You’ll encounter many buyers who aren’t easy to handle when selling on an online auction site like eBay. Sometimes, these customers can damage your business through unethical acts.
You can protect yourself by learning how to report a buyer on eBay. Like local authorities keep your city safe, buyer reports help protect the eBay ecosystem and community.
You’ve come to the right place if you don’t know how to file a report on eBay.
I created this guide to walk you through reporting unethical eBay buyers. I also discuss the following:
- How to look out for scams
- How to determine if reporting an eBay customer is the best option.
Table of Contents
How to Report a Buyer on eBay
Follow these steps to report an eBay buyer.
1 – Log in to your eBay account.
2 – Click the My eBay tab on the upper-right corner of the page.
3 – Click Selling to go to your Seller Hub.
4 – Scroll down until you see the Shortcuts section.
5 – Hit Report a buyer.
6 – You can find the specific buyer by clicking the Show transactions from list option or searching for the item number.
7 – Click the radio button on the left buyer’s User ID you want to report.
8 – Click Continue.
9 – Choose the reason you’re reporting the buyer, then click Submit.
When Is Reporting an eBay Buyer the Best Option?
It’s not enough that you know how to report an eBay buyer.
eBay occasionally sides with buyers, so it’s essential to know the ideal circumstances for reporting buyers.
According to eBay, sellers can report a buyer in the following situations.
- The buyer is demanding something different from your original product listing.
- You believe the buyer is making a false claim.
- You believe the buyer is abusing the eBay Money-Back Guarantee or returns system.
- A buyer is demanding you complete a sale outside of eBay.
- A buyer has repeatedly bid and retracted bids.
- You believe the buyer is messaging you more often than usual without showing any intention of buying your item.
Watch Out for These eBay Buyer Scams.
The eBay website has many honest buyers, but it also has people who try to fool sellers for their own gain.
Honest sellers should be wary of these red flags from unethical buyers.
Private Deals Outside Regular eBay Payment Channels
This eBay buyer scam is when buyers offer to pay for your product off-site instead of eBay’s regular payment channels so that you can avoid transaction costs.
As tempting as cost-cutting might seem, it’s not worth it.
The eBay platform won’t help if you dispute buyer fraud. The ecommerce company has a clear policy when dealing with these matters. eBay Customer service will only assist if you communicate and complete transactions within eBay’s site.
Offers of Overpayment
Don’t take the bait when a buyer offers to pay more than an item’s listing price.
eBay buyers who offer overpayments tend to use invalid cashier’s checks or fake personal checks.
Sudden Change of Delivery Address
This scam often overlaps with overpayment fraud.
An eBay user offering overpayment will claim they’re paying more than your asking price to help cover additional shipping costs for moving to a different area or country suddenly.
The scammer will likely ask for your PayPal email address. Then, they’ll send you an email that looks like it came from PayPal and extract the postal tracking number through that email.
You’ll likely lose your money and item when this happens.
This scam begins with a seemingly ordinary purchase.
A buyer purchases an item, and you ship it like any regular transaction. However, once your customer receives the package, they open an eBay dispute and claim that you sent an empty box.
eBay forces a return, and the buyer ships you back an empty box.
This type of buyer deceit is typical for PayPal transactions.
Any purchase through PayPal worth over $750 needs a signature confirmation of delivery instead of a simple delivery confirmation.
Some customers exploit this loophole by buying an item worth more than $750 through Paypal and claiming they didn’t receive it.
You’re in trouble if you’re unable to provide a signature confirmation of delivery.
Sometimes, eBay customers keep a defective item in their possession, then buy the same product from you.
Let’s say someone buys a small kitchen appliance from you. The person will complain to eBay that you sent a defective item.
Part of the scam involves taking photos of the kitchen appliance to prove you sent a defective item, even though they owned the defective product before dealing with you.
If the buyer is successful, they’ll get a refund, but you won’t get your item back.
When unethical customers cancel their PayPal or credit card transaction immediately after buying items from you, they get an unwarranted refund.
These customers don’t have a legitimate reason to initiate a cancellation or chargeback. Unfortunately, Paypal and many banks accept unwarranted chargebacks soon after the chargeback initiation.
Negative Feedback Threats
Building a good reputation on eBay is essential for sellers. Buyers tend to avoid an eBay seller with many negative comments.
Many unscrupulous buyers threaten to ruin the good name of many sellers in exchange for money. These buyers buy an item from you, then demand that you send them money in exchange for not leaving negative feedback on your listings or seller page.
However, eBay’s Buyer Accountability policy is to investigate complaints from buyers and remove any feedback that violates the policy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Do I Do if a Buyer Opens an Item-Not-Received Request?
Once a buyer files an item-not-received request, you have three business days to resolve the issue.
You must gather as much evidence as possible to prove to eBay directly that you delivered the item. A screenshot of the tracking number is an example of concrete evidence.
Can I Appeal a Case if eBay Sides With the Buyer?
Yes, you can.
You need to provide evidence, including new details like information or communication between you and the buyer.
Show proof and send any evidence you can find to the eBay Resolution Center within 30 days from when the case was closed. Present these details, and you might get your money back or another favorable resolution.
Does Reporting eBay Buyers Have Negative Consequences?
Yes, there are.
These negative consequences make determining whether or not reporting a buyer is the best option crucial. If you tend to report buyers and eBay rules in their favor often, the ecommerce platform may penalize you.
Another problem is if the buyer knows how to report a seller on eBay. You wouldn’t want buyers to report fraud and say you’re a fraudulent seller.
Though eBay protects sellers, it’s still best to ensure you weigh your options when dealing with problematic buyers.
Is Knowing How To Report a Buyer on eBay Essential?
Yes. Generally, you want to balance granting refunds and maintaining high sales margins.
You have an almost equal chance of dealing with honest and unethical buyers.
You don’t want eBay to punish you for problematic refunds. At the same time, you don’t want to lose your hard earned money by granting dishonest buyers undeserved refunds.
Can Buyers Report Sellers?
Buyers and sellers are equally capable of unethical behavior on eBay.
There are cases when buyers report fraudulent sellers to a law enforcement agency.
Here are cases when buyers can report sellers.
- Selling counterfeit goods, fake merchandise, or stolen property
- Using fake positive reviews to fool consumers
Note that sellers who exploit fake reviews could face fines from the Federal Trade Commission.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, my article has taught you how to report buyers on eBay and spot buyer scams.
You can use the information you learned in this article to protect yourself and your eBay earnings from shady buyers.
Grow your ecommerce business further by learning the best things to sell on eBay.