Tom-Chris Emewulu
Chargeflow's Digital Evangelist
Table of contents

Buyers file Item Not Received PayPal dispute when they believe they did not receive orders they paid for. However, scammers also use that reason code to game the PayPal dispute system. To win Item Not Received PayPal dispute, you must have compelling evidence like proof of product delivery or usage if you sold digital products.

Customers file a PayPal dispute on their orders for two reasons:

1) Item Not Received (INR): The customer placed an order and paid for an item but did not receive it because the merchant was unwilling or unable to fulfill the order.

2) Significantly Not As Described (SNAD): The customer states the product they received is significantly different from what the merchant described.

When any of the above happens, PayPal will send you an email notification of the case through the PayPal Resolution Center, the exclusive communication platform where customers and merchants can resolve disputes.

You and your customer will have precisely 20 days to resolve the dispute. But if you failed to reach a satisfactory compromise, your customer may choose to escalate the dispute to a Claim, which could result in funds deductions from your merchant account.

A claim means they want their money back and seeks PayPal's involvement in the mediation process. The standard practice is to resolve the PayPal customer complaint directly with your customer before they escalate it to a claim. And for this article, we shall major on vital tools to help you resolve any Item Not Received PayPal dispute without hassle. You will also learn how to resolve Claims in your favor.

Let's begin!

How to Win Item Not Received PayPal Dispute

The first thing you need to know about Item Not Received PayPal disputes is that a significant number of them are illegitimate. Online shoplifters are increasingly weaponizing PayPal disputes and chargebacks to commit friendly fraud.

I think that term "friendly fraud" is a misnomer because there's nothing friendly about intentionally disputing orders one received in good condition as otherwise. But that's the reality of digital commerce today. Anticipating such risks will make a world of difference for your business, as PayPal disputes keep rising with every transaction.

Below are the vital steps you must take to win any meritless Item Not Received PayPal dispute:

#1: Have a trackable proof of delivery

If a customer filed an Item Not Received dispute against you, PayPal would request for pieces of evidence (like proof of shipment) that show otherwise. If you don't have such compelling evidence, you will lose the case.

Hence, we advise that you should ship your orders with tracking services. Tracking a package is critical as it provides concrete proof the item reached the buyer. 

A tracking system works with a bar code attached to an order-in-transit. It helps handlers get specific information about the parcel like purchase price, where it originated from, contact details and its destination. This information will be available on the shipping company's website and remains as proof that the package passed that route on a particular calendar day. That helps the buyer and the seller to quickly get relevant, just-in-time details on the package's location.

The absence of such data means you'll lose the dispute. PayPal will automatically side with the customer if you don't have trackable proof of delivery.

But that's not all the order delivery evidence you need to overturn an Item Not Received dispute. In addition to order tracking information, you should equally include other eligibility requirement evidence as follows:

  • A tracking link that shows the order journey -- from your store until it was delivered. 
  • The cardholder’s signature on the pick-up form. If available.
  • A signed contract or other evidence indicating you offered the services/delivered the merchandise.
  • A copy of identification presented by the cardholder, if available.
  • The details of the title issued by the cardholder.

This will substantially increase your chances to win the dispute and avoid chargeback fees.

What if I sold an intangible product?

Intangible products might not have tracking services, but you can use other creative ways to protect yourself when a customer files Item Not Received PayPal dispute. If you sold a digital product, then add the following:

  • An IP address
  • Timestamps
  • Server or activity logs to show he or she accessed the product or service.

This way you can win such disputes under PayPal seller protection.

$40 billion global payment frauds

#2: Send your package insured, communicate better with customers, and provide realistic delivery dates.

Insurance coverage on orders helps to indemnify you from a mishap on your shipment. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes. Even though merchants are not responsible for any damage or loss of orders in transit, customers will still hold you liable for such issues. They bought the product from you, and you need to deliver it to them.

