• Why did I lose a gift card dispute?

    You could lose your dispute due to any of the following reasons:

    • Not providing valid evidence requested within 12 hours of the dispute.
    • Unable to prove that you are the original owner of the gift card. We do not advise selling a card that you did not originally buy. No brokering of gift cards is allowed.
    • Selling a used or invalid gift card.
    • A violation of the other party’s offer terms and/or trade instructions.
    • You redeemed a valid gift card and did not release the bitcoin.
    • Other violations of Paxful’s Terms of Service. 

    Warning: Some of these reasons could lead to you being permanently banned from our platform.

    Supporting the trade of gift cards for bitcoin is complicated. The guidelines we follow are to protect the Paxful community when a gift card trade is disputed.

    What to do during a gift card dispute?

    Paxful conducts thorough investigations to resolve gift card disputes, despite minimal support from gift card services. If you enter a dispute, you must be prepared to prove that you are the owner of the card. If you are not the original owner of the gift card, this makes proving the validity of the gift card very difficult. For this reason, sellers of bitcoin are highly favored in such disputes. 

    What do we ask for in gift card disputes?

    • A photo of the original gift card with your Paxful trade chat clearly visible in the background
    • A complete photo of the original receipt (no cut-offs)
    • For electronic codes (e-codes), an invoice of the original payment and video recording of your bank statement as proof of purchase
    • Proof of conversation with the gift card issuing company’s customer support
    • Any additional evidence as required by Paxful (Example: ID Verification)

    Note: Gift card disputes may take up to three weeks to resolve. Following the moderator's instructions and being responsive in the trade chat is important in resolving the dispute in a timely manner. Here’s a detailed article about the dispute process.

    As per our Terms of Service, we remind you that Paxful is not a licensed gift card vendor nor an authorized dealer of any gift card issuer - and brokering or reselling gift cards is strictly prohibited on our platform. Paxful understands that gift card disputes can be quite challenging and we are continuously working towards solutions to make the trading experience safe and secure for all our users.

  • Disputes

    Paxful offers an opportunity for our customers to freely trade bitcoin with each other. Although the vast majority of the trades go smoothly and successfully, there are cases that require the intervention of a third party our moderators. On Paxful we have our own dispute system through which we settle conflicts between our users in the best way possible. This article will give you an overview of the dispute resolution process. 



    Here’s a short and informative video on the topic:

    Cases to start a dispute

    There are different situations when you should consider starting a dispute with your trade partner. Here is the list of such cases you will find on our website:

    As a buyer

    • Payment issue You have followed the seller’s instructions, paid for the bitcoin, but the seller refuses to release the bitcoin to you.
    • Unresponsive vendor — You have made the payment but the seller has stopped responding to your messages and has not released the bitcoin to you.
    • Other — You can always start a dispute if you notice any violation of Paxful’s Terms of Service (link). For example: If your trade partner impersonates a Paxful moderator, attempts to steal your Paxful account details, forces you to continue a trade outside Paxful website, and so on. 

    As a seller

    • Coin-locker The buyer has marked trade as “paid” but is unresponsive and inactive.
    • Payment issue the buyer is active, is stating that they have made an attempt to pay you, but you see an issue with the payment.
    • Other — You can always start a dispute if you notice any violation of Paxful Terms of Service. For example: If one of the parties impersonates the moderator, attempts to steal your Paxful account details, or forces you to continue a trade outside Paxful website.

    Timeframes for disputes

    Although you can start a dispute and invite moderators to assist you with the trade, when you can do so depends on certain conditions as elaborated in the table below:

    Condition Bitcoin Seller Bitcoin Buyer
    Before a trade is marked as “paid”. Cannot start a dispute. Cannot start a dispute.
    A trade is marked as “paid” within five minutes from when it was started. Can start a dispute in 30 min. Can start a dispute in 3 h.
    A trade is marked as “paid” after more than five minutes since it was started. Can start a dispute in 3 h. Can start a dispute in 3 h.

    Note: You cannot dispute canceled or completed trades. In this case, you must start a new trade with the same user or report an issue by contacting Support.

    Steps to start and win a dispute

    1. In the trade chat, click Dispute.

    Dispute1.pngThe Dispute dialog box appears.

    2. Select a dispute reason from the list and explain what happened clearly in the text box below.

    Here are the dispute options for sellers and buyers:

    • Bitcoin seller: Coin locking, payment issue, other.
    • Bitcoin buyer: Unresponsive vendor, payment issue, other.

    For more info about dispute types, see Cases to start a dispute.

    3. Click Start dispute and check your trade chat for a message from a moderator.


    4. Provide as much evidence as you can, such as:

    • Proof of payment (transaction receipt, a screenshot of payment, video proof)
    • Proof of ownership (transaction receipt, receipt from the store of the gift cards, online receipt,
    • Operation screenshots or video recording.
    • Phone call recording of a conversation with the third party’s customer support.
    • Any additional proof as requested by our moderators.

    The dispute will be investigated by our moderators and a decision will be made based on the evidence provided by both parties. Paxful moderators resolve disputes by evaluating trade terms, offer instructions, evidence of payment, trade chat interaction, user reputation, past trading history, as well as data submitted and or collected in accordance with the Privacy Policy.


    • Once you have submitted a dispute request, you do not have to contact our Support. Our moderators will definitely look into your case as soon as possible and reach out to you.
    • Dispute investigation is a complicated process and may take time (up to three weeks). We are grateful for your patience and understanding.
    • Don’t flood the chat with messages as it may hold up the moderator. Wait for the moderator to join the dispute for investigation.

    How to cancel your dispute?

    If you have started a dispute but changed your mind and want to cancel it, do one the following:

    • If you started a dispute as a seller and you see that the buyer has resolved the issue from their side, click Release bitcoins.
    • If you started a dispute as a buyer and you see that the issue has been resolved, click Cancel.

    Tip: To ensure the best solution possible, wait for a moderator and let them decide on how to solve the dispute.

    Reasons for losing a dispute

    If you lose a dispute, it could be for several reasons. The most common reasons are:

    • You were not able to provide clear reasons and evidence as requested by the moderator
    • The evidence you provided was not enough

    We also check the trading history of both parties to see if you were able to follow the trade instructions or offer terms of the previous trades. A decision is made only when the investigation is finalized to the moderator’s satisfaction. Read more here: Why did I lose a gift card dispute? 

    Read more on how to protect your funds from scammers in our security guide. If you trade with gift cards, check out these articles: Gift Card Trade Specifics.