Buyers Are Safe When Shopping on eBay
One of the reasons people flock to the United States eBay marketplace is the eBay Buyer Protection policy. Under this policy, all purchases (with some exclusions listed here) are covered, and the buyer can get a full refund through their PayPal account. Even shipping costs are refunded.
The way it works is that eBay hosts a resolution process (somewhat like mediation) when buyers may claim that their item was not received, or the item they received was different from what was described in the listing.
Items that are not eligible for resolution are
Items that are covered for businesses under eBay's Business Equipment Purchase Protection
Items that are listed (or belong) in these categories:
Vehicles (for which there is the eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection)
Classified listings on eBayclassifieds.com or eBay.com
Items purchased on half.ebay.com
Items purchased on the eBay Digital Music Center
eBay Wholesale Deals
Items shipped to another location after being received at the buyer's address as specified in the PayPal transaction
There are defined steps that the buyer has to go through to make a claim. Buyers should first contact the seller through eBay messages and attempt to resolve the issue. If the buyer doesn't hear from the seller or can't resolve the issue with the seller, he or she can then file a case with eBay.
Buyers who don't hear back, or don't otherwise resolve the issue after contacting the seller, can file a claim at the Resolution Center. eBay reviews the case, checks to be sure that there is no fraud history on the part of the buyer, and contacts the seller.
Before contacting the seller, eBay reviews the transaction information and any messages sent between the buyer and the seller through eBay Messages, as well as checking on package transit time.
When shipping an item that sells for over $250, get proof of delivery in the form of a Signature Confirmation. PayPal requires a signature to prove delivery for expensive items.