How to Resolve PayPal Payment Holds in 2018

PayPal is one of the most popular payment methods on the web. However, there are a few downsides that correlate with using PayPal.

There’s one, in particular, that we’d like to talk about today: payment holds.

If you use PayPal, you may know all about this pesky downfall. If not, we’re about to save you time, energy, and hopefully stress.

We’re going to shed some light on PayPal's payment holds policy and provide you with a few steps to to avoid payment holds, and how to get your money if you’ve already fallen victim to one.

We’ll also explain how you can minimize any negative impact it may have on you, your clients, and your business!

Sound good? We thought so, too. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Why Does PayPal Hold Payments?

payment hold

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Back in January, 2012, eBay changed its policy on payment holds. In a talk with the Times Tribune, workers at eBay explained that this policy was put in place to “Make sure that there’s enough money in your account to cover potential refunds or claims” as well as “increase the quality of the auction experience.”

You may be thinking, “But, I’m an excellent seller! I’m top-rated and have excellent feedback. PayPal won’t hold my payments, will they?” As a matter of fact, they will.

Whether you’re new to eBay or not, PayPal holds will affect you all the same. While this may send you into a pit of despair at first, these holds won’t last longer than 21 days.

In fact, your payment may not even be on hold for that long! Payment holds can be lifted as the status of the shipped item is updated.

Meaning: when your package is marked “shipped” and a tracking number is provided, the hold will be taken away. (If anything, the payment hold will be lifted when the buyer leaves feedback for you).

Still not sure why PayPal has placed your payment on hold? Here are a few reasons to be on the lookout for:

  • You’re new to eBay. If you’re not a valid seller and haven’t sold more than a few items, PayPal will put your payment on hold to make sure you’re delivering the item(s) in a timely manner. This is just because PayPal wants to ensure you’re not a fraudulent seller.
  • Your item may be fraud. Selling electronics, phones, tickets, and gift certificates on your eBay store? Guess what? These items are known to be under the “fraud” category. While your item may be 100% authentic, PayPal won’t (and shouldn’t) let up on this. When the buyer leaves feedback for you claiming the item is authentic, your payment hold will be lifted.
  • Your buying and selling history doesn’t add up. Identity theft is common on the internet, and PayPal is no stranger. Let’s put it this way: If you sell bedsheets and pillows, and then start selling adult movies out of the blue, PayPal (and eBay) will watch your account to make sure you’re not a victim of fraud or identity theft. This may anger you (especially if you’re truly the one selling these items) but you’ll thank these services if you ever find yourself a victim of fraud.

Now that we’ve explained why PayPal holds payments, let’s dig into how you can get your funds released in a quick and stress-free way.

How To Get PayPal Funds Released

There are a few good ways to get your PayPal funds released, but the most effective ways of doing so are:

  • Print your labels directly from eBay. By doing this, you (and your customer) will receive the tracking information ASAP. The tracking number will be automatically linked to the PayPal purchase and, in most cases, the hold over your PayPal account will be released within 2-3 days.
  • If you’re drop shipping your products, be sure to upload the tracking number from the supplier into the PayPal transaction history. By doing this, PayPal will link the tracking number and your payment hold will be released sooner, rather than later.

It’s easy to do both of these things, but in case you’re unable to, you can ask the buyer to leave you a review on the day they get the item.

Because PayPal won’t release the payment hold until the buyer rates and reviews you, this may be the best way to ensure you get your money in a timely manner.

If, however, the package is lost in the mail (or the buyer is unresponsive) PayPal will automatically release your payment hold after 21 days.

Unless, of course, the buyer is disputing your store and claiming you sold them junk. This will result in a loss of money, as well as endless amounts of stress.

To avoid this, be upfront with your customers and they’ll repay the favor. As long as you both remain calm, positive, and responsive, you’ll both be  happy with the purchase decision!  

How To Avoid Payment Holds In The Future

While everyone is at risk of a PayPal payment hold, there are ways to ensure that it doesn’t happen to you.

Or, if it does, it won’t be often enough to bother you (or your business).

Let’s talk about some of the ways you can avoid payment holds in the future.

Have a top-notch seller status

Being a top-rated seller on eBay will come in handy in more ways than one. A few ways to get to the top of eBay’s seller list include:

  • Being an eBay seller for more than 6-12 months.
  • Above 95% feedback score.
  • Less than 20 DSRs (Detailed seller ratings) within 12 months.

Before we get into the negative aspect of your seller rating, let’s dip into DSRs quick. A DSR will either make or break your store and we’re here to make your store that much better!

The DSR score won’t be shown alongside feedback that your customer leaves for you, nor will it affect your overall feedback score.

The detailed seller rating system is based on a 1- to 5-star scale. 5 stars is the highest rating whereas 1 star is the lowest.

A good way to get 5-star ratings from buyers is to communicate with them, describe your items correctly, and ship as quickly as possible.

