eBay Resolution CenterHow to Resolve Disputes & Improve Relationships With eBay Buyers

May 22, 2023 | 16 min read

This image was created by artificial intelligence using the following prompts:

Two people shaking hands with laptops, in the style of bold color-blocked compositions, red and teal, Chicano-inspired, zeiss otus 85mm f/1.4 apo planar t*, political cartoons, deconstructed tailoring

eBay Resolution Center

In a Nutshell

Not every eBay transaction is a “win-win.” Issues between buyers and sellers are bound to happen. This article will explore the eBay Resolution Center from both the buyer and seller’s perspective: how buyers can file disputes, when to file disputes, and when and how sellers should be prepared to fight back.

A Guide to the eBay Resolution Center & How to Resolve Disputes for Buyers & Sellers

The eBay Resolution Center is a neutral conduit for buyers and sellers to resolve problems that pop up during transactions. Familiarity with the process ensures that both parties can effectively address concerns and reach fair resolutions, while maintaining the integrity of the eBay marketplace.

That said, what should both buyers and sellers know before they file or respond to a dispute? Where should they get started? Let’s find out.

What is the eBay Resolution Center?

eBay Resolution Center

[noun]/ē • bāy • reh • zuh • loo • shn • sen • tr/

The eBay Resolution Center is a dedicated platform designed to help both buyers and sellers resolve issues that may arise during the course of a transaction. It serves as a centralized hub for managing disputes, claims, and appeals in a structured and efficient manner.

For buyers, the Resolution Center can be used to address problems such as receiving an item that doesn't match the description, non-delivery of an item, or requesting a return. By opening a case in the Resolution Center, buyers can communicate their concerns with the seller and work towards a solution.

For sellers, the Resolution Center is crucial in handling buyer complaints, returns, and refund requests. The platform enables sellers to respond to buyer concerns, negotiate solutions, provide evidence in case of disputes. They can also escalate matters to eBay if needed.

The platform ultimately streamlines the resolution process for both buyers and sellers, ensuring that disputes are handled fairly and effectively. 

eBay Disputes, Claims, & Chargebacks: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the distinction between a dispute and a claim is essential when dealing with issues on eBay. So, we should clarify this matter before we dig any further into the dispute process.

A dispute signifies the initial stage of a problem between a buyer and seller, which arises when either party opens a case on the eBay platform. The buyer and seller communicate through the Resolution Center to resolve the issue. They may explore different solutions such as returns, refunds (without product return), partial refunds, replacing items, or transaction cancellations.

Sell online without losing sales to disputes & chargebacks.REQUEST A DEMO

On the other hand, a claim represents an escalated dispute (more on this below). This occurs when the buyer and seller fail to reach a resolution on their own. At this point, eBay steps in as a mediator, having the final say on the claim, even in the event of an appeal.

In either case, resolving disputes through the eBay Resolution Center is faster and easier than a chargeback. This involves the cardholder’s bank serving as a mediator, rather than eBay. Note that a chargeback is a forced bank reversal that always results in additional fees and penalties for sellers, regardless of the validity of the buyer’s claim. These fees are nonrefundable, even if the merchant ultimately beats the chargeback.

Valid Reasons to Use the eBay Resolution Center

Buyers may have one of several valid reasons to dispute an eBay transaction. Examples of common valid claims include:

Item Not Received

If the buyer hasn't received the item within the estimated delivery time or within a reasonable timeframe, they have grounds for disputing the transaction. It's essential to check the tracking information and contact the seller to inquire about any potential delays before opening a dispute.

Item Not as Described

When the item received significantly deviates from the listing description, such as being the incorrect item, size, color, or condition, the buyer has a valid reason to raise a dispute. It's crucial to provide clear evidence, such as photographs or descriptions, to support the claim.

Damaged Item

If an item arrives damaged, or in a worse condition than described in the listing, the buyer is justified in disputing the transaction. They should document the damage with photos and share them with the seller while discussing possible solutions.

Counterfeit or Fake Item

Should a buyer suspect that the item they received is not genuine (i.e. is a counterfeit product), they have the right to dispute the transaction. They may need to provide proof, such as expert authentication or a comparison with an original item, to support their claim, though.

