Unpaid Items can usually be resolved by direct communication between buyers and sellers. In such cases, eBay provides an online process through which the buyer and seller can communicate with each other to resolve the situation. Please note that eBay's Unpaid Item policy
and eBay's User Agreement
both make clear that buyers must pay for the items that they commit to purchase.
Sellers can report an Unpaid Item up to 45 days after the transaction date (i.e. the date when the buyer commits to buying the item and the seller commits to selling it). Usually the seller must wait 7 days after a listing closes to file an Unpaid Item dispute. However, in the following exceptional cases, the seller can file a dispute immediately:
- at the time of the filing, the buyer is no longer a registered user of eBay, or
- the buyer is from a country to which the seller has indicated they will not post to in the "postage and payment details" section of the listing. (regions to which the seller will post are listed on the View Item page for the item in question).
In these two cases, the buyer will receive an Unpaid Item strike.
Once the seller files an Unpaid Item dispute, eBay sends the buyer an email notification and displays a pop-up message if the buyer signs in within 14 days of the filing. The email and pop-up message will provide details on one of the following situations:
- Friendly reminder to pay - the email and pop-up message will remind the buyer that payment has not been received, along with simple instructions on how to respond or how to pay for the item.
The buyer is presented with several response options to communicate to the seller:
- I want to pay now - simply paying for the item will close the dispute. For listings where PayPal is available, the buyer just has to pay via PayPal to close the dispute. With other payment methods (such as cheques or money orders), the seller is encouraged to wait until payment is received before choosing the appropriate option to close the dispute.
- I have already paid - if payment has already been made, the buyer may provide details of the payment to the seller for review. The seller can then choose the appropriate option to close the dispute.
- Communicate with the seller - the buyer and seller can attempt to resolve the problem by communicating directly through the eBay Web site. eBay will provide a message area where the buyer and seller can communicate with each other without relying on email. The seller can close the dispute at any time by choosing the appropriate closure option.
The seller can close the dispute after the buyer has responded at least once, or if the buyer does not respond within 7 days. The seller has several options to close the dispute:
- We've completed the transaction and we're both satisfied. With this option, the buyer does not receive an Unpaid Item strike.
- We've agreed not to complete the transaction. With this option, the buyer does not receive an Unpaid Item strike, and the item is available to be relisted.
- I no longer wish to communicate with or wait for the buyer. With this option, the buyer receives an Unpaid Item strike, and the item is available to be relisted.
A dispute can only be open for 60 days after the transaction date (i.e. the date when the buyer commits to buying the item and the seller commits to selling it). If the seller has not closed the dispute within 60 days, it will be automatically closed. When this automatic closure takes place, the buyer does not receive an Unpaid Item strike.
||Feedback and Unpaid Items
Buyers and sellers may leave feedback for each other on transactions involving Unpaid Items even if there was a mutual agreement not to complete the transaction. eBay encourages all users to leave appropriate feedback about their trading partners.
Unpaid Item strikes do not affect a user's feedback score or member profile.