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My item has not been delivered or received! What to do


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You've ordered your item, and you feel its taken too long for it to arrive. What should you do now?

The severity of your compaint has a lot to do with how you should approach the seller - has it only been 2 days since you ordered? has it been a month? did you send a check, which takes extra time to clear? did the seller promise an actual delivery time?

There are a lot of reasons that you might have a delivery complaint:

Buyer scenario #1: "It's been a VERY long time. I thought it would show up in 2-3 days, and it's been over a week!"

First, re-read the delivery terms written specifically by the seller.

Delivery times stated in the auction by the seller are the terms you are agreeing to; you have a reasonable expectation that your item should arrive very close to the time the seller states for delivery.

Good sellers do not blame the carrier - the Post Office, UPS, FedEx, etc. - if your item arrives in ten days when they stated in their auction that it would arrive within 3 days. Most good sellers will refund the shipping cost at that point, even if the shipper caused the delay, simply because they promised a specific delivery time.

If a seller does not specify a delivery time, do not count on the times quoted for delivery by eBay. There is additional text added automatically by eBay that indicates average delivery times for most of the shipping options listed. An example is 'USPS Media mail shipping - 2 to 9 business days'. That statement is not a real indication of when your item will arrive.

If the seller doesn't ship it for a week, it's a week plus 2-9 business days. Be sure to ask the seller before you bid if actual delivery time matters to you!

The statements by the seller in the auction are the only ones considered in eBay disputes. You can report the item as 'significantly not as described' if they don't offer you a remedy if your item arrives later than they promised. A delivery promise by the seller is part of the purchase contract, and therefore part of the item.

Buyer scenario #2: "I have e-mailed the seller about the late delivery, and haven't gotten any response back!"

First off, be sure that you have allowed the seller's e-mail address in your spam settings. If you have a system that says 'please log on to this site just this once to allow your e-mails', such as SpamArrest, you should e-mail your seller so that his e-mail address is allow as a return. Personally, I don't like to log into sites I am not familiar with, just for virus and spam reasons. Be sure you have allowed all e-mail from eBay dot com, too, in your spam filters.

If you don't think your spam filters are blocking their messages, be sure to contact them directly through ebay's Message system. Your seller is getting messages from eBay, so your message WILL get through.

If you've tried eBay's message system, and gotten

no response, you can also try the e-mail address shown in your PayPal payment, if you paid through them.

Still no response? It is probable your seller is ignoring you, or isn't checking e-mail. I usually allow 2 or 3 business days for a response if I have a question. People do have lives, especially around the holidays and on weekends, so I try to give them the benfit of the doubt.

There are some sellers that specifically state contact methods in the auction text. Be sure to check for that, too!

Buyer scenario #3: "My item tracking number shows that it was delivered, but I didn't receive it!"

Unfortunately, if a tracking number shows delivery, your only recourse is through the shipper. In other words, if the USPS tracking site shows delivery, and you haven't actually received it, your problem lies with the USPS, and not the seller. You should verify that you used the correct delivery address when you paid. Generally, sellers are not held responsible if the buyer doesn't provide the correct shipping address.

Buyer scenario #4: "It's only been a week, but I thought I would have my item by now!"

This is the most common scenario. First off, be patient!

1) consider shipping distance. For example, my shipments to the West Coast always take an additional 2 to 3 days compared to the rest of the country.

2) look at the seller's stated delivery terms

3) did you send a slow form of payment, like a check through the mail, or a PayPal eCheck? Those forms of payment are not validated immediately, and usually delay shipment until payment has cleared, which is usually several days after the payment is presented.

Buyer scenario #5: "I am sure my seller is trying to rip me off!"

While this can happen, you should be sure to go through all of the above scenarios to be sure you have a valid complaint before you proceed.

Here are official-channel complaints that will usually get action if you seller refuses to help you regarding a delivery issue:

1) make a buyer complaint through PayPal, or request a chargeback from your credit-card provider if the item. If you no longer want the item to be delivered. be sure to state that clearly in your PayPal complaint and specifically state that you will only accept a full refund. Some sellers will ship immediately upon receiving a complaint if you do not specify otherwise. which will nullify your complaint, so be careful how you word your request for resolution in the complaint.

2) report them to eBay as an 'item not received' or 'item significantly not as described'. Delivery time that has been grossly misrepresented is a complaint eBay recognizes as 'significantly not as described'.

3) if they are a PowerSeller, make a complaint to the PowerSeller team for bad seller ethics in the eBay Help section.

4) if they are a SquareTrade member, make a complaint through SquareTrade by clicking on their symbol in the auction you won.

I hope this helps! If you have other scenarios or solutions to suggest, please message me!

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