Unauthorized Transaction

If a buyer discovers that their account has been compromised and a purchase was made without their authorization, they can dispute the transaction. In such cases, it's important to report the issue to eBay and change their account password immediately.

How Do I Dispute an eBay Transaction?

Buyers should always try to communicate with the seller first to try and resolve the issue amicably. If a satisfactory resolution isn't reached through a simple message, though, they can then escalate the matter through the eBay Resolution Center.

Once a buyer has determined that a dispute is warranted, they are encouraged to login to their eBay account to initiate the process. Buyers can dispute an eBay transaction through the eBay Resolution Center by following these steps:

#1 Sign in to eBay

To access the Resolution Center, the buyer must first log in to their eBay account.

#2 Go to the Resolution Center

Navigate to the Resolution Center by clicking “Help & Contact” at the top of the eBay homepage, then selecting “Resolution Center” from the options available.

#3 Open a Case

Click on “Report an Issue” or “I Haven't Received It” if the item hasn't arrived, or select “Return an item” if the purchased item doesn't match its description, is damaged, or is otherwise unsatisfactory.

#4 Provide Transaction Details

Enter the item number or select the relevant transaction from the “purchase history” tab. Provide a clear description of the issue, and include any relevant information that will help the seller understand the problem.

#5 Submit the Case

After all the necessary details have been entered, click “Submit” to open the case. The seller will receive a notification about the dispute, and both parties will have a chance to communicate and resolve the issue within a specified timeframe.

Throughout the dispute process, it's crucial for the buyer to maintain open and respectful communication with the seller. In many cases, issues can be resolved amicably without the need for eBay's intervention beyond this point.

Invalid Reasons to Use the eBay Resolution Center

Naturally, there are a few situations in which a buyer might not be entitled to dispute an eBay transaction. These usually involve misunderstandings regarding the seller’s return policy or failure to recognize the seller’s billing details. When these situations happen, they can be easily resolved without hard feelings from either party. 

However, some things simply aren’t the seller’s responsibility to rectify. Not every buyer fully understands this, which can sometimes lead to invalid eBay dispute claims. To clear up any confusion, here are a few of the most common invalid reasons for eBay transaction disputes:

Buyer's Remorse

Feeling regret after making a purchase doesn't justify opening a dispute. Buyers should carefully review the listing, consider the shipping and return policies, and make informed decisions before buying. It's essential to recognize that a change of heart is not a valid reason to dispute a transaction.

Failing to Read the Listing

Disputing a transaction because the buyer didn't read the entire listing or understand the terms is not valid. It's the buyer's responsibility to ensure they comprehend the details, including item specifications, shipping costs, and return policies, before purchasing. Buyers should ask the seller any questions they may have before completing the transaction.

Late Delivery

If the seller shipped the item on time, but the carrier caused a delay that was outside the seller’s control, then that is not a valid reason for a dispute. Buyers should check the tracking info, contact the carrier for further information on the delay and discuss any concerns with the seller. It's important to recognize that sellers have no control over carrier-related delays.

Are you taking steps to prevent disputes?REQUEST A DEMO

Buyers should try to resolve any issues directly with the seller before considering opening a dispute. Opening a dispute for invalid reasons can lead to negative consequences for both the buyer and seller. It may result in action taken against the buyer's account, and could even do damage to the overall eBay marketplace experience. 

As a rule of thumb, it's always best to communicate openly and honestly with the seller. Collaboration is the fastest way to address concerns and find mutually agreeable solutions.

How Do I Resolve an eBay Dispute?

When a buyer disputes a legitimate transaction for any of the reasons listed above, the seller has the right to challenge that dispute. Remember that a typical dispute can take anywhere from several days to a few weeks to conclude. 

