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Fri Oct 2 2020 16:52:14

PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers are concerned about a dispute fee referenced in PayPal's new User Agreement that takes effect November 9, 2020. Readers asked us to find out what the new fee is and how it would impact them.

"I just got a message from PayPal regarding policy updates," one seller wrote to EcommerceBytes. "There is a bullet point that says they are "establishing" (adding) a dispute fee. That's it, just a quick mention. No description, no amount, no place to go to take a look at this new arrival." They attempted to learn more by checking their PayPal Message Center, without success.

A PayPal spokesperson referred us to a blog post on its site where the company said it was making changes to its merchant policies, "encouraging merchants to engage with consumers in a direct and proactive manner to resolve disputes, consistent with PayPal's merchant policies and best practices."

"These updates replace chargeback fees with a dispute fee for transactions that are processed either through a buyer's PayPal account or through a PayPal guest checkout. This change will mean that for merchants who proactively resolve disputes with consumers, the typical fee on eligible incidents will drop from approximately $20 to $15*."

While that sounds like good news, the post went on to say in some circumstances, merchants will actually pay more:

"For merchants who have historically relied on PayPal to solve disputes and not engaged directly with their consumers to resolve disputes, there may be an increase in fees. Most merchants, and especially those who already take proactive actions with consumers to resolve disputes, will see a meaningful decline in the fees they are charged."

The PayPal spokesperson explained, telling us: "Essentially if a merchant does *not* communicate directly with their consumers and it is escalated to PayPal to mediate, that is when the fees are applied. If the merchant historically acted in this manner, they will see an increase in costs. If the merchant engages consumers directly to resolve disputes, they will not have this fee applied and could see a reduction in the costs."

It appears to be an attempt on PayPal's part to incentivize sellers to work with buyers and decrease the number of disputes it must deal with by charging more than the $20 fee currently in effect.

PayPal hasn't said how much the fees are going up, and sellers who miss this news may be in for a surprise in November, with the change coming at the height of holiday shopping.

Update 10/3/2020: PayPal's spokesperson provided the following additional clarification;

"The Dispute Fee will replace PayPal's existing Chargeback Fee for branded transactions for disputes that are not resolved by merchants, and in proportion to a merchant's dispute rate. This will help merchants mitigate losses and also encourage merchants with high dispute rates to improve buyer experience. These merchants will be charged a higher fee compared to merchants with a standard dispute rate. So merchants with a higher dispute rate will see an increase whereas those with a standard (or lower) rate would actually see a decrease in costs."



Comments (14) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 17:39:34 2020

Beta tested paypal when it first came out. Then spent until this year using them. Never had a problem nor a dispute with them. BUT And scream at the sky if you need to but went to managed payments the first of the year and haven't looked back. Actually like MP as it seems to be simplier to use. But then again sometimes people can't manage simple either.

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: Vigilant Eye On eBay This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 19:06:30 2020

PayPal has been my exclusive payment processor since late 2001.

Unlike bank merchant accounts and eBay, there has never a problem or a dispute with PayPal in the nineteen years that I have utilized their services.

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 20:05:40 2020

Since being jilted by ebay they have been looking to reduce their costs on buyer protections as well as looking at ways to monetize that area. If you sell good product and stand by it and don't act like the stereotyped NO RETURNS FINAL SALE AS IS etc seller then this has no impact really.

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 22:54:29 2020

I think it should be illegal to alter fees based on a customer's past behavior, particularly when there is no means presented to quantify exactly when a customer will get the higher or lower fee.  To add to the potential problems, I would say about half of the claims I get I know nothing about until the claim is opened.  How can I be expected to communicate with a buyer about an issue that I don't even know exists?!

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Oct 3 11:52:08 2020

@lessthanthreerecords - When a customer files a dispute with their credit card company, the first thing they have to attest to is that they tried to work out the issue with the merchant but the merchant wouldn't cooperate. Earlier this year I was blindsided when I woke up one Saturday morning to find a notice from Stripe that a customer had filed a chargeback for an item not received. I immediately checked the tracking number and it showed a delivery date of weeks earlier. I emailed the customer and he admitted he hadn't contacted me because he didn't think I could help him as he bought a limited edition item from me. He said he made two phone calls to his post office and then gave up. I advised the customer I would file for a trace, and, miraculously, the package show up on his doorstep the next day. I won the dispute, but I wish there was some way I could go after him for felony perjury since the chargeback documents are signed under penalty of perjury. Although the customer denied repeatedly that he was attempting a scam, it is incomprehensible to me that any customer wouldn't first contact the merchant for assistance.  

