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Help Center > Claims and Limitations/Disputes & Claims > What's the difference between a dispute and a claim?

What's the difference between a dispute and a claim?

If a buyer submits a payment for an item, but hasn't received it or the item is not as described, they can notify PayPal about this. However, we recommend that a buyer first contacts the seller in order to try to come to an agreement together. If this fails, a buyer can open a dispute within 180 days of the transaction.

To open a dispute

A buyer can open a dispute by using the Resolution Center in their PayPal account. In a dispute a buyer and seller can communicate together by posting messages in the Resolution Center. If the buyer and seller can solve the problem this way, the dispute can be closed.

If however this is not the case, the dispute can be escalated to a claim.

To open a claim

Both buyer and seller can escalate a dispute to a claim. By escalating the dispute, PayPal is asked to investigate the situation. PayPal can ask both parties for additional information. PayPal will make a decision based on this information.

Information for buyers

If you opened a dispute, we advise you to only close the dispute when the issue is completely resolved. If the seller issues a (partial) refund, only close the dispute once you have received this (partial) refund. As soon as a dispute is closed, you can't open a new dispute in relation to the same transaction.

Information for buyers

Often a dispute is escalated because the buyer feels it is not possible to solve the problem by communicating with the seller. We advise you to keep in touch with the seller in order to resolve the issue.


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