By Marsha Collier

Regardless of the horror stories you may have heard, most eBay transactions are pretty straight-forward. You go through the purchase process, you make your payment, and you receive a great item. But, what happens when that process goes a little sideways?

If your item never arrives or isn’t what you expected based on the description, you can get a refund on tangible goods through PayPal. (This comes under the PayPal Buyer Protection plan.) To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your My eBay Purchase history, and in the drop-down menu next to the item in question, choose Return or Item not received (within 30 days of delivery).
  2. Verify that this is the item in question.
  3. Click Resolve a Problem.
  4. Answer the questions on the resulting page and you’ll get a link to report your case.

    You will have an opportunity to negotiate with the seller. If the case can’t be resolved, and eBay agrees that you’re right, you’ll receive a refund.

Trying to reach a resolution is good for buyers and sellers. Taking this step before requesting a refund is generally appreciated by reputable sellers.