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Say I have two email addresses X and Y. I normally use X and keep Y for more private uses, such as PayPal. Somebody mistakenly sent me a payment to the X email address. I could tell them to cancel the payment, but I'm afraid that if they did so PayPal would still keep their cut.

If they do, I'd very much rather avoid that and sign up with the X email address and just pay something the amount of money received precisely, something that's not too hard nowadays thanks to the "Pay what you want" offers.

So: does PayPal keep the cut on a cancelled payment?

The help center does not answer this question in the relevant support article.

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If you refunded the payment, rather than cancelling it, the fees are also refunded provided the payment was for goods or services.

You can partially or fully refund a buyer within 60 days of receiving their payment. Refunds are available only for transactions involving the purchase of goods and services.

When issuing a full refund, your original transaction fee is credited to you. When issuing a partial refund, a portion of the fee is credited to you.

Source: PayPal

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An example here:

Example:

  • A buyer sends £100 to a seller
  • Assuming the seller is on the standard fee rate (3.4% plus 20p), the seller receives £96.40 into their PayPal account
  • The seller later decides to issue a full refund to the buyer
  • During the refund, PayPal credits the merchant £3.40
  • The buyer receives a full refund of £100

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