eBay Dilemmas: Paying a seller to cancel your listing

Recently I had a seller tell me to send him $3 to cancel a listing. I know eBay almost inside out so I immediately waved a red flag in the sellers face and told him to scoot, but I thought I would just make it clear to anyone who wasn’t sure…


When you buy something on eBay, you are saying that you want it and you are willing to pay for it.

If something goes wrong, like they tell you they don’t have the same thing on sale etc. you can ask them to cancel it because they have to provide you with what you agreed to buy.

However – occasionally if you have changed your mind for whatever reason you CAN email the seller and ask them if they are happy to cancel the transaction.

If they are ok with this, then they will send you a form through eBay where you accept the cancellation- this means you are no longer obliged to buy the item and they will get their fees back (they are charged once when an item sells).

Sometimes buyers are terrible and ignore the notice, it times out and the seller doesn’t get their money back despite both parties agreeing to the cancellation.

My sellers argument was that previous buyers had let him down, therefore he was only happy to cancel the purchase if I paid him $3.

In this case I told him it was against eBay policy to ask someone to send you money outside of the parameters of eBay anyway, and that it wasn’t fair to judge me on other buyers (plus it was his fault he couldn’t supply me with what he had on sale in the first place!).

So basically:

Don’t send money outside of eBay to a seller – ever! I have done this just once and guess what? – the item broke almost immediately and I didn’t have any way to claim it back because it wasn’t through eBay.

If you agree on something with the seller (ie. someone will send you 50 more cakes for an extra £10) they can add on the fees by adjusting the invoice.

That simple!

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  1. says

    great post! I’ve never used ebay before. yea I know that’s pretty weird but I’m still weary about some of the sellers on there. Thanks for the great advice! I’ll be sure to remember it when I get on there. :)