Seller protections

New safeguards to protect sellers
We know you work hard to deliver great service to your customers. Your great service, along with the reassurance of knowing that eBay stands behind their purchases, keeps millions of buyers coming back. This fall, eBay will be making updates to our protection systems to keep eBay a fair marketplace for sellers.


Updated: February 2013

Buyers must contact you first to resolve any issues.

  • eBay has always encouraged buyers to contact sellers to resolve any issue with their purchases. Starting in April 2013, buyers will be required to contact sellers first through the Resolution Center for issues relating to 'item not received' or 'item not as described'. This will ensure you have the opportunity to serve your customers before eBay gets involved.
  • Buyers will be required to wait at least three business days for you to respond and attempt to resolve the issue before asking eBay to get involved.
  • You'll be notified via Messages when a buyer has contacted you regarding an issue and a case will automatically be opened in the Resolution Center.
  • All communication from buyers regarding 'items not received' and 'items not as described' will be in one place in the Resolution Center, making it easy to track and respond without having to monitor Messages and the Resolution Center. Plus you'll have the tools you need to resolve issues quickly—for example, you can provide tracking, issue a refund, invite a return, or just communicate with your buyer.

Faster ways to report buyers

  • eBay has very clear policies and monitoring systems in place to prevent buyers from misusing Buyer Protection, Feedback and returns. Starting in October 2012, a more accessible and enhanced reporting hub will make it easy for you to contact eBay directly to report buyers in violation of those policies. eBay uses these reports as part of the monitoring system to help identify patterns of behavior and takes action to protect sellers, including removing any negative or neutral Feedback or low detailed seller ratings that are in violation of eBay policy.

Take Action

  • Check the Resolution Center and your email from eBay regularly so you’ll know right away when a buyer contacts you regarding an 'item not received' or an 'item not as described'. Do your best to resolve the issue, and provide as much detail as possible in your response. This information will be referenced by Customer Support if a case is escalated to eBay Customer Support for review.
  • If you suspect a buyer is misusing the eBay Buyer Protection system or violating any eBay policy, let eBay know through the seller reporting hub. Report an unpaid item, Feedback extortion, or any other problem. The information is kept confidential. eBay evaluates these reports and uses them to help identify patterns of inappropriate behavior. We can then take action against these buyers and remove any negative or neutral Feedback or low detailed seller ratings that are in violation of eBay policy.
  • You can and should report buyers now from My eBay, Selling Manager, or the link at the bottom of the drop down menu for each transaction. eBay already uses these reports as an essential part of our efforts to maintain a fair and safe marketplace. Starting in October, you’ll be able to access the seller reporting hub easily from more places on eBay including the “More actions” dropdown on the Sold Items view in My eBay, on the Leave Feedback page, and during the process of accepting returns.

Best Practices

Responding promptly to buyer issues is important, but it’s even more important to focus on providing great service upfront so buyers don’t need to contact you. That’s the kind of service that helps you win loyal repeat customers. Follow these best practices to minimize the need for buyers to contact you and to make sure you’re protected if there is an issue:
  • Ship with tracking and always upload the tracking information to eBay, ideally within 24 hours of the buyer making payment. The tracking information that you upload will help prevent early contacts about an item not received.
  • Print shipping labels on eBay—tracking information is uploaded automatically, and your buyer automatically receives an email that their package has shipped.
  • Ship using Signature Confirmation whenever your transaction is over $250 to protect yourself in the event of an item not received case.
  • Always describe your listings as completely and accurately as possible. Use the item condition notes area to describe any wear and tear on your used items, and upload plenty of high quality photographs to show the item details.
  • Check your Messages in My eBay daily and respond to buyers right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Buyers must contact you first to resolve any issues.

What is changing in the way the eBay Buyer Protection process works?
Starting in April, buyers will be required to contact sellers first through the Resolution Center for issues relating to 'item not received' or 'item not as described'. A case will automatically be opened when the buyer contacts the seller, but opened cases will no longer be used for seller performance standards evaluation. Buyers must wait at least three business days, as specified in the Resolution Center, to allow sellers to respond and resolve the issue before a case can be escalated to eBay Customer Support for review.
Why is eBay making this change?
eBay is making this change to the eBay Buyer Protection process to improve the experience for both buyers and sellers, as well as to ensure that sellers always have the opportunity to resolve an issue before a case is escalated to eBay Customer Support for review. eBay is centralizing the item issues in one location in the Resolution Center and providing tools so sellers can resolve issues more easily.
How does this change benefit me?
You'll be alerted to issues and have the opportunity to resolve them directly with the buyer before eBay gets involved.

