Essential reading: How to handle disputes

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I’ve seen many posts on eBay community forums in the past where, the instant a buyer opens an Item Not Received or PayPal dispute, the seller instantly assumes that they’re being conned and goes on the offensive. Today the PayPal blog has an excellent article with how to handle disputes and I would highly recommend EVERY seller read it in full.

The highlights are firstly presume good faith, don’t assume the buyer is acting unfairly or with bad intentions until you’re certain that’s the case. Communication is key, the best way to respond is to communicate each step of the way in a respectful and courteous manner.

Almost as important is to remember the big picture. “Try not to get caught up in the emotions of the moment” is superb advice. “Make clear to the buyer from the start that you see the problem as resolvable” and definately staying professional and not trading insults is a must to reach a resolution (which keeps both the buyer and you the seller happy) is essential.

Sooner or later all sellers will inevitably have buyers open disputes, but in many cases if the seller follows the advice given on the PayPal blog often the situation can be resolved with a happy customer.

If you read just one article this month this is the one worth checking out.

7 Responses

  1. I’m sorry to say that I think this article is hopelessly optimistic, and written – yet again – by people who don’t actually use the system they’re giving advice on. As a buyer, the only times I’ve ever had to open PayPal disputes is when the seller has refused to communicate with me – and as a seller, the buyers who have opened PayPal disputes with me have both been rude and aggressive people who “didn’t want to talk about it, they just wanted their money back” (and, in the case of one of them, a serial chargebacker who by her own admission “kept getting stuff lost in the post”).

    My advice to sellers would be “don’t let it get as far as a PayPal dispute”.

  2. Is that blog an ‘official’ paypal blog, written by a paypal employee, as part of their job?

    Because it doesn’t appear to be written by anyone who has been at the sharp end of paypal disputes.

  3. I echo Sue’s comments. All disputes opened against me have come completely out of the blue.
    While it is true to say that sellers should try not to take the offensive position when a dispute is opened, if the buyers had bothered to contact me in the first place then there would have been no need to open any disputes in the first place.

  4. same here
    if it gets to a paypal dispute with us its because the buyer has not contacted us ,or does not want to contact us

  5. 🙁 Sadly Paypal are the biggest obstacle in the seller protection plan. They refer to emails that don’t exist, and refuse to give a seller refund, as “response was outside 10 days” , effectively breaking their own rules.
    Anyone know the format of the email paypal should send when a fraudulent purchase is made, and they want more info from the seller ?


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