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How to deal with eBay buyers who don't pay

eBay has systems in place to deal with buyers who don't pay.
eBay has systems in place to deal with buyers who don't pay.
Photo by Kurt Vinion/Getty Images

eBay is the only website on the internet where buyers can make a purchase but don’t actually have to pay for the item at checkout unless the seller takes certain steps to require immediate payment. This is frustrating for sellers because they have to spend their time dealing with buyers who don’t pay, or sellers have to start over with a listing and wait for a new buyer to come along. There are several ways to prevent situations with non-paying bidders and to handle buyers who don’t pay.

The easiest way to prevent dealing with buyers who don’t pay is to add Immediate Payment to listings. This is a free option. Even if the buyer chooses “Buy it Now,” the item remains for sale until payment is actually made. Immediate Payment only works on Buy it Now items without Best Offer. Immediate Payment does not work with auctions unless the customer chooses Buy it Now. So if non-paying customers are a problem, don’t run auctions and don’t use Best Offer. Learn about requiring Immediate Payment here.

eBay also offers a free feature called Unpaid Item Assistant. When turned on, this feature automatically files Unpaid Item Claims on the 4th day after the sale if the buyer has not paid. The Unpaid Item Assistant automates the process of dealing with buyers who don’t pay. If the buyer doesn’t pay within another 4 days, the case is automatically closed and Final Value Fees are refunded. This is the most hands-free way to deal with buyers who don’t pay if a seller isn’t ready to give up running auctions or using Best Offer. Learn more about the Unpaid Item Assistant here.

eBay has systems in place to track buyers who repeatedly don’t pay. By using the Unpaid Item Assistant, or manually opening Unpaid Item Cases on buyers who don’t pay, repeat offenders will eventually be suspended from eBay and the selling community won’t have to deal with them.

Rather than allowing non-paying buyers to be a frustration and a distraction, use the tools eBay has put in place to prevent unpaid items, or automate the process of opening unpaid item cases.