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Seller protection policy

We want you to be able to sell with confidence. This page explains how we protect sellers, and offers best practices for addressing problems that sometimes come up.

More information:

How you're protected

Feedback and transaction defect rate

Automatic transaction defect protections

We automatically remove the defects from your seller performance evaluation, and the Feedback related to the defect from your Feedback profile, in the instances described here. You may request the removal of these types of defects and related Feedback if they are not automatically removed.

  • The defect was the direct result of an eBay site issue or an eBay program error.
  • We take action on a buyer for activity that violates the Abusive buyer policy.
  • eBay or PayPal instructs you to hold a shipment or takes action to cancel the transaction.
  • We take action to close an eBay Money Back Guarantee case or appeal request in favor of the seller.
  • We can determine through valid tracking that the defect was the direct result of systemic delays in shipping or communication. Examples include: wide-scale shipping carrier delays, items stuck in customs, or power outages due to extreme weather. Actual events will be listed on our announcement board.

Automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings

Offer great customer service and get automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings, as follows:

  • Shipping and handling charges

    If you offer free shipping and we know the buyer chose that option, you'll get an automatic 5-star detailed seller rating for shipping and handling charges.

  • Shipping and handling time

    If you specify same business day or 1 business day handling, upload tracking information within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment, and the item shows a delivery time of 4 days from receiving payment, you'll get an automatic 5-star rating for shipping time.

    Fast 'N Free listings get the extra protection of having a low rating for shipping time automatically converted to a 5-star rating as long as you upload tracking and the item is delivered within the stated handling time plus the estimated delivery time.

  • Communication

    You'll automatically receive a 5-star communication detailed seller rating if:

    • You specify same business day or 1 business day handling and upload tracking information within 1 business day.
    • At the time the buyer leaves Feedback:
      • There are no buyer- or seller-initiated communications in eBay Messages and
      • There are no pending eBay Money Back Guarantee requests or PayPal Purchase Protection cases.
    • There are no requests for contact information between you and the buyer.

(Best Offers, Second Chance Offers, invoices, and invoice requests—even if they contain messages added by the buyer or seller—do not affect automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings for communication. You'll still qualify for an automatic 5-star communication detailed seller rating if you or your buyer sends these types of communications.)


eBay Money Back Guarantee requests

If a buyer reports that an item hasn't been received

If you ship an item within your stated handling time and provide tracking information to the buyer before you or the buyer asks us to step in and help with a request, you're protected.

Tracking information needs to include:

  1. A delivery status of "delivered"
  2. The date of delivery
  3. The recipient's address
  4. Signature confirmation, if an item has a total cost of $750 or more

If a buyer reports that an item isn't as described

If the buyer submits a return request because an item isn't as described in the listing, you are protected from negative and neutral feedback if you offer free returns, accept the return, and give a refund.

Other resolution methods

Buyers can't use more than one resolution method to get a refund. After selecting a resolution method, a buyer is required to use that process for the duration of the resolution effort.

  • If a buyer files a chargeback, any requests opened with eBay Money Back Guarantee for the same transaction are immediately closed.
  • If a buyer files a PayPal Purchase Protection case, the buyer can't open an eBay Money Back Guarantee request for the same transaction.

If you lose a chargeback after you reimburse eBay or the buyer, you can appeal the decision by providing evidence of the lost chargeback.

Keep in mind

Remember that even if the buyer doesn't ask us to step in and help with an item that wasn't received, the request may still count as a transaction defect if you canceled the transaction because you were out of stock. Learn more about our seller performance standards.

Learn more about eBay Money Back Guarantee.


Seller performance standards

Fair performance evaluation

To measure your overall performance accurately, we look at your performance as a whole. We also consider a buyer's pattern for opening cases and leaving low detailed seller ratings—and protect you when necessary.

