How to Deal With Non-Paying Bidders on eBay

No doubt, if you’re trying to minimise (like me!) you will be selling some items on eBay. I find non-paying bidders to be a more and more frequent problem. It’s so frustrating when you’ve listed a whole bunch of stuff – you would prefer to make just one trip to the Post Office and you have to leave 1 or 2 parcels sitting waiting on the side. I just don’t get it – if you went into a shop you wouldn’t get away with paying 3 days (or even longer) later. So why do eBay buyers think they can get away with it? I find it disrespectful.

My top tip is that you use eBay’s non-paying bidder process for every bad buyer. This is the only way you can get your fees funded, if they ultimately refuse to pay. They will also have action taken against their account and I believe this depends on the severity of their offence. For example, a first time offender will probably simply get reminded of the rules, but it will still be a strike against their account. If they do it again, they won’t be able to bid on my items or any other seller who has set up tight buyer requirements. If they offend further, they will likely find their account restricted or banned.

I prefer not to set up the non-paying bidder process to run automatically, as you have to wait twice as long for the process to kick in (4 days then 4 days to get payment!) As far as I’m concerned, 2 days is plenty of time to pay for an item! I start the process myself, as soon as possible after the 48 hours has passed. You just click next to the item in your selling page and click the option to resolve a problem. Then select that you haven’t received payment yet. The case will open and you won’t need to do anything more for a few days. If the buyer pays, all well and good- there is nothing else to take care of. If they don’t, in 4 days you can close the case yourself- get their account marked with a strike (they’ve had 6 days to pay, plenty of time in my mind) and get your fees back, so you can get on and re-list that item and get rid of it!!! You can open a case immediately if for some reason, your buyer is no longer registered with eBay. When you close the case, you must select the options to say that the buyer did not pay and that you want to receive a fee credit.

Since eBay no longer allows sellers to leave negative feedback about buyers, I simply refuse to leave feedback for bad buyers. I know this is unhelpful to other users of the site, but eBay have tied our hands. I also take a moment to add them to my blocked bidders list, so I don’t ever have to deal with them again.

Another tip I find hugely helpful, is to set up tight buyer requirements on your account. Bring all your settings down to the minimum levels allowed. This means that (in theory) only the best buyers will be able to bid on your items. For example, I don’t allow people with 2 unpaid item strikes within the last year to bid on my items. I frequently find this one kicks in, to stop them bidding. So many buyers now seem to have 100% positive feedback – but it’s masking a bad buyer. I don’t allow people with low feedback scores to bid on my items. This may be harsh to newbies, but I had a spate of zero feedback buyers not paying. I also block buyers from countries I don’t post to and those who don’t have a Paypal account – this is to protect myself as a seller.

I hope you find this guide helpful.

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