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Why am I being charged by eBay?

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Why am I being charged by eBay?

Surprise eBay charges can be worrying, particularly if you're a light eBay user or not an eBay user at all

Photo: Svanhorn4245 / Dreamstime
Question: Why am I being charged by eBay?
Unexpected charges are always frustrating, even (or in some cases especially) when they come from eBay. eBay fees can hit you whether you're a regular eBay user or not, but at the same time, eBay bills and/or charges are not always necessarily what they seem to be.
Answer: Here are some common reasons for unexpected charges in your eBay life.
  • You posted an auction listing. When you list an item for sale on eBay, you'll generally be charged listing fees even if your item doesn't sell. The only exception to this rule is for low-volume sellers whose listings started at $0.99 (99 cents) or less. So if you've posted eBay listings worth more than a buck, expect to be charged in accordance with eBay's fees table.

  • You've recently added a new credit card to your PayPal account. When you add a new credit card for use on eBay, a one dollar authorization will occur against the account in question. This isn't actually a fee or a charge; the money won't be removed from your account, just frozen for a day or two to ensure that the account is valid.

  • You're not actually being charged-it's a scam. If you've recently received a bill or statement by email that appears to be from eBay but demands payments that you don't believe you owe, you may simply have received a phish or spoof email that you can safely ignore.

  • You're being billed for eBay services and/or recurring listings. Subscriptions to eBay services like eBay stores or Selling Manager Pro and things like automatically scheduled or recurring listings can incur periodic fees even if you haven't recently engaged in any eBay activity.

  • eBay has made a billing error. Though it's somewhat uncommon, it does happen that eBay charges fees when people don't actually owe them. If you believe that this has happened to you, you should certainly take action to rectify the situation.

How to Fix the Issue

Here's how to fix issues related to amounts you're sure you shouldn't owe to ebay.
  1. Visit eBay directly by entering www.ebay.com into your browser's address bar. Do not click on any login link in a billing email you've received, in case the email is a fake.

  2. Click on "My eBay" at the upper-right of the eBay website (and if asked, log into your eBay account by entering your username and password).

  3. Click on the "Account" tab near the top of you're My eBay area.

  4. Click on the "View: All account activity" link underneath your current balance.

  5. If you do not see the unexpected charges about which you're concerned, any notice you received was likely a fake.

  6. If you do see unexpected charges that you don't understand, and that aren't addressed by any of the common reasons for unexpected charges given above, click on the "Contact Us" link at the far upper-right of the page to ask eBay for clarification about the fees you've been charged.

Note that if you don't even have an eBay account and have never used eBay, chances are that what you've received is a fake email claiming to be from eBay in an attempt to steal personal information from you. Don't panic. Instead, contact your credit card issuer or bank and check to see if the fees have actually been charged to you. If they haven't, simply throw away the email or notice in question; it's a fake, you owe nothing, and there are no repercussions.

If, on the other hand, you've never used eBay and yet there are eBay charges on your credit card or bank statement as verified by your financial institution, a thief has likely obtained your credit card or banking information from a third party and used them to buy or sell on eBay. Dispute the charge with your financial institution and have them issue you new account number(s) and/or card(s).

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