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What to Do When an eBay Bidder Doesn't Pay You

eBay Buyer Back Out? Try Second Chance Offer

Every time eBay members place a bid or click the Buy It Now button, they make a commitment to purchase the item in question — in theory, anyway. In the real world, people have second thoughts, despite the rules. You have every right to be angry that you're losing money and wasting your time.

Remind the buyer that making a bid is a binding contract. But, unfortunately, if the winner won't pay up, you can't do much except apply for a Final Value Fee refund and lick your wounds.

You can also sell additional merchandise by making a Second Chance offer when you have multiples of the same item in stock and wish to accept any of the underbidders’ final bids.

By all means, if the buyer of your item tells you that the transaction can't be completed, no matter what the reason, remain professional despite your anger. For one thing, at least such a would-be buyer has the heart to break the news to you instead of ignoring your e-mail and phone calls.

You have several options if the winner backs out:

  • You can make a Second Chance offer: Offer the item to another bidder from the auction. eBay offers a little-known feature called Second Chance offer, which protects buyers just as if they were the winner of the auction. This is a great feature that turned the previously eBay-illegal practice of side deals into fair and approved deals.

    You can make a Second Chance offer to any underbidder from your auction (at the amount of that bidder's high bid) for up to 60 days after the auction's end.

  • You can request a full or partial Final Value Fee credit and then relist the item and hope it sells again. Who knows? This bidder may actually earn you money in the long run if you relist the item and get a higher winning bid.

You can make a Second Chance offer in two ways. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the completed auction page.

    On the top of the page, you'll see some transaction-related links.

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  2. Click the Make a Second Chance offer link.

    You're taken to the Second Chance Offer page, which has the auction number already filled in.

  3. Click Continue.

    A page appears, showing all your underbidders and their high bids.

  4. Select an underbidder (or more than one underbidder if you have multiples of the item) to offer the item to; then click the Review Second Chance Offer link.

    When you make a Second Chance offer, you can give the recipient one, three, five, or seven days to take you up on the offer. You are not charged a listing fee for the item, but you are responsible for Final Value Fees if the transaction is completed.

  5. Check over the offer and then click Submit to send it to the underbidder.

Alternatively, you can go to your My eBay Sold area and click the drop-down menu next to the item listing on the page. Choose Second Chance Offer, and you'll arrive at the decision-making page from there.

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