PayPal Seller Protection: Partially Eligible – What Does it Mean?

Posted on March 7, 2009. Filed under: eBay, Paypal | Tags: , , , |

I recently received a PayPal email notification which was unusual.  The email had the usual “You can now ship any items” statement. 


However, the email stated Seller Protection: Partially Eligible instead of simply Eligible as is normally the case.

I logged into my PayPal account and viewed the transaction details.  The seller protection stated “Eligible”.  Nothing about partially eligible in the transaction details and nothing that described partially eligible seller protection.  So I called PayPal.

The PayPal representative explained that when the payment was received and I was sent the notification, actually the payment was “under review” during which time the transaction was not eligible for seller protection.  The fact that the email instructed me to “now ship any items” did not mean that I was covered. 

I was told this particular transaction was reviewed quickly and a decision was made in about 20 minutes that the transaction was eligible for seller protection.  At that time, the seller protection was upgraded on the transactions page to read “Eligible”.  The representative was not sure what I would have viewed on the transaction details page during the first 20 minutes.  She agreed that the PayPal email notification was confusing because it instructed me to ship and never mentionned that the transaction was under review. 

The PayPal customer service representative stated that she had never seen this kind of email; instead of this email she told me that I was supposed to receive 2 separate emails – one to notify me that a  payment was sent to me that was under review and a second email to notify me that the payment had been cleared and was eligible for seller protection.  Now, that would make sense.  But it never happened.  What should have happened didn’t happen.  Instead, I was misinformed and given conflicting information.  Had the transaction under review been found to be suspicious then the transaction would have been ineligible for seller protection but I would never have known unless I had logged in to my PayPal account AFTER the transaction review had been completed and looked at the details.  And I certainly would  not have known had I not called in to PayPal to ask the definition of “Partially Eligible”.

I was told that after the review, however long that takes, the transaction will either be considered Eligible or Ineligible but never again Partially Eligible.  My recommendation: whenever a seller receives a PayPal email notification where the Seller Protection is Partially Eligible, the seller should wait to ship until the review is complete so that the transaction can be clearly labelled as either eligible or ineligible.  And I would urge sellers to print out a copy of the transaction page that shows that the transaction is eligible since the original email never states whether the transaction is actually eligible or ineligible.

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3 Responses to “PayPal Seller Protection: Partially Eligible – What Does it Mean?”

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Paypal used to be better with communication and e-mail before eBay bought them. Once Paypal had to adapt to “the eBay way”, it has been down hill for Paypal. People are very emotional about their finances — you really have no room to screw up. So, Paypal, please test carefully and do a better job in the future.

Partially Eligible seller protection is something new. Ebay introduced recently “Expanded seller protection” for ebay power sellers and it did not matter if the address is not confirmed. Sellers could ship to an unconfirmed address and still be covered. Now each time i receive payment from unconfirmed address, i’m only partially eligible which kind of makes the Expanded Seller Protection completely useful. You should write an article about this please…

Well I got hosed. A buyer states after a couple months that they didn’t authorize the payment so hence a chargeback. Pay Pal states it could take up to 70-100 days to get straightend out. I’ve emailed the buyer twice and nothing. And of course, the dispute resolution thing is in Pay Pal and the CC hands till they decide to figure it out. Meantime I’m out $27.00 and the merchandise. Sweet. So much for seller protection.

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