You will have all the tools you will need to resolve the buyer's issue in the Resolution Center.
How will I know if a buyer contacted me about an 'item not received' or 'not as described'?
You will receive an email notification in Messages in My eBay. You’ll also be able to see these communications in the Resolution Center, so it will be easier to track and respond to them.
What is eBay doing to make it easier for me to resolve these issues?
When you receive a communication from your buyer about an 'item not received' or 'not as described', you’ll have all the tools available in the Resolution Center to quickly and easily resolve the situation. For example, you can verify tracking information, issue a full refund, or offer a partial refund as soon as the buyer lets you know there’s an issue.
What if a buyer doesn’t allow enough time for an item to arrive before contacting me?
There are some situations in which we will ask a buyer to wait prior to contacting you. For example, a buyer won’t be able to contact you about an 'item not received' until after the estimated delivery date has passed.
What if the buyer escalates the case to eBay Customer Support after three business days?
If you’re not able to come to a resolution within three business days, and the buyer escalates the case, it will be sent immediately to eBay Customer Support to review all the information that has been provided (by seller and buyer) and make a final decision.
Will closed cases still be included in my performance rating?
Yes. Closed cases without seller resolution will continue to be counted toward your performance rating. Of course, cases where you are not found at fault will not count.
Will there be any changes to the number of closed cases that will affect my rating?
No, to meet eBay’s performance standards, sellers may have closed cases without seller resolution on no more than 0.30% of transactions—the same threshold as today.
Should I expect changes to my seller dashboard?
Yes. Once opened Buyer Protection cases are no longer included as a measure of seller performance, the opened case requirements will be removed from the seller dashboard.
How will the availability of my funds be affected by this change?
Today, when a buyer indicates a problem with an 'item not received' or 'not as described', according to the terms of the PayPal User Agreement and the eBay Buyer Protection policy, funds from that transaction may be delayed to allow time for a satisfactory resolution. If you’re a Top Rated seller, you’re not likely to see any difference in your funds availability as a result of a buyer contacting you about an issue with the transaction. If you are a Standard or Below Standard seller, you will see a delay in the availability of funds if the buyer contacts you and opens a case for an 'item not received' or 'not as described'. Typically, funds availability will be delayed until the issue is resolved. Remember, a buyer will not be able to send a message about an item not received until after the estimated delivery time (your stated handling time plus the carrier’s published delivery time).
How do I get my funds fastest?
Ship within 24 hours of receiving payment and always upload tracking for your shipment to My eBay. Add signature confirmation if the transaction is $250 or more. Also consider shipping with eBay Labels—your tracking information is uploaded automatically, funds to cover the cost of shipping (up to $15 for orders up to $50 and up to $30 for orders more than $50) will be available immediately, and funds from the buyer will be available 3 days after eBay can confirm the order was delivered. If a buyer does contact you about an item not received or an item not as described, be sure to resolve the issue promptly.

Faster ways to report buyers

What’s changing with the seller reporting hub?
eBay is making it easier for sellers to report issues with buyers by adding more links to the reporting hub to My eBay, the Feedback page and other locations on eBay. We’re also streamlining the reporting process based on feedback from sellers so that you can report problems and issues in just a few clicks.
How can I find the seller reporting hub?
You can access the hub directly at and you’ll find links in the following locations:
  • My eBay, Selling Manager, Selling Manager Pro Sold Item View: On the far right, there is a drop-down for more actions. “Report a Buyer” will be listed as one of the options.
  • Selling Manager Leave Feedback
  • Leave Feedback pages on the “Rate this transaction” line.
  • Feedback Profile page
  • Member to Member Communication within the message header
  • Resolution Center under the help page
  • In the returns process: When you accept a return, you can also report that transaction.
Can I report a buyer now, before these updates to the hub are made?
Absolutely and we encourage you to do so. eBay already uses these reports as an essential part of our efforts to maintain a fair marketplace for sellers. You can report a buyer by from My eBay or Selling Manager. You’ll also find a link to Report a Buyer at the bottom of the drop down menu for each transaction.
What else is changing to make reporting easier?
If you report a transaction through one of these entry points, the transaction details will automatically be filled in for you.
Will the buyer know about my report?
No, buyers do not see these reports.
What does eBay do with these reports?
eBay uses these reports as part of monitoring systems that include reports submitted, member-to-member message content, and buyer activity patterns to identify and take action against buyers who violate policies or take unfair advantage of the system.
What does eBay do to protect sellers from these buyers?
In addition to taking action to stop these buyers when we see a pattern of behavior, eBay removes any negative or neutral Feedback, or low DSRs received by sellers. eBay will also not count any buyer protection cases toward your seller standard rating in these situations.
Under what circumstances should I report buyers to eBay?
Please report any buyers who you believe are violating eBay policies. In general, you should report the following types of policy violations:
  • Buyer hasn’t paid
  • Buyer made unreasonable demands
    • Demanded a change to the shipping method or location
    • Demanded a change to the payment method or timing
    • Demanded a partial refund or discount
    • Demanded additional items or services
    • Requested that the transaction be completed off eBay
  • Buyer left inappropriate Feedback
    • Left abusive Feedback
    • Malicious Feedback left by a suspected competitor
  • Buyer abused the buyer protection program
    • Misused the program to claim an item was not as described
    • Misused the program to claim an item was not received
  • Buyer misused returns
    • Did not return original item
    • Returned a damaged or used item
    • Did not follow other terms of your return policy
  • Other problems
    • Buyer used foul or offensive language
    • Buyer requested false information on customs forms
What do I have to do after I report a buyer?
There’s nothing you need to do after reporting a buyer. Reporting takes less than five minutes.
Why is it important for me to report these buyers?
Your reports can go a long way to help us more quickly identify and stop buyers who violate policies.
What if my issue isn't one of those listed in the reporting process?
If your problem is not related to any of the listed topics, you can also contact Customer Support or visit the Seller Protection Center for additional information.
I've submitted many reports but I still see the buyers active on eBay. Why haven’t they been suspended?
Depending on the severity of the infraction, suspension is one action that may be taken. Other actions include restricting activities. It is also possible that we assessed the reports, but determined that they did not represent a violation of policy. To learn more about Seller Protection please visit our Seller Protection Hub: