Being a merchant using PayPal’s platform has some perks to enjoy. In fact, you get some form of protection, especially when dealing with fraudulent and scamming customers. So in this article, we will be talking about PayPal Seller Protection and how you can benefit from it and your business.

PayPal Seller Protection

What is PayPal Seller Protection?

The PayPal Seller Protection program is a service provided by PayPal for all its members. It is included right away the moment you sign up for an account inside the platform. And yes, it comes free along with your account.

This program protects you from scamming buyers or clientele that take your products or services. Those that claim unauthorized transactions or item not received will not instantly get approval from PayPal. As long as you provide all the required information and proofs, PayPal will make sure that you and your business is safe using the platform.

Without this PayPal service, all sellers would lose all their products and their whole business in the process. That is why the PayPal Seller Protection is one of the best programs that exist online.

The PayPal Seller Protection also includes policies that protect all your transactions from chargebacks, reversals and any other associated fees. This simply means that anytime a buyer decides to dispute or reverse the transaction, you will still have a chance to present your side to help PayPal justify which has the right claim.

How to be eligible to PayPal Seller Protection program

While the PayPal Seller Protection is free for all PayPal users, you still need to meet all the requirements before you can fully benefit from it. These are the following criteria.

  • The primary address of your business and your PayPal account are confirmed and verified.
  • Product or item must be tangible and has a physical form that can be shipped.
  • The shipping address and the recipient’s address must be properly indicated within the shipping documents. If the item was recorded to ship to one address but then redirected to another, your PayPal Seller Protection will not work. Therefore, you should never agree to let the buyer arrange the shipment of the item or product.
  • You should respond to PayPal’s information request in a timely manner. This includes some documentation and business verification. Fail to comply with these requests will deem you ineligible for PayPal Seller Protection.
  • Pre-ordered and made-to-order goods need to follow the agreed timeframe. Otherwise, you must deliver the finished product within seven days after you received the payment. Fail to comply could favor the buyer and could cost you the product and a good amount of money and effort.

PayPal Seller Protection Covers

There are basically only two scenarios where a merchant or seller gets into trouble. It is when a buyer claims an unauthorized purchase or when the buyer claims that the item failed on delivery within the agreed time period. That’s only two:

  • Unauthorized Transactions – this happens when the customer claims that someone used his or her account and made a purchase using the funds inside the account.
  • Items Not Received – this happens when the buyer claims that the item did not reach him or her. Therefore, this gives them the reason to file a dispute or cancel the transaction along the way.

These two scenarios are the most common claims within the platform. But since as a PayPal account holder, you are entitled to PayPal Seller Protection, the funds or payment will just be placed on hold.

This will give you, the seller, to present your case. This means you can provide your evidence such as related documentation from shipping to some form of agreement.

PayPal Seller Protection Doesn’t Cover

Before you get too excited, know that PayPal made policies that are both beneficial and balanced on both sides. If merchants have seller protection policy, expect that there is also a buyer protection policy.

That means there are things that you should not do. There are things that you cannot take advantage just because you feel protected or PayPal got your back.

  • PayPal doesn’t cover transactions on items that are SNAD or “Significantly Not As Described.” In short, the item that the seller shipped and sent is not anything as described or far from the description provided upon order.
  • The platform does not cover intangible items such as digital goods or services.
  • It also does not cover items that are manually picked up and did not go through proper shipping process and documentation.
  • PayPal does not cover transactions related to counterfeit goods, drug paraphernalia, and prohibited drugs, or firearms and ammunition.

For example, the buyer received a yellow jacket when in fact, you described it as blue. This is grounds for the PayPal Seller Protection policy to back off and give credit to the buyer. There is a way to prevent this kind of issue from happening. Here’s what you should do.

Secure Transactions by

  1. Always providing accurate and detailed information regarding the product or item that you are selling. It doesn’t help your business if you are misleading your customers with false advertisements and descriptions that do not actually exist.
  2. Establish good communication with your entire customers. It does not only keep a mutual understanding but also helps boost the confidence and trust of the buyer to you and your product.
  3. Be easy and articulate when handling issues to avoid raising the situation to a formal complaint.

How to prevent unwanted issues

If you want to learn about avoiding complaints and reversals, there is no such strategy. There will always be customers that are hard to please or have some issues of their own. Therefore, there is no business that is free from these problems.

But there is something that you could do to stay protected and be always on the right side of any transactions. It is by providing truthful details and other information about your product. As we have mentioned earlier, avoid using false advertisements and outrageous non-existent feature of a product.

Also, keep all relevant documents regarding the established transactions. And make sure that you can back up your claims with proofs. Documents such as “proof of delivery” and “proof of shipment” are only a few important points that you need to keep safe. This will help win your case when things got out of hand and the buyer file for a dispute when you already shipped a complete item as described.

In Conclusion

The PayPal Seller Protection program and its policies are a good way to keep your business sane and operating as you would expect. Although the program is not perfect, at least we can always count on PayPal. They are only one of the few platforms that give us the chance to explain ourselves when we deem it necessary.

Have you had experiences about customer complaints and returns? How did PayPal Seller Program fare to you when the issue was under investigation? Tell us your stories as it might help out other sellers as well that are operating within PayPal’s payment platform.

If you think you have useful questions that can generate helpful answers, feel free to leave your queries down below. We will try to get back to you as soon as we can, or perhaps another individual in this community can give the right answer for you.

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Alex Ocean is a financial adviser and expert on e-commerce and trading stocks. He teaches online financial courses for bloggers and entrepreneurs. Alex also hosts workshops for aspiring young professionals that aim to be successful at an early age.


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