eBay “Cancel Transation” refund/return glitch

By Chris Dawson September 24, 2014 - 2:42 pm
Where's the refund option gone?
Where’s the refund option gone?

Sellers who are trying to process refunds for customers are finding that the “Cancel Transaction” option is missing from eBay.

The option to “Cancel Transaction” is only available for items which haven’t yet been despatched. Once an item has been shipped there appears to be no way to cancel it unless the buyer opens a dispute or uses the eBay Managed Returns Process. Of course if you’ve had a return from overseas there’s no way for the buyer to use the Managed Returns process in the first place.

Many great sellers include returns advice (and in some cases even a pre-paid returns label) in with their shipments making returns easy and simple for their customers. However now when a return arrives back at the warehouse they’re unable to perform the refund on eBay.

Of course you can always refund from within PayPal, but doing so means that you won’t get your final value fee refund from eBay. At 10% final value fees that means for each 10th item you have returned you might as well have given one away for free!

A session on eBay’s Chat help facility reveals that this is a known site issue. Whilst they’re working to fix the issue (which is affecting every seller who needs to refund a buyer), we don’t know how long a fix may take. In the mean time buyers will either be left waiting for refunds from sellers who normally refund promptly, or sellers will have to refund through PayPal and take a hit on the eBay final value fees.

  • Toadlady
    3 years ago

    Is there anything on eBay that IS working properly?
    Why oh why don’t they stop fiddling about introducing new garbage that no one wants and just fix the site so it works properly?

  • saisho
    3 years ago

    Despite having opted in to eBay managed returns we still get customers returning orders without requesting a return through eBay, some customers find it confusing and overall there’s been a lack of communication by eBay to buyers about how to return an item.

    I would like to know if refunds made to customers who have returned without requesting a return through eBay will be counted as a defect in cancelled transactions if we can’t submit a transaction cancellation request.

    Bit confusing right now.

  • 3 years ago

    I thought I was going mad this morning when I could not find the cancel button – so glad its not just me…

  • Jono
    3 years ago

    You would think a multi multi multi million pound company like eBay could get at least something fully working when they release these new plans.

    Left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing!

  • Lee Pearce
    3 years ago

    Luckily enough I had a request from a customer, who had ordered but not paid, to cancel the order, which I duly did following the instructions from ebay.

    All went well, except this message:

    Hello Lee Pearce,

    We let the buyer know that you want to cancel this order
    Here’s what you should do next:
    To complete the order cancellation, you still need to refund the buyer’s original payment method. As soon as the buyer confirms they received their refund, this order will be cancelled.

    As previously mentioned, the buyer had not yet paid, so off I went to call customer support and as I was getting the number I found that there is a new category for contacting customer support reference cancelling orders, which I then clicked on and the screen shot is attached.

    The bit that caught my eye was the last sentence “If you’re cancelling because the item is no longer in stock, you won’t get a fee credit.”

    I was aware that if you end an auction that has a bid on it, you will be charged a FVF for that amount, but I did not know it also covered BIN items.

    I have checked the eBay notifications that I could find and the information about auctions is there, but nothing about not refunding FVF on BIN items if cancelling orders for no longer available.

    I appreciate that in an ideal world, all stock checks will be correct, nothing gets damaged and I won’t get any shoplifters in my shop, but occasionally, once in that last 12 months, I have had to cancel an order due to “no longer being available”, and did receive my FVF back.

    Incidentally, a few minutes after the 1st notification from ebay i received the following message:

    Hello Lee Pearce,

    You cancelled an order from ***********, and we already notified them. You don’t need to do anything else because the buyer hasn’t paid for this order yet.

    You’ll get a final value fee credit in your account that you can apply toward listing more items to sell on eBay.

    So it worked, but received an unnecessary message.


  • Ian
    3 years ago

    I just refunded a customer through PayPal, then discovered that I couldn’t then cancel the transaction, the following seems to have worked successfully:

    In eBay, Go into the sales record for the sale, remove the tick from the “Posted on” box. Save the record and you should now be able to cancel the transaction successfully.

    You can probably do this without refunding through paypal as the second stage of the cancelling process offers to refund it for you as well. If you already have refunded, it doesn’t do it again.

    Hope this helps.

