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What to do when a buyer doesn't pay
In this article
In this article


If you don't receive payment for an item you've sold, we're here to help.

If the buyer is no longer registered on eBay, you can open a case right away in the Resolution Center. Under I sold an item, select I haven't received my payment yet.

If the buyer is registered on eBay, please give the buyer 2 days to pay. If you still haven't received payment after a reasonable amount of time, here's what you can do next:

1. Talk to the buyer
You can solve most problems by talking with the buyer. If you don't have it, you can get the buyer's contact information. Get tips on communicating with your trading partner.
2. Open a case in our Resolution Center
If you can't work things out directly with the buyer, you can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Center.
To open an unpaid item case:
  1. Select I haven't received my payment yet, and then click Continue.

You can also use Unpaid Item Assistant—a feature that automatically opens and closes cases on your behalf. The Unpaid Item Assistant can save you time if you sell a lot of items. Learn more about using Unpaid Item Assistant.

Timing is important
There's a limited time during which you can open a case.
  • If you don't receive payment, you can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Center as soon as 2 full days (48 hours) after the listing ends. For example, if the listing ends on October 5 at 11:15 am, you can open a case on October 7 at 11:15 am.

  • If the buyer is no longer registered on eBay, you can open a case immediately after the listing ends.

  • You can open a case up to 32 days after the listing has ended.

  • The buyer has up to 4 days to send a payment once you open the case. During this time, the buyer can also contact you to request a payment extension or to make other arrangements.

3. Close a case
You need to manually close a case in 2 situations:
  • The buyer didn't pay and you've waited at least 4 days after you opened the case.

  • The buyer paid but didn't use an approved electronic payment method.

    You need to wait 4 full days before you can close a case. For example, if you opened a case on October 5 at 11:15 am, you can close the case on October 9 at 11:15 am.

To close a case:
  1. Log in to the Resolution Center and find the case.

  2. Indicate whether or not you've received payment from the buyer.

  3. Answer the question Have you received payment from the buyer?

  4. Click Close case.

Timing is important

There's a limited time during which you can close a case and get a credit for certain fees.

  • If the buyer pays using an approved electronic payment method (PayPal, credit card, ProPay, or Skrill), we close the case automatically. If the buyer uses another payment method, you need to go to My eBay and mark the item as paid.

  • If the buyer doesn't pay, you need to manually close the case in the Resolution Center within 36 days after the listing ended, in order to receive a final value fee credit.

  • If you haven't closed the case on the 37th day after the listing ended, we automatically close it and you won't receive a final value fee credit. Also, we won't record an unpaid item in the buyer's account.

Once the case is closed, you can't reopen it.

When you close the case, we may take action against the buyer, including recording the unpaid item on the buyer's account. If a buyer has a history of unpaid items, it can lead to limits or loss of buying privileges.

Buyers can appeal an unpaid item.

If your problem isn't resolved

If you didn't receive payment from the buyer, we may credit you for the final value fee. You can also request a refund of your credit.

You can also:

If you suspect fraud, report the buyer

If you think your buyer bought or tried to buy an item fraudulently, you can report the buyer.

We don't provide mediation, collect payment, or force a member to complete a transaction. We will, however, review reports of attempts to purchase items using fraudulent funds and take appropriate action in accordance with our policies.

You can also:

  • Contact law enforcement in your area, as well as the buyer's area. We'll cooperate with any investigation after you've closed a case in the Resolution Center.

  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Contact us

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