eBay Unpaid Items: Here’s how to handle them like a pro!
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OneShop Team
1 min read

Seller and buyer responsibilities are simple and almost always the same regardless of the online shopping platform.

Sellers are expected to provide honest and complete information about the items they’re listing and ship them on time in their advertised condition. Buyers are expected to pay for the item within a certain timeframe.

On eBay, the timeframe is four calendar days. If the buyer fails to accomplish the payment checkout beyond Day 4, the seller can send an invoice to the buyer. The invoice (Find it under “Sold Items” in either Seller Hub or My eBay) will reinforce the automated email reminders sent by eBay to the buyer within the given period.

If the payment remains unsettled, the seller can proceed to order cancellation. You must do this within 30 calendar days from the date the buyer was supposed to pay for the item. A successful order cancellation benefits the seller in 3 ways:

  • Automatic relisting of the item (if it’s a “Buy It Now” listing); or the chance to award the item to the next highest bidder (if it’s an auction-style listing).
  • Eligibility to receive credits for applicable eBay fees.
  • Removal of feedback from the buyer who failed to pay for the items, if any.

How do I cancel orders as a seller?

Sellers may cancel an order for unpaid items either manually or automatically by enabling the feature called “Preferences for items awaiting payment.”

For manual cancellation, simply opt for the “Buyer hasn’t paid” reason in the Cancel Order button located under “Orders” (if using the Seller Hub) or “Sold” (if using My eBay).

For automatic cancellation, locate this feature under “Selling Preferences.” Enabling it will cancel any unpaid order after four calendar days or more. However, if you have trusted buyers you’d like to exclude from this rule, you may do so, and their orders won’t automatically be canceled after the deadline.

Also, note that “Preferences for items awaiting payment” are available only for sellers who do not offer cash on delivery or check as a payment method. The order has to undergo the standard eBay checkout process online to be valid for automatic cancellation.

Once an item is canceled, eBay may send you fee credits for the full or partial amount of fee/s (usually the Final Value Fee) already deducted from your account.

What is eBay’s Unpaid Item Policy?

In keeping with eBay’s commitment to protecting sellers against abusive buyers, the platform records all cancellations done because the buyer failed to pay.

The Unpaid Item Policy allows eBay to limit the errant buyers or even suspend their accounts because repeated failure to pay orders falls under what eBay considers abusive buyer behavior.

On the other hand, eBay protects buyers from abusive sellers as well. That’s why they also remind sellers not to misuse the “Buyer hasn’t paid” reason only to get free credits. There are consequences, too, for sellers found guilty of this practice.

As one of the pioneers and largest online marketplaces, eBay has laid solid groundwork for protecting sellers and buyers using their site.

Ready to start – or boost – your eBay seller journey? You can now cross-list from other reselling platforms like Poshmark and Mercari seamlessly with OneShop. Sign up now for the 7-day free trial to experience the benefits of this all-in-one app.

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