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Abusive buyer policy


Policy overview

This policy outlines our expectations for buyer behaviour. When buyers don't meet these standards, sellers can report abusive behaviour.

Engaging in activity as described in this policy may result in a range of actions, including the loss of eBay Money Back Guarantee coverage, issuing warnings to buyers, blocking buyers from requesting returns or refunds on eBay, blocking buyers from opening claims, and account suspension.

When we review a report of a member violating our policies, we look at the circumstances, including the members' history. We make decisions based on the evidence in the individual situation, as well as by evaluating patterns of behaviour that create a negative value in the marketplace. If we aren't sure about something, we may not take any action. Also, because we respect our members' privacy, we can't discuss the results of any investigations.

Behaviours we don't allow


Not allowed

  • Requesting a shipping service not offered by the seller

  • Requesting the seller ship to an address other than what you included in checkout

  • Requesting to use a payment method not offered during checkout

  • Requesting the seller hold your item so you can pay later

  • Requesting a partial refund without returning the item

  • Request additional items or services not included in the original listing or asking for a discount

  • Finding an item on eBay and taking the sale off eBay


  • Select one of the shipping services offered by the seller when you checkout

  • Updating your address in your eBay account before you checkout

  • Pay for your item through a payment option offered at checkout

  • Pay for your item within two days

  • Returning an item in accordance with the seller's returns policy

  • Purchase items according to the terms included in the original listing

  • Finding an item on eBay and completing the sale on eBay



Not allowed

  • Claiming an item was not received when there is proof of delivery to the address on the Order details page

  • Falsely claiming an item was not as described


  • Claiming an item was not received when it has not been delivered by the latest estimated delivery date

  • Claiming an item was not as described when the item you received did not match the description in the original listing



Not allowed



  • Returning the original item that was received in its original condition

  • Returning an item with the reason that it was not as described when it was described inaccurately



Not allowed

  • Bidding for any purpose other than to purchase the item

  • Sending messages to force or intimidate the other member into something outside of the original agreement



  • You can only retract a bid under exceptional circumstances

  • Using messages to ask questions to clarify listing descriptions or terms



Not allowed

  • Opening duplicate requests using other buyer protection programs

  • Harassing sellers about an item not received before the latest estimated delivery date has passed

  • Opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee request or other buyer protection case:

    • When you have already received a refund from the seller

    • When you haven't paid for an item

    • As retaliation against a seller following a previous dispute

  • Initiating a payment dispute when you have already received a refund for the item from the seller, or a reimbursement for the transaction from your payment service provider

  • Filing duplicate or excessive payment disputes


  • Opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee case, or opening a case with another buyer protection programme after the item you received didn't match the description in the listing

  • Opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee case, or opening a case with another buyer protection programme when you didn't receive the item and you haven't been able to resolve the issue with the seller

Additional information

Acceptable buying practices include adherence to the following policies.

  • Communications: Your communications with sellers via email, My eBay Messages or Community discussion boards should comply with our Member-to-member contact policy.

  • Customs declarations: Asking a seller to falsely declare an item as a gift on a customs form is considered to be encouraging illegal activity.

  • Unwelcome and malicious buying: We consider bidding on or buying an item when you have no intention of completing the transaction, or circumventing a seller's buyer requirements, to be unwelcome and malicious buying.

  • Fraudulent payments: You must pay for eBay items using one of our accepted payment methods. We encourage sellers to make sure that payment has cleared before sending an item, and to report attempted fraud to us and to the police.

  • Contact information: All eBay members must keep their account details up to date. We take action when we know that a member has false or missing contact information.

  • Using multiple accounts: Registering new accounts or using other existing accounts to avoid buying restrictions or limits or other policy consequences is not allowed. See our Multiple accounts policy for more information.

How to report a buyer

To report a buyer who may be breaching our policies:

  1. Review the relevant section of this policy (and its related policies) to make sure that the buyer is really breaking the rules.

  2. If you're sure they have breached an eBay policy, report the buyer.

Learn more about resolving selling problems.

Why does eBay have this policy?

We want to make sure eBay is a safe place to sell. In order to make eBay a safe place to sell, we hold our buyers to certain standards. When buyers do not follow these standards we take action on our buyers and we protect our sellers.

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