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How do I report a problem for a purchase I made with PayPal?

We encourage buyers and sellers to visit our Resolution Center to communicate and resolve any issues. The three main reasons to use the Resolution Center are:

  • You didn't receive an item that you bought using PayPal.
  • You received an item that was significantly different than the seller's description.
  • There is activity on your account you did not authorize.

If you paid for an item that never arrived or is significantly different than what the seller described, go to the Resolution Center. Here you can communicate directly with the seller.

If you purchased the item on eBay, use the eBay Resolution Center.

In the Resolution Center, you can dispute the purchase. By opening a dispute, you're notifying the seller that you're not satisfied with the purchase and want to resolve the issue.

If opening a dispute from your desktop computer:

  1. Click Resolve a problem in our Resolution Center at the bottom of the page.
  2. Click Dispute a Transaction.
  3. From the "Select a transaction" page, change the dates to find the transaction you want to dispute.
  4. Click Continue, then follow the instructions.
Note: There is not yet an option for the Resolution Center on the mobile app. Please use a web browser to access PayPal and dispute a transaction.

You can open two kinds of disputes:

1. Item Not Received - If you bought something but didn’t receive it, you can open an ‘item not received’ dispute. Before you open your dispute, wait at least 3 days from the transaction date so your seller has enough time to ship the item.

2. Significantly Not as Described - If you received an item that’s significantly different from the seller’s original description, you can open a ‘significantly not as described’ dispute. When you open a ‘significantly not as described’ dispute, you may be responsible for return shipping costs. Here is what we consider significantly not as described:

  • You received a completely different item. Example: You purchased a book and received a DVD or an empty box.
  • The condition of the item was misrepresented. Example: The listing said "new" and the item was used.
  • The item was advertised as authentic but is not authentic.
  • The item is missing major parts or features which were not disclosed in the listing.
  • You purchased three items from a seller but only received two.
  • The item was damaged during shipment.

You have to open a dispute with PayPal within the timeframe noted in the transaction details. If you choose to escalate your dispute to a PayPal claim, you need to do so within 20 days of opening the dispute. Otherwise, it will be closed automatically.

If you and the seller are unable to reach an agreement on your own, either of you can escalate it to a claim. That means we'll decide whether you are eligible for a refund.

Here's how to escalate your dispute to a claim:

  1. Click Resolve a problem in our Resolution Center.
  2. Locate your case and click View in the action column.
  3. Click View next to the dispute you want to escalate.
  4. Click Escalate this dispute to a PayPal claim near the bottom of the page.
  5. Follow the instructions.
  6. Click Escalate to a claim.


  • You have 20 days to file a claim once a dispute has been opened. For example, if you open a dispute on December 1 at 11:00 AM, you have until December 21 at 11:00 AM to file a claim.
  • A dispute will automatically close if it isn’t escalated to a claim within 20 days.
  • Closed disputes cannot be reopened or escalated to a claim.
  • If you are unable to resolve your dispute directly with the seller, then it is important that you escalate to a claim before the 20 day dispute expiration date. By escalating a dispute to a claim, you’re asking PayPal to investigate the dispute and decide the outcome.

If there is unauthorized account activity, please report it to us immediately.

We investigate all reports of unauthorized account use. If we find that your account was used without your permission, we refund any charges that you did not authorize. The money is returned to your PayPal account.

We try to resolve claims of unauthorized account use within 10 days, but some cases may take longer, depending on the kinds of information we need to collect.
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