PayPal Policy Update Affects Website Sales

UPDATED: 5/29/10

Just spotted in PayPal’s Policy Updates, effective May 11th 2010.

Section 10.1 (Liability For PayPal Claims) is amended to state that PayPal offers protection to buyers in the United Kingdom (UK) for Significantly Not as Described Claims for purchases made with any Merchant even if the purchase is not an eBay transaction. As such, if you sell to a buyer with a UK PayPal Account and the buyer files a Significantly Not as Described Claim, you will generally be required to accept the item back and refund the buyer the full purchase price plus original shipping costs. You will not receive a refund on your PayPal fees. If you lose a Significantly Not as Described Claim because the item you sold is counterfeit, you will be required to provide a full refund to the buyer and you will not receive the item back (it will be destroyed).

How does this affect off eBay sellers?

  • A UK buyer can file a SNAD claim to PayPal.
  • You will be required to offer a full refund including your shipping costs.
  • If the buyer claims your product is counterfeit you will not get it back.
  • You will additionally not be refunded PayPal fees.

Note that this applies to all off eBay sales, including your website.


This brings up some of the same old questions we have seen on eBay, namely:

  • Who decides it is a counterfeit?
  • What are their qualifications to make that decision?
  • Who destroys the item?
  • Who really believes that anyone appraises the item, or destroys it?

What can you do?

Refuse to make sales to UK buyers through PayPal, use Google Checkout instead, or stop selling to the UK period.

Y’all come back!

Just read this in a UK newspaper

“The biggest problem for buyers is that they are not covered by the same consumer rules as apply to high street stores or other online shops.

Neither the Sale of Goods Act (which says everything you buy should be fit for purpose and able to be returned if faulty) nor Distance Selling Regulations (which entitle you to send back something you bought online if it is not what you expected) apply to eBay. This is because buying from the site is essentially the same as buying from an auction offline, where the principle of “buyer beware” applies.”

I remember reading somewhere else that eBay UK had decided to impose their own ‘enhanced’ version of the two laws mentioned. This article would appear to confirm that.
I understand why eBay is being proactive, there is a lot of scum on their site, buyers, sellers and employees all have a scum quotient. The trick is to drain off the scummy bathwater without shoving the baby down the drain after it, and eBay hasn’t quite got the trick of that manoeuver yet.
Y’all come back!


  1. Thanks Henrietta,

    It’s always good to know the latest info. Thankfully I ended my interaction and account with Paypal three years ago, and never looked back. I didn’t even hit a speed bump.

    Since “Global” is where to be, Paypal severely cripples any fully encompassing business model. If you love Vegas, Paypal is on par. The system is outdated, unreliable, and can be fatal to the small to medium business seller.


  2. If you go online to the store today
    You’re sure of a big surprise
    If you go online to a store today
    You wont believe your eyes
    For today’s the day
    The deadbeats have their picnic
    (and don’t have to pay for it)

  3. I should point out that everything I sell is covered by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, printed on every packing slip, with contact information. My guarantee says “I want you to be happy with your purchase! If you don’t like it, it’s not sold. This means, if, for any reason, you do not like your purchase when you receive it, let me know & send it back right away. It must be in saleable condition and packed as it was when you received it. I will refund your purchase price, less postage charges.”

  4. This is good to know. I have a Paypal shopping cart on my website but do not ship international. Guess I should get busy and check up on other forms of money transfer.

  5. nope

  6. You can endorse anything on package or invoice as “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed”… it does not matter! if a buyer files a claim, a lot of buyers just want trouble and free goodies!

  7. Sue Bailey has just discovered this PayPal policy and is delighted by it.

  8. Is she the cheerleader that quit the team?

Post a comment.

Comments will be sent to the moderation queue.

To submit your comment, click the image below where it asks you to... Clickcha - The One-click Captcha