eBay Testing Changes To Payment Process For Offers & Auctions

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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UPDATE 12-23-23

It appears that in order to facilitate the ability to accept multiple offers while leaving the listing active until someone pays, eBay is sending the accepted offer back to the buyer as a counter-offer with immediate payment required.

eBay glitch that is sending back accepted offers to buyers as counter offers
by u/wildwackyride in Ebay

Today I got an offer I tried to accept and instead it sent the same amount offer as a counter back to the buyer. Chatted with eBay and they said it’s a known issue. I messaged the buyer but never heard back so I guess I lost the sale. eBay sucks so hard lately. I’ve had like 3 sales this month down from one daily and now they just screwed me out of one measly sale. Really frustrating af

I'm pretty sure it's a new "feature", not a bug.

I've had that happen several times in the last week or so. Each time the offer I received included a new message that the item would remain available for purchase by other buyers unless/until the buyer whose offer I accepted actually paid for it.

I think the way ebay is facilitating that new process is by having the accepted offer trigger a counteroffer with immediate payment required.

Received offers turning into sent offers?
This is the second time in a week this has happened so I’m curious if anyone else has had a similar experience. I’ll receive an offer from a buyer, I’ll accept the offer, and then instead of the thing popping up saying “waiting for payment” like normal nothing happens, and when I review the item, it…

This is the second time in a week this has happened so I’m curious if anyone else has had a similar experience. I’ll receive an offer from a buyer, I’ll accept the offer, and then instead of the thing popping up saying “waiting for payment” like normal nothing happens, and when I review the item, it shows up as not sold yet and looks as if I sent out the offer that I actually accepted.

Example: I have a basketball card listed at 34.99. Someone watches it. I send an offer for 29.99. They counter with 24.99. I accept it. Then when I view the item it shows up as me having sent them another counter offer of 24.99 instead of it showing as sold for the accepted offer price. This will be the second sale in a week I’ll miss out on if the buyer doesn’t “accept” the offer. Really annoying. Would love a bug fix as this is never a problem I’ve had before.

Seller Hartungcards provided a screenshot of what it looks like on the buyer's side, including a message that says "Others received this offer too. The first person to complete checkout gets the deal!"

However, it sounds like there may still be some bugs to work out in the actual checkout process as the buyer said the regular Buy It Now price is wha was shown at checkout.

I had a buyer who was trying to accept an offer, but the "Accept Offer" button had been replaced with a "Check Out" button. When he hit "Check Out" it put the item in his cart at the regular Buy It Now price. I contacted Customer Disservice, and they tried to tell me it must be my buyer's problem.

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eBay appears to be testing changes to the payment process for Offers and Auctions to address buyer and seller concerns about combined shipping and when items are considered "sold."

First eBay is allowing sellers to accept multiple offers without ending the listing, designating the first buyer to actually pay for the item as the "winner", according to sellers posting in the Blowout Forums.

I just went to go accept an offer from a buyer and received a message stating something along the lines of "You can now accept multiple offers. The first buyer to pay will receive the item." Once I accepted the offer, the item remained available as the buyer's payment hasn't come through yet.

Has anyone else encountered this? I find this to be strange and my immediate response is I don't like the change.

Interesting! So it is not just me. Yes, on my end this was clearly different than an offer with automatic payment that would be charged once I accepted. The card was still in my active listings after accepting the offer.

I can see some benefits -- if you have a hot item this will encourage payment to be sent ASAP. And if a buyer isn't paying, you can still sell the card to someone else. However, as a buyer I would be upset if I sent an offer that was accepted but then I didn't end up with the card. This could happen when a seller accepts a few offers at the same time, but a buyer is away from their computer and not ready to complete the payment.

Sellers in the eBay community have also noted the this recent change with mostly positive feedback.

Counter-Offer Accepted But Item Still Shows as Available and Active
Late yesterday, I sent out offers on an item to the handful of watchers for it. The item is set to Buy It Now without offers accepted, but I did opt to keep counter-offers on with the offer I sent. Late last night, I received a counter-offer I felt was fair, so I accepted it. Historically, to my rec…

Late yesterday, I sent out offers on an item to the handful of watchers for it. The item is set to Buy It Now without offers accepted, but I did opt to keep counter-offers on with the offer I sent. Late last night, I received a counter-offer I felt was fair, so I accepted it.

Historically, to my recollection, once I accept the counter, the listing ends and is sold. In this case, it still shows as an active item in my selling summary, but when I go to manage offers, it says that I made the person the winner and that I did accept the offer.

What in the world is going on?! Does the person who made the counter offer have to accept that I accepted the counter offer now or is there something afoot with ebay and this is some glitch?

It's a new thing that the person who made the counter offer that you accepted has to pay for it before the listing ends. It's the new "You Snooze, You Lose" policy.

One of the biggest complaints buyers have had about immediate payment being required for offers and auctions has been the lack of ability to combine shipments.

It appears eBay is working to address that complaint in a separate test of a new "payment preferences" feature which still locks in payment method confirmation upfront, but will allow up to 3 days before processing the payment to provide time to request combined shipment or make any necessary changes.

Buyers who are seeing this new feature report a pop up when bidding that says:

Introducing payment preferences

  1. You'll confirm your payment method and shipping address
    You can make changes before each auction ends.
  2. If you win, we'll automatically process your order after 3 days
    You can checkout sooner or use the time to request combined shipping, if applicable.

Introducing Automatic Checkout
To protect our marketplace, we're making sure no item gets left unpaid.

Here's how:

  • Before you bid, set your payment preferences (you can update these before the auction ends.)
  • If you win, we'll automatically process your order

When confirming the buyer's bid, if it is currently the highest eBay will show them a message that states:

You're now the highest bidder! If you win, we'll automatically process your order on [Date] at [Time]. If purchasing multiple items, you can contact the seller before then to request combined shipping.

When an auction in this test ends, it sends the winning buyer a notification and adds the item to the cart. In the cart there is an option to request to combine shipping as well as a note with a countdown that shows "Order will process automatically in x days, x hours, x minutes".

On the seller side, it appears in Seller Hub with a countdown showing when the Autopay will be processed and an option to send invoice if the seller wants to combine shipping.

Auto-pay not working with winning High Bidders
How long does it take for Auto pay to kick in? I’ve been waiting one hour for payment. A customer who’s order I had to cancel because of non-payment wrote me that she had auto-pay on so it should have been paid. Should l be sending these customers invoices with auto pay on? (Leave it to Ebay to sc…

This change may also help resolve problems buyers have had with auto-pay on auctions preventing them from being able to send trading cards to the eBay Vault.

eBay Auto-Pay On Auctions Prevents Sending Cards To eBay Vault
eBay’s attempt to address unpaid items with immediate payment for auctions prevents buyers from submitting trading cards to eBay Vault.

So far, the "snooze, you lose" feature for offers and the 3 day auto-pay to allow time to request a combined invoice appear to be separate tests and we have not heard of any instances where they overlapped or were both applied to the same item/transaction.

Unfortunately, eBay has not provided any publicly available information about either of these tests at this time, so buyers and seller are both left in the dark trying to figure it out for themselves.

Are you seeing these changes to the offers and auctions payment process on eBay? Let us know what you think about them in the comments below!

eBayFees & Payments

Liz Morton Twitter

Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!