When an item sells on eBay, the seller is charged what is called a final value fee. The fee charged is a percentage based on the total amount of the sale and the category of item. The percentage amount ranges from 6 to 9% but the maximum possible to be charged to sellers is $750. Sellers who have a store subscription pay a maximum of $250.
If an eBay transaction is cancelled or not completed, the seller may be able to be credited for their final value fee. To be eligible for this credit, sellers must resolve ‘a return, refund, or cancellation request opened in My eBay or Seller Hub’ or open an unpaid case.
There are a variety of scenarios in which this would happen, with the common situations being the following:
Item breaks or becomes damaged between being sold and being sent
Accidents happen and most buyers will understand if something has gone wrong between their purchase and the physical sending of the item. What they may not realise however is that the sale must be officially cancelled on eBay. A buyer may also assume that requesting or accepting a cancellation will impact their account rating in some way (it doesn’t). Take some time to explain the situation and refund as soon as the cancellation is requested/accepted by the buyer.
Buyer purchases item but changes mind quickly (buyer’s remorse)
This situation can be frustrating for a seller, but is straightforward to deal with. The buyer needs to request a cancellation within one hour of purchasing the item. The seller must approve the cancellation request and then refund the buyer (if applicable) to receive the final value fee credit. As above, the buyer may not understand how cancellation and credit fees work, so some explanation is likely to be needed.
Buyer returns item or reports item as not received – seller issues refund
Whatever your return policy may be, if a buyer asks for a return due to the item not being as described it may be in the seller’s best interest to accept and refund the purchase price. Being able to reclaim the final value fees of the sale can be one good reason to resolve a situation such as this quickly and easily. If eBay has to get involved in a dispute such as this, the seller’s fees will not be credited.
Always remember that eBay’s Money Back Guarantee grants buyers no hassle refunds for items not as described or not received for up to 30 days after the sale. More on this in our Money Back Guarantee post.
Buyer does not pay
Another frustrating (and surprisingly common) selling scenario for sellers, but also not complicated to solve. Buyers have a set amount of time to pay after committing to buy an item. The time period depends on the regional website a seller uses e.g. on eBay.com buyers must pay within two days (48 hours) otherwise sellers are able to open an unpaid item case. If the buyer still does not pay after a certain time period (again, dependent on the regional eBay site being used), the case will be closed and the seller will receive a credit.
Credit or refund?
Once the above situations have been resolved, eBay will apply a final credit value to the seller’s account. This credit can be used towards future listing fees. Alternatively, sellers can also request a refund of their eBay credit balance. The refund amount is applied to the original payment method. If several payment methods were used for the refund total, a choice of payment methods is offered.
Every little helps
Following correct eBay procedure may seem tedious at times (especially when waiting on a buyer to request or accept a transaction cancellation) but final value fees can really add up for sellers. Make the time to follow up on each transaction to ensure final value fees will be credited where appropriate.