Helping you avoid disputes and chargebacks.

Occasionally, something can go wrong with an order. Here’s our handy guide to help prevent disputes and chargebacks.

Problems typically fall under three categories:

Item Not Received

A buyer pays for an item, but never receives it.

Significantly Not As Described

A buyer receives an item that’s considerably different from the seller’s description when buyer placed the order.

Unauthorized Transaction

A purchase was made without the account holder’s consent.

And the potential outcomes for you are:

On occasions, these problems may indicate fraud. Our guide to Avoiding Fraudulent Orders offers many helpful tips for identifying and preventing fraud.
If a customer paid for an item but didn’t receive it or they received an item which is significantly different from the original description, they may open a dispute in the Resolution Centre. Most of the time, these issues are the result of a simple misunderstanding or human error.
When the dispute can’t be resolved, either party can escalate it to a claim within 20 days. At this point, PayPal becomes directly involved and will make a decision using the information that’s provided.
Buyers may ask their credit card issuer to reverse the charge (called a chargeback). At this stage, the buyer asks their bank for a refund and does not involve the seller.

Our tips for preventing disputes and chargebacks.

Provide contact information

Buyers may not resort to a dispute or chargeback if they can talk to you about the issue. Provide an email address or phone number, or even call buyers in advance when you're selling higher-priced items.

Be responsive

No one likes to wait. Respond quickly and professionally to all reasonable buyer inquiries.

Suggest Dispute Resolution

If a customer tells you that they’re going to file a chargeback with their credit card company, ask them to open a dispute in the PayPal Resolution Center instead. This will give you and your buyer the chance to work things out.

Provide a clear return policy

Make sure your return and refund policies are easy to find and understand.

Avoid disputes and minimize losses with these tips:

Realistic dates can help avoid customers prematurely filing a chargeback or dispute.

Download our guide


Take a look at our other guides to help you manage your business.

Avoiding fraudulent orders

Learn more

Resolving disputes, claims and chargebacks

Learn more