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Limits on buyer activity

Occasionally, we need to place limits on buying activity.

Why does eBay limit buying activity?

We might limit a member's buying activity if we notice a change in their buying patterns. For example:

  • We notice a sudden, large increase in the number of items or the price of the items a member is buying 

  • We notice a new buyer is making a lot of purchases or purchasing expensive items

These limits are similar to the limit a credit card company might place on your card if they notice an unusual increase in activity. Not only does it protect you, it protects our sellers and eBay. Also, buyer activity limits are one way that we reduce the chance of unpaid items. Buyer activity limits are based on statistical information, and they are put in place to protect everyone. They aren't meant to penalize you, or reflect on how trustworthy you are. They're also not based on your bank account balance, your credit card limit, or your ability to pay for items purchased.

Note: These limits are placed by eBay, not by individual sellers. We can't remove these limits, even if a seller requests it.

How can I remove these limits?

We'll remove buyer activity limits once we see that the buyer's purchases are legitimate and are being completed successfully. One way we see this is through Feedback. If you're a new buyer, you may see your limit removed as your Feedback score increases.

We're also more likely to remove these limits for a buyer who verifies his or her identity. There are a few ways to do this:

Note: Not all members will have these options available, and they don't automatically remove buyer limits.

What are the rules for bidding $15,000 or more?

To place a bid of $15,000 or more, you need to provide a valid credit card (your card won't be charged). This requirement helps make sure that members making large purchases are of legal age and serious about completing the transaction.

Note: For bids on eBay Motors, you'll need to provide a valid credit card to place bids of $25,000 or more.

You need to provide this information only once. We encourage you to take these steps before bidding on an item that might go above this price.

What are open transaction limits?

When a buyer commits to purchasing multiple items, but hasn't paid for them, there's a risk that they may have a problem paying for all of them. We have limits on these open transactions, to reduce the number of unpaid items and to protect both buyers and sellers.

What are open transactions?

Open transactions are purchases a buyer commits to but hasn't paid for. For example:

  • Buy It Now items a buyer has committed to but not yet paid for.

  • Best offers that have been accepted by the seller, but not yet paid for.

  • Winning bids on active auctions.

Uncompleted sales that do not count against a buyer's open transaction limits are:

  • Cancellations that are the seller's fault, such as when an item is out of stock.

  • Auctions in which a buyer has been outbid, and is no longer the winning bidder.

Default limits

Every new buyer has a default limit on the number of open transactions they can have at a given time. For most buyers, this default limit will allow for several open transactions at a time.

How limits change

Once a buyer shows a consistent pattern of completing payments for his or her purchases, their open transaction limit will increase.

Because changes to the transaction limit depend primarily on a buyer's payment behavior, the best way for a buyer to increase their limit is to simply complete payments for all of their eBay purchases. The easiest, fastest way to pay for items is to set up a free Paypal account.  Buyers with a Paypal account linked to their eBay account are much more likely to pay for their items, and as a result have higher open transaction limits.

A buyer's open transaction limit can also be decreased. The most common reasons for that are:

  • Canceling a purchase after committing to buy an item.

  • Failing to pay for an item after committing to buy it.

  • Removing a linked Paypal account.

Buyers who demonstrate a consistent pattern of canceling transactions and failing to pay for items may be subject to additional account restrictions, as described in our buying practices policy.

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