Help Article

Help > Payment Disputes/Buyer and Seller Protection > What if I didn't receive my item or it's not as advertised?

Ask the Community

Find answers or join the conversation in the Community Help Forum.

What if I didn't receive my item or it's not as advertised?

The best way to resolve a problem with a purchase is to communicate directly with the seller. Most sellers welcome the chance to sort out issues and provide good customer service.

You can find the seller's email address to discuss this, or to request a refund, in the payment details of any transaction. Find the payment and click on it to open the details. If it's not possible to work things out with your seller you can report the problem in the PayPal Resolution Centre and we may be able to investigate the issue for you. To learn more about how the PayPal dispute process works, see our guide to handling a disputes.

If you purchased the item on eBay, use the eBay Resolution Centre. If you purchased the item on a site other than eBay, use the PayPal Resolution Centre.

There are 2 kinds of disputes:

  • Item Not Received – You bought something but didn’t receive it. (Wait at least 3 days from the transaction date to give your seller enough time to ship the item.)
  • Significantly Not as Described – You received an item but it was significantly different from the seller’s original description. (You might have to pay return shipping costs.)

Here's how to open a dispute:

  1. Go to Summary.
  2. Under 'More about your account', click Resolve a problem in the Resolution Centre.
  3. Click Dispute a Transaction.
  4. Select 'Item Dispute', then click Continue.
  5. Click Find transaction ID.
  6. Click the Transaction ID next to the transaction you want to dispute, then click Continue.


  • You have to open a dispute with PayPal within the timeframe noted in the transaction details.
  • If you and the seller can’t resolve the problem, you can ask us to investigate by escalating your dispute to a claim.
  • If you don’t escalate a dispute to a claim within 20 days, we automatically close it. Once a dispute is closed, you can’t reopen it or escalate it to a claim.
  • Items collected in person or arranged to be collected on the buyer’s behalf are ineligible for Item Not Received (INR) claims.
  • If the seller presents evidence that they delivered the goods to your address, PayPal may find in favor of the Seller for an Item Not Received (INR) claim even if you did not receive the goods.
  • Refer to the User Agreement for additional information on the information a seller must provide to demonstrate delivery.
For eBay specific information, please refer to eBay’s customer support page.
We're sorry, the page you’re looking for is no longer available. Please search for it again or you can get in touch if you need help via our Help pages.