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Responding to a case when your buyer doesn't receive an item
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In this article


Most sales go smoothly, but occasionally there may be a problem. Our resolution process helps buyers and sellers resolve issues with items.

If your buyer reports not receiving an item, you'll be given options for responding to the case. Once a buyer files a case, you must reply within 3 business days or we will handle the case.

Important: If you sell on eBay.co.uk or eBay.de, cases from these buyers may have different timelines. Learn more about responding to cases on international eBay websites.

Provide tracking information

If a buyer contacts us about an item that hasn't been received, you can resolve the case by providing proof of delivery. We'll ask you to provide tracking information for your case that shows:

  1. The delivery status of the item as "delivered."

  2. The date of delivery (which shows you shipped the item within your stated handling time).

  3. The buyer's address, displaying at least the city/state or ZIP code (or the equivalent) of the address shown on either eBay's Order Details page or PayPal's Transaction Details page.

  4. For items $750 or more (or local currency equivalent), proof of recipient's signature.

If the tracking information shows the item is still in transit, we may ask the buyer to wait.

If an item was shipped without tracking information, please let us know. We'll review the situation, but may still find you responsible for refunding the buyer if the item hasn't yet arrived.

Issue a refund

If the buyer asked for a refund, and you haven't yet shipped the item, you can issue a refund, including the cost of the item and original shipping. Go to the eBay Resolution Center, and review the buyer's case.

Once the case has been resolved, you'll receive a final value fee credit.

Offer another solution

If the buyer still wants the item, and you can provide it, you can ship the item immediately with tracking or Delivery Confirmation information. Upload the tracking information to the eBay Resolution Center, so the buyer knows when the item will arrive.

You can always offer another solution, as well. It's important that you and the buyer try to come to an agreement, and the buyer is happy with the outcome. Please contact the buyer through the eBay Resolution Center, so there's a record of communications and we know the status of the case.

More about refunds

Once a case is opened, funds in your PayPal account (related only to that sale) may be put on hold. When the buyer is satisfied, or we find in your favor, the funds are again available for use.

If you've agreed to issue a refund for an item, you must do so within 3 business days. If the buyer doesn't receive the refund within 3 business days, the buyer can ask us to help. If you agreed to refund a buyer and haven't, we will refund the buyer:

  • If the buyer paid with PayPal, we will deduct the refund from your PayPal account.

  • If the buyer didn't pay with PayPal, there aren't sufficient funds in your PayPal account, or PayPal isn't your preferred reimbursement payment method, we'll ask you to add a reimbursement payment method.

  • If you've already designated a preferred payment method, we'll deduct funds from that account.

If you don't reply to a case by the deadline, or if you and the buyer can't reach an agreement, the buyer can escalate the case. We will review the case and come to a decision. If we find in favor of the buyer, we'll refund the buyer directly and recover the amount of the refund from you using one of the methods described above.

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