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

In this article:
Talk to the seller

Work it out in our Resolution Centre

We contact the seller

The seller responds

Keep communicating

Close the case

Leave Feedback

Quick answers about the process

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 not as described in the listing, we're here to help with guidelines and tools for resolution, as well as PayPal buyer protection.

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. Work it out in our Resolution Centre

If you can't work things out directly with the seller, you can open a case at eBay's Resolution Center. If you paid with PayPal on an eligible eBay site, you may have additional coverage under PayPal's Buyer Protection Programme,

PayPal Resolution Centre

If you paid for your item using PayPal, go to the PayPal Resolution Centre to open your case. This is the first step in filing a claim for coverage under  PayPal's Buyer Protection Programme.

  • You can open a case in the PayPal Resolution Centre up to 45 days after your PayPal payment.

  • You can also get to your PayPal case for your eBay purchase from the eBay Resolution Centre.

Important: The resolution process for PayPal claims is different from the process for non-PayPal cases, which is described in the rest of this article. To open a PayPal case, go to the PayPal Resolution Centre. To understand about PayPal claims, read about the PayPal resolution process.

eBay Resolution Centre

eBay's Resolution Centre creates a dialogue between you and the seller, and tracks your case for you.

  • You can only open a case through the specific eBay country site where you’ve purchased the item.

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

Timing is important

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.

  • You need to close your case up to 90 days after the end of the transaction.

    • If your case isn't resolved, your trading partner is reported to our Trust and Safety team.

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

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

Opening a case

Timeline:   10 to 45 days from when you paid for your item.

To get to the Resolution Centre, click here or click Resolution Centre at the bottom of most eBay pages. You can also get to the Resolution Centre from your listing in My eBay, and your item number will be filled in on the form for you:

  1. Go to My eBay.

  2. Click the "Won" view.

  3. Find your item and select "Resolve a problem" from the "Take action" menu.

    The Resolution Centre – "Resolve a problem" form appears

  4. Select your problem and click Continue.

  5. Sign in to your account. The "Report an item not received or not as described" form appears.

    • If you get to the Resolution Center from your item listing, your item number is already filled in.

    • If you get there another way: Enter your item number.

  6. Click Continue.

  7. Under "Tell us how you paid for this item," select PayPal or any other 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.

  8. Under "Please review the case details," review your case and click Open Case.

    • The "Your case is now open" page appears and tells you that your trading partner has been notified and has 10 days to respond.

    • You can track or end the case at the Resolution Centre.

3. We contact the seller

Timeline: Right after you open a case at the Resolution Centre.

After you’ve opened your case at the Resolution Centre, we contact the seller, 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 on, reminding them to contact you if they haven't yet. Most of the time, this resolves the case before you have to take further steps.

4. The seller responds

Timeline: The seller has 10 days to respond.

When the seller responds to your case, you’ll be notified by email. 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 despatched the item.

    If the item has already been despatched, 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 our Trust and Safety team. See 6. Close the case for more about this.

Item significantly not as described

  • I’d like to communicate with the buyer to resolve this dispute.

    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. See 6. Close the case for more about this.

5. Keep communicating

Timeline: 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

Timeline: Up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

  • If you close the case, or the 90 days expires and we close it, you can’t reopen it and you can’t open another case for this purchase.

  • When a case is closed automatically, the seller isn't automatically reported to eBay's Trust and Safety team.

  • You can report the seller to the Trust and Safety team if the seller doesn’t respond within 10 days, or any time after the seller responds if needed (for example, if they respond inappropriately).

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?

PayPal transactions on eligible eBay sites are covered differently than other eBay transactions. You can open your case at PayPal's Resolution Centre. If you paid for the item using PayPal, you have up to 45 days from the purchase date to open a case.

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 on eligible eBay sites are protected by PayPal’s Buyer Protection Programme.  If you paid by credit card, ask your credit card company about their buyer protection programme.

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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