The person on eBay who bid on and won the auction for the optical drive has not yet paid for the item. The auction ended on Tuesday and it’s now Thursday. I’m playing it cool and letting eBay’s automated messages remind the buyer that he now needs to pay up.

I never really thought about what happens when someone doesn’t pay on eBay. I’ve always paid for my items in a timely fashion. The first item I sold last week was paid immediately.

It turns out you can’t really force someone to pay you on an eBay auction. eBay will mark a strike against this person’s account. If you get too many strikes, then you can’t bid on items for a while. Sellers can also prevent accounts that have too many strikes from making bids on their items as well. If I have to re-list my item, eBay will refund you any fees you paid to make the listing. My listing was free, so other than the inconvenience, I didn’t lose out. This would have been a lot easier had there been multiple bids on my item as I would have just offered it to the person with the next highest bid. Unfortunately, only one person bid on my item.

I will give the person a few more days to pay me. If by Sunday, nothing has happened, I will send my own message to them. If I get no traction after that, I can begin the eBay process of resolving this, which puts a strike against the “buyer” and allows me to re-list the item.

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