By doing these three things (and selling a good product), you’re almost guaranteed to get a 5-star rating with nearly every sale you make.

Now, let’s talk about what will affect your seller status in a negative way:

  • High rating of buyer disputes.
  • Low DSRs (meaning, if you only get 1-2 score ratings).
  • Inaccurate (or incomplete) account/product information
  • Inconsistent payment activity (a good example of this: let’s say you usually make $100-300 in payments per week. If all of a sudden you receive $5000 in payments in one week, that’d be odd).

It’s easy to keep your seller status (as well as your store) out of the negatives if you simply communicate with your customers and provide true up to date product descriptions.

Another thing to look out for (if you don’t want PayPal to hold your payments) is to stay consistent. What does that mean…?

Be careful with the items you sell

As we stated before, you don’t want to go from selling only bedsheets and pillows to selling adult movies.

Of course, most eBay sellers start small, and then broaden their store. This is completely fine (and we recommend doing it)!

However, you’re going to want to move this process at a slow pace. Don’t overwhelm your clients with new products all at once. Ease into it, see how you like it, and, if it works, continue to scale up.

Here are a few factors PayPal looks into when it comes to selling items on eBay:

  • Sudden changes in products.
  • No established history selling the products on your eBay store.
  • Selling “high-risk” items. (Tickets, electronics, phones, gift certificates, etc.)

Surprisingly, every single eBay seller will go through at least two of the factors listed above.

Can you guess what they are? Sudden changes in products and no established history selling the products on your eBay store.

You cannot avoid these two factors. When you start an eBay store, you’re not going to have established history. Not to mention, you’ll be changing your store from empty to full.

Every single seller will go through a payment hold at first. If you follow the general rules we’ve laid out for you, there’s a chance that you won’t be a victim for long.

Many people believe eBay discriminates against new sellers and this is simply not the case.

In fact, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of high-volume eBay sellers who have their payments held on a regular basis.

Bringing It All Together

It’s clear that payment holds are a nuisance. However, they’ve proven to be incredibly helpful in some cases (they protect you from fraud, after all)!

Though, just because they’re helpful doesn’t mean they’re wanted. Keep in mind these few tips to ensure you’ll be free of payment holds after a while:

  • Stay consistent with your customers. Answer their questions, provide excellent product descriptions, and never sell fraud items.
  • Keep your DSRs around 4-5. Higher ratings = better trusted stores.
  • Don’t change up your store too fast. Take it slow, see if you like it, and, if you do, scale up. Don’t rush!
  • Print your labels directly from eBay (if you’re selling there) and always enter your tracking number.

If you follow those three steps, you can almost guarantee that your payment hold will be lifted in no time.

And if you do get a payment hold, try to get your customer to rate and review their purchase as quickly as possible.

If you’ve found this article helpful, be sure to share it with your friends who also run an eBay store!

Related reading: Working out your PayPal fees with this Paypal Calculator



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Comments (122)

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Marsha Gibson on 1:06 28 Aug
How do I find out in advance if my funds will be held by PayPal?
Melissa Johnson on 5:18 31 Aug
Hi, Marsha!

Unfortunately, unless it's a very large charge on a very new account, or your business is one of PayPal's prohibited categories, there's really not a good way to know when or if you'll get slapped with a hold on funds. That's one of the biggest problems sellers have with the service. Other things (besides suspiciously large transactions or violating the terms of service) that can generally trigger a hold include suddenly processing a much higher volume of transactions than you have in the past, keying in too many transactions instead of swiping, or getting too many chargebacks filed against you. However, PayPal doesn't really specify what it's limits are for these behaviors.

Hope this helps a little!
wiisad on 22:06 12 Aug
No, unfortunately it does not but thanks for trying.
CPUniverse on 7:56 21 Sep
PayPal has begun their BS tactics immediately after initiating a settlement in a law suit that involves just this. Have a PayPal account for nearly 2 years and today I got the 21 day hold. Here's the BS thing about it. They claim the reason for the hold is that I'm new to PayPal. Its about time that we start that law suit all over again. PayPal needs to be sued yet again and this time DONT SETTLE OUT OF COURT! These wanna be payment services like STRIPE.COM and WEPAY are just another glorified version of PayPal.
Suzanne on 14:39 21 Nov
Hey I've been using Paypal for a few years too and I just got EXACTLY the same message.

It's now 22 days after the first payment and they haven't released one penny of it - currently have £2K "pending" in my Paypal account, £0 in my bank account, and -£450 in my other bank account - all because these shysters won't give me MY blinking money.

