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Handling payment disputes

Your buyer may open a dispute with their payment institution if they believe there's an issue with their order. Learn how to handle a payment dispute as an eBay seller.

Important
The information on this page applies only to customers who live in The Philippines, Malaysia, or Singapore. Customers who live outside these locations should read our article on handling payment disputes.

A payment dispute is when a buyer initiates a chargeback or other type of dispute with their payment institution (for example, their credit card provider or PayPal). The final decision for refunding the buyer is made by the payment institution.

This is different to the eBay Money Back Guarantee, which is when the buyer works directly with you on eBay to get a refund on a transaction, for example, when the buyer opens a return request or reports that the item wasn't received. In these cases, the final decision for refunding the buyer is made by eBay.

When a buyer opens a dispute, the payment institution handles the process with the buyer. A buyer may open a dispute if:

  • They didn't receive their item
  • The item doesn't match the description in your listing
  • They didn't recognise the transaction
  • They were charged more than once for an item
  • They were charged more than once for the transaction
  • They changed their mind
  • They cancelled the transaction
  • They’re missing a credit or a refund

If the payment institution decides the buyer is owed a refund, they’ll reverse the payment and refund it to the buyer's original payment method.

Buyers can't use more than one resolution method to get a refund. If a buyer opens a dispute, any open order cancellations, reports that an item hasn't arrived, return requests, or eBay Money Back Guarantee cases for the same transaction are immediately closed.

Responding to a payment dispute

When a dispute is opened, you'll receive a notification from eBay. You must respond to the dispute within 5 calendar days of receiving the notification.

To respond to a dispute, find the order in My eBay Sold or go to the Requests and disputes tab in Seller Hub.

When responding to a dispute, you may choose to:

  • Accept the dispute, or
  • Challenge the dispute

Accepting the dispute

If you accept the dispute, the buyer will receive a refund. When eBay issues a refund to a buyer on your behalf, the amount will be deducted from the total of your Available, Processing, and On hold funds. For more information, please read our article on getting paid for items you've sold.

If the dispute is opened for an Item that doesn't match the listing, we’ll try to recover the item for you when you accept the dispute. However, keep in mind that we can’t guarantee that the buyer will return the item.

eBay may still choose to challenge the dispute on your behalf, and in this case, you won't be charged a dispute fee.

Dispute fees

If a buyer files a payment dispute, and you’re found responsible for the disputed amount, you’ll be charged a dispute fee by eBay. If you accept the payment dispute and issue a refund, eBay will waive the dispute fee, and you’ll be responsible for the refund amount issued to your buyer. The amount of the dispute fee depends on which eBay site the listing was created on. Below, you'll find the links to our fees pages on international sites:

How to accept the dispute

  1. Select Respond to case from the dispute notification.
  2. Select Accept dispute and buyer receives refund and select Continue.
  3. Select Accept to confirm the refund.

How to accept the dispute and request a return

  1. Select Respond to case from the dispute notification.
  2. Select Accept dispute and buyer receives refund and select Continue.
  3. Select Try to get my item returned.
  4. Verify or edit your return address, then select Accept to confirm the refund.

Challenging the dispute

If you challenge the dispute, we’ll request supporting evidence about the transaction. If the dispute is opened for an item that doesn't match the listing, we'll try to recover the item for you. However, keep in mind that we can’t guarantee that the buyer will return the item.

How to challenge the dispute

  1. Select Respond to case from the dispute notification.
  2. Select Challenge dispute and provide proof and select Continue.
  3. Verify or edit the information, or upload new evidence.
  4. Select Submit.

How to challenge the dispute and request a return

  1. Select Respond to case from the dispute notification.
  2. Select Challenge dispute and provide proof and select Continue.
  3. Select Try to get my item returned.
  4. Verify or edit your return address.
  5. Verify or edit the information, or upload new evidence.
  6. Select Submit.

The final outcome of the dispute is decided by the payment institution. Depending on the situation, you may need to cover the cost of refunding the buyer, and/or pay a dispute fee.

