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What to do when a buyer doesn't pay (unpaid item process)


If you don't receive payment for an item you've sold, we're here to help with guidelines and tools for resolution. If you haven't received payment after 4 days, here's what to do:

1. Talk to the buyer
You can solve most problems by talking directly with the buyer. If a couple of days have passed since they've committed to buying your item, and you still haven’t been paid, consider contacting the buyer. If the buyer tried to pay, you can check the payment status through PayPal or their other payment method. For more tips, see communicating with your trading partner.
2. Work it out in our Resolution Centre
If you can't work things out directly with the buyer, you can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Centre.
Your other option is to use Unpaid Item Assistant—a feature that automatically opens and closes cases on your behalf. You need to set up your account in order to use it. To find out how, see using Unpaid Item Assistant.
Regardless of the option you choose, the timeline for the unpaid item process is the same.

Timing is important
Be aware of the timing for resolving your case, because there are windows for when you can open and close the case and be credited for certain fees.
  • If you don't receive payment, you can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Centre as early as 4 days or up until 32 days after the listing ended.

  • The buyer has up to 4 days to send a payment after the case is opened. During this time the buyer can also contact you to request a payment extension or make another arrangement. Of course you can agree to the buyer's request, but you're not obligated to make special arrangements.

  • If the buyer pays using one of eBay's approved electronic payment methods (PayPal, credit card, or Paymate), then the case closes automatically. But if they use another method, you need to go to your My eBay and mark the item as paid.

  • If the buyer doesn't pay, you need to manually close the case in the Resolution Centre within 36 days after the listing ended. If you haven't closed the case on the 37th day after the listing ended, eBay automatically closes it and you don't receive afinal value fee credit. Also, an unpaid item won't be recorded on the buyer's account.

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


Opening a case
Timeline: 4 to 32 days after the listing ended
You need to open the case at the same eBay website, such as eBay US (www.ebay.com) or eBay UK (www.ebay.co.uk), where you sold the item.
  1. Go to the Resolution Centre or click the Resolution Centre link at the bottom of most eBay pages.

  2. Select I haven't received my payment yet, and then click the Continue button.

3. We contact the buyer to request payment
Timeline:
  • We contact the buyer immediately after you open the case.

  • The buyer has 4 days from the time you opened the case to pay.

If the buyer doesn't pay within 4 days, you can close the case and an unpaid item may be recorded on the buyer's account. If the buyer has contacted you and you've agreed to extend the payment deadline, you can wait up to 36 days after the listing ended to close the case.
4. Close the case
Timeline: As soon as 4 days and up to 36 days after the listing ended.
  • If the buyer pays using one of eBay's approved electronic payment methods (PayPal, credit card, or Paymate), the case closes automatically. But if they use another method, you need to go to your My eBay and mark the item as paid.

  • If the buyer doesn't pay, you should close the case in the Resolution Centre and request a final value fee credit. If you don't close the case, it expires on the 37th day after the listing has ended and you don't get a final value fee credit. You also won't be able to reopen the case or open another case for the transaction.

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

  2. Click Close case.

  3. Under Have you received payment from the buyer?, select Yes or No.

If your problem isn't resolved

If you suspect fraud, report the buyer

If you think your buyer bought or tried to buy an item fraudulently, read our information about fraudulent payments, and then 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 Centre.

  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Centre.

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