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Top News Story Advises Buyers on Cancelling eBay Orders

Top News Story Advises Buyers on Cancelling eBay Orders

A headline on Google News this week read, “How to cancel order on eBay and how to contact seller” that brought visitors to an article on the USA Today website titled, “Won the auction, but changed your mind? How to cancel an eBay order.”

The article pointed to the eBay cancellation policy and stated, “Luckily, not all sales on eBay are final. And depending on when you change your mind, it won’t be too difficult to cancel your order. But, by and large, eBay says it is up to the seller whether you’ll get your money back,” and it went on to describe the process.

While eBay lets it up to the seller to determine how they will handle cancellations, there are some disincentives for honoring a cancellation request from a buyer.

eBay’s “How Sellers Can Cancel an Order” help page explains cancellations from the flip side and notes that sellers can cancel an order up to 30 days after a sale even if the buyer paid, but it notes the potential consequences for sellers: “Keep in mind that if you cancel an order, you may receive a transaction defect and this could affect your seller performance level.”

eBay also notes another possible consequence of sellers cancelling orders: “When you cancel an order, a full refund will be issued automatically. Once the buyer has been refunded, you may be eligible for a fee credit as per our fee credits policy.”

eBay points to its Fee Credits policy page where sellers can learn which fees eBay will credit for cancelled orders, which depends on the reason the seller cancelled the order.

Buyers and sellers should also keep in mind that auctions are a different story. The eBay Retracting Bid help page explains the circumstances under which buyers can retract their bids, and the eBay Canceling Bids and Managing Bidders help page explains the procedure for sellers.

If a winning bidder wants to back out of their auction purchase and the seller agrees, the seller can make an offer to other bidders, as explained in the eBay Making Second Chance Offers help page. (“With a Second Chance Offer, a non-winning bidder gets the chance to buy the item at a price equal to their last bid. You can make Second Chance Offers up to 60 days after an auction ends.”)

Feel free to share your experiences with cancelling your eBay purchase or being on the receiving end of a buyer order-cancellation request. Do the policies accurately portray eBay’s practices around cancelling orders? And how does the process compare to other online marketplaces?

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

8 thoughts on “Top News Story Advises Buyers on Cancelling eBay Orders”

  1. It is not nice to encourage buyers to cancel on the national/news level.
    My experience as buyer cancelling was horrible on Ebay as well on Mercari. It is easy to overlook detail in the listings especially when you are not an expert but you need that type of item. I asked for cancellation placed within an hour of paying. Seller didn’t respond to my multi request throughout the 3 days and marked item shipped 3 days later leaving you stuck with item I don’t want. Contacting ebay immediately didn’t help.
    AS for Mercari, placed offer for item and seller didn’t declined or accepted . This seasoned seller send me offer in the message. I assumed that seller want more money and my offer won’t be accepted. I moved on and bought somewhere else. Seller proceeded to accept my original offer at the last min of expiration. I asked seller to cancel and they ignored it and marked shipped. Item was NOT scanned till later. So seller did lie they can;t cancel because it was shipped. I notified Mercari and they ignored it and were nasty to the point I don’t buy/sell there anymore.
    It looks like sellers are very hard to work with when you request cancelling.

  2. What a lie, sellers have no option but to agree and cancel order. If you don’t they could open a false return or do a charge back(which cost $20 if you fight it and usually lose), plus they could/will leave a negative. If the buyer requests to cancel, I just put in reason “buyer requested it” no consequences, if they had paid I lose $.30, and the aggregation of relisting it. The only major down side is ebay refunds the buyer back if they paid from open funds not ones pending so that money is on hold for another couple days.

  3. Well since they forced us into Mangled Payments, eBay is the “Seller of Record” – not us. We are just the shmucks who supply the items that get sold on eBay’s website. Not terribly long ago I had to cancel an order (mutual agreement) and the cancellation/refund was one of the easiest things I’ve done on eBay, probably deliberate on their part to make it easier for EBay. Beware, Sellers – “No Returns” is not an option any more, even if that’s what you’ve stated in your listing.

  4. As an afterthought, I’m wondering if the target audience who would be returning items/canceling purchases is really those reading USA Today? It just doesn’t seem like the right place for that kind of article.

    What a rotten thing to do to us Sellers and even EBay in general. Especially when eBay has actually improved the instructions, starting right on the list of your purchased items. I haven’t seen a USAToday since before the Pandemic. I do not care for the “nutshell” format, I never read it, I certainly never bought it. It did come in handy, though, for hotel stays where they didn’t give you a TV schedule in the room and you could grab a free USAToday in the lobby for its TV listings.

  5. @alfacar, I both buy and sell (eBay) and my rule is treat others like I would want to be treated if I was in their situation. What a rotten experience – clearly you encountered a scammer seller on eBay and a difficult one on Mercari (but realize that you should have waited until your offer had expired before you bought somewhere else). That said, everybody at one time or another has made “innocent” mistakes (such as not seeing a photo or not reading a listing paragraph) and it is so reassuring when the other party comes through understanding and honorably. But you can’t “assume” anything (even that a package was not timely scanned – it may have been delivered to the post office but slipped through unscanned by a clerk having a bad day … unlikely but possible).

  6. I’ve cancelled orders when requested several times and never had a problem. It’s really not a big deal unless you already shipped it and in that case, I’d just tell them to not open it and do a return to sender and I’ll refund it when it returns to me.

  7. I buy and sell on eBay. I bought a lot to break down and resell last week. Then I get an email from eBay with the title, “Want To Return (item)?” Why on this green Earth is eBay putting the notion of returning goods into people’s heads?

  8. Agree and move on. No problem. Returns are much worse. I have seen a marked drop off in returns since I changed all listings to “returns not accepted”. Seems to at least discourage the casual “renters”.

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