How Seller Protection can help support your business.

Apr 10 2018 | PayPal editorial staff

As a small business owner, you want to do everything you can to protect your business, including processing customer payments smoothly. This is where choosing a payment provider with seller protection can help.
What is Seller Protection?
PayPal Seller Protection is a policy that can protect your transactions from chargebacks, reversals, and their associated fees. This means that if you sell something to a buyer, and they dispute or reverse the transaction, you may be eligible to retain the full purchase amount and avoid any related chargeback fees paid (for debit and credit card-funded transactions).

What makes PayPal Seller Protection different.
We want to make it easy for you to protect your online sales. When you open a Business account with us, we offer Seller Protection at no additional charge for eligible transactions. We also don’t limit the number of eligible payments, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

What PayPal Seller Protection covers.
PayPal’s Seller Protection program covers two kinds of buyer claims:
  • Unauthorized Transactions. This is when a buyer claims they didn’t authorize a payment.
  • Items Not Received. This is when a buyer claims they never received the item they purchased.

What PayPal Seller Protection doesn’t cover.
Seller Protection doesn’t cover buyer claims for items received that are ‘Significantly Not As Described (SNAD)’; in other words, what the buyer received doesn’t match what they ordered. For example: Say the buyer ordered a pink scarf but received a green one instead. But you can reduce SNAD complaints by:
  • Providing detailed and accurate descriptions of the items you are selling.
  • Communicating well with your buyers.
  • Answering any questions about the item(s) quickly.
  • Being open to resolving issues as they arise (refunds, returns, and exchanges) to prevent a formal complaint.

How to be eligible for PayPal Seller Protection.
To be eligible for PayPal Seller Protection, you must meet all of the following requirements.
  • The primary address for your PayPal account must be in the United States.
  • The item must be a physical, tangible good that can be shipped.
  • You must ship the item to the shipping address on the transaction details page in your PayPal account for the transaction. If you originally ship the item to the recipient's shipping address on the transaction details page but the item is later redirected to a different address, you will not be eligible for PayPal Seller Protection. We therefore recommend not using a shipping service that is arranged by the buyer, so that you will be able to provide valid proof of shipping and delivery.
  • You must respond to PayPal's requests for documentation and other information in a timely manner as requested in our email correspondence with you or in our correspondence with you through the Resolution Center. If you do not respond to PayPal’s request for documentation and other information in the time requested, you may not be eligible for Seller Protection.
  • If the sale involves pre-ordered or made-to-order goods, you must ship within the timeframe you specified in the listing. Otherwise, it is recommended that you ship all items within 7 days after receipt of payment.

What happens if you receive a complaint?
If the transaction in question meets the eligibility criteria, you’ll be able to keep the full purchase amount, and we’ll also waive any chargeback fees (for debit and credit card-funded transactions).

Keep in mind that while we’re reviewing the complaint, the money for the disputed transaction might be temporarily unavailable to you. If the dispute is decided in your favor, we’ll make the money available again as part of your PayPal balance.

It also takes teamwork to find a resolution. In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, you also need to respond to any reversal within the timeframe given. Be sure to include the appropriate proof of delivery or proof of shipment, depending on the requirements.

How to prevent complaints and reversals.
You won’t be able to prevent all reversals but you can help by providing thorough and accurate details of the items you sell, shipping quickly, and communicating well with your buyers. The little details go a long way. However, reversals are part of doing business to some degree. Always make sure you follow the PayPal Seller Protection Policy to protect yourself. Here are a few actionable tips:

To reduce (Items Not Received) INR complaints:
  • Communicate well with your buyers.
  • Be clear about shipping timeframes.
  • Ship only using reputable shipping partners who can provide online shipment tracking details.
  • Share shipping details with your buyers.

You can also access additional information about Seller Protection by reviewing our FAQs at the bottom of this page.

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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Frequently asked questions.

PayPal Seller Protection covers you in the event of claims, chargebacks, or reversals that are a result of unauthorized purchases or items your buyer didn’t receive. With PayPal Seller Protection, you are covered for the full amount of all eligible transactions.

If a transaction is eligible for Seller Protection, it will be marked as eligible or partially eligible on the Transaction Details page. If it is marked as partially eligible, you are only protected for items a buyer didn’t receive.

Here are some additional requirements you need to meet for Seller Protection:

  • You must ship the item to the address on the Transaction Details page.
    • Even if the buyer sends you a request via email or an eBay message requesting shipment to an alternate address, only ship the item to the address provided in the Transaction Details.
  • Provide proof of delivery. For transactions of $750.00 or more, you need to provide signed delivery confirmation.
    • We require online tracking to confirm delivery.
  • Respond to our requests for documentation and other information in a timely manner.
    • These requests will be sent to the primary email address on your PayPal account.

Most buyers have up to 180 days to file a dispute with PayPal, although this can be different based on where your buyer is located. Please read the Purchase Protection Policy of the countries where your buyers are based, as these policies will apply to you. To learn more about PayPal’s Seller Protection Policy and Purchase Protection Policy, click Legal at the bottom of any PayPal page, and then click PayPal User Agreement.

PayPal reviews all transactions to help sellers avoid risk. If we think that a payment might be risky or fraudulent, we'll review it and ask you to wait until our review is complete before shipping. The review process usually takes less than 24 hours, but sometimes can extend to 48 hours.

