Tips to Sell Securely - PayPal

Tips to Sell Securely

Helping to Ensure Your Transactions Go Smoothly

As a seller, you can reduce the possibility of disputes, claims, chargebacks, and fraud. Here's how:

  1. Overall precautions
  2. Before accepting payment
  3. Shipping tips

1. Overall precautions:

Provide clear, detailed descriptions.

Buyers don't like surprises. Give a detailed description of your item and include photos. Pictures are especially important when selling in countries where buyers may not be as fluent with the language in which the seller wrote the listing. Also clearly state your return policy in a place where buyers can find it.

Respond promptly to inquiries.

Show buyers that you are listening by promptly and courteously responding to all questions.

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2. Before accepting payment:

Beware of unusual requests.

Abnormal requests can be a sign of suspicious activity. A few examples include:

  • Rush shipments at any cost.
  • Partial payments from multiple PayPal accounts.
  • Payments not received in full.

Be extra cautious with high-priced items.

It's fairly common for shipping addresses to differ from billing addresses. However, be extra cautious when sending high-priced items, especially if payment is received from one country and sent to another.

Know the buyer.

  • Do they have a confirmed address?
  • For e-commerce sites with feedback systems, what is the buyer's score?
  • Do you have any questions? Get answers by emailing or calling the buyer.

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3. Shipping tips:

Track packages.

Packages should be sent with tracking numbers. Once you get a tracking number from the shipping service, promptly send it to the buyer. As an extra precaution, you should consider adding delivery confirmation. Finally, make sure to keep proof that the package was received by the buyer.

Insure packages.

When sending goods, opt for postal insurance to protect yourself in the event that a shipment is lost or the buyer claims it was never delivered.

Keep buyers up-to-date about delivery.

Set expectations up front. Once payment is received, give buyers an estimated delivery time. Keep in mind, it's better to overestimate delivery time than have a package show up late. If a package is not sent in time, tell your buyer about it.

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Further information.

Looking for more tips on staying safe online?

Chargebacks. Find out how to understand, handle, and reduce the chances of getting them with the Chargeback Guide and Chargeback FAQ.

General online security. If you're concerned about fraudulent emails and identity theft, go to Online Safety Essentials, where you'll find:

Third-Party Best Practices. Get The BBB's Security & Privacy - MADE SIMPLER™ Privacy and security expertise contributed by Dr. Alan F. Westin and Dr. Lance J. Hoffman ©LPM, Inc. 2006.

Additional resources for sellers.

To learn more about Selling Safely, go to: