We live in an age of e-commerce. Therefore, more and more of us are turning to online retail for everything from consumer electronics to groceries and even cars.

Last year, e-commerce was responsible for around $2.3 trillion in retail sales and that number is expected to rise to $4.5 trillion by 2021.

In the US alone, e-commerce represents almost 10% of all retail sales and this star has only just begun to rise. In addition, that number is even expected to grow by nearly 15% each year.

Many online retailers and customers alike use PayPal to facilitate a safe and convenient transaction. It goes without saying that when people make purchases online they need to know that their goods will get to them intact and on-time.  In cases where a digital good is purchased, we need to be protected here, too.

They also expect that their sensitive data will be handled in a safe and secure manner. But how does PayPal Buyer Protection work? Let’s take a look at how PayPal protects you and allows you to shop with confidence.

PayPal Buyer Protection Eligibility?

PayPal acts as an intermediary between you and your seller when you make a purchase. However, in order to qualify for PayPal’s buyer protection, you must make sure to follow proper procedures.

If you have opened a dispute with the seller but the seller has not resolved the matter to your satisfaction (and your PayPal account is in good standing) you stand an excellent chance of qualifying for buyer protection.

You have 20 days after opening a dispute to submit a claim. It’s worth noting, however, that some purchases are exempt from buyer protection such as:


  • Real Estate
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Prepaid Cards
  • Items bought in person rather than over the internet
  • Items that violate PayPal’s policies

Helping you Shop with Peace of Mind

While PayPal will keep sensitive data like your bank account details or credit card numbers stored, this information is never shared with sellers.

This is a great benefit for buyers because you do not have numerous people and systems out there with your information stored in it.

PayPal also has their own dedicated anti-fraud department to investigate erroneous purchases, e.g. where you have been charged for something that you haven’t ordered.

PayPal operates 24/7 monitoring transactions and uses state of the art encryption to ensure that your data is always safe and secure.

Protection Against Loss, Damage or Inaccuracy

There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving an item that has been inadequately packaged leading it to become damaged en-route.

Worse still, is when your package is lost in the post with no explanation. Or when the package you receive bears little or no relation to what the seller description promises.

All of these instances are covered by PayPal buyer protection. Simply head on over to the resolution center and open a dispute.

PayPal Return Shipping Refund

It can be infuriating when you need to return an item to a seller but while they will happily provide you with a refund, they won’t cover you for return postage, leaving you (unfairly) out of pocket.

Not to worry, PayPal buyer protection has your back here, too! In this instance, PayPal will cover your return shipping costs up to a value of $30.

This is a little known fact that is a great benefit over making payments using methods besides PayPal.

How Do I File a Buyer Protection Dispute?

Filing a PayPal Buyer Protection claim is simple.  Just follow these quick steps and you’ll be on your way to a successful return / refund experience.

1. Log in to your PayPal account.

2. Find the transaction in question, and click to view the transaction details.

3. Scroll to the bottom of the details page, and click the link for Resolution Center.

What is PayPal Buyer Protection and How Does it Work?

4. Follow the instructions to submit your dispute, and provide any requested documentation.

Need Additional Help?

Schedule a live meeting with Drew Angell, PayPal Certified Developer, and get all of your questions or concerns answered.