​​How to request and get a refund on PayPal?

Gert Svaiko

If you’re not happy with a purchase you’ve made online, you’ll need to look into whether or not you can get a refund.

In this guide, we’ll run through how to get a refund if you’ve paid by PayPal. This includes a step-by-step guide to requesting your refund, whether there are any fees involved and how long it takes. Plus, whether or not you can get your money back using the PayPal mobile app.

We’ll even throw in a handy tip for international spending and online shopping in other currencies - the Wise multi-currency account.

Learn more about the Wise multi-currency account

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

But first, let’s get your PayPal refund sorted out.

Can I get a refund with PayPal?

If you didn’t get what you paid for, or your order was broken or faulty, you have the right to request a refund from the seller. Your consumer rights are the same whether you pay using your debit card or through PayPal.¹

To get a refund when you’ve paid by PayPal, you’ll need to contact the seller to ask for it.²

If they refuse, you can open a dispute in PayPal’s Resolution Centre. Through this process, you can communicate with the seller and try to arrive at a resolution. If you can’t agree, PayPal will look into the situation, and decide whether or not you’re entitled to get your money back.³

You have up to 180 days after paying for your item to request a refund.²

How to request a refund from PayPal? The process

Let’s run through the steps you need to follow to get a refund through PayPal:²

  1. Login to your PayPal account.
  2. Contact the seller by sending an email explaining the problem. You can find their contact details on the transaction you’d like a refund for. Ask them to go to the Transaction Details for your purchase and click ‘Issue a Refund’.
  3. If the seller doesn’t agree to send the refund, you may be able to open a dispute in the PayPal Resolution Centre.
  4. The seller should give a response to your dispute, explaining what happened from their side.
  5. Once the dispute is opened, you and the seller will have 20 days⁴ to work out a solution.
  6. If there’s no resolution after this time, you can escalate your dispute to a claim. PayPal will review the case and provide a final decision.⁴

If a refund is due after either of the above steps, it’ll be issued to your debit card or PayPal balance depending on the original method used to fund the purchase. We’ll run through how this works - and how long it takes - in just a moment.

PayPal refund fees

The good news is that PayPal doesn’t charge buyers any feesto receive refunds, as long as no currency conversion is involved. However, there may be fees on the seller’s side.

How long does a refund on PayPal take?

The time it takes to receive your PayPal refund depends on the method used to make the original payment.

The table below⁶ shows where your refund will be issued and how long it’ll take, depending on how you paid for the transaction originally. As you’ll see, some methods are far quicker than others.

Payment method (when paying through PayPal)Refund issued toHow long it takes
Credit card or PayPal CreditCredit cardUp to 30 days
Bank accountPayPal balanceUp to 5 business days
PayPal balancePayPal balanceSame day
Debit cardDebit cardUp to 30 days

PayPal refund to a debit card

If you used your debit card to pay for your purchase, when checking out using PayPal, your money will be refunded back to the same card. But you’ll need to be patient, as it can take up to 30 days to receive the refund.⁶

PayPal refund on the app

If you use the PayPal mobile app to shop, spend and send money, you may need to switch to the website version in order to request your refund. This is because the PayPal Resolution Centre isn’t available on the app.⁷

Shopping or spending abroad? Check out the Wise multi-currency account

PayPal is a great option for making online purchases with UK sellers, or when the currency is the same as your own. But what about shopping overseas, or sending money across international borders? If you use PayPal and a currency conversion is needed, it can get a little costly.

Luckily, there’s a money-saving alternative available. Open a Wise multi-currency account and you can send money worldwide for low fees and the mid-market exchange rate - a fair rate.

You can even get an international Wise debit card for low-fee spending in 174 countries, as well as online shopping in other currencies. If a currency conversion is needed, it’s automatically done at the mid-market rate at the moment you spend. Clever, right?

Register with Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Citizens Advice - consumer rights when paying by PayPal
  2. PayPal - refunds with PayPal
  3. PayPal - PayPal dispute resolution
  4. PayPal - how to escalate a dispute to a claim
  5. PayPal - merchant fees
  6. PayPal - where refunds are issued and timescales
  7. PayPal - Resolution center not available on app

Sources checked on 22-06-2023.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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