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Warning - No Seller Protection for "Item not as described" Claims


Warning - No Seller Protection for "Item not as described" Claims

This is a WARNING to all Sellers. It appears a buyer (with very little to no proof) can file a claim siting item not as described as the reason.  They can also contact their financial institution and dispute the charge for the item. Either one of these seems to nearly guarantee a refund to the buyer, regardless of what information the seller is able to provide. I'm speaking from experience as one who has just gone through this process. 


This was a proven illegitimate claim regarding a laptop purchased on ebay, opened under a false pretext, relied solely on the buyer’s word, ignored refuting proof and did not follow PayPal’s dispute policies.


  1. The case was opened on the basis of “item not as described” in that the buyer claimed the laptop did not power on. The buyer stated they made several attempts to contact me. Both of which are not true.
  2. The buyer provided no proof or documents to support their claim of item not as described or their repeated attempts to contact me. As confirmed by multiple PayPal customer support representatives.
  3. There was no dispute period as outlined by PayPal’s dispute policies. I was denied the opportunity to communicate with the buyer in the PayPal dispute platform to resolve the issue. On June 5th I received an email from PayPal informing me this had been escalated straight to a claim bypassing the dispute phase.
  4. I responded proactively in this case disagreeing with the buyer’s claim. I provided documentation showing my prompt shipping and good conduct as a seller. Also submitted were eBay email logs of repeated attempts to obtain payment from the buyer once the 48hr time period passed, showing payment was eventually received almost 4 days later demonstrating a history of poor conduct by the buyer.
  5. Upon return of the package I documented the the unpackaging and powering on of the laptop on video as proof which I tried to provide to PayPal Support. After several phone conversations with PayPal Customer Service, they would not accept the 18mb video file or a youtube link to the clip; only 10 screenshots of the video which I provided. Continuing to rely soley on the buyer's verbal statement PayPal denied my appeal.


This shows PayPal chose to approve a claim based solely on word-of-mouth, disregarded proof submitted in opposition during the process and ignored additional evidence to the illegitimacy of this claim during the appeal process. Despite having done nothing wrong I’ve been mandated to forfeit payment, incur the $60 in shipping costs from the original sale and additionally charged with a $15 dispute fee. Actions which could be described a penalty in any other circumstance but I did nothing wrong.


I consider it urgent business to warn other Sellers of their vulnerability in the face of PayPal's policy on "item not as described" claims and their blatant disregard of due process and fair conduct.

Esteemed Advisor

Re: Warning - No Seller Protection for "Item not as described" Claims



Usually the dispute stage of the claim is for negotiations between buyer and seller but if the buyer doesn't want to bother and they say they have already contacted you via Ebay then they can escalate it straight to a claim, paypal does not escalate only a buyer or seller can do that.


So paypal only gets involved once its a claim, in the event of an item received but not as described dispute it is always one persons word against anothers so paypal make a judgement call, and yes they do tend to favour the buyer but normally (unless its a chargeback done via their credit card issuer) they have to return the item back to your first before you have to refund.


To be honest in most countries buyers have the right to return items within a certain period of time to a seller for a refund if they say the item was misdescribed.


Sadly you being a 'good' seller does not surpass the fact that the buyer may well have been a 'good' buyer as well and you can supply all the evidence you want but what you say you sent and what you sent ''may'' be 2 different far as Paypal would be aware.


Think you have to put the fact of the odd bad sale down to one of the risks of online selling.

Advice is voluntary.
Kudos / Solution appreciated.