How to avoid or resolve a problem on eBay


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How to avoid or resolve a problem on eBay

Enjoying time in the vegetable patch

What's coming up

In this activity, you'll learn about some of the problems that may arise when buying items on eBay. You'll also learn how these issues can be resolved and how you're protected when purchasing items on eBay.

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A sad emoji icon.

What kind of problems might you face?

eBay's ranking (or reputation scoring) system allows users to check sellers and purchase from reputable companies and individuals. Still, sometimes problems arise. Most commonly, they will be because:

  • the seller tries to charge extra
  • the seller doesn't send the item
  • the item isn't what you expected or as is not as described
  • the item is damaged when you receive it.

What to do first?

The first thing to do is to contact the seller and ask them to fix the problem. Don't attempt to call the seller or physically meet them – always use eBay's Resolution Centre instead. To do this:

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Click on your account name in the top left corner of the screen, then select Account settings from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on Resolution Centre.
  4. Follow the steps under Resolve a problem.
The eBay Resolution Centre can help you resolve any issues with a buyer or seller.
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eSafety Tip

In the event of a dispute, it's really important to follow the formal eBay problem resolution process we just described. This is both for your protection and the seller's. Most issues can be resolved quickly, but if the issue becomes more complicated, eBay will already have all the information they need to step in and help you, should the need arise.

A frustrated and unhappy 'sad face' emoji icon.

What to do next?

If the seller comes back to you with a satisfactory response, you can complete the transaction as normal.

If there is no response within three business days, or the seller doesn't deal with the problem to your satisfaction, you can then ask eBay to review the dispute.

Is it something that you should be disputing?

eBay is prepared to deal with things if you have not received your item, or the item you received does not match the seller's description.

If you believe you have some other problem with the seller, you can go to the Resolution Centre and click on My problem is not listed here. That will take you to a customer service page where you can ask for more help.

eBay has additional help and information if your problem isn't listed on their resolution page.
eBay has a conditional Money Back Guarantee.

Can you get my money back?

eBay has a Money Back Guarantee if you do not receive the item you've purchased, or it does not match the description, including if it was damaged in transit.

The eBay guarantee applies to items paid at the eBay checkout using PayPal, a credit or debit card.

To request a refund from eBay for an item you have purchased, visit the Resolution Centre.

Taking matters to the next level

If your dispute isn't settled satisfactorily in the Resolution Centre, you may be able to escalate the complaint with eBay by:

If eBay is unable to help and the disputed matter involves a PayPal purchase, you can also call PayPal on 1800 073 263.

These extra support details can be tricky to find on the websites, so we recommend you jot these details down and keep them somewhere handy, just in case you ever need them.

There are useful email addresses and contact numbers to make a note of in case you need them.
eBay buyers and sellers value their ratings and feedback.

Relying on ratings

You can reduce the risk of problems by looking at the feedback rating of sellers. Trustworthy, reliable sellers have a high star rating and Positive feedback score.

Scores and ratings are based on reviews from buyers, and help you know which sellers you can trust. Buyers can also be rated by sellers.

Don't forget to provide ratings of your own

After you receive an item you've purchased, you will get an email from eBay inviting you to rate and leave feedback for the seller. The seller will also be asked to rate you as a buyer.

If you lost the email, click on My eBay near the top, left-hand corner of the eBay page, then click on Purchase History. Scroll down to the item, click on More Actions and then select Leave Feedback.

Rating and giving feedback for a buyer or seller on eBay will help others.
Shopping online can be fun!

Well done!

You have come to the end of the How to avoid or resolve a problem on eBay activity. You should now know how to manage issues using eBay's Resolution Centre, and how to leave feedback for sellers.

Next up, if you have registered and are logged into the Be Connected website, you'll now be able to take a short quiz to finish the How to buy online course. If you're not registered, you are now at the end of the course.