I am seriously annoyed - this surely CANT be legal?
Melissa Johnson on 17:48 21 Nov
Unfortunately, most pay-as-you-go payment processors, like PayPal, Square, and Stripe, state in their terms of use that they can impose holds, institute reserves, and even terminate accounts at their discretion. So in opening an account, you are agreeing to those terms. It's definitely a frustrating situation all around.
Laura on 19:57 10 Nov
Hi my item was sent to eBay global shipping centre. I have tracking to that location (marked as received for a while there now) but then ebay takes over from there. How can I got about getting my funds released sooner?
The item is only going to Ireland (and I'm in Wales), so the buyer should have received it by now, it's just I don't have proof of tracking for the next stage of the shipping process. I've got in contact with the buyer to make sure they have received the item and I'm just waiting for a response.
Margie on 20:55 3 Feb
I have funds on hold for 21 days! Now I transfer funds to my bank they are now taking 2/3 days instead of instant or 2 hours it is really frustrating when trying to run a bussiness and needing the funds for stock ect I have used paypal for a few years and am really tired of having to juggle my funds it's hard enough trying to build a bussiness and earn a living for my family!! Have totally given up on eBay might as well go out into the street and give stock away... But I need a replacement for paypal as I am so fed up of them feel like giving up and getting a job lol so any ideas very welcome x
Justin Golschneider on 11:44 6 Feb
Sorry to hear PayPal's giving you such a hard time, Margie! We have a list of alternatives to PayPal here:

I hope that helps!
Mike on 15:48 28 Feb
After all, don't we all want more buyers?

We want our funds available to us to be able to "operate"

When eBay holds funds from cases closed in the seller's favor for up to 48 hours
that just screams "interest generated for profit" which has absolutely nothing to do with seller
performance and everything to do with corporate greed.

When a buyer opens a case it takes eBay a nanosecond to remove funds from your Paypal account yet the case remains open on Paypal's end long after it has been closed on eBay's.

This means eBay is holding your funds not Paypal..

Then they send people out to do damage control..

( See above )

Rajib on 18:48 7 Mar
Sir please help me. I am very poor man. My family big financial problems. My mother very illness. I have no
Money. Huge expenses diagnosis cost. Please help me.
First point i eany goods do not purchase. Because
First my family financial problems very bad
Second my mother very illness. Huge diagnosis cost .This time my family financial problems solve .After day eany goods purchased. Please request please quickly my total release sir very help. Disition your hand
Justin Golschneider on 13:19 8 Mar
Hi Rajib,

I'm very sorry, but we are unable to do anything directly to help you get your PayPal holds released. We are not affiliated with PayPal—just users like yourself. I strongly recommend following the steps under "How to Get PayPal Funds Released" in the article above. Good luck!
Tony W on 12:57 21 Mar
This article is wildly inaccurate. Ebay DOES note consider cases individually. The process of seizing money out of a seller's PayPal account is automated. As soon as a buyer files a "did not arrive" complaint, the money is seized from the seller. And it does not matter if there is a tracking number filed for the sale or not. If you call eBay's customer service, you will find that the CS representative 1) hardly knows anything (not surprising since these are probably very low wage positions; and 2) is powerless to do anything (the back office software has become the master, instead of the servant). I repeat: it does NOT matter if you provide a tracking number. EBay will refund the buyer with no regard for what the post office does or does not do. eBay really does not care about sellers.
Jane on 20:01 5 May
Please. PayPal holding funds for 21 days is a PayPal scam. It's simply a way for them to make interest off of your money. Ebay really needs to offer other payment options for buyers and sellers.
antiquesman on 20:39 24 May
This article is biased and focuses on sellers that sell $5 mishmash.

I'm a serious antiques seller, often dealing in items worth thousands of dollars. Despite having said that, I'm not rich by any standards.
Recently I sold a big piece of furniture whose shipping will cost in the thousands as well. The buyer had no problem with this and paid for the shipping. But then eBay placed a hold on my money until I have shipped the item successfully. Seriously? I'm supposed to pay $2.000 for shipping from my own wallet and then just expect to get it back afterwards?
I guess everyone else has two grand lying around for situations like this. This resulted in a situation where I'm technically ready to ship (but can't!) and my buyer is waiting impatiently for the 3 weeks.

The money hold is indeed an insult to honest sellers, as if it wasn't bad enough that eBay + Paypal eat away 20% of my profit with their "fees".
eBay is making it really hard for me to do business with them and they should be more respectful towards me. I make money for eBay, especially because I deal in expensive items. eBay makes hundreds of dollars off my business every time I make a sale. I've been a seller on eBay for YEARS, but since I deal in scarce and exclusive items, I only sell a few of them per year. This is why I'm treated as a worthless newbie by eBay and I'm getting sick of it.
Chris Sharp on 22:51 26 Jun
So, not sure if it said in the article...but, can we ship our items if the Paypal Funds are pending? Or can the buyer cancel payment or do something on his end once they see you shipped the item?
Justin Golschneider on 10:25 27 Jun
Hi Chris! You absolutely should ship the item if your funds are pending. Pending means that the buyer has paid as normal and PayPal is holding onto the funds to make sure you hold up your end of the deal. If you do not ship the item or if the buyer requests a refund, they will use the pending payment to refund the buyer. On the other hand, the faster you ship the item and confirm that it has shipped, the faster PayPal will change that amount from pending to available.

