Contact Us

Search This Blog

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dealing with Unpaid Items

Ugh. I have my eBay items all set to require immediate payment, but when I accept an offer on an item, I cannot require immediate payment. As my sales increase, my unpaid item cases are increasing. I have had a ridiculously high number of unpaid item cases over the past two weeks. When I make a sale, I count on actually getting that money. (Silly me!) When I never see the money, it's extremely frustrating. 

It's bad enough that I have to deal with the unpaid item cases. What would be even worse is if I actually had to devote TIME to dealing with them. Did you know you can set your eBay preferences to deal with UPI's automatically? Follow these steps to set up the Unpaid Item Assistant:
  • My eBay
  • Account Tab
  • Site Preferences
  • At the bottom of the Selling Preferences section, find Unpaid Item Assistant
  • All the way to the right, click on Show
  • Click on Edit
In this section, you can choose how you want your UPI assistant to operate. My Terms of Service indicate that I expect payment within 3 days, so I have my UPI Assistant set to open a case after 4 days. I also like to be notified when a case is opened or closed, so I have those options set to Real-Time. I also have eBay automatically relist the item once the case closes.

Using these settings, I don't have to do a thing. I do send out a second invoice on day 3, just to be nice, but really - I don't even HAVE to do that. Ebay sends them a payment reminder anyway.

So while it's nice to be hands-off during this process, it's still extremely frustrating. The only other thing I could do to totally prevent UPI cases would be to remove Best Offer from all my listings and check Immediate Payment Required. I am slowly moving in that direction. I have removed the Best Offer option from most of my shoe listings (and am working on editing the rest to remove it from them as wel), and I am working on removing Best Offer from most of my children's clothing listings. But there are always going to be items that I'm just not exactly sure about pricing, so I'll need to keep Best Offer on some stuff.  But I'm hoping that making these changes will drastically cut down on the number of UPI cases I have to open.

Oh - if you have a buyer who has contacted you to let you know they'll be able to pay next payday and you are ok with that, you CAN turn off the UPI assistant for just that transaction! You don't want a case opening against a buyer that's actually communicating. To turn the assistant off, go into your sold items and find the item. Then click on the menu on the right and choose Turn Unpaid Item Assistant Off. From there, eBay will give you a warning message. Just click on Yes (or OK or Submit or Agree or whatever it is) and that will turn the UPI assistant off for that one transaction, which will give your buyer extra time to pay.

How about you? How do you deal with non-payers?


  1. This is always tricky. I've only ever had one non-paying bidder, but overall buyers rarely..(and I mean rarely!) pay for items right away. And you know that they are sitting right there at their computer because they bid in the last 5 seconds of the auction to win. Oddly, some of my slowest payers are actually sellers. But I have learned to be patient. I've heard that those auto notices Ebay sends out are nasty in tone so I don't use them.
    What is frustrating me at the moment is a newbie with a pending e-check. It was supposed to clear today but now Paypal says it won't clear until the 15-16th. Meantime, she's paid for 2 other items she bought. What's up with that??? I hate e-checks.

  2. I rarely had unpaid items, that is, until I started reselling clothes. Seems I've had a few more, but not very many. I give my buyers 5 days to pay, but most pay right away. Maybe 1 or 2 will take the 5 days. Of the almost 900 transactions, I've had 10 unpaid cases. The good news is the new shopping cart coming soon. If a person places an item in their shopping cart, it will continue to be available for others until it is paid. This should encourage folks to pay for their items right away! I am so looking forward to that.

  3. I have had 2 in the last week and they were for auctions and under $3 WTH? If you can not afford $3 then perhaps you should not be bidding. Do they think I will not bother opening a case because the price is so low? Well Ebay will not give me back my fees unless I file.

  4. I just started selling on ebay and already have 2 unpaid item cases. Like Becky, they are also for relatively cheap items - like $5 each and one of the buyers bought another item from me for $20 and paid for that right away. I just don't get what is with people. On one buyer, I did see a comment on their feedback from another seller who said they buyer didn't pay for the item and then left them negative feedback. Hoping that doesn't happen with me since I made every effort to contac this person. Thanks for this post, glad I'm not alone! It's a little deterring for a newbie like me, but at least there's recourse.

  5. I'm glad to see that i'm not the only one dealing with nonpaying bidders!

    I've been selling on eBay for years and to this day I still can't understand why someone would place a bid and then not pay-it makes no sense to me why someone would waste time like that!

    Now I just focus on the things that I can control. I follow my auctions closely, delete any zero bidders (too many bad experiences), and if someone doesn't pay they automatically get added to my block buyers list.

    I also hate those buyers that threaten you with negative feedback unless you give them a partial refund...but that's another story altogether :)

    Hope you're all having a great day!

  6. Uggg...I am tired of dealing with non-paying bidders. I had 4 in one week and I now have an e-check that is not clearing. Paypal notified me that will try in 3-5 business days again.

    I am now in the process of putting Immediate Payment on all my items and not looking back.

    I feel if I have to go to the store and purchase my products and pay for the items then and not 7 days later (except if I am using my credit then my buyers should pay immediately.

  7. I've been fairly lucky with this but I haven't been selling for very long either. When I have had to report a buyer for non payment they've either paid immediately or within 1 day.

    I finally set up my account for ebay to auto file so I don't have to keep up with it. I'm a little concerned about negative/neutral feedback if someone gets upset about getting the non payment notice from ebay. It seems like I've seen some feedback before from buyers that didn't like the notice.

    It doesn't make sense or seem right for them to be able to leave that type of feedback for that reason (and most likely low stars to go with it) but I don't think ebay would do anything about it if it was left.

  8. Found my way to your blog from Late Night Coffee blog. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I too have not been selling that long on ebay, but have had a handful of non-payers. Filed claims on all of them and none of them every paid. Will think about automating the claim process you described. The question I have is, what is the link between Make Offer listings and non-payers? Of mine, one was a BIN and the other four were auctions. Have not had any problems with my Make Offer listings.

  9. Welcome, Annette! When I list something as BIN without Best Offer, I can require immediate payment. They buy, they pay. Simple as that. When I add the Best Offer option, I can still require immediate payment if they buy without making an offer. But if they make an offer and I accept, I can't require immediate payment. That's where the majority of my non-payers come from.

  10. I just posted about this on Wednesday. My husband's set up the unpaid thing, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I also notice that it's for low priced items, like they think you won't make a big deal out of it, but that makes me even more mad! I was hoping to find out how other, more seasoned eBayers deal with it, so I'm glad I found this! I love your blog!