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How To Win a PayPal Dispute or Claim – For Sellers (2021)

By March 19, 2021Selling online

PayPal is among the best payment methods that are available for e-commerce websites and when you, as a seller, are using this option, you might come across different claims by buyers. The person you are selling to might claim that they did not receive the item, they got the item in a damaged form or they got a rock instead of a Phone. With these and other funny but serious claims you need all the information you can fit in your mind on how to protect yourself from some of these buyer claims. In most cases, sites that facilitate buying and selling are always on the buyer’s side which is why instead of waiting until you are dealing with a claim, you should take all the necessary measure to avoid giving the buyer a chance to grab your money before it is in your pocket.

PayPal Dispute or Claim – What You Need To Know

PayPal, like any other online payment system, has policies which will work against sellers if they do not take the necessary steps to ensure that they deliver and can prove this. Without tracking, the buyer may receive the item and claim that they have not set eyes on the package. The item can be placed at the buyer’s door then stolen. In this case, the seller will be liable because the buyer will claim that they never received the item and there is nothing to prove they did.

Though PayPal will protect buyers, there are also policies which are geared towards the protection of sellers from fraudulent buyers. It is crucial that you understand. Apart from the seller protection, you also need to be careful when transacting to reduce chances of fraudulent transactions.

Why does the PayPal payment dispute occur?

Your customer can file a payment dispute for several reasons:

  1. Item Not Received: The customers claim about ordering and paying for an unreceived product
  2. Item Significantly Not as Described: The customers claim that the product they receive is significantly different from the merchant’s description
  3. Unauthorized payment: The customers claim about being charged for purchasing without authorizing the transaction intentionally

PayPal Seller Protection

As a measure to ensure that all users are protected, PayPal has seller protection policies which are aimed at protecting sellers using this payment method to receive money from buyers. The seller protection protects sellers from the ‘unauthorized transaction’ and the ‘Item not received’ claims. These are the two main claims that sellers deal with and while some cases might be genuine, there are many claims that are made with ill intentions.

The main reason why crafty buyers will make a PayPal dispute is because they want to get their money back and still keep the item. PayPal will investigate and if there is proof that the items were received or the buyer made the purchase, then the seller will be on the winning side when the claims come knocking.

How to Respond to a PayPal Dispute

You can respond to the PayPal dispute by communicating with your buyer directly through the message board in the dispute case. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the PayPal resolution center.
  2. Click View under Action.
  3. Now, you can respond to the buyer. Make sure to enter all the relevant documents that you have, including order tracking information and delivery confirmation email.

If the evidence that you have provided is compelling, you are very likely to get a positive outcome. However, if you don’t have the order tracking information or proof of shipment, the customer will have a significantly higher chance of winning the dispute. Usually, it takes 10-14 days for PayPal to review and solve the case.

Steps To Avoid PayPal Buyer Disputes and Claims

You may have seller protection but this will not be enough to protect you from some PayPal disputes. This is why you will need the following measures to ensure that the seller protection works and that you have extra backing when you are dealing with buyer disputes or claims.

Tracking

Tracking the package is one of the best ways to ensure that the claim is settled and you emerge the winner. It works in a simple manner but will go a long way in providing proof that an item from the seller got to the buyer. When a package is in transit, a bar code is attached to it and the cod is scanned at different locations along the parcel’s journey. When scanned, the bar codes will provide information of where the parcel is coming from and its destination. This information will be updated to the shipping company’s website and will remain there as proof that the parcel went through that point. The buyer and the seller can therefore get the information of where the package is at any given moment.

If the buyer makes a claim that they have not yet received the item, the tracking information can be used in proving that the item actually got to a certain point or to the buyer’s location. This information is also important to confirm that the transaction was authorized by the buyer if he/she checks the progress of the shipment.

Insurance

Always ensure that you have all the details regarding the insurance of the items you are shipping. Some shipping companies will have limited loss and damage liabilities and you should be aware of these limits. It is important to have the items covered because this will reduce the chances of claims made as a result of damaged or lost items.

Realistic Delivery Dates

Some claims are made based on the late arrival of the item and this is why you need to give realistic delivery dates and factor in any possible delays.

Avoid Confusion

Many buyers will report that what they have received from a seller is not what they wanted. In most cases, this is because the pictures and the description are not clear. Ensure that you take clear pictures of what you are selling and describe it as it is. This will eliminate any claim related to ‘I wanted an tablet and I received a chopping board’

Be Responsive

When a consumer makes a purchase online, they have the fear of not getting the item and losing their money. To prevent the tension and the worries that turn into claims, provide adequate contact information and respond as fast as you can. When emails are not replied for long, the buyer will want their money back and this will bruise your business. When the seller is in constant communication or answers emails promptly, the buyer will relax and no claims will be made.