If you don’t respond, or the dispute results in refunding the buyer, and you’re not eligible for seller protections, the amount will be deducted from the total of your Available, Processing, and On hold funds, and we’ll charge a dispute fee. For more information, please read our article on getting paid for items you've sold.

However, if you’re eligible for seller protections, we won’t charge you for the amount of the dispute and may also waive or refund the dispute fee, even if the payment institution decides to refund the buyer. For details on how these protections work – which transactions are eligible or excluded, and what sellers need to do – please read our full seller protection policy.

Recommended evidence to challenge a payment dispute

Buyer doesn’t recognise the transaction or Buyer didn't receive the item

Type of itemRecommended evidence
A physical item that's been shipped, except for vehicles
  • Tracking information showing the order was delivered successfully to the shipping address that matches the address on the order details page.
  • Signature confirmation when an order total is greater than or equal to $750
  • The signature confirmation requirement may be different based on the site of transaction
A physical item collected by local pickup (directly from the seller), except for vehicles
  • A copy of the eBay order details, signed by the buyer at the time of collection
Vehicles when they’ve been shipped
  • Proof of delivery, or
  • Shipping confirmation (Bill of lading, shipping receipt) - when the vehicle is still in transit
Vehicles when they’ve been picked up
  • A receipt with item details, signed by the buyer
Digitally delivered or other intangible items, e.g. non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital gift cards, travel services, events
  • Proof that the item was used
  • Proof that the service was provided
  • Proof that the item was digitally delivered, e.g. with the buyer's email address or IP address for NFTs
  • Proof the item was accessed by the buyer
 

Item doesn't match the listing or Item was damaged when received or Item received had missing parts

Type of itemRecommended evidence
Any physical or digitally delivered item
  • A clear photo showing the item is as described and its condition pre-shipping
  • Messages with the buyer showing the issue has been solved, e.g. a partial refund or seller solution was accepted
  • Any other evidence that proves the item was returned in a different condition
 

Item wasn't authentic

Type of itemRecommended evidence
Any physical or digitally delivered item
  • Proof of authenticity from the rights owner
  • Messages with the buyer showing attempt to resolve issues prior to dispute
 

Buyer didn't receive a refund

Type of itemRecommended evidence
Any physical or digitally delivered item
  • Proof that a refund was already provided on eBay
  • Proof of cancellation
  • Your stated return policy
  • Messages with the buyer showing that a refund isn’t required
  • Proof that the item wasn't returned in a different condition, or that a different item was returned
 

How payment disputes are processed

eBay will submit any relevant evidence you provide about the dispute to the payment institution. There may be situations where eBay already has enough evidence to challenge the dispute, and we'll share it on your behalf.

Once you've accepted a dispute, or challenged it and provided evidence, we'll update you about the status of the dispute by email. You can check the status of any dispute by finding the order in My eBay Sold - opens in new window or tab or go to the Requests and disputes tab - opens in new window or tab in Seller Hub.

In some cases, a payment institution may reopen a closed dispute. In this case, we may request that you provide additional evidence for challenging the dispute.

The payment dispute could take up to 90 days or more to be resolved, depending on the payment method or card provider. eBay may hold the funds from payout up to 30 days from when the dispute arises.

Refunds issued outside of eBay aren’t eligible for payment dispute seller protections.

Avoiding payment disputes

To help prevent payment disputes, you should always:

  • Create detailed, accurate listings
  • Include multiple, high-quality photos of your items
  • Use a tracked shipping service with proof of delivery to the address provided by the buyer at checkout
  • Include signature confirmation if an order has a total cost (including shipping and taxes) of $750 or more. Learn more about signature confirmation requirements
  • Be responsive to buyers who contact you through eBay Messages and work to resolve any issues
  • Keep any messages and supporting documentation through eBay tools
  • When issuing a partial refund, provide information to your buyer as to why you didn’t issue a full refund. For example, "as agreed, deducted 5% from the refund instead of returning the item"

 

Tip
To respond to a dispute, find the order in My eBay Sold or go to the Requests and disputes tab in Seller Hub.

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