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

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

By Marsha Collier

If there’s one thing that just isn’t tolerated at eBay, it’s unpaid items. eBay reminds all potential buyers before they place a bid that winning buyers enter into a legally binding contract to purchase the item from the seller. You’d think that was clear enough, but sadly, many people out there think bidding and buying on eBay is a game. If you see a high bidder on your auction who has very low or negative feedback rating, dropping a line reiterating eBay policy never hurts.

How you, as a seller, communicate with the high bidder is also important. Many times, a well-written, congenial, businesslike e-mail can cajole a basically good person into sending payment.

To reduce the number of nonpaying buyers, eBay has established that any eBay user who has three nonpaying buyer alerts filed against him or her is suspended indefinitely. If users attempt to re-register at eBay and use the system under new IDs, they risk being referred to the United States Attorney General’s Office for the Northern District of California for criminal prosecution.

Know that eBay has your back and will send e-mails to buyers who have not paid through PayPal or through eBay’s Selling Manager or Selling Manager Pro.

Before filing an unpaid-item dispute, however, give the auction winner a second chance to send payment. If you still don’t receive payment, follow these steps to recoup your Final Value fees and be eligible for the Nonpaying Buyer relist credit:

  1. As soon as you have a winner, contact him or her.

  2. If you don’t hear from the winner within three days of the auction’s end time, send a payment reminder:

    1. 1.Go to the My eBay Views area on the My eBay page. Under Selling, click the Sold link.

    2. Click the View Payment Status link next to the pertinent auction.

    3. Click the More Actions drop-down menu and click Contact Buyer to send an e-mail.


    You may send a reminder between 3 and 30 days after the auction closes.

If you still don’t hear from or receive money from your high bidder, it’s time to swing into action by filing an alert.

You must file the alert no earlier than seven days and no later than forty-five days after the auction has ended.

Follow these steps to file an unpaid-item dispute:

  1. In the Sold Views area of the My eBay page, click the Cases→Resolution Center link.

  2. Check the Dispute Console to select the transaction that is eligible for filing.

    eBay sends the buyer an e-mail, and the buyer has the right to respond in the dispute-management process.

Eight days after filing an unpaid-item dispute, you may close the dispute and apply for a Final Value fee credit in the Dispute Console. At this point, eBay offers several options. To close the dispute, you must select one of the following:

  • We’ve completed the transaction and we’re both satisfied.

  • We’ve agreed not to complete the transaction.

  • I no longer wish to communicate with or wait for the buyer.

You must file for your Final Value fee credit within 60 days of the transaction’s close.

Don’t forget! When you file for your Final Value fee credit, you also have the option of blocking that buyer from participating in your sales.