Avoid Suspicious Buyers

There are buyers that will raise red flags when making orders and these are the kind of consumers you need to avoid. If the order is coming from a high risk area or the buyer asks to change the location of delivery after making an order, you should avoid such a transaction. If the order is higher than normal by far, this could be a fraudulent case. Any suspicious activity such as multiple orders from different people using the same address, suspicious emails addresses such as ‘$%[email protected]/gmail.com’, and customers insisting on overnight shipping among others you should steer clear of these transaction as you could end up losing your items.

In Conclusion

It is better safe than sorry! When you are selling online, there are many risks involved and while PayPal’s Seller Protection will protect you partly, you will need to be cautious to ensure that your business is protected from buyers who want to use the Buyer Protection policy to rip you off. Whatever you sell, ensure that you have enough proof to show that the customer actually ordered the item, and that it got to them in good time. This is the only way you will win any buyer claim case.

12 Comments

  • Leslie chaks says:

    I was a seller and the buyer claimed it was an unauthorized transaction, I was actually able to provide a tracking number and it showed the item was received by someone, but PayPal is still trying to take the money away from me, the seller who sent the goods! The tracking information was not enough for PayPal to find in my favor. PayPal just says they do not cover any reportedly unauthorized transactions. They accept the payment from the credit card, not me, so How could I even have a chance to determine whether or not it might possibly be a fraudulent, unauthorized transaction.? Why should this become my problem…I can tell you that PayPal does not even try to help you resolve the problem! It’s just lip service. I feel that I, the seller, should in no way be responsible for a supposed unauthorized transaction that PayPal accepted. They are a terrible company!

    • Fran Sanchez says:

      Hi Leslie,

      I hear you. Seems that in that case the seller is in the losing end. It would make sense that Paypal would take some responsibility from accepting a fraudulent transaction, I know that the credit card company can reimburse the buyer for transactions like this (I had a case before someone stole my card and purchase plane tickets, and I got the money back from the credit card company a year later). I wish I could help you more. Your comment will be useful for my readers thanks for sharing.

    • Mel says:

      I 100% I’m going thru the same thing now! All PayPal is doing is giving lip service! The best thing that can be done is STOP using them! That’s what I’m doing it’s less hardache that way!

    • tina says:

      I am in the same position. What can we do against PayPal ?

    • Terry says:

      Exactly same thing happened with me too and now I have reported this to financial ombudsman who will handle this case and if needed I will further take this matter to the court as we as a seller are here to make small money by selling good not to be ripped of by these doggy customers.

  • Aristides Melo says:

    I’ve experienced the same outcome, a crafty buyer filed a claim 5 days after shipment . Any evidence provided by me was ignored, the parcel is still in transit but the refund has been sent by Paypal.
    Where can I fill a claim on Paypal… elsewhere?

  • MannyB says:

    I don’t mean to rectify a year old post but Google sent me here. Some extra tips for sellers:
    1) Do please take DETAILED packing photos just in case you lose the PayPal battle, you may be able to get reimbursed by the shipping service.
    2) Seller and buyer protection is only for tangible goods, if you are dealing with intangibles (i.e. software via CD) it’s a good idea to have signature confirmation. Signature confirmation is not a bad idea either if you’re doubtful of where you’re shipping to or to whom.
    3) Have a confirming conversation with the buyer that can be documented, via screenshot or snip. Even though digitally things can be doctored it’s still proof of a correspondence of said item.
    4) Not totally sure but I do believe there is an option now to request the item back during a claim, but yes, get your item back and refund, and have the seller pay it’s way back.
    Hope this helps, please feel free to chime in with any other helpful tips to sellers who could have won a claim, you maybe the 10,000 customer and you deserve a prize.

  • Paypal is doing this to me now……after telling me last night that the buyer would have to return a desk at her expense and that “as I know… the buyer is responsible for returning the item to the seller at their cost”…..I get an email less than 24 hours DEMANDING that I send the buyer her shipping money which is like $300 for the return. I will not agree to this and will call them today and fight on. The buyer is claiming fraudulently that the desk was damaged in shipping which it was not….in fact her complaint is something she addressed before she bought it giving full indication to anyone reading her correspondence that she knew what was wrong with the item before she purchased it. They better not KEEP my money… The buyer threatened PayPal with a credit card CHARGEBACK and then Paypal is now coming after me after telling me I was not going to have to pay for the return shipping. The customer wanted a free desk and it is even more involved than this….in the buyer’s emails….she says she is going to refinish and that it needs refinishing and I am to ship it to her refinishers and her initial claim is …… “it is scratched and I need $500 to refinish it” ! ? Are you Serious ??? Total fraud and scam. Paypal needs to side with the “innocent party” and not give in to buyer’s demands and threats or STOP taking credit card purchases from buyers ! This is horrible ! The buyer’s claim with Etsy filed on the same day was REJECTED By ETSY !……important point to know also. Paypal….where are you and why are you doing this to me ?!!! The buyer should be put in jail for many reasons…. and for her outright lies. Or …. Paypal should pay her for the desk. NOT ME !

