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How PayPal Protects Your eBay Transactions

Safety: Isn’t that what paying for things online is all about? Safety for the eBay buyer and safety for the seller are primary concerns in the minds of those doing business online. PayPal has created protection policies for both parties.

PayPal purchase protection

As a buyer who pays for eBay items through PayPal, you are protected under these circumstances:

  • You didn't receive the item you paid for with PayPal. PayPal refers to this as an item not received dispute. When you pay for an item through PayPal, the seller must produce a tracking number that you can use to chart the transit of your package. If the item is valued over a certain amount, you may be required to sign a delivery confirmation.

  • You received an item you paid for with PayPal but it is “significantly not as described.” This can mean many things, such as you received a completely different item, the condition was misrepresented, parts were missing, the item was damaged in transport, or you received a counterfeit version of the item.

    This kind of protection doesn’t cover you when you’re merely disappointed with an item when you open the box. It also won’t cover downloadable software or digital items — even if you buy them on eBay.

  • You were charged for something you didn't purchase, and you report it within 60 days. With PayPal, you’re covered by the $0 Liability for Eligible Unauthorized Transactions program.

When your purchase is made on eBay, it's covered by eBay Buyer protection. PayPal is used by many online merchants for payment processing.

Following are a few rules for using the purchase-protection system and making claims:

  • Number of claims: You may make only one claim per PayPal payment.

  • Timing: Your claim must be made within 45 days of your PayPal payment.

  • Participation: You must be ready and willing to provide information and documentation to PayPal’s buyer protection team during the claims process.

PayPal seller protection

Don’t think that sellers get left out of the protection scenario. You do have some protection against unwarranted claims made on your online and eBay sales; it’s called (logically enough) seller protection.

To see whether your transaction is covered under seller protection, follow these steps:

  1. In your payment received e-mail from PayPal, click the View the Details of the Transaction link.

  2. Sign into your PayPal account.

  3. Scroll down the Transaction Details page to the buyer’s shipping address.

    You’ll see whether the shipping address is confirmed. (PayPal confirms the address by making sure that the credit card billing address matches the shipping address.) If it is confirmed, you must ship to that address to be protected.

When your transaction is protected, should any fraud be involved (a stolen credit card or identity hoax), you will not lose the money. PayPal guarantees the transaction.

If you receive a PayPal payment and the buyer requests you ship to an address other than the address on the transaction details page, drop the buyer a note and ask about the address. At this point, depending on the reply you receive, decide for yourself whether you’re willing to take the risk. Remember that you will not be covered under seller protection if you ship to an unconfirmed address.

Surprise! There are a few other rules and restrictions. For sellers to be protected, they must

  • Ship to a confirmed address. You must ship to the buyer’s address exactly as displayed on the transaction details page.

  • Ship within seven days. The item must leave your place of business within seven days of receiving payment. In the case of a pre-sale or customized item, you must post the delivery time in your listing.

  • Accept single payment from a single account. You must have accepted one payment from one PayPal account to pay for the purchase. (No multiple-account payments for an item.)

  • Ship tangible goods. Seller protection is not available for services, digital goods, and other electronically delivered items.

  • Provide proof of shipping. You need to provide a tracking number so the shipment can be tracked online. The transaction details page must show that you shipped to the buyer’s address. For items valued $250 and over, you must be able to produce a signed signature delivery confirmation.

    If you use an automated shipping solution such as Endicia, you also just copy and paste the delivery confirmation numbers onto the PayPal page. PayPal will send an e-mail to the buyer with the information for the buyer’s records.

    If PayPal is required by the buyer’s issuing credit card company to respond immediately to resolve a chargeback situation, you must provide all information within three days.

Currently, seller protection is available for many of the eBay International sites. Check with the PayPal site by clicking the Worldwide link at the bottom of PayPal’s pages for any changes in this policy.

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