Why Am I Being Charged by eBay?

What to Do When You Have Unexpected Charges from eBay

eBay buyers discussing charges
Some people will never understand eBay. GettyImages

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. There are a few common reasons why eBay charges sellers, and you should be familiar with them. But if you're seeing unexpected charges, you should seek explanation and in some instances, a refund.

First, here are five common reasons for unexpected eBay charges.

1. You Posted an Auction Listing

When you list an item for sale on eBay, you'll generally be charged a listing (or insertion) fee, even if your item doesn't sell. If you've posted eBay listings worth more than a dollar, expect to be charged in accordance with eBay's fees table.

2. You Recently Added a New Credit Card to Your PayPal Account

When you add a new credit card for use on eBay, you'll see a one-dollar authorization fee. This isn't actually a fee or a charge, it's just a way for them to authorize your credit card. The money won't be removed from your account, just frozen for a day or two to ensure that the account is valid.

3. 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. Let eBay know about the phishing attempt, but it should go without saying that you don't want to engage directly with any suspicious emails.

4. You're Being Billed for eBay Services and/or Recurring Listings

Subscriptions to some eBay services and things like automatically scheduled or recurring listings can incur periodic fees even if you haven't recently engaged in any eBay activity.

5. eBay Has Made a Billing Error

Though it's somewhat uncommon, it does happen.

If you believe that this has happened to you, you should certainly take action to rectify the situation. Here's how to fix issues related to amounts you're sure you shouldn't owe to eBay.

Take a Closer Look

Visit eBay directly; don't click on any login link in a billing email you've received in case the email is a scam. Log into your eBay account and view your account activity listed under your current balance. If you do not see the unexpected charges about which you're concerned, any notice you received was likely a fake.

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, seek clarification from eBay. 

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 there are eBay charges on your credit card or bank statement, you may be the victim of identity theft.

Dispute the charge with your financial institution and work with their fraud department to go from there.