Handling Item Not Received Disputes

Even the best of sellers can sometimes come face to face with a delivery issue and an unhappy buyer. Here we will go through the circumstances this can happen, how to avoid them and the best ways to manage INR disputes.


1.Estimated Delivery Date (EDD) is not over

You may encounter an impatient buyer that wants their item now! Go ahead and provide your tracking information again. You can remind them that shipping takes time and offer assurance that their item is on the way. Also, check with your courier that there are no unexpected delays.

2. Estimated Delivery Date (EDD) is over

Now your buyer has a valid reason to be upset. How you resolve this issue depends on:

  • You have tracking: Follow up with your courier to see if anything unplanned happened and keep the buyer in the loop while you conduct your investigation. If tracking shows Delivered, ask the buyer to check with household members or neighbours as they could have accepted the parcel instead. You could also offer a partial refund as good measure.
  • You don’t have tracking: No tracking offers no protection against INR cases. You could offer a full refund to appease your buyer while you check with the couriers.

Either way, try politely asking your buyer for a little extra time. And always communicate promptly and amicably so that they know you are trying your best to resolve the issue. 

3. Package has gone MIA

If your package often goes MIA, it’s time to change your courier service. Always use reputable and dependable couriers like Singpost ePac, DHL ecommerce, Fedex or Aramex. The best way to resolve this is to offer a full refund to your buyer.




Set a realistic handling time

Select a handling time that you know you can fulfil (no more than 3 days). This sets your buyer’s expectations and avoids misunderstandings. Remember that the handling time starts from the moment payment is cleared and ends when your carrier conducts the acceptance scan on your parcel.

Use tracked shipping

Tracked shipping offers you protection against impatient buyers and potential INR disputes. You should always know where your parcels are. This gives you and your buyers peace of mind. Some shipping options even offer insurance against missing/late deliveries. Talk to your courier to learn more.

Choose a carrier that provides:

  • Scans  – Acceptance and Delivery scans give you insight that the item is in the right hands.
  • Tracking – Tracking numbers are crucial in knowing your item’s journey.

Communicate with your buyers

Always keep your buyers well informed. Whether it’s good news or bad, they should know. Be polite and patient. Try offering a full or partial refund to maintain an amicable long lasting relationship and to avoid a potential defect on your account.

  • Upload tracking information:  Orders > Awaiting shipment
  • Automatic updates messages:  Account settings > Manage communications with buyers

Always use the Resolution Centre to talk to your buyers. This way all conversations are consolidated so that they are easier to track and manage. Inform them of any unexpected shipping delays like strikes or natural disasters.

You will receive an email with information on whether the buyer is requesting a refund or would prefer to still receive the item. You must reply within 3 working days. This is known as the ‘Seller Make it Right’ period.

Depending on your response:

Add tracking details: You’ll need to provide tracking within 3 business days of the request being opened. Tracking must be from one the shipping carriers integrated with eBay and must include the date you shipped the item, the date it was delivered, and the address it was delivered to. If the order has a total cost of $750 or more, it should also show the signature confirmation of the recipient.

Refund the buyer: If you don’t have tracking details from one of our integrated shipping carriers showing the item was delivered to the address on the order, or showing the package has been in transit without movement for 7 days or more,  you can refund the buyer in full.

Send a replacement: If the buyer would rather have the item than a refund, you can offer to send them a replacement. Once you’ve sent the replacement, let them know it’s on the way and upload tracking information to the request. 

If you would prefer to speak to your buyer and try to resolve the issue yourselves first, you can send them a message on the Resolution Centre. You have 3 business days to agree on a resolution. 

Remember! The 3 business days refers to the calendar of the site you listed on, i.e. the US/UK/AU calendar. So you should be available to your buyers even if it’s a public holiday in your country. 

Last resort

If you and the buyer haven’t been able to resolve the issue within 3 business days, you can ask us to step in to help. But if we do, you will no longer be able to issue a refund.

You should also report missing packages to the shipping carrier you used. If you have purchased insurance, you may not have to take on the loss yourself.

If you feel that an INR case was unfairly ruled against you, you can submit an appeal via the Resolution Centre. Make sure you have valid evidence like tracking details of the parcel and screenshots of successful delivery.

Step 1: Go to the bottom right corner of the page showing the outcome of the dispute, and click on “submit a dispute”.

Step 2: Select the reason for your challenge of the outcome and “submit the challenge”.

eBay will evaluate your evidence and decide the outcome.

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