What to Do if Your eBay Shipment Is Missing

The status says delivered but the package didn't arrive

delivery man carrying packages knocking at a door

Hero Images/Getty Images

Missing shipments happen from time to time on eBay. If you purchased an item on eBay and the shipment hasn't arrived, there are the steps you can take to try and track it down or ask to get your money back. According to eBay rules, you are entitled to a refund or replacement item from the seller unless they have tracking information that confirms the package was delivered.

Check in With the Seller

To start the process, you can reach out to the seller directly, but you have to wait until at least three days past the estimated delivery date. To do this, you'll need to submit an “Item not received” request. eBay will then share the details of your request with the seller, including whether you're seeking a refund or a replacement item, at which point the seller has three days to respond.

If the seller doesn't offer delivery confirmation, doesn't provide a resolution or you simply don't receive a response in that time, you can ask eBay to intervene. You can do this by logging into your account and clicking the "My eBay" link, which will take you to a summary page.

There, you'll click on the "Purchase history" link on the left sidebar, locate the item in question, click "See request details," followed by "Ask eBay to step in." eBay will then review the case and respond within 48 hours. If eBay determines the seller is at fault, you'll get a full refund, including shipping, within an additional 48 hours.

If the seller responds but doesn't have delivery confirmation, they can either issue a refund or offer a replacement item. Otherwise, if the seller provides tracking information that confirms the package has been delivered, there is no further obligation for a refund from them.

Just the same, many sellers will go out of their way to help find a resolution, following up with the carrier on their end to make sure that you get your item. Sometimes the shipment may have also been insured, so it's definitely worth communicating with your seller. You can also try tracing the shipment yourself.

Double-Check the Shipping Address

Before putting your detective skills to work, review the email correspondence you've received from eBay and PayPal to ensure the address is correct on both sites. If the package was sent to the wrong address, you'll be better positioned to explain your situation in any discussion or dispute.

Contact the Shipper and Reach out to Neighbors

Next, with your tracking number handy, call the carrier (USPS, FedEx, UPS, or whichever company was responsible for the delivery), and check their website for details. If the package was sent through USPS, you can also pay a visit to the post office with your tracking number and have them trace the precise shipping route. Sometimes packages marked as delivered went to the right zip code but the wrong address.

Drivers also sometimes leave packages in a "hidden location" (behind a bush, under a mat, or inside a rear screen door, for instance) to prevent theft. If this is the case, there may be a note about the package's location posted in the system. It also might be worth stopping by the neighbors to see if they might have grabbed the package either by mistake or for safekeeping.

Stay Patient and Follow Up

In the vast majority of cases, the missing shipment situation will ultimately get resolved and your package will be delivered. If not, you can look into reimbursement through PayPal or your credit card provider, which may offer such protections for their customers.