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How Do I Handle a Dispute with PayPal™?

S. Berger
S. Berger

Handling a dispute with PayPal™ depends on whether you are the buyer or seller in a given transaction. Regardless of your role in the dispute, the best first step is to contact the other person through email. Additionally, you should go to the Resolution Center on the PayPal™ website and file a dispute. PayPal™ will then attempt to contact the other party as well and mediate a resolution.

If a buyer has not received an item, PayPal™ will try to reach the seller if the buyer cannot. In the event that the seller still does not respond, PayPal™ will see whether the buyer wants to escalate the dispute, which is known as putting the dispute into claim status. If the buyer does, then PayPal™ contacts the source of the sale, such as the website through which the sale was conducted, and notifies the site of the unfulfilled transaction. The seller might face sanctions from that site or might be reported to an agency or organization that oversees and regulates businesses, and PayPal™ might refund money to the buyer.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Keep in mind that the buyer must provide valid reasons for filing the complaint and for escalating the dispute. These reasons should be kept succinct and to the point when you are handling a dispute with PayPal™. Aside from not receiving an item at all, a buyer might choose to file a claim if the item that was received was one that was significantly different from the one advertised, or if the buyer's PayPal™ account or credit card was used without his or her permission to purchase an item.

A sellers has a more difficult time handling a dispute with PayPal™ because in order to win, the seller must have a verified PayPal™ account, must have shipped to a confirmed address with tracking and must have shipped with signature verification for items that cost more than $250 US Dollars. The best solution for sellers is to attempt to avoid disputes arising by following these steps, by providing photographs of the items that were shipped and shipping them within a week of purchase. If the seller ships the item following these steps and is unable to contact the buyer, the seller can file a complaint, and after a 20-day waiting period, PayPal™ will offer the option of escalating the dispute. In that case, the seller might be refunded the value of the item that was shipped.

The seller also has the option of appealing a dispute with PayPal™ that was decided in favor of the buyer. This option is available when the buyer received an item and sent it back. An appeal can be made if the item is returned in worse condition than it was when it was sent, if no item was returned or if the wrong item was returned.

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