Limits on buyer activity

If you're a new buyer, you should be aware that on, occasion, we need to place limits on buying activity.

Why are there limits on buying activity?

We might restrict a person's buying activity if we notice a change in the way they purchase. For example, we notice:

  • A sudden, large increase in the number of items a person is buying or the price of the items a member is buying

  • A new buyer is making a lot of purchases or purchasing expensive items

These restrictions are similar to the limits a credit card company might place on your card if they notice an unusual increase in activity. Limits on buyer activities are based on statistical information, and aimed at reducing the chances of unpaid items. Not only does it protect you, it protects our sellers and eBay. These limits are not here to penalise you, nor do they reflect on whether you are untrustworthy. They're also not based on your bank account balance, your credit card limit or your ability to pay for the items purchased.

Note: These limits are placed by eBay, not by individual sellers. We can't remove these limits, even if a seller requests it.

How are these limits removed?

We'll remove the limit on a buyer's activity once we confirm that the buyer's purchases are legitimate and being completed successfully. One way we see this is through Feedback. If you're a new buyer, you may see your limit removed as your Feedback score increases.

We're also more likely to remove these limits for a buyer who verifies his or her identity. There are a few ways to do this:

Note: Not all members will have these options available, and they don't automatically remove buyer limits.

What are the rules for bidding £15,000 or more?

To place a bid of £15,000 or more, you'll need to provide a valid credit card. Your card won't be charged. This requirement helps make sure that members making large purchases are of legal age and serious about completing the transaction.

You need to provide this information only once. We encourage you to take these steps before bidding on an item that might go above this price.

What are open transaction limits?

When a buyer commits to purchasing multiple items and hasn't paid for them, there's a risk that they may have a problem paying for all of them. We have limits on these open transactions to reduce the number of unpaid items and to protect both buyers and sellers.

What are Open Transactions?

Open transactions are purchases a buyer commits to and hasn't paid for, including:

  • Buy It Now items which a buyer has committed and has not yet paid for.

  • Best Offers which have been accepted by the seller and have not yet been paid for.

  • Winning bids on active auctions.

Uncompleted sales that do not count against a buyer’s open transaction limit are:

  • Cancellations that are a seller's fault, such as when an item is out of stock.

  • Auctions in which the buyer has been outbid by another bidder and is no longer the winning bidder.

Default Limits

Every new buyer has a default limit on the number of open transactions they can have at a given time. For most buyers, this default limit allows for several open transactions at a time.

How Limits Change

Once a buyer shows a consistent pattern of completing payments for his or her purchases, their open transaction limit will increase.

Because changes to the transaction limit depend primarily on a buyer’s payment behaviour, the best way for a buyer to increase their limit is to simply complete payment for all their eBay purchases. The easiest, fastest way to pay for items is to set up a free PayPal account.

Buyers with a PayPal account linked to their eBay account are much more likely to pay for their items and as a result have higher open transaction limits. Learn more about how eBay and PayPal work together

A buyer’s open transaction limit can be decreased too. The most common reasons for that are:

  • Cancelling a purchase after committing to buy an item.

  • Failing to pay for an item after committing to buy it.

  • Removing a linked PayPal account.

Buyers who demonstrate a consistent pattern of cancelling transactions and failing to pay for items may be subject to additional account restrictions as described in our buying practices policy.

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