  • Maciej Wiankowski
    3 years ago

    Looks like this is only UI glitch – cancellation cases still can be opened via API so if you are using 3rd party software, it should work for you.


  • Nick
    3 years ago

    Didn’t eBay advise us not to use this cancel process as it resulted in a defect? I understood you must cancel through the resolution centre, which I have been doing!

  • Martin
    3 years ago

    This is so typical. Even the most inexperienced company knows that if you make a software change then it needs thoroughly testing.

    It would be impossible to test this process correctly so why has it even been released? This is just thoroughly unprofessional.

    It may be there are other ways to do it, but a new process should be designed to work easily and transparently. It shouldn’t require going somewhere else on the site, or work arounds.

    If they can’t get it right Ebay should remove it until they can.

    Makes you laugh that after the last outage the ebay response was about building robustness into the site. What about robustness in process development?

    Ebay consistently release changes which clearly have faults. Just not acceptable.

    Incidentally overnight the format for printing invoices has gone haywire for me, and Awaiting despatch shows previously cancelled and unpaid items i.e. closed transactions. No use to anyone, if you use Awaiting Despatch as I do to print my labels. I’m using Chrome.

    This also is amateurish and unprofessional process change. For goodness sake ebay, get it right before you release. Everything htat has happened should have been tested out and corrected.

    • Adam
      3 years ago

      I have noticed the invoice format changing overnight.

      All my listings are live in my shop, but half are blank screens when you click on them.

      Spoke to eBay customer service, and same as normal response. Site Maintenance is being carried out today and tomorrow, and to expect the issues to remain until then.

    • Martin
      3 years ago

      Just an update on the invoice printing fault using chrome.

      If you select 1 invoice and print this, it prints fine as it did yesterday. If you print multiple invoices the format changes and makes it look unprofessional. Check it out for yourself. You can see it on the print preview screen.

    • Adam
      3 years ago

      I’ve tried on Chrome, but still not working for me. The customer address and mine has swapped sides, and the logo has been made huge and right in the top middle of the invoice, pushing everything down the page.

      Looks like I’ll be hand writing quite a few address labels today.

    • Lisa Kennedy
      3 years ago

      Something major going on here.
      We have items previously refunded showing up in AWAITING DESPATCH. Orders printing off in a different layout/format. Also customers messaging us asking why we are asking for payment for sales cancelled months ago…!!???
      Have stopped ALL ebay orders from being despatched pending further investigation.

    • Simon M
      3 years ago

      Yes, me too – I’ve had to re-archive it. Refunded order from 04 Sep 14 appeared out of nowhere.


    • Darrin
      3 years ago

      Having the same issue printing eBay orders. I print the VAT invoice on Chrome and all my address have flipped sides and would not match up with peel off label forms. Awaiting postage page includes refunded and cancelled transactions.
      Tried top customer care support at 8:30 and out average call time is 120 minutes.
      Call me back feature is currently 57 minutes.

    • 3 years ago

      Us too, when we printed out the “Invoice/Packing slips” as usual this morning we found that the format has changed. As for you, Adam, these “packing slips” is what we use to print the stickers with the address for the packets, using “integrated label sheets” .
      Well, now we cannot. So,is this going to go back to normal or are we supposed to throw away all the “integrated labels” that we have? (and the supplier that we buy them from is supposed to throw them away too, I guess).
      I am trying to chat to someone at eBay’s customer support right now, but there is a long queue and I have already been (accidentally?) disconnected once.
      Also, same as Lisa, some old sales that were cancelled by us are shown as “Buyer could not complete payment because of Dispute” (!!!)

    • 3 years ago

      So, a moment ago a customer support agent told me that “we have received similar concerns from other members and we have escalated the issue to the Technical Team. They will look into it and then help to resolve the issue.”

  • 3 years ago

    We have many sales on eBay so on a daily basis with archive our paid and despatched orders. We came across this issue yesterday for the first time. It appears if your order has been archived there is no was to cancel, however, if you go into the sales record details then select the paypal transaction link from there you can refund the paypal transaction. After refunding uncheck the payemnt received on and despatched on check boxes. Save the order details then if your sales order is in paid and despatched the cancel option should be on the right drop down. If your order is archived still you can check the sales record number and then select move to sold view above. that removes if from archived into paid and despatched and you can cancel from there. It’s a real pain. So much harder to do that on Amazon Seller Central.

