Help avoid cases.

We know cases are inconvenient. Here are several actions you can take to help prevent them from happening in the first place.

Tips for fewer cases and better business.

From quick responses to clear policies, here are a few things you can do to help ensure a better customer experience and fewer cases.

Provide contact information.

By providing an email address or phone number, you give customers the chance to come to you with an issue before disputing a transaction.

Provide a clear return policy.

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

Be responsive.

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

Suggest Dispute Resolution.

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

Post messages for customers.

If you anticipate an issue that might affect customers, let them know by posting a message in the Resolution Center using our Customer Service Messaging feature. For instance, if you know shipments will be delayed due to inclement weather, post that information so customers know the information before they dispute a transaction.


Common issues that lead to cases.

One way to avoid cases is to understand some of the most common problems that lead customers to file them. These problems typically fall under three categories:

Item Not Received

Item Not Received


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

Try these strategies to help boost customer satisfaction and help reduce Item Not Received cases.

Provide realistic delivery dates.
By setting clear and realistic expectations for when customers will receive an item, you help keep them from becoming dissatisfied and prematurely disputing a transaction.


Ship with online tracking.
Use a shipping service that provides online tracking. This will give you confirmation of delivery, unlike standard shipping receipts that only show that an item was shipped. Here are a few more shipping recommendations:
  • Purchase signature confirmation if the total sale amount is $750 or more; this will help you ensure your customer receives their order.
  • Take caution when shipping internationally using First Class Mail International as this shipping service is not accepted under PayPal's Seller Protection Policy.


Order shipping insurance.
Consider purchasing shipping insurance for items that are fragile or expensive. This will insure the item in the event it’s lost or damaged and will provide tracking and delivery information to you and the customer. Here a few things to consider:
  • If you encounter a shipping problem, file an insurance claim with the shipping company; you, your customer, and the shipping company can report claims. Contact your shipping company for detailed instructions on how you should proceed with a claim.
  • Be aware of insurance exceptions. The type of package, declared value, and the shipping company can limit liability for loss or damage. Talk to the shipping company to make sure you have proper coverage.


Delay shipping high-risk orders.
For expensive and in-demand orders, delay shipment by 24 or 48 hours especially when shipping internationally. Scammers often ask for overnight shipping so they can resell expensive merchandise as quickly as possible.


Use your own shipping service.
Avoid using your customer's shipping company when mailing orders. Scammers often reroute packages to other addresses after shipment, which voids Seller Protection coverage.


Use care when choosing or acting as a drop shipper.
Choose a reputable drop shipper to help avoid losses; after all, you are responsible for delivering what the customer orders. Be wary of drop shipping companies in high-risk countries. If you're a drop shipper, have a vetting process in place for all suppliers that includes inventory management and product guarantees. This will help ensure that items are in stock and you're delivering high-quality merchandise.


Issue returns quickly.
Issue returns quickly to keep customers satisfied.


Keep listings updated.
If an item is out of stock, update your listing to reflect that status. Also provide an estimated in-stock date, and clearly indicate that purchasing an out-of-stock product means the customer is placing an advance order and will need to wait for their item.

Significantly Not As Described


A customer receives an item that’s considerably different than what he or she expected when placing the order.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure items meet your customers’ expectations:

Provide pictures.
Include images of the item from several angles.


Include detailed descriptions.
Describe items accurately and in detail so customers know what to expect when they receive their purchase.


Give clear disclosures.
Disclose any functional defects and cosmetic damage to items clearly and accurately.


Answer questions quickly and clearly.
If a customer does contact you with an issue, being helpful and keeping the tone of communications positive may help a small problem from growing into a larger one.

Unauthorized Transaction


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

Customers may file a case when they believe that a purchase was made using their PayPal account without permission. This can be the result of fraud, a simple mistake, or a misunderstanding. Here a few ways you can help prevent it from happening:

Look for warning signs.
Take care with unusually large orders, orders with a shipping address in a high-risk location, or orders where the customer asks to change the shipping address after paying. All of these scenarios can indicate a greater risk for fraud.


Make your business name clear on invoices.
This will help ensure customers recognize the charge.


Contact customers before you ship.
When you confirm order information, it gives the customer a chance to catch mistakes or orders made in error.


On rare occasions, an Unauthorized Transaction case may indicate fraud. See our guide to helping you avoid fraudulent orders for tips on identifying fraud and more ways to help prevent cases based on Unauthorized Transactions.

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