In other words, you have the normal chance of losing the money if you ship the item. If you don't ship it promptly, though, then you definitely will lose the money.
Penny on 21:23 18 Dec
How the hell are you supposed to ship the item if you don't have the money for shipping? That's why we don't offer "free shipping." Shipping costs MONEY and the buyer has paid SHIPPING. Paypal is holding on to funds we NEED to SHIP the item. Do you people not understand English?
JustSomeOldDude on 5:07 24 Aug
My response , like any professional business, "items will not be shipped untill payment has cleared"
Karen on 2:59 17 Nov
Absolutely! This is ridiculous that paypal expects companies to ship out items without a cleared payment. Absolutely ridiculous.
bigo on 16:30 10 Sep
To be honest Paypal been holding 23k from me since nov 17 2016 .......I'm currently at over 2million in sales for 2017 they take out 5 percent from every sale I make ...and they blocked me from getting Paypal working capital which I use to get every 3 months the max amount been trying to get this hold off of the account and nothing has yet happen
Todd on 19:45 14 Sep
This is now incorrect information. Even if you print the labels from eBay or upload the tracking information and the product is marked as delivered, eBay does not change the hold from 21 to 3 days as their policy states. Every single time I've had to call them 7 days after delivery to get them to release the hold. It's arbitrary and inconsistent. eBay needs to lose market share and close shop. It's a bad place for sellers and just getting worse.
Robert on 13:19 19 Sep
Easy way to get around the holds... Take your business to Stripe or Wave and never make a 3rd party processor your primary merchant account. This is simply a company being greedy by allowing people to make quick account, sell, and earn their fee without properly identifying the users. The problem with that is they make the seller assume all the risk from a to z. If you are a new seller then they have no history with me but I also have no history with them. They expect you to provide services or items to an unknown buyer with the promise that they will pay you at some point within the next 21 days. Then 4 to 5 days after the money is released you will actually receive payment in your bank account. 25 days. That's unacceptable. Stripe, Square, Waveapps, intuit who all play in the same get money to your bank account within two days. So there is already a 2 to 3 day hold with paypal to being with. If you want to use the risk excuse then hold the money for 7 days and make sure its in the sellers account on the 8th day if that day falls on a weekday. If you are a seller from the North America or Western Europe its no longer a time where your sales will take a hit if you don't offer paypal. Amazon, Stripe, Wave, Square, Google all offer solutions that are more transparent and just as trusted. Their policies won't offer more transparent service until their revenue and user numbers take a hit. That's not going until you guys stop accepting them screwing you.
Grace Westling on 18:46 6 Oct
My husband and I sold a painted carousel horse to a woman.....she wanted to meet us at a rest stop on her way back from her vacation, we arranged the time to meet, but she got there early and thought that we were scamming her...we waited 3 1/2 hours past the time she said we were to meet and then went home...when we got home, I called her and she had someone get on the phone and yell at me for scamming her....when I explained to her that she left before the time that she said she was going to meet us and that we were indeed there to give her the horse...she had already done the transaction with PayPal earlier but when she thought that she was being scammed she called her credit card company to put a stop on the payment...after speaking with her and getting straight that it was just a miscommunication problem, we agreed to hand deliver her horse the very next day about 75 miles away...we then did just that and met with her children who said that the monies would be available to us the next day......Paypal now says that we did not deliver the goods to the buyer and we owe them 200 dollars and 20.00 for their trouble......we have been on the phone with these people countless times and the buyer says that she called them to tell them that she did receive the horse...but now they have turned us over to a collection agency.....we tried to close our PayPal account...but they won't let us , we are DONE with them and will never use them or e-bay ever again
Michal Gomez on 17:27 12 Oct
Thieves and liars out to hurt the small business man. Every time I call I get a different story. First it was how they won't hold my money after the first 6o days, then I have to log in and address each payment with services rendered, no it's we can hold your money whenever it seems fit. Not a trustworthy business. My tenants pay their rent through Paypal but I can't wait to never use this service again. I used to use this service all the time. Now just thinking about it makes me sick.
Karen on 2:49 17 Nov
I've had an online business for 16 years, with paypal being my merchant account. I have never, ever had an issue with a customer. Never had a complaint. Never had any problems whatsoever. Suddenly, paypal has put a customers payment in pending status, stating the payment won't be released for 21 days. I don't sell on ebay, I have a website. Not one of the excuses paypal uses pertain to me or my business, not ONE! This is nothing more than a company holding funds for their own financial gain. How these companies continue to get away with this kind of practice is beyond me. It's absolutely not fair to the seller, especially considering all the fees we pay paypal throughout the year. For me, my payments have always been consistant and I've been selling the same items for years. This is ridiculous.
Keith on 19:47 20 Nov
Paypal sucks for business. I run 7 days a week. So should paypal and the banks. I need my money now not in 1 to 5 business days thats bs. My job is complete and customer is happy.
katt on 3:26 21 Nov
been selling on ebay 15 years.. 100 percent feedback and dsr.. yet paypal is now holding payments for 3 weeks.. called and got no help at all
Steven Bell on 4:25 29 Nov
I sold a car to a customer in California.The buyer is responsible for the shipping so under eBay's instruction I put the item shipped,unique circumstances.The buyer said he did not receive it which immediately put a hold on the money .Talk about unique .I even explained this to everyone like I'm in an Ivory tower.To resolution centers we go but even after I explained in simple terms ex.release funds I provide title and he can send transport to pick up or whatever.The car sits waiting on it's transport,I sit waiting on hold to be released .How??BUYER MUST TELL PAY PAL HE HAS TO PICK UP CAR SO CAR HAS BEEN SHIPPED VIA UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES!!! GET IT.BUYER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SHIPPING.BET I CAN TELL YOU RIGHT NOW HOW THIS WILL TURN OUT.WHAT DO Y'ALL THINK.
Mike on 12:57 10 Dec
This called economic fascism. Ebay and PayPal are in bed with the State. They are part of a nexus of crony capitalists that are betting rich on cheap money and forced monopolies. This is Corporate welfare; tyranny/socialism.
philip jennings on 23:44 17 Dec
In rhe beginning I got my money it always pending...I even got the damn paypal master card...because my bank transfers started taking 72hr.s... now rhis 21 day there another way of getting payment so I can dump paypal?
Richelle Monfort on 6:45 18 Dec
Hello Philip,

