme weather. Actual events will be listed on our announcement board.

Automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings
Offer great customer service and get automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings, as follows:
  • Shipping and handling charges

    If you offer free shipping and we know the buyer chose that option, you'll get an automatic 5-star detailed seller rating for shipping and handling charges.

  • Shipping and handling time

    If you specify same business day or 1 business day handling, upload tracking information within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment, and the item shows a delivery time of 4 days from receiving payment, you'll get an automatic 5-star rating for shipping time.

    Fast 'N Free listings get the extra protection of having a low rating for shipping time automatically converted to a 5-star rating as long as you upload tracking and the item is delivered within the stated handling time plus the estimated delivery time.

  • Communication

    You'll automatically receive a 5-star communication detailed seller rating if:

    • You specify same business day or 1 business day handling and upload tracking information within 1 business day.

    • At the time the buyer leaves Feedback:

      • There are no buyer- or seller-initiated communications in eBay Messages and

      • There are no pending eBay Money Back Guarantee requests or PayPal Purchase Protection cases.

    • There are no requests for contact information between you and the buyer.

(Best Offers, Second Chance Offers, invoices, and invoice requests—even if they contain messages added by the buyer or seller—do not affect automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings for communication. You'll still qualify for an automatic 5-star communication detailed seller rating if you or your buyer sends these types of communications.)
If a buyer reports that an item hasn't been received
If you ship an item within your stated handling time and provide tracking information to the buyer before you or the buyer asks us to step in and help with a request, you're protected.
Tracking information needs to include:
  1. A delivery status of "delivered"

  2. The date of delivery

  3. The recipient's address

  4. Signature confirmation, if an item has a total cost of $750 or more

If a buyer reports that an item isn't as described
If the buyer starts a return request because an item isn't as described in the listing, and then asks us to step in and help, you may be protected from losing a case if you provide clear documentation that the item was described accurately and consistently in the listing.
  1. 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.

  2. A buyer opens a return request because of a defect in an item, but the defect was accurately described in the listing.

  3. 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 within 30 days from the day a case is closed to appeal our decision by providing appropriate documentation in My eBay.

Other resolution methods
Buyers can't use more than one resolution method to get a refund. After selecting a resolution method, a buyer is required to use that process for the duration of the resolution effort.
  • If a buyer files a chargeback, any requests opened with eBay Money Back Guarantee for the same transaction are immediately closed.

  • If a buyer files a PayPal Purchase Protection case, the buyer can't open an eBay Money Back Guarantee request for the same transaction.

If you lose a chargeback after you reimburse eBay or the buyer, you can appeal the decision by providing evidence of the lost chargeback.

Keep in mind
Remember that even if the buyer doesn't ask us to step in and help with an item that wasn't received or a return request, the request may still count as a transaction defect. Learn more about our seller performance standards.
Learn more about eBay Money Back Guarantee.
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 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 8 different buyers, or at least 5 different buyers to impact Top Rated status, within your evaluation period.

  • Buyers don't see your defect rate.

eBay Top Rated Seller grace period
If you are a Top Rated Seller and fall below the sales and tracking requirements for Top Rated Seller status, you may qualify for the Top Rated Seller grace period. During the Top Rated Seller grace period you retain your Top Rated Seller status and benefits, and you have 2 evaluation cycles to get your transaction count, sales amount, or tracking requirements back to minimum program requirements.
You're eligible for the grace period if you fall below Top Rated Seller standards due to any of the following:
  • You have fewer than 100 transactions with US buyers over the most recent 12-month period.

  • You have less than $1,000 in sales with US buyers over the most recent 12-month period.

  • You've uploaded shipment tracking within your promised handling time for less than 90% (but not less than 85%) of transactions with US buyers in the last 3 months.

You're only eligible for the Top Rated Seller grace period when:
  • You otherwise have aTop Rated Seller performance rating

  • You've been a Top Rated Seller for the last 3 (or more) consecutive months immediately preceding evaluation; and

  • You meet all of the other performance standards of the program for:

    • Low detailed seller ratings

    • eBay Money Back Guarantee requests or PayPal Purchase Protection cases

    • Positive Feedback ratings

If you don't meet sales and tracking requirements and performance standards after the grace period ends, you lose your Top Rated Seller status and benefits.
Learn more about becoming a Top Rated Seller.
Note: the grace period applies to US transactions only.
eBay hassle-free returns gives you and your buyers a simple and efficient way to handle returns.
If a buyer has done everything in their power to ensure an item is returned to you safely in accordance with eBay's returns policies, 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 doesn't meet the item condition policy for returns.

  • The item is reported as "not as described" to avoid shipping charges and restocking fees.

If you suspect that a buyer is abusing eBay hassle-free returns, 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, report the buyer.
Occasionally, a buyer may ask us to step in and help with a return request. We review the request and consider your communications with the buyer as well as the information you provide. If we determine that a buyer has abused eBay hassle-free returns 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.
Learn more about using eBay hassle-free returns.
You are 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 obligated to complete the purchase by paying you.
If a buyer doesn't pay within 2 days, you can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Center. 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 insertion 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.

Preventing unpaid items
When you use the Global Shipping Program, you're responsible for getting packages safely to the US shipping center. If an item is damaged or lost during international shipping you're protected from:
  • eBay Money Back Guarantee requests and PayPal Purchase Protection cases when:

    • A buyer claims an item isn't received or

    • A package is damaged

  • Negative and neutral Feedback when:

    • You win a case alleging damage or loss

    • The Feedback comment relates to a problem with shipping

You automatically get 5-star detailed seller ratings for:
  • Shipping and handling charges if you provide free shipping to the US shipping center.

  • Shipping and handling time if you provide same business day or 1 business day handling, upload tracking information within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment, and tracking information shows the item as delivered to the US shipping center within 4 business days of receiving cleared payment.

Important: If you don't qualify for the these automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings, the shipping and handling charges and shipping and handling time ratings you receive aren't counted in your seller performance.
Read the complete seller policies for the Global Shipping Program.

Reporting a buyer

The buying practices policy outlines our expectations for buyer behavior. Violations may result in a range of actions, including Feedback removal, cancellation of requests or cases, limits on account privileges (such as use of the eBay Money Back Guarantee), limits on overall buying activity, and account suspension.

To report a buyer who may be violating our policies:

Contact Customer Service
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