Selling on eBay Tools and Tips from official eBay sources – Completing a Sale

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After you have sold an item on eBay, most of the time it is smooth sailing from there. The buyer pays and you ship it and send them the tracking number. Easy. Most of the time. The odd time though, things go amiss with the sale. The buyer doesn’t pay, the transaction must be cancelled for one reason or another or the item gets lost in transit. These things do happen and when they do it is not fun but with the right communication, they can usually be resolved quickly.

This post is going to cover everything that happens after the listing ends with a sale.

Sending an Invoice

Most of the time your buyer will go through the eBay checkout when they win the listing. Sometimes though, they forget or don’t get the email for whatever reason. In a case like that, you as the seller should send an invoice.

I almost always send one within 24 hours of a listing ending. Sometimes the buyer hasn’t paid because they are buying more than one item and if you offer combined shipping, they want to take advantage of that. In my experience, they will usually notify you if that is their intent but not always before you send the invoice.

To send an invoice, go to your seller hub and look under “orders”. You can also find it in “My eBay” under “sold”.

From actions, click “send invoice”. Make any necessary changes, such as shipping changes and send it. If you want to offer combined payments to a buyer who has bought multiple items, you can do that easily as well.

  1. In the seller hub, click on “site preferences”. In the Selling Preferences section, select show which is beside shipping preferences.
  2. Beside “Offer combined payments and shipping”, select Edit.
  3. Under “Combined Payments”, select Edit.
  4. In “Edit Combined Payments”, check Allow buyers to send one combined payment for all items purchased. You need to select a time period for allowing combined payments. eBay recommends 30 days, but I always had it set to 15.

Sending an invoice is easy for combined items and since you are probably combining shipping, a lot of the time the buyer will wait for you to tell them the amount on the invoice. Sending this invoice is the same as a single item invoice, except you will have the option to add all the items a buyer has purchased to the one invoice.

What happens if a buyer purchases one item and doesn’t tell you he is purchasing a second item until after the invoice is sent?

It is easy to adjust an invoice. You go back into the seller hub and look under “orders” again. From there, you will have all the buyers separate with all their purchases. You click “send invoice” just like before and on the next page, the system will give you an option to add all a buyer’s items together onto one invoice.

A couple of things to remember about invoices. An invoice can’t be sent on a sale that happened 30 days ago or more and the only way to allow combined purchases is to change the settings in “site preferences”. This changes it for all your buyers, not just the one that you are sending right at that moment.

Getting Paid

There are three basic ways to get paid on eBay. PayPal, credit or debit and cash on an item pick up. When you use PayPal, the cash goes directly to your PayPal account. The same is true for credit and debit transactions as they use the PayPal portal to process as well. The difference is that the buyer doesn’t need a PayPal account to use this option. You, as the seller, do. As for cash, I personally did offer the option to pick some items up after purchase and if that is something you offer, then you can consider taking cash as well.

If you want to know the status of the payment for an item, go to orders and select “awaiting payment”. If the payment shows as pending, there could be an issue with your PayPal email address, or it could be that either eBay or PayPal has held the transaction.

In some situations, such as if you have an email discrepancy, PayPal will put your funds on hold. The best course of action in this case is to contact PayPal directly.

The other case when your funds might be held is with eBay. If you are a new seller with no selling record, your funds can be held. You become an established seller when it has been 90 days or more since your first successful sale or when you have had at least 25 transactions and $250 in sales.

The odd time there might be a hold on an established seller. This usually happens if your seller dashboard has had bad ratings for over 90 days or the buyer opened a dispute saying the item was not received or doesn’t match the listing. The other reason could be that there has been an increase in suspicious activity such as many eBay Money Back Guarantee cases.

Whatever the reason is, it is easy to check when the funds will be cleared. The release date is in the “sold” section of “My eBay”.

Funds become available within 24 hours if tracking for the package is either done through eBay’s print label’s section or uploaded manually. If there is no tracking uploaded, it becomes available 6 days after the estimated delivery date. If the delivery date can’t be calculated, the funds can be held for 21 days. eBay may use buyer feedback as a method of resolving whether items have been received by the buyer or not.

It is always best practice to ship your items as soon as the payment is made and to upload the tracking information into the eBay platform. Good communication and prompt customer service can prevent a delay on you getting paid. It can also prevent negative feedback from the buyer.

Resolving Unpaid Items

It is always a good idea to get in touch with the buyer by sending an invoice for an item that hasn’t been paid for. I always add a personal note even if I am sending a reminder. I find that most times people forget and are happy to resolve it immediately. If you are a high-volume seller, eBay does have an automation tool that will send the buyer a note on your behalf reminding them to pay.

If they don’t respond and two full days have gone by, you should report an unpaid item. This ensures that eBay is aware of the issue and it will make sure that you get your final value fees returned if the buyer doesn’t pay.

The buyer has 4 days to respond or to pay. On the 5th day, you can close the case by going to the eBay “resolution center” and then clicking “receive fee credit”.

If you don’t close an unpaid item case within 36 days, eBay will close it for you, but you will lose the option of receiving a credit on your final value fees.

eBay will step in for you when a case is opened and contact the buyer as well as protect you from any negative feedback for that sale so it is always a good idea to report unpaid for items even if they are of a lower value.

Cancelling a Transaction

Sometimes a sale must be cancelled. Sometimes something happens to the item or the stock you thought you had is not available. You can do this if you haven’t sent the item and the buyer hasn’t opened a dispute over the item.

To cancel a transaction, you can go to your seller hub and go to “orders”. Find the sale you want to cancel and in “more actions” you can select “cancel this order”. You must choose a reason for the cancellation when you click it.

After a sale is cancelled, the buyer will receive a full refund automatically if you are a managed payments seller or they paid via PayPal. If they used another form of payment, they will be asked if they received a refund from you. Once the refund is processed, you will be returned your final value fee.

A buyer can also request a cancellation for a sale. You have 3 days to approve or decline it. If you approve it, the buyer will receive their payment back if they have already paid. If they didn’t pay with PayPal, and you neglect to refund them, they can file a claim through the eBay Money Back Guarantee.


Selling on eBay can be a lucrative and fun way to earn some extra cash. Most times, sales are smooth sailing, and everything goes as planned. I know for myself that the odd time when things have not gone well, it has been beneficial to know what my next steps should be. eBay is a safe platform to sell on when you communicate well and try to offer the best customer service possible.

So, what are you waiting for? Go on, get selling!

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