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Sat Oct 3 15:23:51 2020

This presents some ''interesting'' situations for sellers on MP.

I'm on MP.  A buyer purchases one of my items using PayPal.  The transaction is between PayPal and eBay, money going into eBay's PP account.  Then eBay pays me.  The buyer files a claim after some time.  It's in dispute, but I have had no direct contact with PayPal, and have no standing with PayPal as the buyer nor the seller.  I'm over in left field.

EBay never owned the product, never shipped the item, has no clue to the internal workings of the physical transaction, just the monetary part.  Is eBay the intermediary at that point?  Am I relying on them to deal with PayPal in my interests?  If eBay gets charged this Dispute Fee by PayPal, I presume they would be quick to pass it on to me.  Has anyone had this type of experience and lived to tell about it?

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: toastedmutt This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 3 19:36:48 2020

eBay will pass the fee on to you for having the unmitigated gall of listing something on their site which caused the buyer to file a dispute.

Quite honestly, read the MP policies regarding disputes and fees.  You will be charged any fees incurred.

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 4 05:00:10 2020

“But then again sometimes people can't manage simple either.”

That’s true, however, it usually relates more to affordability than ability.

It’s somewhat analogous to many mechanical issues one might face with their car. Many folks can manage most basic maintenance with stuff like a burned out headlight, or an oil change, or flat tire. Even more complex issues like replacing the water pump, brakes, or even a radiator isn’t beyond the abilities of some.

Not always simple of course. But achievable, with the appropriate knowledge, experience, tools. And cheaper.

However, there’s always a ‘simpler’ way as well. Contract the work. Of course, that’ll cost ya. But it’s a lot simpler than DIY.

So too with eBay. One can certainly do all that’s needed to sell something on line without all the ‘assistance’ eBay provides. They can ‘manage’ their own payments, or shipping, or returns, just fine. But eBay removes those options, so makes them ‘simpler’, with every unwanted, maybe unneeded ‘upgrade’. Which of course, they charge for. Or rather, extract from one’s purse without choice, and without allowing any related DIY - in fact making such impossible.

If one needs such ‘assistance’ - that’s fine, they can choose to pay for it. But if not, there’s no choice. Pay anyway.

And endure the simplicity whether it’s ‘manageable’ or not.

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 4 15:58:09 2020

@feelingfroggy
I have had PayPal forever, I don't recall a problem in forever, they never hold my funds with a dispute, I've had 2 chargebacks in that time, and both times they reversed my fees, i have access to my money IMMEDIATELY, either via my debit card or by a 1% fee to my checking account, or within 24 hours which is free.

I've been in Managed Payments for about 3 months, my money isn't sent next day as requested (excluding weekends)  it's normally sent in 3 days, so access to my money takes about 5 days...so I don't get how this is "better".
Etsy's MP is way better.

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 00:01:32 2020

I've GENERALLY had better results with Paypal then with eBay.

In the 2-3 that I did loose - all they said was "eBay is FORCING us to make you loose - based on the agreements we have with them". (none were INR)

I saw that fee too ..... Id have to agree that when the 2 companies were "one" (though they always claimed they werent but COULD magically read each others emails) Paypal ate a good chunk of eBays "issues". My old Paypal manager (Gloria) told me so as well....

Paypal was as happy to leave eBay as you can bet - as eBay pushed its losses on to Paypals books.

Now Paypal is trying to offload some of these fee losses onto some sellers - but it seems if you call them and give them all the relevant info etc - you should be ok .....

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 00:32:58 2020

I have had four chargebacks on Paypal in twenty years for item was purchased by fraud. Each time I uploaded PDF or Jpeg files for all the paperwork and tracking, showing Buyer's name, address, and delivery to that address given to me by Paypal and Ebay.  Each time I won, but each time Ebay put the money on hold.
The problem I see is the statement "Try and work it out with your buyer."  That is not going to happen. Buyer rarely contacts you, instead they file complaint with Ebay and everything goes on hold. I imagine if you have done everything right, you will probably  still lose with Ebay. As they do not have a fraud division that can keep track of what is going on. They also have a foreign payment processor that could care less because you are not their customer. There lies most of the problem.  

