Buying from Sellers with PayPal Buyer Protection

As a buyer who pays for eBay items through PayPal, you can be covered against fraud under the PayPal Buyer Protection plan. The maximum level of coverage varies from $200 to $2,000, depending on the seller. You have to be sure that the seller’s item has the correct standing with PayPal in the Buy Safely box to get this buyer protection.

The amount of PayPal Buyer Protection can vary from seller to seller.
The amount of PayPal Buyer Protection can vary from seller to seller.

In this protection program, fraud is loosely defined as nondelivery of items or when you receive an item that’s significantly different from the way it was described. Sorry — this doesn’t cover you when you’re merely disappointed with an item when you open the box, and it also won’t cover downloadable software or digital items — even if you buy them on eBay.

When you’re browsing eBay, notice that some listings have the PayPal icon, and some have no icon. When a listing has a PayPal icon, the seller accepts PayPal as payment, and you’re covered under PayPal buyer protection.

A detail of eBay listings with PayPal icons displayed.
A detail of eBay listings with PayPal icons displayed.

Even if PayPal’s buyer protection doesn’t cover your item, PayPal still has basic coverage for all transactions if you’ve been defrauded. The PayPal protection shield in the Seller’s information box (or in the listing) merely tells you that the seller maintains a level of professionalism and safety in his or her sales.

Following are a few rules for using the buyer-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.

When you provide protection for your buyers, you show that you’re a professional — and you make it more comfortable for them to purchase from you. For sellers to qualify to offer buyer protection in their listings, they must

  • Have at least 50 eBay feedback comments

  • Have at least 98% positive eBay feedback

  • Use a Verified Premier or Verified Business Account PayPal account to accept payments

  • Have a U.S. or Canadian PayPal account in good standing

  • Select PayPal as a payment option when listing an item on eBay