Although eBay is a popular online marketplace known for its smooth transactions, occasional issues can arise from time to time. For instance, packages might get lost in transit, experience delays, or even buyers not receiving the products they ordered.

Fortunately, eBay has implemented features that assist both buyers and sellers in finding resolutions to these problems. If the issue does not resolve itself or either party is unresponsive, the best way to resolve it would be to open a case (dispute or request) on eBay through the resolution center. 

This feature allows eBay to step in and directly resolve conflict for both the buyer and seller. In this article, we will go into detail on how to open a case on eBay, when you should consider this, and what you’ll need to keep in mind when doing so.

Steps to Open A Case On eBay As A Buyer

Opening a case on eBay as a buyer is a straightforward process. You should always remember to remain professional and provide accurate information throughout the process to increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

open a case on eBay as a seller

A case, now referred to as a request or dispute, can be opened in the resolution center. Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to open a case on eBay as a buyer.

  1. In order to gain access to the Resolution Center, you need to log into your eBay account or visit the Resolution Center.
  2. After going to the Resolution Center, you’ll see one option for buyers called “Create or View a Request”. Under that click on “Go to Purchase History”.
  3. You’ll then see your purchase history on a page titled “Purchases” where all of your previous orders will be listed.
  4. Now, select the item that you want to open a case for by clicking on the “More Actions” drop-down menu on the right side of the product.
  5. Then, select “Contact Seller” which will bring you to a page where you can open a case against a specific request.
  6. Select from various options such as “I didn’t receive my item”, “I need to return my item”, “I received an item that wasn’t as described”, and more.
  7. Once you select an option, you’ll see a text with a link “Open a Request”, which you’ll need to click on.
  8. Describe the issue and share as much detail as possible so that the seller is able to help solve the issue.
  9. After providing all the required information, click on “Submit” to initiate the case or request. Sellers will be notified about this, and both you and the seller will have a specified timeframe within which both can communicate and work towards a resolution.

Steps to Open A Case On eBay As A Seller

As a seller on eBay, there may be instances where you need to open a case to resolve an issue with a buyer. Opening a case is a formal way of addressing problems and seeking assistance from eBay’s customer support team. 

open a case on eBay as a seller

However, you must note that opening a case should only be done when all attempts at resolving the issue directly with the buyer have been unsuccessful. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to open a case on eBay as a seller.

  1. Navigate to the Resolution Center, which you can find in your eBay account. 
  2. Once there, you can select between two options, either to cancel an order to manage a buyer’s dispute. Both options take you to the “Seller Hub”.
  3. When you’ve selected an option, you’ll be brought to a “Requests and Disputes” page where all of the cases from your buyers will be listed.
  4. You can then action each case and provide the required information to start the resolution process. The buyer will see your message or actions and will be able to respond.

When to Open A Case on eBay

There are various reasons why buyers and sellers open cases on eBay, especially when an item was not received, is not as described, for payment-related issues, because of refund disputes, and more. Let’s explore some of these reasons in more detail.

The Item Was Not Received

One of the most common reasons buyers open a case on eBay is because an item they ordered was not received. This can be frustrating for both parties involved, so it’s important to understand the reasons why your item has not arrived.

This can occur if the seller hasn’t shipped the item yet, a faulty or expired tracking number, the parcel was lost in transit, and various others. As the seller is responsible for the shipping process, they are able to get more information from the carrier.

The Item Is Damaged or Unusable

Another reason buyers open a case on eBay is when the item received is severely damaged or can’t be used as intended. This can include items damaged in transit, malfunctioning products, and similar.

When this happens, the seller should resolve the issue. If the seller does not reship the item or is unable to facilitate a refund, a case should be opened on eBay.

The Item Is Not Genuine or Different From the Listing

When an Item is not genuine or is significantly different from the listing description, you may want to open a case and ask for a refund. eBay has strict policies in place and sellers are not allowed to sell counterfeit items or ship items that are not as per the listing’s description.

