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How we protect our sellers

How we protect our sellers

We know you work hard to deliver a great shopping experience. That’s why our seller protection team is here for you in case something goes wrong. 

We take action to protect thousands of sellers every month, just here in the UK. And we’re constantly improving our automated detection systems, transaction monitoring and policies to make sure we’re giving you the best protection possible.

Protection if a buyer doesn’t pay

Every now and then you might have a buyer who doesn’t pay. We’re here for you if this happens:

  • Choose a timeframe in which your buyers should pay with our Unpaid Item Assistant tool. 
  • New detection methods help us identify high-risk buyers who might be bidding on several similar items at once. We’ll take action before the non-payment even happens.
  • We identify buyers that haven’t paid so we can automatically remove any negative or neutral Feedback and low Detailed Seller Ratings they might leave for you. 
  • When an unpaid item case closes without payment, we’ll block the buyer from leaving Feedback and add a strike to their account. This can lead to buying limits or suspension.

Automatic protection when a request is found in your favour

When an eBay Money Back Guarantee request is resolved in your favour, we’ll automatically protect you from defects such as neutral or negative Feedback and low Detailed Seller Ratings. 

We’ll also make sure you don’t lose a request if you’ve done the following before a decision is made:

  • For an ‘item not received’ request: Dispatch the order within your stated timeframe and provide tracking information.
  • For an ‘item not as described’ request:  Provide clear documentation that the item was described accurately and consistently throughout your listing and any communication.

Protection against high-risk buyers

Our team is on the clock 24/7 to keep an eye out for bad buyer behaviour. And they’re faithfully backed by large-scale automated detection systems that monitor millions of transactions every day.

We automatically remove negative or neutral Feedback and low Detailed Seller Ratings when:

  • We know that a buyer consistently leaves neutral or negative Feedback or low Detailed Seller Ratings which are inconsistent with sellers’ overall performance. 
  • We identify that a buyer is trying to get an unauthorised refund or avoid paying for a return. 
  • We stop suspended buyers from returning by identifying linked accounts or aliases.  

We protect thousands of sellers behind the scenes, every month. In your new Seller Dashboard, you can have a look to keep track of how many times we’ve protected your account.  

Returns on eBay

The return process on eBay provides you and your buyers a simple and efficient way to handle return requests.

If a buyer has done everything in their power to ensure an item is returned to you safely in accordance with our returns policies, we suggest you issue a refund to provide great customer service. We strongly recommend a lenient return policy, except in circumstances where the buyer is at fault, such as:

  • The wrong item is returned.
  • You receive an empty box.
  • The item doesn't meet the item condition policy for returns.
  • The item is reported as 'not as described' to avoid postage charges and restocking fees.

If you suspect that a buyer is abusing returns, try to resolve the issue by contacting the buyer through My eBay > Messages to keep a record of the conversation. If you still suspect buyer abuse, report a problem with the buyer.

Occasionally, a buyer may ask us to step in and help with a return request. We review the request and consider your communications with the buyer as well as the information you provide, including any photos of the item, which you can upload to eBay once a return is open.

If we determine that a buyer has abused the returns process or the eBay Money Back Guarantee, the buyer may be subject to a range of actions, including limits on their buying and selling privileges and suspension of their account.

Learn more about using eBay returns.

Rewards when you deliver great service

We do our best to make sure we reward you with built-in protection when you deliver great service:

  • If you’ve offered and sent an order with free postage, we’ll automatically give you a 5-star rating for postage and packaging.  
  • If you upload tracking within 1 business day, we’ll protect you against low delivery time Detailed Seller Ratings.   
  • We’ve set limits so that a single buyer can’t significantly impact your account status.
  • Buyers can’t open an ‘item not received request’ until the day after the stated delivery date. 
  • If a buyer doesn’t leave Feedback, we’ll count it as positive. 

How you can protect yourself

In addition to our protection measures, there are also things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Require immediate payment with PayPal for your Buy it now listings. We’ll make sure your item is still available for other buyers to purchase until it’s been paid for. 
  • Our Unpaid Item Assistant helps you get a credit if a buyer doesn’t pay. You can also set a timeframe in which buyers should pay you and a profile of who can purchase your item.
  • Using PayPal is a safe way to receive payments – Learn more about PayPal protection.
  • Offer FAST & FREE, dispatch orders within your stated dispatch time and provide tracking. Accurately describe your items with as many item specifics and pictures as possible. Make sure you call out any flaws or defects with pictures.

Make sure you Report a Buyer when someone violates our policies and we’ll keep track of how you’re protected in your Seller Dashboard. You can also have a look at our Seller Protection Hub.

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