Are PayPal Refunds Instant or Do I Have to Wait a Month to Get My Money Back?

PayPal, with its 325 million active users and integration with eBay, is still one of the most popular payment methods for online shopping. The appeal of buying by leaving your email address as a payment detail is strong. It can also be dangerous because it leads to some ridiculous spur-of-the-moment shopping choices.

What Is the PayPal Refund Time Limit?

When you buy something using PayPal as a payment method, the money goes to the merchant, and that is who you should ask for a refund. 

PayPal allows you to go through this process on their platform, which has its perks—you don’t have to search for the merchant’s contact and repeatedly call or email them. The downside is that it’s a prolonged process, and PayPal refunds can take forever

You have to make a refund request within 180 days of the purchase, but you might have to wait up to 30 days for the money to appear in your account. That is 30 days from the day you managed to reach and agree on the refund with the merchant, and reaching them can take a lot longer. 

The refund time also depends on your original payment method. 

Your Original Payment Method 

How Long Do You Have to Wait?
PayPal balance

The refund will be on your PayPal balance as soon as it’s issued

Credit or Debit card

It can take up to 30 days for the money to appear on your card
PayPal balance+credit card

The part that you paid with your PayPal balance will be refunded instantly, but you will have to wait up to 30 days for the funds to appear on your credit card

Bank account

The refund will first be issued to your PayPal balance and then transferred to the bank account. It can take from three to five days for the process to complete

How Does PayPal Handle Refunds Internally?

PayPal refund policy advises you to use their Resolution Center to resolve the issue with the merchant and reach a mutually beneficial agreement. 

It can be a lengthy process, but here are some things you can do through the PayPal platform:

  • Get in touch with the merchant
  • Open a dispute in the Resolution Center
  • Escalate your dispute to a claim

Getting in Touch With the Merchant

This is the first step in your PayPal resolution process. You have 180 days from the purchase to request a refund from the merchant. Your best option is to use your account to find their contact info and send them an email. 

Here is how to do it:

  1. Go to your PayPal account and log in
  2. Click on the Summary link in the header
  3. Find the transaction in question from your list of recent activity and click on it
  4. Look for the merchant’s contact details on the following page
  5. Send an email to the merchant requesting a refund
  6. Instruct the merchant that they can issue a refund by going to the Transaction Details page

Opening a Dispute in the Resolution Center

If you don’t get a positive response or any response at all, PayPal offers you an option to open a dispute on their platform. 

This way, you get to reach the merchant directly and ask for a PayPal refund

Here are the steps to take:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account
  2. Click on the Help link from the header
  3. Select the Resolution Center option from the pop-up window
  4. Click on the Report a Problem button
  5. Select the transaction in question from the list
  6. Click Continue
  7. Choose the I Have a Billing Issue box
  8. Follow the prompts to initiate a dispute

You and the merchant have 20 days to resolve a dispute. If you don’t reach a satisfying conclusion, you can escalate your dispute to a claim.

Escalating Your Dispute to a Claim

When you file a claim, PayPal will get involved in the case and make the decision for you. 

Here is how to escalate a dispute to a claim:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account
  2. Select the Help link from the header
  3. Click on the Resolution Center option from the pop-up window
  4. Find the dispute in question and click View 
  5. Click Escalate This Dispute to a PayPal Claim
  6. Follow the steps to complete the process
  7. Click Escalate to a claim to confirm

I Sent the Payment by Mistake! Can the Merchant Refund a Pending PayPal Payment?

The merchant cannot refund a pending payment, but the good news is that you can cancel it. 

If the payment is still pending, you can cancel it on your Activity page. In case you don’t do this and the pending status lasts for 30 days, the payment will be canceled automatically, and you will receive a full refund. 

Follow these steps to cancel a pending payment:

  1. Login to your Paypal account
  2. Click the Activity link in the header
  3. Find the transaction you want to cancel
  4. Click the Cancel button next to it
  5. Click the Cancel Payment button to confirm

Cut the PayPal Refund Process Short With DoNotPay

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) allows you to initiate a chargeback with your bank for any transaction over 50$ within 60 days of the purchase. 

A chargeback is slightly different than a refund because you are going through this process with your bank and not the merchant.

DoNotPay can help you with filing a chargeback for your PayPal transactions.

Here is how to get your money back:

  1. Open DoNotPay in your web browser or download it on your iOS device
  2. Click the Chargeback Instantly option
  3. Provide your bank details to our chatbot
  4. Type in the name of the merchant
  5. Follow the guidelines to finalize the process

Once you are done, DoNotPay will fax a dispute letter to your bank. We can send a refund request letter to the merchant as well, and we will also provide you with the comprehensive documentation that can serve as important evidence for your case. 

DoNotPay—a Perfect Cash-Saving Tool!

If you enjoy eBay shopping sprees, you should know that DoNotPay can help you get an eBay refund, partial eBay refund, or an eBay gift card refund. We can also assist you in tackling PayPal chargeback protection or getting a PayPal Cash Plus balance refund. 

Our app will protect you from both eBay spam and PayPal spam emails as well. 

Do you know that DoNotPay offers the best virtual credit card for PayPal verification, which can also sign you up for any free trial in a risk-free way?

Check out how we can help you by opening DoNotPay in your web browser or downloading it on your iOS device

Here are some tasks DoNotPay can assist you with: