How To Cancel an Order on eBay?

Cancelling an order on eCommerce sites is a usual thing, it is a sort of natural occurrence, and eBay is not an exception when it comes to taking item cancellations. When buyers make impulse purchases or accidental purchases, the very thing they want to do to correct their mistake is by balancing it out right away.

It might not seem a challenging task as most of us know how to cancel orders. But those who are not aware of the platform find this question very overwhelming as the process is quite different for both sellers and buyers.

Earlier, the cancellation process was daunting and could have caused sellers severe penalties, downgrades, or high charges in eBay fees. But now the policies have been changed for good to make eBay a better marketplace for both sellers and buyers. 

So if you are the one who is looking for more insights into the eBay cancellation procedure, then below, I have prepared a detailed guide for you.

If you are in a hurry, then here is the gist: for buyers, eBay has made it easier to withdraw a purchase within about an hour

However after one hour has passed, you can contact the supplier/seller to request a cancellation. Occasionally sellers can offer a cancellation period of up to 30 days after closing a deal. Whereas even auction purchases could also rescind in specific circumstances.

How to Cancel an Order As An eBay Buyer

As a buyer, it is very common to make an impulse purchase and soon realize that this particular purchase shouldn’t have happened. Mostly when buyers realize this, the very first thing they do is to cancel the order and since eBay is a place with over 1.6 billion listings, it is quite common to expect order cancellations.

However, the point here is if you do the same thing on another eCommerce platform, you can wait a whole day if not more to cancel your order.

But as eBay is a marketplace that binds with its own rules for both buyers and sellers, the cancellation process here is a little different. As a buyer when you are purchasing items from someone who may be living in a different part of the world. In that case, if the seller has already shipped your order (or) started working on packing and all, cancelling such an order midway can spill water on all their efforts. 

So the process of cancelling an order as a buyer on eBay is a little different. As a buyer, the fundamental rule when it comes to cancelling orders is not to delay, it’s important to let the seller know immediately if you want to cancel the order.

For buyers, there are two choices, i.e., cancelling an order within an hour and the next is cancelling it after an hour. Below we are going to discuss both in detail.

1. Canceling an order within an hour

As I have mentioned earlier, the key on eBay is don’t delay. As soon as you realize that the order is not what you are looking for, make a cancellation request within an hour.

Such an order cancellation request should get cancelled unless or until the seller has no obligations with it. Below I am breaking down steps to cancelling orders within hours as a buyer on eBay.

  • Log into your account and click on the “My ebay” option, which appears on the top right corner and from that drop-down menu choose “Purchase History” as your choice.
Click on  Your Purchase History on eBay
  • In the “Purchase History” option, you will find all your recent purchases. You need to choose the order which you wanna cancel.
  • After selecting an order you want to cancel, click on the “More actions” button from your order.
Selecting Your eBay Order For Cancellation
  • Select the “Cancel order” option and choose your reason for cacellation.
  • Finally, click on the “Submit” button to cancel the order. 
Submitting Your eBay Order Cacellation Request

Soon, eBay will send a request to the seller to confirm that the order hasn’t been dispatched yet. Here the seller has the power to approve or decline the request. If it gets approved, then the buyer will receive an email notification regarding the cancelled order, if not then the buyer can again ask for a refund after the item has been received.

Usually, as a buyer when you cancel an order within one hour, you can expect a cancellation mail and the refund for that order will be credited to you within 3 business days.

2. Canceling After An Hour

Now, how to cancel an order after missing the one-hour window?

In this scenario, you need to raise a request again, asking the seller to cancel your order. If the vendor has already dispatched the item, you won’t be able to cancel it. 

Nevertheless, as long as you inform the vendor beforehand, you are entitled to withdraw an order. The process of cancelling an order as a buyer after an hour is highlighted below:-

  • Go to your “Purchase history” option,
  • Choose the item you want to cancel. After selecting it, click on the “ More actions” option, which will appear right beside your order details.
  • Next, click on the “Contact seller” and you will shown a drop-down mean where you have to select “Request to cancel this order.”
  • After choosing that option, move down to the “submit to the seller” button and tap on it.
  • Now, there will be blank tab/box where you have to give a perfect explanation to the seller regarding why you want to cancel an order, make it brief and genuine.
  • When you are done with writing, click on a “Send” button.
  • In auction-type orders, you need to remember that when you place a bid on a product on eBay, you are entering into a contractual agreement. The vendor is not obligated to agree to the sale being canceled.
  • In usual pre-paid orders, if the item has not been canceled, then all you can do is send a refund request to the seller. If the seller approves the request, then within 10 working days, the payment will get credit to your account.

3. How to request a refund?

The following approach is that you can request a refund if the seller rejects your order cancellation request. The steps to request a refund is mentioned below:-

  • Go to your “Purchase history.”
  • Select the product for which you are raising the return request.
  • Then click on the “More actions” option, then choose the “return this item” option.
  • Further, you have to select a reason for returning the item. After that, click on the “Request a return” button.
  • As soon as you click on the “Request a return,” it will notify the seller. You will have 3 days to get a response from the seller. If the seller does not answer, then you can ask eBay team to intervene and assist you in settling the issue.
  • Here the seller can offer a full refund (or) partial refund (or) even an exchange to settle the issue. If the seller agrees on the return, you must return the goods within 5 business days. 

The seller/vendor is usually liable for the return shipping costs if the product is broken or defective. In other circumstances, you will be accountable for the return shipping costs because you have changed your opinion about a product.

For return, please ensure that the item is well-packed and don’t forget to include the print return label. You need to email the return courier bill to the eBay team (or) seller to get a courier refund in case if they have agreed to it first.

