There’s lots of different reasons something could be charged back, but no matter what the reason is, here’s the most important things you need to provide to the merchant to win the dispute (REMEMBER: “telling” the merchant something happened does not count. You have to PROVE it happened… just like in a court case!):
Possession of Merchandise: Have you ever heard the saying "Possession is 9/10ths of the Law"? This is true for Chargebacks, especially "not as Described". A buyer cannot keep and item and also get a refund. So, if the buyer has never returned it, this needs to be the very first thing you let the credit card company know. If you have an email from the buyer stating they threw it away, this counts as the buyer keeping it.
Communication: Did the buyer ever contact you? If they did, get clear screenshots showing the conversation. For example, if the buyer contacted you BEFORE ordering to ask if you would be willing to reduce the price and you said “No”, this is outstanding evidence to show that the buyer was already unhappy with the price prior to clicking “Buy Now”.
If the buyer contacted you AFTER it arrived, this is also valuable because the back-and-fourth dialogue usually shows the buyer is utterly unreasonable. For example, if you offered to accept a Return and the buyer said they want to keep it and also be refunded, you will absolutely win this dispute.
***IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you get the EMAIL HEADER in the screenshot. For example, this is NOT a good screenshot to provide:
Instead, get a full screenshot, like this:
As you will notice, the screenshot above includes the buyers name and email address as well as the date and time they sent the email to you:
Shipped to Correct Address: Go into your postage program and PROVE that it was shipped to the correct residence. Download a copy of the actual shipping label or get a screenshot of the entire label, not just the address part!
Delivery: Instead of just saying “it was delivered!”, get a screenshot PROVING it was actually delivered, then you can say “As Tracking Shows, this Sweater was Delivered on August 19th, 2020”.
Signature Delivery: If they signed for it, this is wonderful too, but you do not need signature to win a "not as described" chargeback because the buyer is agreeing that they received it.
Photos: Provide the photos from the listing showing what was purchased
Invoice: Provide a copy of the actual transaction. The merchandise purchased should match with the photos provided
Description: Get a screenshot showing the actual description of the listing.
Terms: If you have Terms on your site or in your listing, for example, “No returns after 7 days from delivery date”, this is valuable to win a dispute, especially if the individual filed the dispute 110 days after delivery date
Previous Orders: THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! If you have a way, search all of your prior orders for:
- The address
- The buyers email
- The buyers last name
- If possible, the buyers IP address
You may discover that you HAVE shipped to this person before. This will help you prove “friendly fraud” or that the buyer is running a scam. For example, let’s say Mrs. Jones ordered 2 items from you in 2018. Mr Jones, at the same address, places an order through you in 2020. Mr Jones then files a chargeback claiming his card was “stolen” (unauthorized transaction). By showing the card company that Mrs. Jones is a repeat buyer and Mr. Jones is the identical address you will win the chargeback. BUT, keep in mind that Mrs. Jones may have lived at a DIFFERENT address in 2018, this is exactly why you MUST look for orders matching the email address or last name. Or, Mrs. Jones could have planned ahead to use a fake name on this purchase, let’s say “Mrs. Smith”, which is why you also need to look up the ADDRESS. If Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Smith have the same address, this is still proof of a repeat buyer. Out of 330+ million people in the USA, what's the odds of two different tenants at the same apartment both ordering Calvin Klein Size Medium sweatshirts?
If the Buyer Claims They Never Filed a Chargeback: Stranger things have actually happened. Our live chat on our site is ran through an incredible company called ReAmaze. The first time they charged us for the monthly service, somehow they received a chargeback from us, which made absolutely no sense whatsoever because we never even spoke to our credit card company in at least a year and a half. How did it get charged-back? Who knows!! To this day I can't figure out how this could happen; my only possible guess is an employee at the banks dispute department accessed the wrong account. So, obviously we wanted to fix this issue right away so we immediately wrote an email to ReAmaze stating we are the account holders and we did not file a chargeback and we are very happy with ReAmaze and want the dispute to be ended so ReAmaze can be re-paid in full. We provided this email to ReAmaze so they could add it to the evidence for the chargeback on their end. We then contacted our bank via phone and email. I assume the chargeback was dropped because we have no heard anything about it since. SO, if the buyer claims they never filed the chargeback, be sure to ask them to send you an email stating they 100% authorize the charges, the dispute is a mistake and they wish to have it dropped. IF you want to ask the buyer about the dispute, ALWAYS do it via email, never on the phone! You want to have hard evidence of their response!
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