Transaction defect rate

  • The transaction defect rate won't affect your seller performance status until you have transactions with defects with at least 5 different buyers, or at least 4 different buyers to impact Top Rated status, within your evaluation period.
  • Buyers don't see your defect rate.

eBay Top Rated Seller grace period

If you are a Top Rated Seller and fall below the sales and tracking requirements for Top Rated Seller status, you may qualify for the Top Rated Seller grace period. During the Top Rated Seller grace period you retain your Top Rated Seller status and benefits, and you have 2 evaluation cycles to get your transaction count, sales amount, or tracking requirements back to minimum program requirements.

You're eligible for the grace period if you fall below Top Rated Seller standards due to any of the following:

  • You have fewer than 100 transactions with US buyers over the most recent 12-month period.
  • You have less than $1,000 in sales with US buyers over the most recent 12-month period.
  • You've uploaded shipment tracking within your promised handling time for less than 95% (but not less than 90%) of transactions with US buyers in the last 3 months.

You're only eligible for the Top Rated Seller grace period when:

  • You otherwise have a Top Rated Seller performance rating
  • You've been a Top Rated Seller for the last 3 (or more) consecutive months immediately preceding evaluation; and

If you don't meet sales and tracking requirements and performance standards after the grace period ends, you lose your Top Rated Seller status and benefits.

Note: The grace period applies to US transactions only.


eBay returns

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 eBay's 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. For example:

  • 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 shipping charges and restocking fees.

If you suspect that a buyer is abusing returns, contact the buyer through Messages in My eBay to keep a record of the conversation, and try to resolve the issue. If you still suspect buyer abuse, report a problem with the buyer - opens in new window or tab.


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.


Unpaid items

You are protected from unpaid items through our unpaid item policy. When a buyer wins an item or uses Buy It Now to purchase an item, they're obligated to complete the purchase by paying you.

If a buyer doesn't pay within 2 days, you can open an unpaid item case. If the buyer still doesn't pay or reach some other agreement with you after 4 days, and you close the case, we record the unpaid item on the buyer's account.

When an unpaid item case closes without payment from the buyer, you're eligible to receive a final value fee credit to your eBay seller account.

Excessive unpaid items on a buyer's account may result in range of actions, including limits or loss of buying privileges.

We automatically remove Feedback when we know or have reason to believe that a buyer hasn't paid.

Learn more about the unpaid item policy.

Preventing unpaid items

  • Use the Unpaid Item Assistant.
  • Require immediate payment from buyers.

The Global Shipping Program

When you use the Global Shipping Program, you're responsible for getting packages safely to the US shipping center. If an item is damaged or lost during international shipping you're protected from:

You automatically get 5-star detailed seller ratings for:

  • Shipping and handling charges if you provide free shipping to the US shipping center.
  • Shipping and handling time if you provide same business day or 1 business day handling, upload tracking information within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment, and tracking information shows the item as delivered to the US shipping center within 4 business days of receiving cleared payment.

Important: If you don't qualify for the these automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings, the shipping and handling charges and shipping and handling time ratings you receive aren't counted in your seller performance.


Emerging markets

We want to help you expand your horizons and grow into new markets, and we understand the challenges that selling across multiple countries can present. We are improving how we protect you when selling in emerging markets:

  • Late deliveries will no longer count against your late delivery rate metric, as long as you let us know the item has been shipped on time, and that you make it right with the buyer if any problems occur.
  • We'll remove negative or neutral Feedback caused by delivery delays from buyers in emerging markets.

Emerging markets which are covered by this policy:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan Republic, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), Fiji, French Guiana, Gabon Republic, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jan Mayen, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, South Lesotho, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Svalbard, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Reporting a buyer

The Abusive buyer policy outlines our expectations for buyer behavior. Violations may result in a range of actions, including Feedback removal, cancellation of requests or cases, limits on account privileges (such as use of the eBay Money Back Guarantee), limits on overall buying activity, and account suspension.

To report a buyer who may be violating our policies:

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