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: Mamak This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 5 12:45:19 2020

The timing for the changes listed below were implemented in the timeframe that I was a buyer rather than a seller.  I had purchased a lot of 30 items which I intended to resell.  The seller stated the items were in ''great shape'' however they were grossly misrepresented. The seller told me to pack sand, then offered $50 credit and last offer was $100.00 after I opened a case.  All I asked for was a return label and a refund.  I had paid a total of $280.00 for the items and $80 of it was for shipping.  I provided photos of the defects of over 80% of the items described as in ''great shape''  needing repairs in excess of $240.00.    Paypal told me I would win my case however would be required to ship items back on my dime.  I complained that I would need to throw another $80 in shipping towards the mess and they recommended that I instead I start a case with my credit card company.  I did end up filing with my credit card company and winning the case without incurring costs to ship the items back.  

I have mixed feelings about the new rules below.  

*****For “Significantly Not as Described” claims under our Seller Protection Program, we are clarifying that the item may not be returned to sellers or sellers may be required to accept the returned item and pay for the return shipping costs.

1.  If item is significantly not as described and can provide proof as I did,I do think the seller has the responsibility to accept the return and provide shipping if they want the items back.  That is my policy as a seller already.  BUT what is their criteria for SNAD?  

*****We are excluding items intended for resale, including single item transactions or transactions that include multiple items, from reimbursement eligibility under our Purchase Protection Program.

2.  What does this have to do with the price of tomatoes?  A buyer is a buyer and a seller is a seller.  Why penalize a buyer for purchasing items for resale I just do not understand.  The seller in the above case accused me of listing and trying to resell her items just because I had similar items listed on my website.  It was simply untrue since the items were under dispute they were left in a box waiting for resolution.  Being a re-seller is not a crime. She accused me of probably doing this to others although this had been my ONLY case opened against a seller EVER since at least 2003 when I joined Paypal.  So a re-seller can't make a purchase and have buyer protection?  Total BS IMHO!

****We are requiring that buyers attempt to resolve their issues directly with sellers prior to filing a claim with us in order to be eligible for reimbursement under our Purchase Protection Program

3)  This had been done and the seller simply put her head in the sand and did nothing but ignore me until I opened the case and only offered a credit rather than standing behind her product and providing a label.  

My take from this is to only use a credit card as payment for anything on Paypal as they do not have your back like your credit card company will.  Paypal who has always had my back in all these years as a seller seems to be turning into the likes of eBay.    

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: Bparty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 8 00:59:25 2020

"****We are requiring that buyers attempt to resolve their issues directly with sellers prior to filing a claim with us in order to be eligible for reimbursement under our Purchase Protection Program."

This is actually a requirement of the regulation that allows you to make a claim on the credit or debit card as well.  They are required to ask you if you tried to resolve first with your seller and then go to them as last resort.  And if you abuse it, they can close your credit card or checking account. I have seen it happen many times.  If you file a claim on your card, be sure you will win.  If you are filing multiple frivolous claims that you lose, they will cut you loose.

Paypal is probably overrun with disputes since they started that mess of begging buyers to file claims on sellers and return stuff a few years back. So they are probably trying to walk back this bad idea that has probably resulted in an abundance of bad buyers.   Unfortunately, they probably have no idea what they are doing or care if the innocent buyers are the ones they will run off.

Perminate Link for PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers   PayPal Raises Cost of Disputes for Some Sellers

by: Mamak This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Oct 8 09:48:44 2020

Bparty
Yes my case was very solid or I would not have filed. It included photos of all damage in each item.  It included an admission that the items were not hers and she took the word of the person who gave them to her.  She had no knowledge of the condition.  She thought the items were made in the 90's  but they were actually form the 50-60's and she also claimed sizes that were completely different.   I also provided every message we had.  Documenting is very important.  

This was actually the only Paypal or credit claim like this I have ever made in my life and I have had credit since 1974.  I'm not a petty person nor do I expect every item in a lot to be perfect but 80% of the items were trash or in need of repairs in excess of the amount paid for them.  This was a valid well documented claim.  

Paypal admitted that I deserved a full refund including shipping but could not provide it with rules at that time and it is proof since they recommended I go to my credit card company for relief then it is confirmed since they  have since changed their rules.  

I do have issue with Paypal because they changed the rules to deny sellers protection as a buyer if they plan to re-sell the item or items.  So do I need another account for what I buy through them for personal use since on this account they also know me as a seller?  How can they know for sure how I will be using my purchase?  I speculate that because sellers know Paypal's rules better than a typical buyer, they may be  exercise their rights when burned by a bad seller at a higher rate and Paypal is discriminating against the sellers for that.   Perhaps there are now too many sellers who have become bad buyers from what they have learned from being burned so many times on eBay.  Who knows but it is not right because Paypal gets the fees whether I purchase for reselling or personal use just the same and my purchase through them should have the same buyer protections otherwise why bother using their service at all.  JMHO  



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