How to Get eBay to Step In: Complete Refund Guide for Buyers and Sellers

Updated: September 26, 2022

Table Of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. When can you ask eBay to step in?         
  3. Check if you need to turn to eBay           
    1. Find the estimated date
    2. Track the package          
    3. Examine the item after receiving            
    4. Don’t miss your chance to ask for a refund
    5. Contact the merchant   
  4. Methods to ask eBay to step in
    1. Method 1: Send an automatic request   
    2. Method 2: Contact managers directly    
    3. Method 3:  Get help in My eBay Sold    
  5. Final thoughts

Online shopping saves a lot of time and money. Most often, everything goes seamlessly: after you pay for goods, the seller sends them. But unethical vendors on eBay tend to send you completely different or even broken things. But don’t worry. You can gain a repayment — just ask eBay to step in. If you do everything right, you will get your money back in a few days. Check our guide on how to get eBay to step in as a buyer and as a seller.

When can you ask eBay to step in? 

The marketplace encourages sellers and buyers to solve issues in a dialogue. That’s why you must first tell the merchant that there is an issue with your order. Then, the seller has up to 3 days to resolve it. Most vendors want to resolve such issues to save their good reputation. If the vendor accepts resending or refunding the order, give them a few extra days to figure things out. But when the salesman dismisses your complaints, you have the right to set a refund request on eBay.

Check if you need to turn to eBay 

Not always interruptions rely on the seller’s behavior. For example, your order can get stuck between post offices, or the delivery guy can steal it. So inspect the details of your order before contacting eBay for a refund.  

Find the estimated date

Select “My eBay” in the top right corner. This will open a drop-down menu. Pick the “Purchase history” line and open the item. You will see the estimated delivery date and a tracking number if it’s provided for this order. 

If you still have a few days left till the estimated day, you should wait before asking eBay to step in and help. A 2-3 day delay is common for big marketplaces, so you don’t need to worry. On the other hand, if you have one week’s hold, contact the vendor.

Track the package

The Howly team encourages you to have a tracking number when you buy something online. If you know this number, you can quickly track the route of your order. If you notice that the parcel goes to the wrong address or even has been returned to the seller, you can contact the seller directly and ask to fix this issue.

Sometimes vendors will be able to redirect the parcel. You don’t need to spend additional money if it’s domestic shipping (redirecting inside one country or state).

Also, the tracking number will help you find the real-time shipping status of your purchase. For example, if the package gets lost inside the sorting center, you see it and can use this knowledge when you contact eBay for a refund.

Examine the item after receiving

If the item has arrived spoiled or doesn’t look like in the pictures, you can create an eBay customer service refund request. After the company reviews and approves it, you will get your money back. But you have to reach out to the merchant first. Otherwise, an eBay resolving team can take the seller’s side.

Don’t miss your chance to ask for a refund 

Note that marketplace money-back guarantees have a 30-day window. So you should ask for repayment during this time.

Contact the merchant 

Most vendors are interested in solving order issues directly: they often send a replacement or give a refund. The point is that every dispute process lowers the rank of the vendor. That’s why they are interested in direct talk with the consumers to prevent their rank from falling. Therefore, you need to call a vendor before you start to ask for a buyer’s help on Follow the next instruction:

  1. Uncover the goods in the buying records. Choose “My eBay” and “Purchase History” Find the needed item and search for a “More Actions” line. Select it and choose “Contact Seller.”
  2. If you don’t receive the item, click on the “I didn’t receive my item.” It will show the estimated delivery date and the link, clicking on which you can request a refund. Next, choose “Request a refund or more info.” This action will redirect you to a page where you can ask for a refund or for another similar item. So choose the preferred alternative and click on the “Send Request” button.  
  3. Write the message to the vendor. Describe your situation in detail and why you are seeking repayment. The merchant needs some time to solve the issue. 
  4. Wait for 3 business days. Then, if the vendor still ignores you, ask eBay for help directly. 

3 Methods to ask eBay to step in 

In most cases, sellers do everything possible to solve the issue without the eBay team: resend the item or give a refund. But some dishonest vendors do nothing or even reject the buyer’s propositions. In these situations, you need to ask eBay for immediate help. You have 3 main methods to reach the eBay team.

Ask eBay for help

Method 1: Send an automatic request

It’s an excellent solution for those who hate communicating with strangers. Here is what you need to do when you want to receive eBay buyer help:

  1. Click on the “My eBay” tab and go to the “Purchase History” menu. Find your order here.
  2. Select “More Options.” It will bring you to the drop-down menu. Make sure you contact the merchant before you ask eBay to intervene — it’s mandatory. 
  3. Choose “Ask eBay to step in” and wait 2-3 business days for a response from an eBay team. They will give you a repayment or more details about the order and how you can receive it.

Method 2: Contact managers directly

If the previous actions haven’t led to the results — contact eBay support. There are 3 options available to you: the hotline (valid for US users), the resolution center, and social media.

Try to call the hotline

Option for the US consumers. Call the support by dialing 866-540-3229. After that, follow the pointers to connect to the correct department. eBay representatives are available from 5 AM to 10 PM every day.

Tell the eBay buyers help team all information about your order, including its number and other details.

Go to the Resolution Center

Try to open a ticket in the Resolution Center. Follow the link and tell representatives all information about your order.

Contact eBay via social media

The eBay Instagram page

Solution for those who want to get a fast answer on their favorite socials. eBay has Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Write them about your order and the issues with it. The social media team will respond to you in the next few hours.

Method 3:  Get help in My eBay Sold

My eBay Sold

If you are a vendor, you can ask for eBay seller help. Merchants often use this method when:

  • They have an issue resolving which has been lasting for more than 3 days already.
  • They disagree with the buyer’s reasons for asking for a return.

If one of these options suits you, don’t hesitate to ask for an eBay seller’s help on the site of the marketplace. Here is what you need to do if you have a refund request:

  1. Find the order in “My eBay Sold” and select “View return details.”
  2. Click on the “Report problem.”

If you have a request that the order is still not received by the customer, follow these instructions:

  1. Select the order in “My eBay Sold.”
  2. Follow the “View request details” link.
  3. Select “Ask eBay to step in and help.” After this, follow what the eBay team representative will say to you.

The eBay team representatives claim that they will review your request and come back with a suitable resolution within 2 days. In reality, you should prepare to wait for 3-4 days. Once the eBay team decides who is right, they let both parties know.

  • If the marketplace stops the deal in favor of the customer, they will send a customer a repayment (without shipping fees). It will have an impact on the seller’s performance.
  • If eBay shuts down the case in the merchant’s favor, it just will be closed immediately.
  • If one of the parties does not accept the decision, it can appeal. But it’s necessary to provide the marketplace with new facts within 30 days. Otherwise, the case will be closed forever.


Final thoughts

eBay provides help to both sellers and vendors. In this way, they make the market more equitable for all parties. If you want a refund or have problems with the order, you should first speak with the merchant.

If providers don’t respond, get eBay involved. You have these options: via eBay, Resolution Center, phone, or socials.

If you want to learn more about how to ask eBay to step in, just ask a Howly expert! We will give a full answer in less than 15 minutes.

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