You can opt to open your own merchant account so that you can accept credit card payments outside Paypal - to help avoid the payment issues you mentioned. Cheers!
Penny on 12:04 19 Dec
If you've been a "good" eBay seller since 2009 and all of a sudden you're hit with this "holds on payments" crap again just like you're a newbie again, it's right back to Square One, you're expected to ship the thing out of your own pocket!? What if you NEED the buyer's money to SHIP the thing?! What if your bank account really is ZERO and you're trying to make money to stay alive?! Did PayPal ever think of THAT? I sell something, you tell me I have £100 sitting up "paid" but "suspended" now I have to ship the thing and I HAVE NO MONEY?! They should be SUED. Again and again until they stop doing this. This, you get the money released when the customer gets their product - if you don't get the money you can't SHIP the thing. What part of this does the world NOT. UNDERSTAND?? Shipping is not FREE, people!! And especially if you're drop-shipping. Then you still have to BUY the thing and have it shipped. Or find a drop-shipping supplier that will wait 21 days to get THEIR money? Not. Happening.

I think I'll try putting in my listings for the buyer to WAIT for me to email them an "invoice" (for "services" so PayPal doesn't hold the damn money so I can't use it to ship the product) and see if that works better.
Thomas J Jaglowski on 17:38 19 Dec
I am trying to dropship an item on ebay. I have sold the item successfully and Paypal has put a hold on the payment. I do not have enough funds in my Paypal to purchase the item myself in order to get it shipped promptly to the buyer. What is the best way to handle this situation? URGENT!!!!
Haute Listings LLC on 5:18 11 Jan
21 days! ha I smell B.S. Why did I receive a notice that Paypal will be holding my funds for 180 days? I have been a Top Rated Seller, over 4,000 positive feedback. 98.9% positive due to 1 negative that will clear in about 5 months. Obviously, none of that matters. I was one of these that went from selling just a few small items to thousands of large expensive items. Paypal shut me down and says I can no longer use paypal even though I provided the proof of address and all the invoices and everything else that they asked for. I've got money in there that I'm going to being waiting 6 months for. It just happened today. I guess I need to call and ask paypal why this happened. I read that in some states it's illegal for funds to be held more than 10. If this is true for Texas then what should I do about that?
tako on 14:19 20 Apr
Hello, ebay I wrote the items in February, should have arrived until March 15, I wait for 2 months 14 dollars, please help me, no items will come and no money will be returned
Richelle Monfort on 3:34 23 Apr
Hello Tako,

Sorry to hear of your troubles but you will have to contact eBay directly for you to resolve this.

All the best!
Melissa on 11:33 3 May
Will a return request / refund affect my hold / account status? I'm already on hold for 21 days, just afraid they'll increase it if I have to offer a refund ?
Richelle Monfort on 4:20 4 May
Hi Melissa,

An offer of a refund might help expedite the hold, but I would suggest you contact PayPal to be sure.

