Introduction to Cases
Resolving Selling Issues
The primary issue that a seller can have with a buyer is when the buyer has committed to purchasing an item, but has not paid for the item in a timely manner. Below are a couple of options available to the seller before it is necessary for the seller to open an Unpaid Item case against the buyer:
- Contact the buyer through My eBay: give the buyer an adequate amount of time to respond to the email, and consider the possibility that the buyer may be experiencing a computer issue, or perhaps addressing another issue or emergency.
- Send one or more payment reminders: sometimes a buyer may only need a reminder that payment is due on an item. Payment reminders may be sent between three and 30 days after a listing ends (or a purchase is made in a fixed-price listing).
If neither of the methods listed above are successful, the seller can open an Unpaid Item case in the Resolution Center. A seller is allowed to open an Unpaid Item case between two and 32 days after the buyer commits to purchasing the item. The buyer is notified immediately when an Unpaid Item case is opened, and given four days to respond and/or pay for the item. If the buyer doesn't respond and/or pay within four days, the seller has the option of closing the case and receiving credit for the Final Value Fee.
Once a case has been closed, the seller has the options of extending a Second Chance Offer to another bidder or relisting the item. The seller may be eligible for an insertion fee credit. See Fees, credits, and invoices overview help topic for more information and eligibility requirements.
Unpaid Item cases are discussed in detail in Unpaid Item Cases.
Resolving Buying Issues
The two main issues that a buyer can have with a seller are summarized below:
- Item Not Received: the buyer has paid for the item, but the item has not been received within the expected timeframe.
- Significantly Not As Described: the buyer has received the item, but the item is damaged or it doesn't match the listing description.
eBay recommends that the buyer allows the seller to make things right before opening a case. Below are a few options available to the buyer before it is necessary for the buyer to open an eBay Money Back Guarantee case against the seller:
- Contact the seller through My eBay: give the seller an adequate amount of time to respond to the email, and consider the possibility that the seller may be experiencing a computer issue, or perhaps addressing another issue or emergency. It is a good idea for the buyer to investigate if email spam filters are blocking messages from the seller. Also, the buyer should check to see if their contact information is current by going to the Account tab in My eBay.
- Use the Ask a question link: if an email is unsuccessful, a buyer can click on the Ask a question link near the bottom of the item listing. The buyer may be able to find the appropriate question to ask the seller, or the buyer can select the No, I want to contact the seller option under Did we answer your questions?.
If the methods above are unsuccessful, the buyer can open an Item Not Received or Significantly Not As Described case in the Resolution Center. A buyer is allowed to open an eBay Money Back Guarantee case up to 45 days after the purchase of the item. The seller is notified immediately when an eBay Money Back Guarantee case is filed against them, and given seven days (or 10 days for international transactions) to respond to the case, and work toward resolving the issue. After the allotted time, the buyer can escalate the case to eBay customer support.
For an Item Not Received case, resolution may involve the following:
- The seller providing proof of delivery to eBay. For items valued over $250, signature confirmation is required.
- The seller coming to an agreement with the buyer to send the original item or a replacement item.
- The seller refunding the buyer the full cost of the item including any applicable sales tax and original shipping costs.
- The seller reimbursing eBay if eBay has already refunded the buyer after opening a case. If the buyer eventually receives the item, but outside of the seller's stated handling time, the buyer must return the item to the seller before receiving a refund.
For a Significantly Not As Described case, resolution may involve the following:
- The seller providing proof to eBay that the item was described accurately and consistently throughout the listing and all associated communication between the buyer.
- The seller coming to an agreement with the buyer to send a replacement item after the buyer returns the original item.
- The seller refunding the buyer up to the full cost of the item plus any applicable sales tax and original shipping costs. For a full refund to occur, it is generally required that the buyer return the item to the seller.
Item Not Received and Significantly Not As Described case types are discussed in detail in Buyer Cases.
eBay Money Back Guarantee Program
With the eBay Money Back Guarantee program and the Resolution Center, eBay hosts the resolution process when buyers file a claim against seller that their item was not received or the item they received is not as it was described in the eBay listing. See Resolving Buying Issues for tips on resolving buying issues. Sellers can open Unpaid Item cases or mutually cancel an order in the Resolution Center. See Resolving Selling Issues for tips on resolving selling issues.
Overview of Case Actions
The table below provides an overview of the dispute actions available to the buyer and seller on either side of an eBay order line item (transaction).
Buyer and Seller Dispute Actions
|Action||User Role||Site to perform action||API call to perform action|
|Create an Unpaid Item case||Seller||Resolution Center||Trading API - AddDispute|
|Cancel an unpaid transaction||Seller||Resolution Center||Trading API - AddDispute|
|Create an Item Not Received case||Buyer||Resolution Center||None|
|Create a Significantly Not As Described case||Buyer||Resolution Center||None|
|Retrieve summary information on all cases (all case types)||Seller or Buyer||Resolution Center||Post-Order API - searchCases (seller only)|
|Retrieve detailed information on a single Item Not Received or Significantly Not As Described case||Seller or Buyer||Resolution Center||Resolutions API - getCase (seller only)|
|Retrieve detailed information on all Unpaid Item cases||Seller||Resolution Center||Trading API - GetUserDisputes (seller only)|
|Retrieve detailed information on a single Unpaid Item case||Seller||Resolution Center||Trading API - GetDispute (seller only)|
|Respond to or close an Unpaid Item case on mutually cancel a transaction||Seller||Resolution Center||Trading API - AddDisputeResponse (seller only)|
|"Reverse" a closed Unpaid Item case. In a "reversed" case, the seller's Final Value Credit and buyer' Unpaid Item Strike are both reversed||Seller||None||Trading API - SellerReverseDispute (seller only)|
|Issue a full refund to the buyer to resolve an Item Not Received inquiry||Seller||Resolution Center||Post-Order API - issueInguiryRefund|
|Issue a full refund to the buyer to resolve a Significantly Not As Described case||Seller||Resolution Center||Post-Order API - issueCaseRefund|
|Issue a full or partial refund to the buyer to make it right||Seller||Resolution Center||Fulfillment API - issueRefund|
|Seller provide shipping information to buyer for an INR item||Seller||Resolution Center||Post-Order API - provideInquiryShipment Info|
|Buyer provides return shipping information for an item being returned||Buyer||Resolution Center||Post-Order API - provideReturnShipmentInfo|
|Provide a alternative address and a Return Merchandise Authorization number to other party (eBay Buyer Protection cases)||Seller||Resolution Center||Post-Order API - provideCaseReturnAddress|
|Post a message to the buyer regarding an INR inquiry refund.||Seller||Resolution Center||Post-Order API - provideInquiryRefundInfo|
|Upload proof of shipping or other evidential documents to contest payment dispute from third-party payment company.||Seller||Resolution Center||Fulfillment API - uploadEvidenceFile|
|Escalate an INR inquiry||Buyer||Resolution Center||Post-Order API - escalateInquiry|
|Appeal eBay's decision on a case||Seller or Buyer||Resolution Center||Post-Order API - appealCaseDecision|