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Unpaid item policy

Policy overview

When a buyer wins an item or uses Buy it now to purchase an item, the buyer is obliged to complete the purchase by sending full payment to the seller.

If a buyer doesn't pay within 2 days, a seller can open an unpaid item case in the Resolution Centre. If the buyer still doesn't pay or reach some other agreement with the seller, eBay may record the unpaid item on the buyer's account.

When an unpaid item case closes without payment from the buyer, the seller is eligible to receive a final value fee credit to their seller account. Also, if the seller relists the item and it sells the second time, eBay may refund the insertion fee for the relisting. Learn more about managing unpaid items and receiving insertion fee credits.

Excessive unpaid items on a buyer's account may result in a range of consequences, including limits on or loss of buying privileges. Even if you don’'t have excessive unpaid items, we may limit your buying until you’ve established a good buying history or paid for the items you’'ve committed to.

Examples of policy breaches

If you've placed a winning bid or clicked Buy it now in a listing, you've committed to purchasing that item. If you don't pay for it, even if you've changed your mind, you are breaching the unpaid item policy. Here are some examples:

Not Allowed

  • Jay looks for a cooker on eBay and places a bid. After winning the item, he realises that posting the item will cost more than he's willing to spend. He decides not to send payment and simply ignores the invoices he receives.  

  • Sarah is new to eBay and is just browsing. Excited by all the great deals she's finding, she starts placing bids and using Buy it now on every item that catches her eye. She doesn't realise that she's just purchased many of those items and is obliged to pay for them. If she chooses not to pay for the items, she's breaching the unpaid item policy. 

  • Colin is looking for a new boat. He finds many models that he'd be very happy with and places bids on 3 boats in hopes that he'll be the high bidder on one of the listings. Colin ends up winning 2 boats and pays for the one that he really likes. By not paying for the second boat, Colin is breaching the unpaid item policy.

Additional information

False reports

Sellers who falsely report unpaid items may:

  • Have all credits for the time period in question reversed

  • Lose the ability to use the final value fee credit for the time period in question

  • Lose the ability to use the final value fee credit system for a period of time

  • Be subject to suspension

Unpaid items and account limits

  • Buyers who don't pay may have unpaid items recorded on their accounts.

  • If you have excessive unpaid items on your account, we may limit or remove your ability to buy.

  • Unpaid items are separate from Feedback, and don't affect a user's Feedback score or Feedback profile.

  • An unpaid item will be recorded on the buyer's account when the seller receives a final value fee credit.

  • Buyers have the option of appealing an unpaid item if they believe it is undeserved.

  • Unpaid items are also considered a breach of the Buying practices policy.


For transactions involving an unpaid item, Feedback left by a buyer may be removed when:

  • The buyer didn't pay or respond to the unpaid item case

  • The buyer is suspended

  • The buyer's communication in the Resolution Centre undermines the purpose of the unpaid item process and the eBay Feedback system

All related Feedback and detailed seller ratings will be automatically removed or blocked when an unpaid item case is opened, as long as PayPal was the only payment method offered and collection in person wasn't offered.

Why does eBay have this policy?

When a buyer doesn't pay for an item they've won or purchased, it costs the seller time and money and holds up inventory. The unpaid item policy helps create a safer and more successful buying and selling experience.

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