  • Vicki Sharp says:

    Hi, I won a case in eBay and lost with Paypal. I did all the things you said. After roughly six does on appeal I lost and was sent this response. My response is after PayPal’s
    Paypal don’t bother with an Ebay description for 2 reasons.
    1. Ebay is a separate company and paypal only go by the
    information on their dispute process.
    2. A seller may have a superb description of the item but that
    does not mean its the same item that was sent OR that the
    item arrived in the condition stated.
    Whilst you may say ”no refunds” on your auction, that only
    applies to ”buyer remorse” and not if an item arrives that is
    not in the advertised condition according to the buyer.
    You accepted paypals terms and conditions and they allow
    buyers disputes / refunds on SNAD items.
    Paypal at no time can see the item you sent or the item the
    buyer received. So as its always one persons word against
    anothers then paypal do ”tend” to favour the buyer BUT the
    buyer has to return the item back to you at their own expense
    before getting a refund.
    I’m afraid if you are a seller you are always going to have the
    odd transaction go awry. You have to accept that it comes with
    selling online, the same as shopkeepers in the high street have
    to put up with shoplifters.
    As for negative feedback, does an occasional red dot on a
    website bother you that much? Do you really think it will affect
    buyers? You only have to see power sellers with loads of negs
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    to have the answer to that one.
    There are always going to be PITA buyers out there, and seller
    protection is never going to be a 100% coverall.

    Dear Sir,
    Since I had a spotless record as a seller and I am not a high volume seller a red dot on my website does bother me. It brings my score done considerably for other sales. It especially bothers me when you have done nothing wrong. If the case is settled always in the buyer’s favor then he should not be allowed to leave negative feedback. He received his money back. In this case I received the computer back in damaged condition. I don’t know what he did to the inside. I can no longer try to sell it in good conscience. I do accept that the odd transaction can go awry. I know shopkeepers in high street have to put up with shoplifters. However shopkeepers do not have to put up with the shoplifters telling everyone that the store is bad.
    Professor Emeritus

  • fatima says:

    I have had the same thing happen to me and I am shocked. I will never use PayPal again, I have contacted current affair and the police and I suggest everyone does the same. Everyone should know how PayPal works!!! It is so unfair we loose our item because the transaction was unauthorised. I lost over a thousand dollars and some how are finding it my fault!

  • Santosh kumar says:

    Simply do not use paypal. They have lot’s of issuee. I have closed my account on paypal.

  • Thorn says:

    I am an ebay buyer whose ebay account got hacked. The guy who hacked me even went and changed my shipping address to someplace in Texas I never heard of. As soon as I received the email that some damn pool part was on its way to me for $671.77 that was taken out of my bank account , I freaked out. I am a new ebay customer, and thought it would be safe to link my debit card to my ebay account. (Yeah, stupid and naive of me.)

    The seller said there was nothing he could do on his end, since the item had already shipped. That was total BS, btw. I was able to contact fedex myself and reroute the package back to the seller. I had all the shipping info, including the thief’s address, because he wasnt able to hack my email. Anyway, I DM’d the seller explaining that I had already reported the theft to my bank, ebay, and paypal. What the thief had done was set up a paypal account thru my hacked ebay account.

    What made me so angry, is when I told the seller his tracking number and date he would receive his order, he refused to even discuss a refund with me. And THEN, he filed a dispite against my claim! After me making sure the seller didnt get ripped off by losing his expensive pool chlorination part, and making sure he had signed for and received the return, he had the effing nerve to go to ebay. They send me a notice, saying they had decided against me. I promptly filed an appeal, called ebay and asked “on what planet do I not receive a full refund for a fraudulent charge, especially after having taken pains to see that the seller got his item returned to him? I have proof it was signed for!” Ebay apologized profusely to me, as well they should have and reversed the decision within minutes of receiving my phone call. My quick thinking that involved calling fedex was what kept the seller from losing his expensive pool part. Had I not called fedex, the part would have been delivered to the thief, and he would still have to refund me via paypal. Fraud happens ALL THE TIME, and innocent buyers do actually get their accounts hacked.

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