Earlier in the fall I experienced a rash of unpaid bidders. It gets really frustrating when an auction-style listing closes at a higher final bid price than I expected but the high-bidder does not come through. While I can send a second chance offer to the next highest bidder, completing the the unpaid bidder process takes a long time. By the time it is resolved, the runner-up bidder has either made a purchase from somebody else or lost interest in my product. All you can do is relist and hope for another bidding war.

However, I recently discovered that you can edit your account preferences to insulate yourself from habitual unpaid bidders. Here’s how: Log in to My eBay and click the “My Account” tab and select “Account Preferences” from the drop-down menu

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Next, scroll down and find the row labeled “Buyer Requirements” and click show:

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Click the link labeled edit that appears under where you just clicked.

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Now you can set the eligibility requirements potential eBay bidders/buyers must meet before they can make a purchase from you. After my recent experiences I’m pretty stringent with these requirements now.

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This only works if sellers take the time to follow through with the unpaid item process. I’ll do my part — hope you do yours!