We'll let you know by email or you'll see under your Notifications alert when it's ok to ship an item that's been under review. Payments that clear Payment Review are automatically eligible for Seller Protection as long as the transaction follows Seller Protection guidelines.


Venmo is a social payments service used by millions of people to make and share payments with friends, family, and select approved businesses. It’s similar to PayPal, but is unique in that Venmo allows users to share and like payments and purchases through a social feed. The service is popular with the millennial generation.

● Users can make payments by linking their bank account, debit/credit card or by using their Venmo balance.
● Once a bank account is connected, users can easily transfer their Venmo balance to their bank account.
● Users can transfer money quickly using a friend’s phone number, email address or username. If a recipient doesn’t have a Venmo account and a payment is sent using their email address or phone number, the recipient can create an account in order to receive the funds. If they chose to, users can also find friends automatically by syncing their Facebook account or phonebook.
● Splitting payments with friends and family like a dinner bill, concert tickets or the cost of a road trip is one of the most popular uses of Venmo.
● Many Venmo users like to share their payments and purchases on the Venmo social feed with a fun comment. The actual payment amounts are hidden.
● Find out more about the Venmo checkout experience and additional details.

Merchant FAQs

What will my customer see?
If your customer has opted-in to make payments through Venmo, they will be presented with an option to pay with their Venmo account after clicking your PayPal payment button.

Please note: Venmo users will receive a Venmo-branded transaction receipt in addition to any receipt you currently provide.

1. Customer selects the PayPal payment button:

2. Venmo payment option is presented:

3. Venmo payment is made:

4. Return to merchant payment confirmation page:

Will I have to change my integration with PayPal to accept Venmo payments?
What are the costs to accept Venmo payments? 
There is no additional cost to accept Venmo. You will pay the same fees for Venmo payments as you do for PayPal payments.
Will Venmo transactions be covered by PayPal's Seller Protection Policy?
Yes, the PayPal Seller Protection Policy will apply to Venmo-funded transactions received through your PayPal account. To learn more about the PayPal Seller Protection Policy eligibility requirements, click here.
Are payments made by Venmo users through my PayPal account subject to the PayPal Purchase Protection Policy?
Venmo payments are covered by the Venmo Authorized Merchant Payment Protection Policy, which generally mirrors the PayPal Purchase Protection Policy, but varies in some places. To learn more, read the Venmo Authorized Merchant Payment Protection policy.
Can my business be promoted through the Venmo app? 
Yes. Venmo users have the option to share purchases in their Venmo social feed. This could include the purchases they make on your site. Note, purchase price won’t be included in their social posts.
Is this available to merchants or consumers outside of the US? 
Currently, Venmo is only accepted within the US and with US merchants. 
Will Venmo payments be available for desktop transactions?
At launch, Venmo payments will only be available for mobile transactions. Desktop support may be available in the future.  
Will Venmo pass the consumer’s shipping addresses to me? 
If your current PayPal integration is set up to receive shipping address, this will not change with the Venmo option.
For more information on Venmo purchases, visit the Venmo Help Center.
Virtual Terminal is bundled with our customizable payment solution, PayPal Payments Pro. Virtual Terminal allows merchants to accept payments virtually anywhere they have Internet access, with no card swipe or software to install, and is ideal for merchants who receive orders by phone, fax, or face to face.

Virtual Terminal has these features and benefits:
  • Grow your business – Process payments for major credit and debit cards. Extend your reach to customers who prefer not to pay online, including customers without a PayPal account.
  • Process payments anywhere – Process payments anywhere through any device with an Internet connection and a web browser.
  • Zero setup – Virtual Terminal requires no coding or specific software installation to get started.
  • Use PayPal as a one-stop payment solution and more – Process your customers' orders through a PayPal-hosted online payment form along with a set of tools for intuitive reporting; printing shipping labels and packing slips; and printing or emailing transaction receipts.
  • Process multiple payments simultaneously – You can launch multiple Virtual Terminal instances to process payments, as in the case of a call center or during heavy demand.

Note: PayPal's Seller Protection Policy doesn't apply to transactions processed using Virtual Terminal.

Here’s how it works:
  1. Log in to Virtual Terminal. When you're ready to process a payment, go to Tools, click Get paid and then Virtual Terminal.
  2. Enter the order. Enter the order details and credit or debit card information. If you're mailing an item, include the shipping information.
  3. Complete the transaction. You'll receive a confirmation for successful transactions. You'll then have the option to print a receipt or packing slip, email the receipt to your customer, or process another payment.
  4. Get paid. Once approved, the money shows up in your PayPal account, usually within minutes. From there, transfer it to your bank account, spend it wherever PayPal is accepted, or use your PayPal Business Debit Mastercard® at the ATM or in stores. You have fast access to your PayPal account, plus the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard offers 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases (It requires enrollment. Cashback applies to signed transactions only.)

Virtual Terminal costs $30/month USD, with no setup, termination, or withdrawal fees. Per-transaction fees of 3.1 percent + $0.30 apply.

See pricing details

If you encounter any issues when signing up or processing payments, reach out to Merchant Technical Support.

See also:
What must I do to start using Virtual Terminal?
How do I enter and process transactions in Virtual Terminal?