3 min article

Avoiding payment problems for items you’ve sold

When a buyer purchases one of your items on eBay, you can take steps to help ensure you receive prompt payment and avoid potential issues.

PayPal, and credit and debit cards are our recommended methods for accepting payment, but you can also offer buyers other payment methods. To help avoid issues with a transaction, we don't recommend accepting cash unless a buyer is paying on collection.

How to avoid payment issues

There are additional protections you can use to make sure transactions are completed smoothly and help avoid payment issues. For example:

  • PayPal offers protection for items sold following the guidelines outlined in PayPal Seller Protection - opens in new window or tab. If you use a different method to receive payment, you should review the policy to see if fraud protection is provided
  • If the buyer pays with a credit card, you can help ensure that it's valid by contacting the credit card issuer to verify that the name on the card matches both the delivery information and the contact information. If in doubt, ask the credit card company to validate that payment was made before you post the buyer's item
  • If a credit card payment is being reversed or can't be received, contact the credit card company, the issuing bank, and PayPal - opens in new window or tab (if the buyer paid with PayPal) to review your options
  • If you're selling high-priced items, you should consider using an escrow service

Tip
Ensure you're paid swiftly by requiring immediate payment when buyers use the Buy it now option.

How to avoid scams and fraudulent payments

We want eBay to be a safe marketplace for all our members, so if you see something unusual or suspicious please let us know - opens in new window or tab.

Here are some things to look out for and what you should do:

  • If you believe that a buyer paid or is attempting to pay with fraudulent funds or a stolen credit card, you can report it to us - opens in new window or tab. You should also contact law enforcement in the buyer's location. We'll cooperate fully with all law enforcement inquiries
  • If a buyer sends a cheque or money order that can't be cashed, report them to us - opens in new window or tab. These payment methods are permitted only for certain categories and for collection in person – you'll find more information in our accepted payments policy
  • You should never accept overpayments from buyers, especially if the buyer asks you to repay the overpayment. Requests like this are often part of a cashier's cheque scheme

One of our top priorities is protecting our members, so sales that start on eBay can't be completed off our site. Remember, if a sale is completed off eBay, neither buyers nor sellers are covered by our protection programmes if something goes wrong, and you'll still need to pay fees.

Tip
If you're waiting longer than expected for a payment, contact the buyer to find out if there's a problem. If the buyer hasn't paid, you might be able to open an unpaid item case or cancel the transaction.

Due to potential for fraud, we don't allow buyers and sellers to complete sales outside of eBay.

Was this article helpful for you?

Related help topics