A New Seller’s Guide to Completing Sales on eBay

Listing and selling the item is only half of the story on eBay. Completing the sale and getting paid are the next (and potentially most crucial) steps of any eBay transaction. Unfortunately, there are a number of different scenarios and problems that can arise after the listing or auction ends, preventing the sale from finalizing. Read on to discover solutions for common post-sale issues and learn how to get paid faster.

What to do when a buyer doesn’t pay immediately

The good news is that eBay buyers are obligated to pay for an item after bidding on an item or selecting Buy It Now. On the less positive side, buyers do not always pay as quickly as sellers may like. In this situation, sellers have a few options:

  • Contact the buyer with a polite message thanking them for their purchase with a polite reminder for payment. Let them know that the sooner payment is received, the sooner the item will be mailed
  • Send an invoice as per the instructions below. This acts as a nudge to the buyer to get things moving
  • Open an Unpaid Item Case. Depending on the eBay version you use, this can be as soon as two full days after the listing or auction ends. The buyer will then have a limited time in which to pay before the seller can close the case and receive a Finale Value Fee credit

If the buyer responds to say that they no longer want the item, another option is to cancel the transaction. It is preferable for the buyer to request a cancellation themselves. It is also possible for a seller to do this, but then the seller is not allowed to open an Unpaid Item Case if the buyer does not accept the cancellation.

Sellers wanting to save time should consider using the Unpaid Item Assistant. After enabling, the Unpaid Item Assistant automatically opens and closes unpaid item cases on behalf of the seller.

How to send an invoice

It is possible to send an invoice to buyers up to 30 days after the end of a listing. Sending an invoice can be useful when:

  • The buyer hasn’t paid immediately – an invoice can be a good reminder that the seller is waiting for payment
  • The buyer has asked to change shipping or payment method and the seller therefore needs to change some of the transaction details
  • The buyer is purchasing more than one item and you’d like to offer a shipping discount

Sending or revising an invoice is easy to do via Seller Hub or My eBay. The ‘send invoice’ function can be found through the ‘actions’ option.

To be able to combine payments (and therefore shipping) for a buyer, it is first necessary to enable the ‘Offer combined payments and shipping’ option in Selling Preferences. An invoice can then be created via Seller Hub or My eBay. After selecting ‘send invoice’ next to one of the items, the next page will display all items purchased by the same buyer. Simply remove from the check mark from any items you do not wish to combine into one invoice.

Why payment has not been received

Even if the buyer does pay immediately, sellers do not always automatically receive payment on eBay. Sometimes, eBay waits to release funds.

Payment holds may happen to a sellers who have:

  • Less than 90 days of selling experience, 25 transactions and $250 in sales
  • A seller dashboard rating Below Standard for more than 90 days
  • An ongoing dispute or case with a buyer that needs to be resolved
  • Started selling in a different category
  • An account with unusual activity, such as a higher level of open cases than normal

PayPal sometimes also places holds on payments too.

For new sellers, payments will be released when:

  • Up to 24 hours after the item is confirmed to have been delivered if shipping and print labels were purchased on eBay
  • Up to 24 hours after the item is confirmed to have been delivered if shipped with USPS, UPS, FedEx (eBay.com) and the tracking information has been uploaded to eBay
  • Up to 7 days after the estimated shipping date if item is marked as shipped in My eBay
  • Up to 21 days if the item is not marked as shipped, tracking information has not be uploaded and there is no estimated delivery date

Learn more about getting paid on eBay.

How to cancel transactions on eBay

As disappointing as it may be, some transactions just don’t work out on eBay. Luckily, it is possible for both buyers and sellers to cancel a transaction up to 30 days after the sale, even if the buyer has already paid for the item.

Some example scenarios why a seller would want to cancel a sale include:

  • The item is damaged
  • The item is no longer available (inventory mismanagement)
  • Buyer no longer wants the item
  • Buyer purchased item by mistake

In the first two instances, a seller is liable for a transaction defect that can impact their seller performance level.

Sellers cannot, however, cancel a sale if:

  • The item has already been sent
  • The buyer has opened an ‘Item Not Received’ case
  • An Unpaid Item Case has already been opened

Cancelling a sale is straightforward. Sellers need to navigate to the Orders section of Seller Hub (or ‘sold’ on My eBay), find the relevant order and select ‘more actions’ and then ‘cancel this order.’ A reason for the cancellation will need to be provided. A refund will be automatically sent if the buyer paid with PayPal. The seller will then receive a Final Value Fee credit up to 10 days later.

As mentioned, buyers can also request cancellations. When a buyer requests a cancellation, they cannot leave the seller negative or neutral Feedback. For this reason, it is best to get buyers to cancel transactions whenever possible.

Experienced sellers, do you have any further advice for newcomers about completing sales after the listing or auction ends?

Gemma is our all things eBay expert. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Canada and travels extensively. You can read about her travels at her blog Off Track Travel.

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