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What to do when you don't receive your item or it's not as described

We want you to be happy with your buying experience. If you don't receive an item you paid for, or you receive an item that's significantly not as described in the listing, we're here to help with guidelines and tools for resolution. If you paid with PayPal, your purchase may also be protected with PayPal Buyer Protection.

Steps to take if you don't receive an item or it's significantly not as described

If you've paid for an item but not received it, or the item doesn't match the seller's description, you can follow these steps.

Be aware of the timing for opening and closing cases. (If you paid by credit card, be aware of your card company's policies too.)

  • You can open a case in the Resolution Centre 10-45 days after the sale (for payment outside of PayPal)

  • The seller has up to 10 days to respond to your case.

  • If you haven't closed it within 90 days after the end of the transaction, your case closes automatically.

1. Talk to the seller

Most problems can be solved by direct communication between buyers and sellers. Communicate with your trading partner to try to resolve the problem. If you attempt to contact the seller by email but don’t receive a response, you can request the seller’s contact information and call them. If you can't resolve the problem, use the steps described here.

2. Open a case to work it out in our Resolution Centre

If you can't work things out directly with the seller, you can open a case in eBay's Resolution Centre. The Resolution Centre creates a dialogue between you and the seller and tracks your case for you.

Important: If you paid with PayPal, you'll be taken to the PayPal Resolution Centre to open your case. This is the first step in filing a dispute for protection under PayPal's Buyer Protection. You can open a case in the PayPal Resolution Centre up to 45 days after your PayPal transaction date.

The resolution process for PayPal disputes is different from the process for non-PayPal cases, which is described in the rest of this article. For full details, see the PayPal Buyer Protection Policy.
To open a case (10 to 45 days from when you bought your item):
  1. Select your problem and click Continue. You may need to sign in to your account.

  2. Enter your item number, or click Find Item to choose from your list of recent purchases.

  3. Click Continue.

  4. Under Tell us how you paid for this item, select the payment method you used.

    • If you select PayPal, you'll be redirected to the PayPal Resolution Centre. (You'll still be able to view your PayPal case from the eBay Resolution Centre.)

    • If you select another method, describe the method and click Continue.

  5. Review your case details and then click Open Case.

Note:

  • You can only open a case through the specific eBay country site where you've purchased the item. (This may mean that your purchase is protected, if you bought the item on a site that offers eBay Buyer Protection.)

  • If you bought the item as a guest, you'll need to register to open a case.

3. Once your case is open, we contact the seller

When you open your case in the Resolution Centre, we contact the seller straight away to let them know you've opened a case with them about your purchase, and encourage them to communicate with you within the next 10 days. We also display an alert for 14 days whenever the seller signs in, reminding them to contact you if they haven't yet.

4. The seller responds

The seller has 10 days to respond to your case, and you'll be notified by email when they do. Here’s how the seller can respond:

Issue

Possible seller responses

Item not received

  • I'd like to communicate with the buyer to resolve this case.

    The seller can then post a message to you. For your case to be fully tracked, you need to keep all communication within the Resolution Centre.

  • I haven't received the payment or the payment has not yet cleared. You can provide information to the seller about your payment method.

  • I already posted the item.

    If the item has already posted, the seller should provide postage details in their response.

  • I'd like to offer the buyer a full refund.

    The seller can offer to return your payment.

  • The seller may not respond at all.

    If the seller doesn't respond, you can close the case and report the seller to Trust & Safety.

Item significantly not as described

  • I'd like to communicate with the buyer to resolve this case.

    The seller can then post a message to you.

  • I'd like to offer the buyer a full refund.

    The seller can offer to return your payment.

  • The seller may not respond at all.

    If the seller doesn't respond, you can close the case and report the seller to Trust & Safety.

5. Keep communicating

The case will remain open until the problem is resolved or 90 days, whichever comes first.

After the seller responds, you can talk with him or her through the Resolution Centre until you reach an agreement and can close the case or find you can't resolve the issue and need to close the case.

6. Close the case

You can close the case any time after the seller responds (or after 10 days, if they haven't responded), up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

  • If your case hasn't been resolved, you can report the seller to our Trust and Safety team.

  • If you don't close the case within 90 days, it's closed automatically, and your seller isn't reported to our Trust and Safety team.

  • Once your case is closed by you or eBay, you can't reopen the case.

To close the case:
  1. Go to the Resolution Centre and log in to your case.

  2. Select one of the following options to close the case.

    Option

    What happens next

    My concerns have been resolved – I want to close the case

    The problem is resolved if you've received the item and it's as described, or you've received a refund.

    My concerns haven’t been resolved – I want to report this seller to the eBay Trust and Safety team.

    Our Trust and Safety team is alerted. Possible actions against the seller may include: restriction or suspension of the seller's account, listing cancellation, forfeit of fees, selling fee schedule adjustments, loss of PowerSeller status, or referral to law enforcement.

7. Leave Feedback

Being involved in a case through our Resolution Centre doesn't automatically affect Feedback scores for the buyer or seller.

After you close a case, we encourage you to leave Feedback about the transaction. Please be honest, fair, and factual. This makes others members aware of your experience and helps keep eBay a safe place to buy and sell.

Quick answers about the process

Question

Answer

When can I open a case?

You can open your case 10-45 days from the purchase date. During that time, we encourage you to resolve the problem directly with the seller.

What if the item was purchased using PayPal?

If you paid for the item using PayPal, you have up to 45 days from the transaction date to open a dispute in PayPal's Resolution Centre.

How long does the seller have to respond to a case?

The seller must respond within 10 days from the time we notify him or her of the case.

What if I indicate that the problem isn't resolved or the seller doesn’t respond to the case within 10 days?

If the seller doesn't respond, you can close the case. Your unresolved case is referred to our Trust and Safety team, who may take action against the seller's account.

Can I get my money back?

Purchases made with PayPal may be protected by PayPal's Buyer Protection Policy.  If you paid by credit card, ask your credit card company about their buyer protection program.

How long can a case remain open?

Cases remain open 90 days from the date of purchase. If you don't close the case within 90 days, it's closed automatically.

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