How to Cancel an eBay Order

Not sure that you want an item that you bought on eBay anymore?   Unfortunately, eBay doesn't make cancelling a purchase the easiest thing in the world to do.  Cancelling an order for something you've directly bought on eBay is complicated enough, and if you've bought an item on eBay by winning it in an auction or making an offer for it, it's even tougher (though this is more for legal reasons than technical ones).

If you really want to cancel an order that you've made through eBay, here's what to do.

How to cancel an order in eBay

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

  2. Find the store or user that you bought the item from (see our eBay Search and eBay Advanced Search tutorials if you need help with this), and click on them to see their details.

  3. In the top-right corner of the user's profile, click Contact.

  4. Click the "Other" button under "Select a Topic".  At the bottom of the screen, click the button beside "No, I Want to Contact the Seller" (if there are any answers to questions under this category) and then click Continue.

    (HINT: You can also get to the next step by moving your mouse cursor over My eBay in the top-right-hand corner, clicking on Purchase History, then clicking on More Actions and then Cancel Item underneath the item that you wish to cancel, and then clicking Contact Seller on the new screen that pops up.)

  5. On the next screen, click in the box marked "Enter a Topic" and type in "Need to Cancel Purchase", or something to that effect.  Then click in the box labelled "Hi [seller's username]" and type in some details about why you have decided to cancel your purchase.  Then click in the box next to the distorted image and type in the numbers that you see; this is a security check to prevent computer programs from automatically sending fake emails to people.  When you're done, click Send.

  6. You should receive a response within a day or so.  Move your mouse cursor over My eBay and click Messages.

  7. If the seller has agreed to accommodate your cancellation request, there will be an email from eBay asking you to confirm your cancellation.  Click Respond Now.

  8. On the next screen, make sure the button beside "I Accept the Seller's Request to Cancel This Transaction" is filled in (and click it if it isn't).  (NOTE: Be sure that you either haven't already paid for the item, or have already received a refund confirmation from the seller, before you do this.  Otherwise, you need to contact the seller again and work this out.) 

    Click in the box marked "Give Additional Information to the Seller" and type in some last comments if you wish, and then click Send Response.

You can also contact eBay's customer service department, and they may be able to help you cancel your order.  We'll go over that in our eBay Customer Service article, though.


That's how to cancel an order on eBay!  Thanks for sticking with us through it!


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