Handling a Missing eBay Shipment Marked Delivered

When Your eBay Status Says Delivered But You Didn't Get It

Delivery man with packages knocking at front door
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So you made a purchase on eBay, paid using PayPal, tracked your package carefully, and see now that the package has been reported as delivered in the tracking system. Only you didn't get the package.

Mysteriously missing shipments of this kind happen from time to time in e-commerce, but they're probably more common on eBay, where both sellers and shipment carriers can vary from transaction to transaction.

What to Do When You Don't Receive the Shipment

First of all, don't panic. You're experiencing something that can create a great deal of frustration, but something that usually can be resolved.

Here's what to do.

First, Contact the Shipper

With your tracking number handy, call the carrier (USPS, FedEx, UPS, or whichever company was responsible for delivery) or check their website directly, rather than tracking through My eBay. In some cases, drivers leave packages even if you don't answer your door, but leave them in a "hidden location" (behind a bush, under a mat, inside a rear screen door) to prevent theft. If this is what happened, there may be a note about the package's location in the system.

Note that contacting the carrier is likely to be time-consuming, especially if you have to figure out where in the postal system your package traveled. Try to keep your cool, even if you spend time on hold or don't get your question resolved.

Double-Check the Shipment Address

Look at the email correspondence you've received from eBay and PayPal and check your profiles on both sites. If the package was sent to the wrong address, you'll be better positioned to explain your situation in any discussion or dispute. If your eBay or PayPal profile addresses are wrong, now is a good time to fix them—before any other shipments go to the wrong address.

Check In With the Seller

If you still can't locate the package or it was sent to the wrong address, contact your seller and explain the situation. Many sellers will go out of their way to follow up with the carrier and/or do what it takes, from a customer service perspective, to make sure that you eventually get your item.

When All Else Fails, File a Dispute

If neither the carrier nor the seller are able to help you and all of the addresses on file are correct, it may be time to try filing either an eBay dispute or a credit card dispute. Your odds at this point are mixed. In one way, the evidence is against you, since the carrier is sure that the package was delivered, but at the same time both eBay and credit card processors have a vested interest in ensuring that the purchases that you make work out well.

In the vast majority of cases, the missing package mystery is resolved near the top of this list, and a package turns up either in an odd place on the property or when a neighbor drops by (sometimes days later) to deliver it to you.

Stay patient, follow through, and in all likelihood your package will ultimately be delivered to you—albeit in some cases after a significant delay—in the end.