How to Deal With Unpaid Ebay Buyers


Two weeks ago I was happy to see a Tahari suit bid up from $29.99 to $41. Hot diggity dog, right? No so much. After two days without payment, the buyer contacted me to say they were having problems with paypal. A few more days went by. And a few more. And then another email from the buyer saying this time they really were going to pay.

Yeah, right.

I’ve heard this before:  my grandma died, I went out of town and there was no wi-fi, my paycheck doesn’t come in for 2 weeks, blah blah blah.

Ain’t nobody got time for that, guys.

Serious buyers win the auction and pay within 48 hours. Buyers that changed their mind–or wanted to snag an item before they could afford to pay for it–drag the payment out. Sometimes they never pay.

Imagine if you picked up an item at a boutique and just stood at the counter for 2 weeks saying, “No really, I want this item. I’ll pay, I promise.” Ridiculous. Most brick and mortar stores won’t hold an item for more than 24 hours–neither should an online seller.

That’s why I recommend using the Ebay Unpaid Item Assistant. This is a feature found under your “Site Preferences” that automatically opens and closes cases for nonpayment. It even relists your item. It takes care of all of your items–you don’t have to open it for each individual listing. You are completely hands off the process once you turn it on. This seems like a good time to say:

For crying out loud, never ship an item without receiving payment first.


Moving right along. I recommend opening up cases 2 days after non-payment. Sometimes when a buyer sees the little message pop up “An unpaid item case has been opened” in their inbox, it motivates them to complete the transaction. In any case, it holds a lot more weight that a personal message from you, asking if they’re going to pay. (Don’t even go that route. You’ll just get a sob story if you get any reply at all.)

Here’s a quick Ebay video showing you how to set it up:


The reason my Tahari suit transaction drug out like this is because I forgot to turn the Unpaid Item Assistant on. Duh. Now that it’s on, I won’t have to deal with this any more.

Do you use unpaid item assistant in your store? Comment below!

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