Unpaid Item Strikes – Avoid Bad Buyers!

I have been actively selling on Ebay for about 18 months. During that time I am delighted to say that I have had a very high percentage of very pleasant buyers and this guide does NOT apply to them!

However there are a handful of buyers who make even a conscientious, dedicated seller’s life miserable.

Those who always ask for more : more discount, a replacement item when you suspect they broke the first, and those who ask multiple questions to which you reply elaborately, and then they never buy.

Those who can’t appreciate your efforts :  you try to fix a problem that occurs to the best of your ability, and the buyer leaves negative feedback in return!

Those who can’t read : You describe your item in detail with lots of detailed photos, and the buyer is surprised that it isn’t what they expected and asks for a return!

And of course – those who don’t pay.
These are divided into two groups :
1) those who write to you to apologise and ask to cancel – and
2) those who never respond to any of your messages, wasting your time even more, and keeping your item unavailable to sell to anyone else.

Of course to those in group 1), I always respond politely to the request to cancel, and help it to happen amicably.

To those in group 2), although some are obviously “newbies” or some foreign buyers who may realise after purchase that they could have bought locally for less and may receive it far quicker, YOU COULD AT LEAST TELL ME!!!

But no, my messages disappear into silence. Eventually I begin the unpaid item process which nets the odd payment, but mostly goes through uncontested, leaving the buyer with an invisible unpaid item strike, and NO WAY FOR THE SELLER TO LEAVE FEEDBACK!!!




You can block buyers who have a history of unpaid item strikes!
You can also block buyers who have repeated policy breaches.

Just go to My Ebay, and under the Account tab, select Site Preferences.
Under the first heading of Selling Preferences, you’ll find (unless they move it) Buyer Requirements – Block certain eBay buyers from bidding on or purchasing your items.
Select “Show” on the right hand side.
You’ll see “Block buyers who :”, select “Edit”.
You can block buyers under various criteria, but don’t get too carried away, you just want to get rid of bad buyers, not all of them!

I have selected to block, with the most stringent options available :

Buyers with unpaid items recorded
Block bidders and buyers who have 2 unpaid item(s) recorded on their accounts within 12 months

Buyers with policy breach reports
Block buyers who have 4 breach of policy report(s) within 6 months

I really hope this makes a difference to me and to anyone else who reads this guide. I have only just discovered that this option is available to me. Ebay do not advertise it very well. They should actively tell sellers this, to back up their policy of purchases being binding.


Immediate Payment via Paypal
This is another option to avoid non-paying buyers, and I use it for some of my listings. It certainly saves a lot of time chasing up payments, and helps me to keep my inbox clear now I am selling several items a day. You do need to have a Business or Premier Paypal account to do this.

However there are some of my listings where I might choose not to use immediate payment, for example items which are often purchased together with other items, items of higher value, and items often purchased by overseas buyers who may not be set up with Paypal, or by new buyers who may not be set up with Paypal, or by older or more traditional buyers who may not have got to using Paypal and feel more comfortable paying by another method. Etc etc.


Leave a Reply