4. How Retracting a Bid

eBay is known for selling the best of its items for auctions which is its core business. While buying in these auctions, it is essential to know when you are placing a bid in an eBay auction that you cannot retract a bid. Once you have placed a bid, you are obligated to buy a product if you win it. However, there are scenarios where you request to retract a bid. 

Such as if you have entered the wrong amount or the seller changed the item description after auctioning their item. Further, if you cannot reach out to the seller then you are allowed to retract the bid but you can’t retract the bid just because you have changed your mind.

If you are falling under these circumstances, then you can retract a bid. The procedure to retract a bid you need to follow is described below:-

  • The very thing you need to keep an eye on is the auction time left. If it is more than 12 hours, you can easily remove all the bids, but if it is less than 12 hours, then you can only remove your last recent bid.
  • But to do it, you need to submit the bid retraction form.
  • You need to enter the item number in this form under the section “Item number of auction in question.”
  • Further more, you will also have to select the reason for retracting a bid.
  • After selecting your reason, click on the “Retract bid” button and wait for a response. eBay will look after the request and make a decision accordingly.
  • If eBay cancels the request of retracting a bid, then you can reach out to the seller. However, there is no guarantee to retract a bid in such a way.

How to Cancel an Order as an eBay Seller

Sellers, too, can cancel orders on eBay for many reasons, like if there is some emergency or the product was sold out or they got a cancellation request from a buyer, and much more. So if you are wondering about how to cancel an order on eBay as a seller, then there are two approaches. 

The first is simply cancelling a pre-paid order, and the next one is withdrawing an auction bid. Below I have broken down both the processes for you in simpler terms.

1. Cancelling an Order

To cancel your eBay order as a seller, follow the steps mentioned below:-

  • The first step to initiate the cancellation request as a seller is to log into your account
  • Further, you need to click on the “My ebay” section. This section has many choices; you need to focus on the “Sold” option.
  • If there is a buyer’s cancellation request, you have 3 days to approve or deny that request. For such request if you decide a cancellation in the mean time, buyers are not allowed to leave negative feedback so that it won’t affect your seller performance.
  • However, if you have missed that 3-day window, you can still cancel the order within 30 days, if the item hasn’t been dispatched, but it can cost your seller performance stats. 
  • In case, there is no request from any buyer. To cancel an order, you need to select the order you want to cancel. Know that if there are multiple items in an order, you either have to cancel the whole order or there wouldn’t be any cancellations on separate entities.
  • Now, click on the “More actions” from your order.
  • There you will see the option “Cancel this order,” click on it. Thus the cancelation process gets initiated.
  • Although, it would be best if you mention the reason for cancellation if asked by eBay. Also always choose a legitimate reason as it can affect your seller performance stats.
  • Once all this is done, click on the “Continue” button.
  • Further, if the buyer has already paid for the product, the payment gateway will initiate a refund. All you need to click on the “Send Refund” option, and thus the payment gateway will look after the rest.
  • Suppose if the payment gateway is other than PayPal, then the sellers have 10 days to send a payment.
  • After the amount is refunded, eBay will instantly credit the Final Value Fee to your seller’s account.

2. Cancelling an Auction Bids

The next option is where sellers decide not to sell to specific buyers. You see, sellers can’t leave negative feedback to dishonest buyers but they can file a request for unpaid Items. If any buyer on the platform has many ”Unpaid cases”, then sellers are free not to sell to them.

To cancel an auction bid of a particular buyer, you need to follow the mentioned procedure from below:-

  • Go to the listing of the product and then further click on the number of bids.
  • Now all you have to do is scroll down and look for the “cancel bids” option. It will redirect to the bid cancelation form.
  • Here you have to mention the information as asked to quickly retract the bids.

What’s the Impact of Cancelling Orders for both buyers and sellers?

There are always some consequences, whether you’re cancelling orders as a buyer or seller.

For buyers, the cancellation process is a little hectic. Suppose if you’re a buyer who has cancelled the order after one hour of making the purchase, then the seller has the right to deny your cancellation and proceed with the shipping. Hence here you will have to raise a ‘refund request’ and might have to bear the cost of returning your item once it gets delivered.

As a buyer, you get to cancel ‘n’ no. of orders within one hour and get away with it, but should you do it? Because eBay keeps track of your orders and every activity. Unfortunately, if you’re a new user on eBay and have frequent cancellation history. Then eBay might suspend (or) ban your account, hence you have a risk of losing an account.

For sellers, despite that, their cancellation process seemed smooth but they do have their own concerns too. As a seller on a platform like eBay, it is important to keep your ratings, reviews, deliveries, and seller standards high.

In case, as a seller, if you’re frequently cancellation orders and buyers start complaining about you (or) leave bad ratings on your deliveries. Then it will cost your reach on eBay, besides that, you may have to give more fees to eBay in case you don’t meet eBay’s seller standards. Worst of all, your seller account may get suspended from eBay.

The Bottom Line

There you go!

This is my honest take on how to cancel an order on eBay. Cancelling an order is a regular thing, but the process can bring a lot of questions to both buyers and sellers. No matter what the condition is, when it comes to cancelling an order on eBay, the process can be painful and sometimes, many buyers won’t even initiate the request as they don’t know how to go about it. So, I hope now this article might help all those buyers who are hesitant about cancelling orders even if sellers are denying their request.

Don’t dwell in confusion anymore? Try the above steps out and let us know all about your experience in the comments section.


Vignesh Wadarajan

I am Vignesh Wadarajan, a tech buff, sports enthusiast and adreneline junkie. I started my own company when I was 18 years of age, Jankosoft, a web and mobile application development firm in 2001.