Seller Problem Resolution - PayPal
Resolve a Problem with a Sale
What's the Problem?
Disputes often arise when items arrive significantly different than they were described. An example is an item sold as new but that has obviously been used, or an item that arrives damaged.
- Credit Card Chargebacks
- Resolving Disputes
- Reasons for a Dispute
- Appealing a Claim
- My Funds Are on Hold
- Accessing Your Funds
Credit Card Chargebacks
A chargeback is when a buyer asks their credit card issuer to reverse a transaction after it has been completed.
Chargebacks are available only to users who make a payment funded by their credit or debit card. They are initiated and handled by the buyer's credit card issuer-not by PayPal-and therefore will follow that company's regulations and timeframes.
Buyers generally request chargebacks for the following reasons:
- The item did not arrive
- The item was significantly different than advertised
- Their credit card was used without their permission to purchase the item fraudulently.
Don't be alarmed if you have received a chargeback notice-PayPal is here to help you through the process.
Know how to respond if someone disputes a transaction.
There are many reasons for disputes, from shipping delays to damaged items to unauthorized transactions.
PayPal keeps the lines of communication open between sellers and buyers, so it’s easier for you to work things out quickly and amicably.
To respond to a dispute, go to the Resolution Center and post a message explaining your understanding of the situation. This is often sufficient to clear things up.
If it isn't, the buyer may escalate the dispute to "claim" status, which means PayPal will review the case and provide a final decision, usually within 20 business days.
See the Seller's Guide to Dispute Resolution for a more detailed look at this process.
Reasons for a Dispute
The most likely reasons a buyer will open a dispute.
Sometimes an item arrives significantly different than it was described.
- You received a completely different item.
Example: You purchased a book, but received a DVD.
- The item's condition was misrepresented.
Example: The listing said new but the item had clearly been used.
- The item is missing parts or features, and this was not disclosed.
Example: The listing said batteries included, but they weren't.
- You purchased a specific quantity of an item-but received the wrong amount.
Example: You purchased five pairs of fuzzy dice, but received only four.
- The item was damaged en route to its destination.
Example: You bought a beautiful antique lamp-and it arrived in pieces.
- You received a counterfeit version of the item.
Example: You purchased a Rolex but received a Faux-Lex.
If a transaction turns out to be fraudulent, it's important that you share what you know about it, so we can continue working hard to keep the whole PayPal community safe.
Appealing a Claim
When a claim is found in favor of the buyer, you may be able to appeal the decision.
The decision could be reversed in the event of one of the following:
- The item is returned to you, but not in the same condition as when the buyer first received it
- No item was returned at all-just an empty box
- The wrong item was returned to you
You can file an appeal in just a few steps:
- Log in to your PayPal account
- Go to the Resolution Center
- Select Closed Cases from the drop-down menu
- Click the Appeal button
Once the appeal has been filed, you may be asked to provide documentation supporting your case, fill out an affidavit, or file a police report, depending on the circumstances. A PayPal representative will then review your case, and if an appeal is granted and you win, you'll be reimbursed for the transaction.
My Funds Are on Hold
In certain situations, PayPal may place payments on temporary hold.
Whenever a claim, dispute, or chargeback is opened, PayPal will generally place the payment in question on hold. The funds will remain in your account, but cannot be withdrawn until the issue has been resolved.
Once a decision has been made, your funds will either be released to you or refunded to the buyer.
When some sellers receive payments, we may hold the money in a pending balance for up to 21 days to help make sure that there are funds in the seller's account to cover potential refunds or claims. The funds may be released early if PayPal determines that the transaction has been fulfilled and customers are satisfied.
While funds are pending, the money belongs to you but isn't available to spend or withdraw.
If payments on your account are held, we'll notify you. PayPal will re-evaluate your account every 35 days and decide whether or not to continue holding payments. If we decide to stop holding future payments, we'll contact you.
Accessing Your Funds
Generally, funds are available to you when the buyer pays. However, in some cases, we may wait to make funds available if we believe that there’s a higher level of risk associated with you, your PayPal account or transactions. Although these funds belong to you, they aren’t available to spend or withdraw for a period of time.
How you’ll know if your funds won’t be available immediately
We’ll notify you via email or an alert on your account overview page. This will be the best source of information on why funds aren’t available right away and what you may be able to do to access them faster. In most cases, if your funds are unavailable, they’ll be in your pending balance.
Situations where your funds may not be available immediately
Here are the most common situations:
- Risk Based - For some sellers, the funds from each transaction won’t be available for up to 21 days. This generally applies to eBay sellers who have a limited selling history or to those who have a Below Standard seller rating on eBay. This may also affect sellers we’ve determined may have a higher level of risk associated with their account or transactions, like claims or chargebacks. Learn more about how to access funds sooner and common reasons you may be affected.
- Disputed Transactions - If your buyer files a dispute or claim through PayPal or eBay, a chargeback with their credit card or if some other reversal type is received, the funds from the transaction in question won’t be available while the issue is being resolved. The money will either be made available to you or refunded to the buyer, depending on the outcome of the case.
- Reserves - When we delay the availability of all or some portion or all of the money received into your account for a given period of time, it’s called a reserve. We’ll notify you if your account will have a reserve, along with the type, amount and its duration. Here are common types of reserves:
- A rolling reserve - we’ll set aside a certain percentage of your funds on a rolling schedule and make them available at the end of a given timeframe. For example, if your reserve is 10% for a 90-day rolling period, we'll set aside 10% of your sales on the first day until day 91, 10% of your second day's payments until day 92, and so on. You can use the remaining funds immediately.
- A minimum reserve - we’ll require you to keep a certain amount of money in your account for a given period of time. For example, if your reserve is $5,000, we'll set aside a percentage of each day's sales until this pending balance reaches your minimum balance level. Once that level is reached, that amount will be set aside in your account. Learn more.
- Instant Payment Review - If we identify a potential issue with a buyer’s payment, we’ll let you know and ask that you wait up to 24 hours to ship the item. During this time, the funds won’t be available. Within 24 hours, we’ll let you know whether or not it’s safe to ship the item. This is to help protect you from potential fraud.
- Account Limitations - We may limit access to your funds if we believe there’s an issue related to your account. For example, we may limit your account to help prevent potential fraud, like unauthorized account use. We may also limit our account if we need to verify your identity. If your account is limited, your funds may be unavailable for up to 180 days. Usually, you can fix this by visiting the Resolution Center and providing some more information. Learn more.