Prior to the invention of the Internet, the only way you could sell items was by word of mouth, at a brick-and-mortar storefront, or at your local farmer’s market. Nowadays, there are limitless methods for setting up a storefront.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Close Your Own eBay Store
- How to Close a Deceased Loved One’s eBay Store
- Closing an eBay Store: Frequently Asked Questions
Though numbers continually fluctuate, there are around 182 million eBay users and nearly double that amount of items listed for sale and auction. As such, it’s become an incredibly popular digital storefront for people who want to sell pre-owned items, handmade goods, and specialty items from antiques to modified street bikes.
Thanks to the variety of online storefronts, you might decide to shut down your eBay store to host it elsewhere or decide to retire from the business altogether. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to close your store to avoid further listings, inquiries by interested customers, and potential penalties and problems with leaving a vacant store up and running. Thankfully, closing your store — or the store of a deceased relative — can be fairly simple and straightforward.
Tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, closing accounts and other aspects of handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
How to Close Your Own eBay Store
If you want to delete your eBay account and you have a storefront through the website, you’ll need to close your store first.
Step 1: Log in to your account
Make sure to log in whether you’re on a computer or your phone. If you have multiple accounts for your storefronts, you’ll need to log in to each one separately to close each store.
Step 2: Go to your subscriptions
Many sellers on eBay with a storefront are signed up for a storefront subscription with eBay. This is different from the occasional sale a person might post through their standard eBay account. Storefronts offer discounts and services on the backend to help a person promote their business and make sales a regular part of their time on eBay.
When closing your store, you’ll want to cancel the storefront subscription you signed up for. Most people have a starter, basic, or premium account. If you have a considerable volume of business, you might have an anchor account.
Step 3: Locate active subscription and cancel
After you’ve logged in and scrolled to your “active subscriptions,” click on your subscription. Here, you’ll find a button with an option to cancel. Click this option and cancel your store subscription.
Step 4: Wrap up final listings
eBay will continue to host all active listings until they expire or are sold. This gives you time to sell your final items before shutting your account down as well. If you’d rather remove all listings at this time, you can do so prior to or after canceling your store subscription.
Once your final listings are sold, have expired, or are removed by you, you can take your store closure one step farther and cancel your eBay account. At this point, you will no longer have an account associated with eBay.
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Step 5: Monitor your linked email account
Keep a close eye on your linked email account for a month after you officially close up your storefront. Some people have reported that eBay has had recurring problems with “ghost” listings — items that a seller has previously sold being listed again by a glitch in eBay’s software system.
If you see something pop up that shouldn’t be there, contact eBay right away to have it removed and place a formal complaint on file. This should prohibit you from getting charged or penalized when you have to refund someone’s money because the item no longer exists.
How to Close a Deceased Loved One’s eBay Store
Opened storefronts such as those on eBay are just one aspect of a person’s digital afterlife. When a person passes away, it’s important to close these accounts down to avoid penalties, continued inquiries from interested customers, and the potential for the store to be hacked. If you are the executor of your loved one’s estate, you have the right and legal authority to close accounts and storefronts online as part of your executor duties.
Step 1: Contact customer service
If you have your loved one’s account information and password, then you can proceed to shut down their store with the steps listed above. If you’ve been given permission to perform this action but are unsure of their password, check documents on their computer or a password manager where they might have kept account and login information.
Should you be unable to find their login, password, or other account information, then you will need to get ahold of customer service so they can resolve the situation and close the account on the back end.
You can contact customer service by calling their customer service helpline at 866-305-3229 or by scrolling to the bottom of a help page and clicking the button to chat with a service representative. You do not need to sign in for either of these contact methods.
Step 2: Collect documentation
eBay needs relatively little documentation in order to close your loved one’s account. The two items eBay requires include a certified copy of your loved one’s death certificate and their eBay username.
Certified death certificates can be obtained online by visiting the state’s office of vital statistics based on the location of your loved one’s death and burial. They’ll be able to issue you a death certificate for them directly from their records.
Pro-tip: If you’re just getting started with your executor duties, consider obtaining several copies at once to use for other official business.
Step 3: Submit documentation
You can submit both pieces of information to eBay through email or physical mail. Either method is acceptable. To email, you’ll need to scan the death certificate and attach it as a PDF. You’ll then be able to include your loved one’s username in the body of your message requesting closure of their account.
Step 4: Confirm account closure
A customer service representative will contact you to proceed with the account closure. If your loved one’s account has accumulated any fines or fees and the estate can pay them, you’ll be required to remit payment to eBay before the account can be closed. If there is no money in the estate to pay, you’ll be required to submit a court-issued statement declaring the negative financial status of the estate.
At this point, pending sales will be stopped and customers refunded, debts remitted, and listings removed. Once the matter of pending sales, debts, and listings is wrapped up, eBay will close your loved one’s account.
Keep a copy of the confirmation number with estate records in case any disputes arise at a later time.
Closing an eBay Store: Frequently Asked Questions
Still uncertain about closing your eBay store or your loved one’s storefront? Here are answers to two common questions that might help you out.
What happens when you close an eBay store?
eBay will continue to host all active listings until they expire or are sold. After all listings have expired or sold, the store is closed and the associated account can be removed, as well.
Can you temporarily close an eBay store?
Yes, you can! If you want to go on vacation, for example, you can schedule time away, pause sales during this time, and set start and end dates for your temporary closure.
Closing Up Shop With eBay
If you’re finishing up your business by closing an online storefront, close it for good instead of leaving the store online and inactive. Not only will you have relevant documentation showing that your store is closed, but it will help to avoid any future issues with getting hacked or accumulating excess fines and charges.
- “Close an eBay Store.” eBay Customer Service, eBay, 2020. ebay.com/help/selling/ebay-stores/close-ebay-store?id=4091