Help a buyer with an item they didn't receive

If a buyer doesn’t receive their item, they’re entitled to a refund unless you can provide tracking information showing that it was delivered.

Starting 19 October, 2020, in order for a seller to be protected if a buyer opens an item not received case, signature confirmation will be required when the total value of an order is £450 or more. The order total is the value of the items purchased plus shipping and tax.

If your buyer hasn’t received their item and the estimated delivery date has passed, they’ll let you know there’s an issue by opening an “Item not received” request.

If a buyer opens a request, we’ll send a message with all of the details to your registered email address – it’ll be available in your Messages too.

Once a request is opened, you’ve got 3 business days to resolve the issue. After that time, either you or the buyer can ask us to step in and help resolve the issue.

Resolve an item not received request

When a buyer opens a request, please be aware that funds related to the sale in your PayPal account may be put on hold. Once the issue is resolved, or we find in your favour, the hold is lifted and the funds are available again. If you’re a managed payments seller, once a hold is lifted, you’ll receive your funds in your next payout.

What to do when a buyer opens an item not received request

In the email you received telling you the buyer’s issue, select See request details. You’ll find information on whether the buyer is requesting a refund or would prefer to still receive the item. You’ll also see your response options:

Add tracking details – You can provide tracking information showing the date you posted the item, the date it was delivered, and the address it was delivered to. If the order has a total cost (total of item(s), postage and tax) of £450 or more, it should also show the signature confirmation of the recipient. Learn more about our signature confirmation requirements.

More info

Here’s how to add tracking information:

  1. Select Add tracking details and then Continue.
  2. Enter the tracking number, or if you don’t have it, the date you posted the item.
  3. Select the carrier you used from the dropdown list.
  4. You have the option of adding a note to the buyer.
  5. Select Add tracking details.


Refund the buyer – The buyer will get a full refund, including the original postage costs. Choose this option if you don’t have tracking that shows the item was delivered or tracking details that shows that the package has been in transit without movement for 7 days or more.

More info

Here’s how to refund the buyer:

  1. Select Refund the buyer and then Continue.
  2. You’ll see the refund amount, and you have the option of adding a message to the buyer.
  3. Select Refund the buyer.

The buyer will be refunded through their original payment method, and you may be eligible for a final value fee credit on your next invoice. If you’re a managed payments seller, learn how refunds work.


Send a message to the buyer – If you’d like to speak with the buyer directly to try and resolve their issue, you can send them a message. If you and the buyer can’t agree on a resolution within 3 business days, you can ask 4bike to step in and help.

More info

You can contact the buyer directly to try to resolve the issue:

  1. Select Send a message to the buyer.
  2. On the next page, enter your message and select Send.

It’s worthwhile asking the buyer to review the delivery address they provided and to check with their neighbors in case the item was delivered when they weren’t home.


Sending a replacement item – If the buyer would rather have the item than a refund, use the “Send a message” option to offer them a replacement. Once you’ve sent the replacement, let them know it’s on the way and upload tracking information to the request.

You should report missing packages to the postal carrier you used – they may be able to help.

Get help from 4Bike

If you and the buyer haven’t been able to resolve the issue within 3 business days, we’re always ready to step in and help.

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