PayPal is a versatile payment platform that allows you to do business with people all around the world without risking your personal bank account. Whether you are sending money to family and friends or buying and selling online, you can use the PayPal platform to do it. Once you send a payment to someone on PayPal, you cannot reverse it. There are, however, other chargeback and dispute resolution avenues available if there is a problem with the transaction.
Although someone can not take back money they paid to someone else through PayPal, they can utilize PayPal's dispute resolution service if they did not receive the item or service promised.
When you receive a payment for a product or service, you will have an option to refund that payment for up to 180 days after receipt. If you choose to refund a payment, click the "Issue Refund" button that will appear on the transaction-details page of the payment. Enter the amount of the refund and a note to the buyer, if applicable, then click "Continue." Verify the information on the next screen, then click "Issue Refund." This will refund not only the amount you received, but also the PayPal fees associated with the transaction.
The buyer protection program offered by PayPal helps protect buyers from fraud in the form of misrepresentation or not delivering an item. If you receive something other than what you purchased, you may be able to get your money back from the seller. File a dispute with PayPal to have the seller make good on the transaction, and if the seller fails to do so, PayPal may refund your money. This protection is only available on tangible items. It does not protect digital purchases or services and does not extend to items that you have decided you do not like, but that were accurately represented by the seller.
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Sellers can also be victims of fraud, and PayPal recognizes this risk. The seller protection program is designed to protect sellers from suffering a loss due to a fraudulent purchase from a hacked account or from a buyer fraudulently claiming that a product never arrived. With proof of delivery, PayPal will protect your sale. You must be able to show proof of delivery, and you must ship the product to the verified address provided by the buyer for this to apply.
If you have problems with a transaction as a buyer, PayPal recommends reaching out to the seller first. Express your concerns and try to resolve the problem directly. If the seller is not responsive or you cannot get a satisfactory response, PayPal's Dispute Resolution Center provides you with an option to open up a claim.
You can file a dispute if you do not receive the product you ordered, receive the wrong product or if the product is not as it was advertised. PayPal provides buyers with 180 days to open up a dispute about a transaction. If it is not resolved within 20 days, you can escalate it to a claim and PayPal will investigate and determine whether you are owed a refund. If PayPal finds that you should have a refund, the seller's account is debited for the transaction, and the funds are returned to you.
- PayPal: Common Questions
- PayPal: PayPal Security Center
- PayPal: Resolving Disputes, Claims, and Chargebacks
- Within the Flow: How to Chargeback on PayPal to Get Your Money Back
- PayPal Help Center: How Do I Request a Refund?
- PayPal: What Is the PayPal Seller Protection Policy?
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Tara Kimball is a former accounting professional with more than 10 years of experience in corporate finance and small business accounting. She has also worked in desktop support and network management. Her articles have appeared in various online publications.