Purchase Was Made Without The Buyer’s Consent

While this scenario is relatively rare, occasionally eBay users may encounter unauthorized purchases (typically through stolen credit card information or unauthorized account usage).

As these types of transactions are unauthorized users can seek to open a case on eBay if the seller is not able or willing to refund. By opening a case, the buyer must be able to provide evidence of the unauthorized transaction, before eBay can authenticate it.

When Buyers Shouldn’t Open A Case

It’s important to understand that not all concerns or issues warrant opening a case. In this section, we’ll discuss some reasons that shouldn’t be used by buyers to open a case on eBay. 

Regretting The Purchase

While it’s understandable to experience buyer’s remorse after making an impulsive purchase on eBay, this alone may not justify opening a case. eBay typically allows buyers to request a return within 3 days of receiving an item.

The seller may allow you to return the goods for a refund, however, they are not required to. Ultimately, buyers must take personal accountability for their purchasing decisions and carefully consider their choices before completing a transaction.

When Experiencing a Delay In Delivery

A delayed delivery caused by the carrier should also not require you to open a case on eBay. If the seller has diligently shipped out your item on time the carrier is responsible for delivering the package to you.

Delays can occur during peak seasons, national holidays, staff shortages, inclement weather conditions, and other scenarios. It’s best to track your shipment using the tracking number and reach out to the seller directly if you require further support.

What to Do Before Opening A Case

Before opening a case on eBay, it’s always recommended that both parties involved try to communicate with each other and attempt to resolve the issue at hand directly. This is because this approach can often lead to a quicker and more satisfactory outcome. 

For buyers who have not received their item or have received an item that is not as described, it is advisable to first reach out to the seller. Try to work out a resolution such as requesting a refund, a replacement, or anything else that’s mutually agreeable. 

Similarly, sellers who have encountered issues with buyers should try contacting them directly to resolve any issues. It’s possible that there may be a misunderstanding or delay that can be resolved through open communication.

Ultimately, give the other party a reasonable amount of time to respond before proceeding with opening a case. Generally, waiting 48 hours without receiving any response is considered appropriate.

Ways For Sellers to Avoid Cases From Buyers

While in some scenarios opening a case is recommended, there are several aspects that sellers can consider to mitigate the likelihood of this happening. Here are some effective methods sellers can apply to avoid buyers opening cases against them. 

Ensure the Listing Description Is Correct

One of the most crucial steps is to provide a comprehensive product description in the eBay listing. This includes mentioning important details such as the condition, size, color, and any potential flaws or defects. 

By including detailed information, sellers can manage buyer expectations and minimize the risk of misunderstandings or potential disputes. Failure to provide essential details may cause buyers to open cases against them, which could lead to customer dissatisfaction and negative feedback.

Provide Clear Photos

Whether listing brand-new items or pre-owned ones with minor scratches or damages, it’s always important to include clear photos when selling. If a buyer requests additional photos, it is advisable to provide as many as possible, including different angles and lighting. 

Not only does this help prevent cases and serves as evidence if a buyer chooses to open one, claiming that the item is not as described. Ultimately, by ensuring that your photos accurately represent the item’s condition, you can reduce the likelihood of disputes with buyers and maintain a positive selling experience.

Communicate With Buyers

Another effective way for sellers to avoid cases from buyers is by fostering transparent communication throughout the transaction process. By clearly explaining the details of the listed item, sellers can provide buyers with all the necessary information to make an informed decision. 

Additionally, sellers should continue to update buyers on the status of their purchase, especially after it has been sold and shipped. This ongoing communication helps prevent cases from arising and enhances the overall buyer experience. 

Sellers can build trust and credibility by keeping buyers well-informed and engaged, typically resulting in positive ratings and feedback.


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Agnes Aui

Head of Marketing
at freightcourse

About the Author

Agnes is the Head of Marketing at freightcourse and seamlessly blends her strong background in content management with strategic marketing expertise.

She brings a wealth of knowledge to readers, specializing in various e-commerce topics such as order fulfillments, purchasing, payments, and more.