All the best!
David on 22:03 9 May
After 10 positive feedbacks on ebay, I should think that is enough selling history for PayPal to stop holding funds. It's unfair to sellers, it ruins small business startups.
on 14:23 12 May
As a sellers, Keep refunding held funds. PayPal would soon stop this practice. I refunded 5 purchases in two days. I did ship out some items without cleared funds, after a while I had cash flow problems and became unable to replenish stock. The practice simply kills small upcoming businesses .. it's wrong.
Dave O on 22:37 26 May
Total Bull Crap. They don't know what they are talking about. Also, they obviously believe whatever eBay and PayPal tells them. Probably got kickbacks for being so clearly biased towards PayPal and eBay. I'mTop Rated Seller and have used PayPal exclusively for 5 years. I went through the payment holds issue a long time ago and in time, the holds were dropped and my payments were instantly available. Now after all my hard work to reach Top Rated status, and five years selling online, my payments are being held. A PayPal Reb told me holds are "random". That's a lie. I just had several payments in a row withheld. That's not random. I was told that "high risk items" are subject to a hold and my business is electronics - a high risk item. So virtually every item I sell now, my payments will be held. There was no warning of this change. Just all of a sudden, my payments are being withheld. Well I've had enough. I'm done using PayPal. Also, I will be starting a website - its purpose will be to warn and advise prospective PayPal users that they should use a different payment proccesor, and to provide other options. Also, to assist others with the lying, dirty crap that PayPal agents and PayPal itself Dole out. The fact is, PayPal definitely does favor buyers and couldn't care less how or if it effects sellers who use it for payment processing. Furthermore, this policy descriminates against sellers of electronics, in particular. If payments are going to be withheld it should be across the board for ALL sellers. But I guarantee, big sellers like Bestbuy, etc don't get their payments withheld like us small fry. Or at nowhere near the same rate.
I intend to begin researching this issue in depth, surveying sellers on eBay to determine the truth of just what PayPal is doing and how. I believe PayPal is engaging in unfair business practices, and once I have assembled sufficient evidence, I will file a complaint with my State Attorney General's Office. Folks, you don't have to use PayPal. There are many alternatives. But if you don't mind be treated prejudicially, being lied to and deceived, treated with no respect, then stay with PayPal. And if they tell you it's to protect sellers as well as buyers, that's a lie. It's to protect buyers. Period. End of discussion.
Tom on 11:30 22 Jun
This is all very well for people that sell as a business, but what about the ordinary people that made eBay a success in the early days. It is almost certain that their selling will be spasmodic, will cover a wide variety of items, and a wide range of values.

Yet we are the people that can least afford for our funds to be held, and can least afford the time and effort of persuading PayPal to release them.

Furthermore, it seems to me that PayPal's "Security reasons", apart from being vague, are no more than an excuse to keep hold of other people's money for as long as possible so as to profit from the interest on it.

None of this would be a problem if eBay did not force all sellers to offer PayPal whether we want to or not. In the early days I did not use PayPal at all we could accept cheques and bank transfers and I never had any problem with that. I got my money quickly and without PayPal's high transaction fees. If some buyer does not like to pay by any means other than PayPal they are free to choose not to bid on or buy my items.
Tom on 12:51 30 Jun
What a load of codswallop: "Your payment will not be held beyond 21 days". I looked forward to the hold on my money being released. 21 days came and went. No release. I messaged PayPal several times. Each time I was promised that the money would be released right away. It is still held.

I do not like them holding the money for no good reason (actually PayPal has a good reason ... but it is not for the benefit of sellers or buyers. Their reason is obviously to make interest on it). But I would accept that IF the money was actually released when promised. That way it is at least possible to plan accordingly. But when promises are repeatedly broken it is more than annoying.

How can a company so arrogant and contemptuous of its users be worth 100 Billion. It does not deserve to be in business at all?

Do I have any legal redress for these broken promises?

Lalitha on 20:46 20 Jan
Being a buyer I had no problems with PayPal in Germany. Problem arose when I sent some money to a friend in the U.S. As the recipient was new to Paypal he had to open an account with them first which is fair enough. He did thst accordingly and ticked cash payment at Wal mart. When he got there with the verification code, he was told to call customer care. As usual he was kept on hold for hours till someone got on and was told bcos he was new, he had to wait 72 hrs and leave his bank details which he did. 72 hrs went by and no money was accounted. So he called again, long before some idiot answered and was told to call again in a few mins. He never got through till the following day. He was told he could collect his money at wal mart, it was a Friday . Then someone from walmart called him to tell him he can only pick the money up on Monday. They do not serve new customers on weekends. Now if this isn't a joke!! So I am still waiting to hear from him, if he is going to get to see his cash on Monday.