Here's a step-by-step overview of what sellers can expect when a dispute is filed against their business:

1 Dispute Notification As soon as a dispute is filed, eBay will send a notice to the seller. The recipient should then review the details in the eBay Seller Hub to consider their next move.
2 Choose a Response The seller must choose to either accept the dispute and refund the buyer, or challenge it within five days of receiving the notification. The seller should accept the dispute if the buyer was accidentally overcharged, the seller fulfilled the order incorrectly, or they delivered a defective or damaged product. However, they should reject it if the claim is not valid.
3 Determination If the merchant accepts the claim, then the case ends here. If they reject the claim, it advances to eBay for moderation. Once eBay assumes the role of mediator, the seller will no longer be in control of the situation. The investigation of — and final decision regarding — the dispute will be performed by eBay representatives.


When merchants receive notification about a dispute, they may choose to either accept the claim, or reject it.

Accept the Dispute:

By accepting an eBay dispute, the seller agrees to refund the buyer in full. Generally, the seller won't be charged a penalty fee if they accept the dispute and issue a refund. Although eBay often attempts to retrieve the item, there's no guarantee it will be returned.

Reject the Dispute:

If the seller believes the dispute is unjust, they can challenge the refund by providing documentation supporting their claim. Declining a dispute means incurring a $20 fee (this is waived if the seller is eligible for eBay Seller Protection). Be aware of the potential costs when declining a dispute, though, especially for low-ticket items.

What to Do About Invalid Use of the eBay Resolution Center

While invalid disputes are by no means the rule, they can — and do — happen. Remember, not every invalid dispute is malicious in nature. It’s important not to alienate potential future customers by being aggressive or unnecessarily terse in response.

Sellers need to know how to handle the situation in a professional and composed manner. Here are some steps to follow that can help sellers address disputes in an effective, even-handed manner:

Step #1 | Assess the Dispute

Carefully review the buyer's claim to determine its legitimacy. Understand the specifics of the issue before formulating a response.

Step #2 | Compile Evidence

The merchant should gather pertinent information or documentation that supports their standpoint. This may include listing descriptions, photos, shipping details, tracking records, or any prior communication with the buyer.

Step #3 | Maintain Professionalism

Reply to the buyer with courtesy, respect, and a professional tone. The merchant should address their concerns, clarify a perspective, and present any evidence that bolsters their case. Refrain from using confrontational language or tone to avoid escalating the situation.

Step #4 | Propose a Solution

If suitable, the seller can suggest a fair resolution aligned with eBay's policies. Possible solutions could involve a partial refund, an exchange, or other alternatives. Be willing to negotiate and collaborate with the buyer to reach a mutually agreeable outcome.

Step #5 | Learn & Adapt

Lastly, the seller should make sure to analyze the dispute to identify any possible improvements that can be made. Clearer listings, better communication, or improved shipping processes may help avert similar issues in the future.

How to Escalate a Case Through eBay

If a resolution seems unattainable after three days, or the dispute is evidently baseless, either party can escalate the case through eBay. Regardless of which party escalates, the seller should submit all relevant documentation and evidence to support their case and allow eBay to evaluate the matter and make a decision. 

If eBay customer support rules in favor of the seller’s claim, the seller will not have to perform any further action. The case will be closed, and the buyer will have to appeal the case to have any hopes of the decision getting reversed. 

If, however, eBay customer support rules in favor of the buyer’s claim, the seller will be required to refund the entire purchase (and pay the $20 dispute fee, in most cases). These funds will be deducted from any available or on-hold balances.

How to Appeal a Closed eBay Dispute

After an eBay dispute has been closed, both buyers and sellers have the option to appeal the decision if they believe it was made in error or if new information has come to light. 

Here's how either party can appeal a dispute through the eBay Resolution Center:

Step #1 | Review the Case

Before appealing, the party in question should ensure have a solid reason for the appeal. For instance, new evidence, an error in the original decision, or relevant information that wasn't considered previously.

Step #2 | Gather Evidence

Collect any new documentation, evidence, or information that supports the appeal. This could include photos, shipping records, communication logs, or expert opinions.

Step #3 | Appeal Within the Allowed Timeframe

Both buyers and sellers must submit their appeal within 30 days of the case being closed. Appeals submitted after this timeframe may not be considered.

Step #4 | Contact eBay

To initiate the appeal process, visit the eBay Resolution Center and navigate to the case in question. Click on “Appeal This Case,” or on “Appeal Decision,” depending on the account type. If the link can’t be located, the appealing party can also contact eBay Customer Support for assistance.

