Double the refund? How are refunds processed?

Hi – I need some help understanding how refunds are handled.


I sold an item on eBay, and a few days after the buyer received it, they said it wasn’t working as described. I actually doubt this, as it was working perfectly when shipped, but I decided to not fight it, and offered to issue a refund if they shipped back the item. They opened a return request, which I accepted. The return request didn’t say anything about the item not working, but that they had changed their mind, and it was the wrong color. (?) Anyway –


In ebay’s email, it said the funds wouldn’t be available until the return is closed. I had already taken the funds out of my paypal account, so my balance is negative there now. I was concerned if I took care of the negative balance with my credit card, that I would get charged again for the refund, and called PayPal customer service to see exactly how this would work. Would it be as if the buyer had never paid me, and I wouldn’t actually need to issue a refund?


The PayPal CSR said I should take care of the negative balance, and a refund would be issued automatically when I received the item. THEN, when the claim was resolved in my favor, I’d be issued a credit for the full amount.


1) It’s not a claim or dispute, so how can anything be decided “in my favor”? Did she mean when the case was closed?


2) I’ll be out $100+ (amount of sale) until the case is closed? Is that how it works – I essentially refund the money twice, then get credited? If that’s the case, how long does that typically take? That seems like a very odd way of handling a refund, and certainly doesn’t make me want to sell on ebay again. I happen to have the amount needed now if that’s the case, but what if I didn’t have that “extra” $100?


I’m a little baffled.


Anyone with some experience with this? Or someone from PayPal who can explain?



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