Hence, you must ensure you insured the shipment; after all, the buyer pays postage costs. Insuring your package will minimize a PayPal dispute occurrence due to a lost or impaired product. The shipping company will compensate you when such incidents arise. They will reimburse you the order value and shipping cost, making it possible to replace your customer's order.

It is also worth noting that sometimes buyer files an Item Not Received PayPal dispute when they don't receive their orders early. You can avoid this by giving realistic delivery dates with regular customer communication.

Consider possible delivery delays. Don't take more orders than you can handle. Provide a minimum/maximum order delivery dates to avoid excessive pressure in order fulfillment.

And if you can afford it, integrate automated order management software to help you create an accurate order fulfillment schedule. Also, you can hire an Order Fulfilment Service to enhance efficiency.

That said, it's supremely vital that you accurately communicate the features and benefits of the product to users. Don't mislead your buyers; include pictures of the product from multiple dimensions.

Lastly, for this point, please understand that when customers make an order, the next thing they expect is to receive it. Provide helpful customer service and work out legitimate concerns accordingly. Ensure you have an excellent return policy. Merchants that do not have a well-written order fulfillment policy always fall prey to Item Not Received PayPal Dispute.

How to respond and win an Item Not Received PayPal Dispute 

Take the steps below to respond to the Item Not Received PayPal dispute:

  1. Login to the PayPal Resolution Center.
  2. Click “View” under "Action," which is next to your case.
  3. Respond to the buyer by entering all the documents mentioned above (order tracking information, delivery confirmation, etc.) and click Send.

If your customer escalated the dispute to a claim, you must respond within ten days. After you've submitted your compelling evidence, PayPal will review the case and decide the outcome.

That happens within 10-14 days for most claims usually you see payment hold status during this interval.

You can always see the case status and, if need be, provide additional information in the Resolution Center and merchant protection type. If you lose the case, you can appeal it with the tips we discussed in this article.

Shopify Review for Chargeflow Dispute Chargebacks

Automate your PayPal Dispute Management Processes

In addition to providing detailed, accurate descriptions of what you sell, adding tracking information to shipments, user agreement and posting your return policy where customers can see it, you should get an extra layer of Item Not Received protection with PayPal Dispute Automation.

Here's why: Dispute automation increases your dispute win rate because extracts essential data for the most comprehensive dispute evidence. Plus, it helps you reallocate your human resource where the business needs them the most. You also get unbelievably extensive data on each transaction to accurately estimate future sales and mitigate payment fraud.

And Chargeflow has designed the world's first fully managed dispute and chargeback automation service, designed for e-commerce merchants.

Our software creates customized templates based on your store's needs, generates the world's most comprehensive dispute responses, and submits them on your behalf. That means you will recover more money, save more time, and maximize your customer experience.

Experience the Chargeflow Exceptionalism

Chargeflow comes out head and shoulders taller than all disputes and chargeback tools in the market today. Our differentiation includes the unique functions listed below.

Audited by Dispute Experts: We take your disputes seriously. Hence, before sending out your ChargeResponse®, one of our Dispute Experts will human-proof it and double-check that your response is in a position to win.

Success-based pricing: It's pretty simple. We make money only when you make money, so it is in our best interest to help you recover (a lot) more money. Oh, and we have a 9X ROI Guarantee, so... we'd call it a good deal. We don't earn a dime if the dispute is not settled in your favor.

2-Step Installation: No coding. No sales calls. We have fully utilized the web's power to make Chargeflow the easiest and fastest way to help you eliminate PayPal disputes and focus on the critical things.

If you’re not already using Chargeflow, I invite you to experience its benefits firsthand! Sign up here.


About the Author: Tom-Chris Emewulu is Chargeflow’s Digital Evangelist. With 8+ years of digital marketing & venture building experience, he crafts compelling, high-converting, high-intent, data-driven, SEO-friendly articles that help the brand build a sustainable growth engine. Forbes, DW, Business Insider, Businessss2Community, and many other publications have featured his works. You can find him on Social Media via @tomchrisemewulu.

Featured Image credit: CouponSnake via Unsplash


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