Avoiding payment problems
In this article
Here are some steps you can take to help ensure prompt payment and avoid payment problems.
Note: If you have problems receiving payment for your sold item, see what to do when a buyer doesn't pay.
Make it easy for your buyers to pay by accepting a safer payment method like PayPal, Paymate or merchant credit card.
Include detailed postage and handling information in the item description and in the postage details area.
Use the eBay checkout system to make it simple for buyers to pay you.
Post with a tracking number and insurance to help resolve problems over whether an item posted.
Keep any proof of your item’s authenticity.
Verify that payment has been made before postage the item.
Consider using an escrow service for high-priced items.
With a PayPal or Paymate account you can accept credit card payments from buyers in many countries.
If your preferred payment methods aren’t available internationally, add other payment options that attract international buyers.
If you are passing the postage costs on to your buyers, review our posting internationally page and use the postage rate calculator to estimate postage costs. Let your buyers know if there are any duties, taxes, or additional fees such as insurance.
Make sure buyers know that packages will pass through customs, and that they should investigate any costs that might be involved.
Credit card problems
If the buyer chooses to pay with a credit card, you can help ensure that it‘s valid by contacting the credit card issuer to verify that the name on the card matches both the postage information and the contact information. If you doubt the identity of the buyer, ask the credit card company to validate that payment was made before you post the item.
If you suspect that a buyer has attempted to pay with a stolen credit card, contact us.
If a credit card payment is being reversed or cannot be received, contact the credit card company, the issuing bank, PayPal or Paymate to review your options.
If you believe that a buyer paid or is attempting to pay with fraudulent funds, contact us. Also contact local law enforcement where the buyer resides. We’ll fully cooperate with all law enforcement inquiries.
Contact us to report a buyer who sent a cheque or money order that can’t be cashed. These payment methods are permitted only for certain categories and for local pickup (see the accepted payment policy).
Don’t accept overpayments from buyers who ask to be reimbursed.
Counterfeit cheque schemes
Watch out for counterfeit cashier’s cheque schemes. Here’s how they work:
You receive a request from a bidder to accept a cashier’s cheque as payment or deposit for an item you are selling.
The cashier's cheque amount far exceeds the value of your item.
The buyer asks you to send the overpayment amount via an instant cash wire transfer service such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
In this case, the cashier's cheque is probably fraudulent. It can take weeks or months for the seller's bank to know if a cheque is real. If the cashier's cheque is fraudulent, you’ll be held responsible. Sometimes the cheque appears to be from a domestic bank. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the cheque includes foreign country or city names.
The fine print
Due to the high potential for fraud, we don’t allow buyers and sellers to complete sales outside of eBay. These sales are not eligible for Feedback or requests for contact information.
PayPal offers protection for items you sell following the guidelines outlined in the PayPal Seller Protection Policy. If you use a different method to receive payment, review the policy to see if fraud protection is provided.