Paypal money back: your complete guide

Roberto Hamidi

PayPal is popular as a payment option, since the money is on the one hand within seconds with the receiver and on the other hand a good buyer protection offers. This offers the possibility to get the money back in case of problems with the order.

If you want to know how to get money back from PayPal, this is the right place for you. In this article you will learn under which circumstances this works and you will be shown a step-by-step guide. Have fun!

When can you reverse a PayPal payment??

A PayPal payment is in principle not reversible. This means, once you have transferred money, then the money is subsequently on the account of the recipient. Cancellation or reversal in the actual sense does not work.¹

One option that remains to you is to contact the recipient on his e-mail address and ask for a refund. This option is available for example for private purchases or if you have sent the money through "friends and relatives".

It is important to note that there is no obligation for the seller or recipient to return the money to you. In case of a private purchase there is no 14-day return policy and if you send money to someone, it belongs to them. So in this case you have to rely on the good nature of people.

An exception is if you z.B. have a typo in the recipient’s email address. If there is no PayPal account for this e-mail address, the transaction will not be executed. As long as it does not have the status "completed", the PayPal payment can be reversed.

If you order something on the Internet and pay with PayPal, you can not simply reverse this transaction either. However, it is easier and safer to get your money back.

PayPal money back when buying in an online store

If you buy something in an online store and pay via PayPal, your transaction is subject to PayPal Buyer Protection. This way you can claim your money back, for example, if something is wrong with the ordered product or if you want to cancel the order.

The procedure differs depending on whether you are asking for your money back because of a problem or a normal return. Below you will find step-by-step instructions for both cases.²

PayPal money back in case of problems with online store

If there is a problem with your order, for example, if the item does not correspond to the description or you have not received it at all, you can report this to PayPal.³

  1. You can open a case via the "Conflict resolution" page by clicking on the "Report problem" button.
  2. On this page you can select the transaction and click "Next" to go to the next page.
  3. Now you can select the type of problem and send it to PayPal by following the instructions below.
  4. The seller now has 20 days to find a solution with you. During this time a solution can be found or PayPal can be used for mediation and a buyer protection application can be filed.
  5. PayPal evaluates the information and evidence of both parties and then decides the case.
  6. If no buyer protection request is submitted within the 20 days and no solution is found, the case is automatically closed on 21. Tag closed and the money refunded to the buyer.

PayPal money back for normal return

If it is a normal return in your case, the way is through the seller.

  1. Contact the seller and ask to cancel a purchase or ask for a refund.
  2. Alternatively, you can ask for a refund via the respective transaction. However, it is recommended to go directly to the seller, so that he knows about the incident and can process your refund smoothly.

Withdraw private PayPal payment

If you bought something from a private seller, the procedure is the same as for an online shop. The difference is that there is no 14-day return policy, so you only have the option to report a problem to PayPal.

You can do this, for example, if the article has not arrived or is already broken.

Can you get money back from payments to PayPal friends?

The payment through PayPal Friends and Relatives is free of charge. On the one hand this saves costs, but on the other hand there is no buyer protection. So if you send the money to a seller and the product is subsequently broken or does not arrive, you are stuck with the cost, unless you have an accommodating seller.

If it is important to you that you are protected in the case, do not send your money via friends and relatives.

Watch out for payments abroad!

PayPal operates internationally and if you sell something abroad or buy in another country, for example, buyer protection is also available to you. If there is a problem, you can easily get your money back using the previously described procedure.

However, if you send money through PayPal to friends or family abroad, there is something you should keep in mind. Because PayPal uses Xoom for its foreign transfers, charging fees and using an exchange rate that does not correspond to the mean rate of exchange. This way PayPal earns additional money from the exchange rate.⁴

Cheaper here with Wise. Specializing in international transfers, Wise offers you the average exchange rate for each transaction and a fee that is a fraction of that of Xoom.

For an example transfer of 1000 EUR to the USA, the recipient would receive 1199.60 USD with Xoom, but 1212.97 USD with Wise. Since PayPal uses a disadvantageous exchange rate, this difference increases the higher the amount sent is.


To get the money back for a transaction at PayPal is quite simple. Through the conflict resolution you can report problems and open buyer protection cases, which will be decided after 20 days at the latest. However, this only works for transactions that have been transferred with a fee, i.e. not for "friends and relatives".

If you often send money to your family abroad, then there is a cheap alternative to PayPal. With Wise you can easily send money and benefit from fair exchange rate. Here’s how to get more money to your loved ones.

This publication is provided for general informational purposes and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics discussed. There is no claim that the totality of the information displayed can be used as reliable advice. Before any decisions are made or actions are taken by the reader based on the information provided in this article, professional advice must be sought from a specialist. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other advice from TransferWise Limited or its partners. Results from the past do not guarantee similar future results. representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content of the publication are excluded.

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