10 min article

Abusive buyer policy

Our abusive buyer policy lays out unacceptable buyer behaviour.

Buyers may not misuse Feedback, returns, buyer protection programmes, or payment dispute processes. Our full policy below outlines eBay's expectations for buyer behaviour.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I report abusive behaviour?

You can report a buyer to us by selecting the button below:

Report a buyer - opens in new window or tab

What should I do if I think a buyer is making an unreasonable demand?

You're not required to agree to any extras or changes from the terms of your listing. If a buyer is making demands that are not a part of your original listing, you will be protected from negative Feedback and defects when you either deliver the item purchased by the buyer according to the original terms of your listing, or cancel the transaction.

To help us identify buyers who are engaging in unacceptable buying behaviours, please report the abusive behaviour - opens in new window or tab.

We encourage you to communicate politely and professionally with the buyer.

What is a payment dispute?

A payment dispute occurs when a buyer initiates a chargeback for a purchase transaction with their credit card issuer or payment service provider.

For more information, see how to handle payment disputes as a managed payments seller.

Read our full policy

Abusive buyer policy overview

This policy outlines our expectations for buyer behaviour. When buyers don't meet these standards, sellers can report abusive behaviour - opens in new window or tab.

Engaging in activity as described in this policy may result in a range of actions, including the loss of eBay Money Back Guarantee coverage, issuing warnings to buyers, blocking buyers from requesting returns or refunds on eBay, blocking buyers from opening claims, and account suspension.

When we review a report of a member violating our policies, we look at the circumstances, including the members' history. We make decisions based on the evidence in the individual situation, as well as by evaluating patterns of behaviour that create a negative value in the marketplace. If we aren't sure about something, we may not take any action. Also, because we respect our members' privacy, we can't discuss the results of any investigations.

Behaviours we don't allow

Don't demand something not offered in the original listing

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Requesting a shipping service not offered by the seller
  • Requesting the seller ship to an address other than what you included in checkout
  • Requesting to use a payment method not offered during checkout
  • Requesting the seller hold your item so you can pay later
  • Requesting a partial refund without returning the item
  • Request additional items or services not included in the original listing or asking for a discount
  • Finding an item on eBay and taking the sale off eBay
Allowed Allowed
  • Select one of the shipping services offered by the seller when you checkout
  • Updating your address in your eBay account before you checkout
  • Pay for your item through a payment option offered at checkout
  • Pay for your item within two days
  • Returning an item in accordance with the seller's returns policy
  • Purchase items according to the terms included in the original listing
  • Finding an item on eBay and completing the sale on eBay

Don't make false claims

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Claiming an item was not received when there is proof of delivery to the address on the Order details page
  • Falsely claiming an item was not as described
Allowed Allowed
  • Claiming an item was not received when it has not been delivered by the latest estimated delivery date
  • Claiming an item was not as described when the item you received did not match the description in the original listing

Don't misuse returns

Not allowed Not allowed
Allowed Allowed
  • Returning the original item that was received in its original condition
  • Returning an item with the reason that it was not as described when it was described inaccurately

Don't misuse eBay messaging or bidding

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Sending messages to force or intimidate the other member into something outside of the original agreement
  • Bidding on and winning an auction, but failing to pay for the item
Allowed Allowed
  • You can only retract a bid under exceptional circumstances
  • Using messages to ask questions to clarify listing descriptions or terms

Don't abuse eBay's buyer protection programmes or your payment service provider's dispute processes

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Opening duplicate requests using other buyer protection programs
  • Harassing sellers about an item not received before the latest estimated delivery date has passed
  • Opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee request or other buyer protection case:
    • When you have already received a refund from the seller
    • When you haven't paid for an item
    • As retaliation against a seller following a previous dispute
  • Initiating a payment dispute when you have already received a refund for the item from the seller, or a reimbursement for the transaction from your payment service provider
  • Filing duplicate or excessive payment disputes
Allowed Allowed
  • Opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee case, or opening a case with another buyer protection programme after the item you received didn't match the description in the listing
  • Opening an eBay Money Back Guarantee case, or opening a case with another buyer protection programme when you didn't receive the item and you haven't been able to resolve the issue with the seller

Pay for items you win or commit to buy

Buyers must pay for the items they win or buy on eBay within 4 calendar days of committing to buy. A seller can cancel your order if you do not pay within 4 calendar days of winning an auction or buying using Buy It Now.

Buyers who have excessive unpaid items or cancelled orders may have limits imposed on their account, or lose their buying privileges.


Additional information

Acceptable buying practices include adherence to the following policies.

  • Communications: Your communications with sellers via email, My eBay Messages or Community discussion boards should comply with our member-to-member contact policy.
  • Customs declarations: Asking a seller to falsely declare an item as a gift on a customs form is considered to be encouraging illegal activity.
  • Unwelcome and malicious buying: We consider bidding on or buying an item when you have no intention of completing the transaction, or circumventing a seller's buyer requirements, to be unwelcome and malicious buying.
  • Contact information: All eBay members must keep their account details up to date. We take action when we know that a member has false or missing contact information.
  • Using multiple accounts: Registering new accounts or using other existing accounts to avoid buying restrictions or limits or other policy consequences is not allowed. See our Multiple accounts policy for more information.

Activity on eBay is required to follow this policy, the eBay User Agreement and all applicable laws, as well as respect the rights of third parties. If it doesn’t, eBay may take action consistent with applicable laws and the eBay User Agreement, and may even be legally required to do so. Such actions may include, as an example only: Removing the listing or other content, issuing a warning, restricting activity or account suspension.

Why does eBay have this policy?

We want to make sure eBay is a safe place to sell. In order to make eBay a safe place to sell, we hold our buyers to certain standards. When buyers do not follow these standards we take action on our buyers and we protect our sellers.

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