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What To Do If Your Buyer Does Not Pay Right Away

The excitement of selling an item can soon dissipate if payment is not received quickly. The good news is that buyers are obligated to complete a purchase if they win an auction or uses Buy It Now to purchase an item. Here’s what you can do if the money is slow to arrive or not at all.

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No contact from the buyer:

Send an invoice

While sending an invoice is not essential to receive payment on an item, it can give the buyer nudge to get things moving. The buyer may pay right away on receipt of the invoice or use it as a reminder to get in touch and explain the delay. An invoice can be sent up to 30 days after a listing ends. Sending an invoice is easy; the option is found on the Actions drop down menu under the Sold section within My eBay.

An alternative to sending an invoice is to message the buyer and thank them for their purchase  – a polite reminder that you are waiting for their payment. Some sellers, especially those with high turnover, will not attempt to communicate with the buyer at all, preferring to file an Unpaid Item Case as soon as possible.

Open an Unpaid Item Case

On, an Unpaid Item Case can be opened via the Resolution Center as soon as 2 full days after the listing ends. Be aware that some buyers may find requiring payment within 48 hours a little demanding.

  1. This time period varies between countries, so check the Unpaid Item policy on the eBay you use. In Canada for example, the time period is a little longer – 4 days.

  2. Once an Unpaid Item Case has been opened, the buyer receives a notification that they must pay within a specific time frame or the transaction will be cancelled.

  3. The time frame on in which a buyer must pay is 4 days.

  4. If the buyer does not pay within the timeframe (or reach an agreement with the seller), the seller needs to manually close the case to receive their final value fee credit back.

  5. It will be recorded on the buyer’s account that they did not pay for an item – a black mark that could lead to loss of buying privileges.

Buyer has changed their mind:

Sellers should expect to be contacted by the occasional buyer who is informing them that they will not be paying due to buyer’s remorse e.g. they’ve found the same item cheaper, they no longer want the item, it was a mistake. There are two choices here:

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