Ron Baron on 23:26 18 Feb
PayPal decided to HOLD my funds, nearly $20,000.00, with NO notice whatsoever. I admit we've been on a steep sales growth pattern, which may have caused concern on the part of PayPal, but without notice, they indicated that I was in violation of their standards. I asked to see their standards, which they showed me. I am in violation of none of their standards. When I asked for more specificity about what standards I violated, PayPal responded that they are not obligated to show me, nor are they obligated to explain the reason for the hold. I received 2 letters detailing when I'd be paid for each transaction (all within 30 days), but PayPal chose to rescind the schedule of payments and hold my funds for a full 180 days. Such unscrupulous actions, with no notice and no opportunity to change whatever actions violated PayPal policy - violations which seem not to exist. PayPal cannot be relied upon for serious entrepreneurs on the path of growth.
Keis on 21:38 4 Mar
I understand if you have a merchant account then it make sense to me but PayPal has put a hold on $1000 I sent my daughter through the PayPal me link the same as I’ve done every month for 16 months I have been verified three times this time they told me they will close my account and I have to wait six months then contact them with proper identification and they will determine if I get my money back. If I was not happy with that well then I can refund the money to the personwtf???? I was not selling anything there is no way to refund myself lmao. The call center in the Philippines makes everything hard because they have no idea most of the time what they are talking about. For PayPal to hire a call center located outside the USA I believe has been very detrimental to them as if we don’t have jobless and starving families here who can benifit from this me jobs. And I’m sure we would be able to understand who we were talking to. Shame on you PayPal! None the less this morning I filed a class action lawsuit against PayPal for many many laws that have been violated and as a consumer all my rights violated. They have left me on hold for four hours only to hyng up when they got on the line with me knowing I would have to sit on hold again if I called back. This to me seems sketchy and in my opinion I feel their is something going on here they aren’t really telling us. For example if they kept $1000 from one million customers for six months could you imagine the interest this money could draw. They numbers would be off the charts. They are not a federal bank and are not trained in this field to invest anyones money. They lie and laugh at the customers. Have filed a complaint with consumer affairs also with the BBB. If you have had this happen go to the ftc we sight and join the lawsuit
JERRY C MARTIN on 4:36 2 Apr
holding shipping money has about put me out of business i have heavy items that are costly to ship and by not having the shipping money buyers dont understand they think they paid and wonder whats going on then you start missing due dates then your sellers performance takes hits in no time youll be barely hanging on so this is a little more serious than most people think but this so called pending money is only on hold to seller pay pal uses it to pay their fees and will use it at anytime they want so you could be waiting for your shipping money thats already been spent as pay pal sees fit to spend really ruins your cash flow you end up drowning and occasionally popping up for air.its very bush business
c3gold on 8:58 14 Apr
Paypal is not good payment options for anyone. I have tried to avoid all the laws, terms and scams yet.
I sold art works for a buyer and with my ups tracking and buyer said they moved out from previous address on paypal i should ship to new address and i called paypal and ask they said fine. Then i shipped and mark order shipped yet buyer came back few one Month later and disputed not receiving orders then paypal placed hold, i challenged it but it was decided in buyers favour. i lost 2700 usd. then i stop selling such and went for sales of digital currency and gold...i have used my new account for such and i kept on storing all sold exchange thinking to make account in 6 Months suddenly one fraudulent exchange came and it was a blackmail...they exchange 0003 cent and claim it was 3000 usd dont know how they bypass chart and paypal gateway then(claiming they found me on porn site i should send btc and all that) paypal asked what i sold i told them it was bitcoin they closed my account with all funds 150k 400 usd and said i have to wait for 180 days and they dont want to conduct business with me anymore. after 180days i can have access to my account. its over 180 days now i'm yet to get my cash. anytime i call paypal they kept on laughing and claiming the blocks and restrictions is from her system not anyone. i should keep on trying. its getting over a year now. im out of business and suffering. i would not recommend paypal to anyone.
Sharee on 18:34 22 Apr
Im new to PayPal and a friend sent me money and it's showing up on PayPal as on hold so what do I do and wen can my money be released
Rhea Bontol on 4:01 25 Apr
Hi Sharee! It might be because your account is new. In that case PayPal can hold your funds not longer than 21 days.
faez on 15:54 12 May
my friend sell a camera . after the buyer paid the payment he go to the post office to send the package . he dont know that paypal will hold the money for 21 day . after the package arrive to buyer . the buyer refunds back the money . and my friend got nothing . lol
Rhea Bontol on 0:18 20 Feb
Hi Faez. What happened to your friend is unfortunate. That can be rectified though by showing proof that the item has been received by the customer end. Not unless otherwise that the item was damaged or not as described then thus, the request for a refund.
Rhonda on 17:02 27 May
I am a Power Seller and a Top Rated Seller on eBay. I ship in one business day with tracking for all of my items. I have none of these problems you have listed and I still have held transfers once a week. I called PayPal and talked to a PayPal rep who told me that no one knows why transfers are under review. I think PayPal wants to control everyone's money is why they hold transfers. In the day of technology, this should not be happening b/c they know what is going on with any seller or business before they hold a transfer. It makes me wonder if this is why eBay is moving to Google Pay as their primary method of payment on eBay. I will be using Google Pay in a hurry when I am signed up for it on eBay at this rate.
Kevin McCabe on 11:37 1 Jun
Hi. This is an absolute horror story. Our company account is in copywriting and proofreading industry targeting postgraduate students. Our PayPal account recently has been limited as part of PayPal crack down plan on essay writing services, something they call it "essay mills". Our account has been suspended without any notice giving the fact with had almost no refund, charge-back or dispute. And we didn't have any payment processor for a week which resulted some serious loss as it was in the middle of high season.