Step #5 | Submit the Appeal

The user should explain the reason for the appeal and provide any new evidence or information that supports their case. They should be concise and clear in their communication, presenting a well-organized argument.

Step #6 | Await eBay's Decision

eBay will review the appeal, considering the new information provided, and inform both parties of their final decision. The appeal process may take some time, so patience is crucial.


The decision made by eBay after the appeal is typically final. Both parties should respect the outcome and move forward, using the experience as a learning opportunity for future transactions.

It's essential to note that appealing a case should only be pursued when there's a legitimate reason to believe the initial decision was incorrect or new information has come to light. Appeals should not be used as a means to dispute a case simply because one party disagrees with the outcome.

10 Ways to Prevent eBay Disputes

Finally, from an eBay seller’s perspective, maintaining a positive selling experience and avoiding disputes with buyers is crucial for establishing goodwill and maintaining overall customer satisfaction and a stellar reputation. 

Here are our top ten tips to achieve this aim:

#1 Craft Detailed Listings

Write accurate and comprehensive descriptions that cover item specifics, condition, dimensions, and any imperfections. Providing ample information helps buyers make informed decisions.

#2 Capture Quality Photos

Use crisp, well-lit images from various angles to showcase your item. Zoom in on any defects or unique features, ensuring buyers know exactly what they're getting.

#3 Be Transparent

Clearly outline the item's price, shipping costs, and any extra fees. Avoid surprising buyers with hidden charges, which can lead to disputes.

#4 Communicate Promptly

Reply to inquiries and messages in a timely, courteous, and professional manner. Good communication can resolve many concerns before they escalate.

#5 Ship Reliably

Choose reputable carriers, offer tracking information, and package items securely to minimize damage or loss during transit. Prompt shipping ensures timely delivery.

#6 Provide Accurate Shipping Estimates

Establish realistic delivery timeframes, accounting for handling and potential carrier delays. Keep buyers updated on any shipping changes or unexpected delays.

#7 Clarify Your Return Policy

Develop a clear return policy and feature it in your listing. Specify accepted return conditions, the time frame for returns, and any associated return shipping costs.

#8 Be Proactive

When a buyer raises a concern, address it quickly and professionally. Propose reasonable solutions that comply with eBay's policies and your store's guidelines.

#9 Listen to Feedback

Consistently review buyer feedback to identify patterns or areas needing improvement. Tackle recurring issues to enhance customer satisfaction and diminish potential disputes.

#10 Be Adaptable

Remain up-to-date on eBay's policies, best practices, and marketplace trends. Continuously refine your selling strategies to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your buyers.

By embracing these best practices, eBay sellers can greatly reduce the chances of disputes, uphold a strong reputation, and cultivate lasting customer relationships. Buyers will appreciate it!


How do I get to the Resolution Center on eBay?

Navigate to the Resolution Center by clicking “Help & Contact” at the top of the eBay homepage, then selecting “Resolution Center” from the options available. From there, you can click on “Report an Issue” or “I Haven't Received It” if the item hasn't arrived, or select “Return an item” if the purchased item doesn't match its description, is damaged, or is otherwise unsatisfactory.

How do I open a dispute with eBay?

Buyers can dispute an eBay transaction through the eBay Resolution Center. They can do this by clicking “Help & Contact” at the top of the eBay homepage, then selecting “Resolution Center” from the options available. From there, From there, you can click on “Report an Issue” or “I Haven't Received It” if the item hasn't arrived.

How do I ask eBay to step in and resolve an issue?

If a resolution between buyer and seller seems unattainable three days after a dispute is initiated, either party can escalate the case through eBay. The two parties then allow eBay to evaluate the matter and make a decision.

How long does a buyer have to open a dispute on eBay?

In most cases, buyers have 30 days after actual (or latest estimated) delivery date to request a return, or to otherwise dispute a transaction.

Like What You're Reading? Join our newsletter and stay up to date on the latest in payments and eCommerce trends.
Newsletter Signup
We’ll run the numbers; You’ll see the savings.
Please share a few details and we'll connect with you!
Over 18,000 companies recovered revenue with products from Chargebacks911
Close Form