Resolving a dispute with your seller

Guide to handling a dispute


A dispute is an opportunity for the buyer and seller to communicate directly with each other. By opening a dispute, you’re asking the seller for help to resolve problems you’ve had with your transaction. 

You have 45 days from the date you made the payment to open a dispute.

How the dispute process works

1. If there's a problem with a purchase you've made, inform the seller immediately through the Resolution Centre. In most cases, problems such as damaged or missing items can be resolved quickly and amicably.

2. Wait to hear back from the seller. PayPal will notify you when you have a message; you can also read and reply to the seller’s messages by logging in to your account and going to the Resolution Centre. They might include the postage tracking number or other details relating to the problem you're trying to solve.

3. Hopefully you'll be able to resolve the issue directly with the seller. If this isn't possible or you don't hear back from them, you'll need to escalate the dispute to a claim.

Three possible outcomes of a dispute

  1. When you haven’t received your goods on time, your seller may notify you that they were posted late and are now on their way.
  2. Your seller may be experiencing stock problems and may ask you if you would either like to wait, or prefer a refund. If you decide to wait and the item doesn’t turn up, you need to escalate the dispute to a claim.You need to do this within 20 calendar days of opening the dispute.
  3. The seller is not co-operating and doesn’t respond to your messages, or you are simply unable to reach an agreement. In this case it may be best to escalate the dispute to a claim and ask PayPal to assist further. You need to do this within 20 calendar days of opening the dispute.

How PayPal investigates and closes a claim

You need to escalate to a claim within 20 calendar days after opening the dispute. This is because a dispute will automatically be closed 20 calendar days after it was opened. Once a dispute is closed, it’s not possible to re-open it or escalate it to a claim.

To escalate your dispute to a claim, log in to your PayPal account, go to the Resolution Centre and click on ‘Escalate to a claim’ next to the messages from your seller. When you escalate your dispute to a claim, you’re asking PayPal to make a decision on the claim in accordance with the terms of the PayPal User Agreement.

You can respond to PayPal’s information requests and track the progress of the claim in the Resolution Centre.

Remember: Sellers are normal people like you. Although the situation may be frustrating, try to keep things amicable so you can work together to reach a solution.

Communicate: Reply promptly to messages from the seller or to requests for information from PayPal – the more details we have, the easier it is for us to help you.