Cancellation is a regular part of transactions on any online selling platform, including eBay. Buyers and sellers on eBay can cancel orders as long as both parties mutually agree to do so. Sellers can cancel transactions up to 30 days after making a sale whereas buyers can request a cancellation up to an hour after the purchase. In certain situations, auction bidders can also retract their bids.
If you’re wondering how to cancel an eBay order as a seller or buyer, consider the following steps.
How to Cancel an eBay Order as a Buyer
Canceling an order on eBay as a buyer — whether you’ve won an auction or purchased it via Buy It Now — requires you to get in touch with the seller and request them to cancel the purchase for you.
A rule of thumb with eBay cancellations: let sellers know immediately. If the seller has already shipped your order, cancellation is no longer possible.
There are two situations when it comes to canceling your eBay order as a buyer: canceling within an hour and canceling after an hour.
Canceling eBay order within an hour
You can easily request a cancellation within an hour of your purchase — as long as the seller hasn’t sent in your order.
- Sign in to your eBay account and go to your Purchase history, which you can find when you click the My eBay tab (located at the upper right side of your eBay web page).
- Once you’re in the Purchase history, find the order you want to cancel.
- Select the More Actions dropdown menu and click Cancel This Order.
- Once you click Submit, eBay will send a cancellation request to a seller, confirming if that they haven’t sent the order.
If eBay approves your cancelation, they’ll send you an email notification. If you’re unable to cancel the order, request for refund once you receive the item.
Canceling order on eBay after an hour
If more than an hour has passed since you placed the order and you decided to cancel it, the cancellation requires the seller’s approval. You can’t cancel an order if the seller has already shipped the order or if the seller filed an unpaid item case against you. Otherwise, you’re free to cancel an order as long as you contact the seller first.
- Go to your Purchase History and find the order you want to cancel.
- Select More Actions and click on Contact Seller.
- Select “Request to cancel this order” on the list of topics, then click the Contact Seller button.
- A text box will appear so you can use this space to tell the seller why you want to cancel.
- Once you’ve offered an explanation, click the send button.
Once you’ve submitted a request to cancel your eBay order, wait for the seller’s decision on your cancellation request. If the seller agrees to cancel the order, they have 10 days to send you a refund of your payment.
If you paid via PayPal, it takes three to five business days before you receive your refund. If you paid via credit card, you may have to wait up to 30 days before you get a refund (depending on your card provider).
As mentioned, if the seller declines your cancelation request, you’ll have to wait until you’ve received the item before you request a return or a refund.
How do you process a refund on eBay?
- To request a refund, go to Purchase History, go to your order and click More Actions.
- Click on the “Return This Item” and select a reason for the return.
- If the item you received is damaged or faulty, upload up to 10 photos with the return request.
- Once you’ve sent your request, the seller has three days to respond to your return request.
- If the seller doesn’t respond, request eBay to help resolve the situation.
There are many ways a seller can respond to your refund request. They may offer a partial or a full refund or offer a replacement/exchange item. If you changed your mind about the item or missed the seller’s deadline for refunds and returns, the seller has the right to deny your request for a refund.
“Can I cancel an order on eBay before paying?” you may ask. Whether you made an impulse purchase, bought something accidentally, or found an auction item at a better price, you can still cancel your eBay order before or after you pay for it.
“Can I retract a bid?” You can but you have to determine if you’re eligible to retract your bid. Normally, eBay does not allow buyers to retract bids on an auction but there are a few cases where you can retract your bid:
- You cannot contact the seller
- You entered the wrong amount
- The item’s description drastically changed since you placed your bid.
How to Cancel an eBay Order as a Seller
Selling an item is the exciting part of running a business on eBay business. The thrill, however, can be short-lived, especially when the transaction cannot be completed or you’ll need to cancel the eBay order. It can be the buyer’s fault, the seller’s or both.
Sellers cancel transactions when their items are damaged, lost or otherwise sold since they posted the listing on eBay. In these cases, completing the transaction is impossible, which is why cancelation is necessary.
So how do you cancel an eBay order as a seller? There are two types of cancelations.
1. Canceling eBay auction bids
Sellers cannot leave negative feedback for buyers who don’t pay, but they can file for an Unpaid Item (UPI) case, which can impact a buyer’s record. If the buyer has excessive UPIs, sellers may not agree to sell to them since unpaid items may turn out to be big losses for shops. Additionally, they can be a major inconvenience since they have to file the UPI cases.
If you want to cancel an auction bid:
- Go to the listing and click the number of bids (which is located next to the price).
- Scroll to the bottom of the bidding history and click on “cancel bids.” Once you’ve chosen this icon, you will be redirected to the bid cancelation form.
- Enter the information about the auction, as well as the bids you want to cancel.
In relation to buyers with multiple unpaid items, buyers that turn out to be a nuisance could be blocked. Most sellers on online platforms like eBay are likely to be lone entrepreneurs with limited resources. So buyers that cancel purchases or fail to pay for bids they’ve won are going to hurt their business. An option would be to block certain eBay buyers.
2. Canceling eBay sales
This isn’t an option unless the buyer requests it. Buyers can change their minds and when they do, canceling a sale becomes acceptable. But if your items are out of stock or damaged or you can’t send out the item, the cancelation will count against you.
Before you cancel a sale, learn more about actions that may cause “transaction defects” because these can lead to suspension, selling limits or permanent removal of your eBay account.
To cancel an eBay sale:
- Go to My eBay and click on Sold to find the item.
- Click on the More Actions and select “Cancel This Order” from the drop-down menu.
- Choose the reason for the cancelation and follow eBay’s instructions.
As mentioned, sellers have the right to cancel their orders, but there are repercussions. There are two streams of discussions associated with sellers canceling eBay sales and bids.
Are There Consequences with eBay Order Cancelations?
First, buyer-requested cancelations are frustrating ordeals that come with fewer repercussions (most of them short-term). Dealing with them, on top of other online business management concerns, can be stressful, especially if there is payment involved. PayPal fees are tangible losses, especially if the buyer paid for the item before they canceled their eBay order.
Without payment involved, wasted time is one of the biggest repercussions that come with buyer-requested cancelations. But for most sellers, they’d rather deal with a buyer-request cancelation than a longer returns process.
Seller-requested cancelations, however, have more serious consequences.
Many canceled transactions can lead to selling penalties and bad feedback. For this reason, sellers should be careful in maintaining the quality of their products, as well as the inventory of their stock.
Order cancellations can either be easy or stressful, depending on the nature of your situation. Stressful cancelations can be prevented by being mindful with your shopping or with your inventory. eBay can easily cancel orders as long as you have the right reasons for it — whether you’re a buyer or a seller.