Seller Problem Resolution - PayPal Canada

Resolve a Problem with a Sale

Resolve a Problem with a Sale

Resolve Seller Problem

What's the Problem?

Disputes often arise when items arrive significantly different than they were described. An example is an item sold as new but that has obviously been used, or an item that arrives damaged.



A chargeback is when a buyer asks their credit card issuer to reverse a transaction after it has been completed.

Chargebacks are available only to users who make a payment funded by their credit card. They are initiated and handled by the buyer's credit card issuer-not by PayPal-and therefore will follow that company's regulations and timeframes.

Buyers generally request chargebacks for the following reasons:

  1. The item did not arrive
  2. The item was significantly different than advertised
  3. Their credit card was used without their permission to purchase the item fraudulently.

Don't be alarmed if you have received a chargeback notice-PayPal is here to help you through the process.

To respond to a notice or to check the status of an existing chargeback, log in and go to the Resolution Centre.

For more on chargebacks, read our comprehensive guide, or check out the FAQs.

Chargeback Notice

Resolving Disputes

Know how to respond if someone disputes a transaction.

There are many reasons for disputes, from shipping delays to damaged items to unauthorized transactions.

That's why PayPal keeps the lines of communication open between sellers and buyers, making it easier for you to resolve things quickly and successfully.

To respond to a dispute, go to the Resolution Centre and post a message explaining your understanding of the situation. Sometimes this is all you need to do to resolve the situation.

If not, the buyer may escalate the dispute to "claim" status, which means PayPal will review the case and provide a final decision, within 20 business days.

See the Seller's Guide to Dispute Resolution for a more detailed look at this process.

Post Reply

Reasons for a Dispute

The most likely reasons a buyer will open a dispute.

Sometimes an item arrives significantly different than it was described.

For instance:

  • You received a completely different item.
    Example: You purchased a hockey skates, but received a hockey stick.
  • The item's condition was misrepresented.
    Example: The listing said new but the item was clearly used.
  • The item is missing parts or features, and this was not disclosed.
    Example: You bought a table, and it showed up with only 3 legs.
  • You purchased a specific quantity of an item-but received the wrong amount.
    Example: You bought two laptops but received only one.
  • The item was damaged en route to its destination.
    Example: Your antique vase was broken in transit.
  • You received a counterfeit version of the item.
    Example: That "genuine" diamond bracelet ended up being cubic zirconia.

Respond to a dispute

Check out the Seller Protection Overview or the FAQs for more specifics.

Fraudulent Purchase

If a transaction turns out to be fraudulent, it's important that you share what you know about it, so we can continue working hard to keep the whole PayPal community safe.

Respond to an unauthorized activity claim

Dispute Notice

Appealing a Claim

When a claim is found in favour of the buyer, you may be able to appeal the decision.

The decision could be reversed in the event of one of the following:

  • The item is returned to you, but not in the same condition as when the buyer first received it
  • No item was returned at all-just an empty box
  • The wrong item was returned to you

You can file an appeal in a few steps:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account
  2. Go to the Resolution Centre
  3. Select Closed Cases from the drop-down menu
  4. Click the Appeal button

Once the appeal has been filed, you may be asked to provide documentation supporting your case, file a complaint, or file a police report, depending on the circumstances. A PayPal representative will then review your case, and if an appeal is granted and you win, you'll be reimbursed for the transaction.

Appeal a Claim

My Funds Are on Hold

In certain situations, PayPal may place payments on temporary hold.

Dispute-Related Holds

Whenever a claim, dispute, or chargeback is opened, PayPal will generally place the payment in question on hold. The funds will remain in your account, but cannot be withdrawn until the issue has been resolved.

Once a decision has been made, your funds will either be released to you or refunded to the buyer.

To check the status of an open dispute, or to offer a refund to the buyer at any time, simply log in to your account and click on your open case.

More on Payment Holds

See Our Funds Availability Policy

Funds Availability Policy

Generally, we will make funds that you receive available to you immediately. However, in order to minimize the costs you and we may incur due to disputes and chargebacks, we may sometimes delay the availability of certain funds. You will not be able to spend or withdraw the unavailable funds for a given amount of time. This policy may be applied to particular transactions or to all transactions received by a specific account.


When we delay the availability of all or some portion of all transactions received by a specific account, it is called a "reserve". In other words, we will set aside an amount of your money as pending for a given period of time. We will notify you if a reserve will be applied to your account, along with the type, the amount and duration. The information will also be provided on your Account Overview page. Reserve types include:

  • A rolling reserve - we will hold a certain percentage of your funds on a rolling schedule and release them at the end of a given timeframe. For example, if we set your reserve at 10% for a 90-day rolling period, we'll hold 10% of the payments you receive on the first day until day 91, 10% of your second day's payments until day 92, and so on. You can use the remaining funds immediately.
  • A minimum reserve - we will require you to maintain a pre-determined amount of money in your account with us. For example, if we set your reserve at $5,000.00, we'll hold a percentage of each day's received payments until this pending balance reached your minimum balance level. Once that level is reached, that amount will be held as pending in your account.
  • Payment holds - we will temporarily hold 100% of the funds you receive as a pending balance in your account, and release the funds associated with each transaction after a given timeframe. For each transaction, we may release the funds sooner if we determine that the transaction has been fulfilled and your customers are satisfied. Learn more.

Transaction Holds

In certain situations, we may hold funds related only to a particular transaction. Below are circumstances where that may occur.

  • eBay item holds - we may place a hold on a payment received for an eBay transaction when we believe there is a high level of risk that the transaction will be disputed or charged back. We may hold the funds for up to 21 days but may also release the hold sooner if the buyer leaves positive feedback on eBay or we can confirm satisfactory delivery of the item.
  • Disputes, Claims, Chargebacks, and Reversals - in the event that a customer files a dispute, claim, or chargeback or if we initiate an investigation, we will typically hold the funds in question until the matter is resolved. The buyer is less likely to escalate a dispute to a claim if you are working together on a solution. To learn more about PayPal Dispute Resolution, visit the Security Centre.