They have held our fund, that's shocking that they could seize all your fund suddenly. And we have been told they are going to hold it for 180 days for "further investigation". We called them on several occasions and informed them that we only do academic help. We even don't have any tangible product or inventory as we are a service company.

However, they said they have suspended us for violating their terms. We asked them to provide details on exactly what terms have been violated and they didn't provide any information. If it was a bank in the UK or US doing this, they would have been in serious trouble.

They asked us to provide the source of our payment and we provided our website for them. They also asked us to provide them more details of the products we have been selling. And we did provided them some of our project. Since then, we only have been receiving auto reply emails like "your account is suspended and this decision is final".

I am wondering on how you could help in such a situation. That has put us on an enormous situation as we need to pay our staff and really have no fund. I had to fire a few member of our terms simply because I have no access to my own money for six months. This is so unfair.
Antonio Puerta on 15:41 30 Jun
PayPal holding or freezing funds at their own discretion is far more serious and far beyond the few issues addressed here.
It is ILLEGAL and will certainly end in a class action against PayPal.
If any attorney wants to start the action he will have plenty of cooperation and lead plaintiffs.
Rick Spadoni on 20:02 5 Jul
Let's be realistic. Every day Paypal or Ebay holds your funds, it is gaining interest in their account. That's theft. They are using YOUR money to pad THEIR accounts. They give a BS answer if you try to find out why. They even tried to convince me it was for MY protection. Ebay already has a protection policy in place, so Paypal using that excuse is just that, an excuse to keep your money for up to 21 days gaining interest every minute it's in their account. Nice scam if you can get away with it, and they are because you know what.? They're not a bank? Really. They process money, make payments to people, but they aren't a bank. This needs to be investigated and their status needs to be upgraded to being a bank under the same regulations as any other bank.
Raymond HENSHAW on 22:24 16 Jul
All this are just nonsense .
What if it's just a payment for family use , where does PayPal want to person to manufacture a receipt or tracking number on a payment for family use , please I sent money to my relative for upkeep and PayPal has placed it on hold. Can I cancel it ? Will I get my money back instantly ? Because I paid into another PayPal account from my own PayPal.
Lee Jones on 14:12 26 Jul
Had I looked into everything properly I wouldn't have sold my item on eBay who wants to wait up 21 days to received payment as I need the funds to use for postage won't use eBay/PayPal again it's to much hassle for a one off sale its why I would rather use Facebook to sell my unwanted items no fees no holding money for 21 days
Rhea Bontol on 0:47 20 Feb
Hi Lee! You can also checkout a few suggestions here for alternative selling sites to sell from.
Tony Green on 14:16 4 Sep
We don't sell on Ebay but have still had a hold put on money sent from a regular customer, so the ebay connection is not relevant.
They have had £500 + on hold for 3 weeks and just released it into the account - at last. Guess what when I tried to withdraw it they decided it needed investigating and may take up to 72 hours.
This is blatant use of money that doesn't belong to them to bolster their profits.
Be warned and use other means to get paid if you want to be able to use your money.
Needless to say I will not be using them any more
Latifa on 9:39 21 Jan
I just reserved the money for someone but it's still unhold but I'm new to to PayPal account but I do need the money badly how can I get fastest
Rhea Bontol on 0:45 20 Feb
Hi Latifa! PayPal normally puts payment on hold for new account. You can follow the tips on this blog under "How to Get PayPal Funds Released", or otherwise contact PayPal support directly. I've read somewhere that they're faster in responding via their Facebook page or through Twitter.
Luis Alba on 6:56 24 Jun
SCAM all the way, somehow after I changed my form of payment from my eBay items to direct deposit, my previous sales have been put on hold for more than 21 days. Items have been accepted by buyers, positive reviews posted, and still money on hold BECAUSE? Contact? all they do is send links asking for tracking info and tracking shows as DELIVERED. 3 weeks later still on hold and not a thing you can do but listen to their BS and making money in interest for the money in the hold. Guess I am punished for using direct payment and not PayPal as a form of payment?
Rhea Bontol on 23:59 29 Jun
PayPal is not scamming you. They just have a protocol of holding payments for security reasons. This blog shows you how to get around with the hold so PayPal can release your funds sooner than 21 days.
Renee D Davis on 15:20 2 Sep
PayPal is being ridiculous 😡 it's been three months of holding my funds from a china seller but listed on Facebook as American!! My package has not moved since arriving in china
Muhammad Sani Abubakar on 15:47 11 Sep
I have a problem for my PayPal Account no withdrew


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