    Hope this helps.

  • Danny
    3 years ago


    Why can’t you receive FVF Credit from one item returned from a multiple order…

    Its a small scandal of a policy

  • Agatha Butterfly
    3 years ago

    Actually there is a way around this which I discovered yesterday after a long discussion with eBay. I needed to refund a customer who had reported that she had not received an item. Like others I could not find the “cancel transaction” button. I was advised to mark the item as “mark as undespatched” on my sales history. When I did this the “cancel transaction” button appeared. I clicked it and made the refund through eBay and my customer agreed the cancellation and on checking I had received the credit for my FVF’s.
    So, whilst eBay are sorting out yet another glitch. If you wish to cancel a transaction then mark the item as undespatched and it will appear. Like magic!
    Hope that helps.

  • 3 years ago

    We raised this today with eBay who have said that as a workaround and as of yesterday we could log in via and the facility was still there.

    It is completely beyond me how they expect us to work efficiently when the site is so awful to use.

    It’s not as if they are a small poorly funded company. Would anyone from eBay care to comment or even apologise?

  • 3 years ago

    If you sell on multiple platforms you have to do multiple things like put your shop on holiday settings on, then also on .com, .de, .fr.

    eBay are supposed to be promoting cross border trade, yet this part of selling on eBay is very complicated to deal with. Surely they should follow Amazon Seller Central and have a single main dashboard for all sites you sell on where you can set holidays and if you refund a buyer it automatically cancels the order and refunds the FVF. Of course eBay would not like the latter as it then means they would not ear millions due to sellers not remembering to cancel an order.

    Selling on eBay was supposed to be a partnership between eBay and the seller. This partnership appears to have some cracks from eBays side.

  • Nicola Yates
    3 years ago

    Hi I have had the same issue with the addresses flipping over and email not aligned. I am using Firefox. I have also tried Ebay customer care about 2 minutes ago and it stated waiting time of 4133 minutes. Nearly 3 days. lol 🙂 I am getting impatient, but had to laugh at that waiting time.

    I hope they have it fixed soon, as I need to get on with things and can’t face writing all the envelopes manually. Back to the old days!!!

    • 3 years ago

      Have you tried their call back option? Get it scheduled in for next week. 🙂

  • 3 years ago

    All same issues as above!!!
    Plus put in stationery order through eBay and got a message saying it had not been paid and to await an email from them but then got a notification from Paypal saying payment successful.
    What the Dickens is going on??? What a mess!!!
    Can’t do normal BAU and get on with the many jobs in hand without having to workaround eBay’s multiple mistakes – what exactly are we paying for??

  • JD
    3 years ago

    An announcement by eBay:

    The advice from eBay is to wait until tomorrow i.e. give a reduced standard of service to the buyer!! If I get any they will be refunded by PayPal soonest and to fight (!) any resulting defect.

    All rather silly.

  • Lisa Kennedy
    3 years ago

    We had re-archived sales that were in “awaiting despatch” in error – but now notice that some more orders today that have been refunded – have bounced back into “awaiting despatch” instead of “awaiting payment”.

    I have been saying this for years – but why do ebay make such big changes at the busiest time of year.
    Do they still not understand that the “ramp up” for Christmas is now – not in November.
    We sellers are busy preparing for Christmas and have been for some time. Far too busy to spend so long trying to figure out ebay changes that have either been announced in too little detail, not announced at all and then released without THOROUGH pilot schemes with testing by real life ebayers!!
    I dread to think what has happened to very large sellers that print all orders from AWAITING DESPATCH – some with automated systems. Customers who have never paid – or been refunded will be receiving Goods For Nothing.
    What a mess!
    On the other hand, really looking forward to a streamlined return process that is seller and buyer friendly.

  • John
    3 years ago

    I has this issue over the last 2 days. I called Support and the chap said its a known issue. He manually refunded my refunded items FVF. Today I have been advised it’s being sorted within 48 hours. Hope this info is useful.

  • 3 years ago

    Looks like ebay have doen soem work overnight, as the cancel option seems to have returned:

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