eCommerce Blog / PayPal Payment Holds

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 (104)

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Andy on 7:48 24 Jun
This payment hold is crap. All they are doing is making more money for themselves by investing YOUR money over 21 days to get MORE interest. This is bordering on illegal I'm sure, I bet they take their cut immediately! This has to stop.
Christina on 22:29 16 Sep 2018
I agree! I'm worried they can never pay as well, once you have shipped the product out of your own personal pocket. Does PayPal have the legal right to keep the money on hold and never pay it out??
Angie on 19:52 4 Nov 2018
100% in agreement! This is not about good customer service, they have just found a way to make interest from OUR money!!!
Justin on 0:54 12 Nov
Positive feedback no longer works, had a buyer leave positive feedback, thanking me about how fast the item arrived, and just got off the phone will PayPal to have them tell me "feedback is not enough to insure buyer happy", I have to wait another WEEK. This is why I vote democrat, this is what businesses do when they're not regulated. PayPal needs to be regulated as the bank that it is IMMEDIATELY. Until then, I am switching to Amazon.
Crystalrose on 1:45 23 Sep 2018
You are right all around they are a pain in the a** and they are not based in the USA. And they do make a nice 3.5% interest on all those 21day holds. That is why they are still in business. It is a very crappy thing to do especially to those that don’t have stores they just put things up sporadically. I think the hold system just needs to be done away with.
Amelia Sutcliffe on 7:10 26 Jan
Is this payment hold via paypal for US sellers only?. I am an ebay seller in Australia and the only time i have had fund frozen was when a few lunies lodged disputes for items they were not happy with, only funds for that transaction were frozen not my whole account
Ben ten ten on 1:30 26 Mar
When ebay was causing me to lose thousands in orders, by holding my customer's payments, I simply kept refunding every customer payment that was being held. Ebay even allowed a customer to keep a $450 mobile phone that I accepted a return for a refund on, but I never got the phone though the customer was refunded. So near the end of my relationship with the ebay, I received an order for 5 phones totaling around $1,300, it was a dropship order, but I learned my supplier was out of stock, after saying they had the phones. I offered the customer a refund, but had to wait for my China supplier to refund me the money I sent, but the customer was inpatient and filed a complaint with ebay; so ebay refunded the customer the money and expected me to repay them once my supplier refunded me; I'll let you guess how that turned out, after being cheated by ebay, on many occasions before this took place. And my supplier did refund me the money.
Rex on 7:10 10 Sep 2018
Ebay just tried this payment on hold fraud with me on a $300 sale today. I have 100% feedback and have been with them since 2013. I cancelled the sale and deleted my other items for sale from their system. I will cancel my whole account totally after everything clears. These fools should be out of business.
Ben Wright aka ben ten ten on 1:58 26 Mar
I just say "Royal Carriage" from back in 2010. What I sold is exactly what he wanted, asked for, and received. All in the process or using ebay and paypal to get it for nothing. As far as "illegal" phones are concerned, ebay allowed me to sell them so I did. I never claim them to be real; in fact, I stated they were replicas of originals in my listings, and if anyone want proof as how much of shyster this used car sales man is, I still have all the emails he sent stating how he would sabotage my ebay account if he doesn't get his way with a refund. Like I said in another comment, 3 years ago, I kept them, just in case. And I did give him a tracking number, and I still have proof of that also. The man was simply very inpatient., used to having his way, when and how he want it. In other words, an ebay 1%'er
Ebere on 10:18 23 Aug
Well, I am about to launch my new site but I am starting off as a reseller using dropshipping services.These comments are an excellent eye opener.
Paypal can actually ruin your business and not have any repercussions.I think I will even skip eBay altogether and concentrate on my own website. And I want to choose a new payment gateway. Some say Google Wallet
but I need one that is compatible with WordPress Woocommerce sites.
Any suggestion my fellow entrepreneurs? Prevention is always better than cure.

I do not need this Paypal headache.
Tommy on 23:17 20 Feb
My Paypal nightmare continues along with many other sellers who sell virtual goods. Outright fraudulent buyers are reversing transactions and Paypal takes it out on the sellers. There also are many hacked Paypal accounts where the funds are used to buy virtual goods (which can't bet traced) rather than just sending money to different Paypal accounts which eventually can be linked to a bank account or credit card.

So many small businesses and sellers are getting screwed. I suffered a 4 digit loss last month. There are ways to limit your risk but the bottom line is if you deal with ebay/paypal you are going to get SCREWED when the buyer disputes a charge with Paypal or the bank. You can't even leave negative feedback for a buyer anymore, just "report the buyer" which does nothing, and it's a nightmare to just recover your seller fees from ebay for a fraudulent Paypal transaction.

Paypal seller protection is only for shipped goods and it only works SOMETIMES not guaranteed 100% like is portrayed. If you deal in virtual goods, even if you physically ship the redemption codes or whatever it is to access the virtual goods, Paypal seller protection will not protect you.

It's a nightmare. Virtual goods are everywhere now and ebay/Paypal is your enemy if you deal in virtual goods.
Roberto Georgio on 1:09 3 Mar
Paypal ( Ebay ) are a morally & Ethically bankrupt entity, they posses no moral standards. Holding funds for 21 day's from peoples accounts, and operating as a non licensed Bank,could be deemed illegal. You will note, when these characters, freeze your funds, they will have already deducted there fees from these amounts. Who get's the interest earned from these 21 day money seizure's, you don't have to be a chicago lawyer to work that out. Paypal's parent company, Ebay hides over in Switzerland to avoid taxes and contributes nothing to America, or at best very little. Any Mafia would be proud of this lot.
StillStanding on 21:28 7 May
I am surprised they are allowed to collect funds purported to be for the USPS, and then 1) Be the FIRST RETAILER ALLOWED to profit from postal revenues by charging seller fees to them, and 2) KEEP MONEY paid for postage, not even allowing the funds to be used to print said postage label. If this weren't bad enough, they are getting over $28 dollars in fees on an item that sold for $208. and mandating that I pay THIS TOO from my PERSONAL credit card or bank account, not even releasing enough funds from the sale to cover their seller fees. Planning to sell off all of my collectables and bail. Tired of being bullied.
Daniel Ivkovic on 7:16 11 Mar
PayPool and Ebastards are criminals!
StillStanding on 21:20 7 May
TWO things eBay/Paypal are doing, appear illegal, or at least "highly immoral". They are making a profit from funds sent to the USPS, and then HOLDING THE FUNDS and NOT RELEASING THEM FOR THE PURCHASE of said postage! I'm no lawyer, but this stinks to high heaven!
lord leopold on 17:37 29 Jul
We should open a class action law suit. Seriously.
jenny on 13:09 25 Aug
We are all responsible for facilitateing their business . Imagine if all of us decide NOT to use PayPal/Ebey , it's end of their business. New players will quickly fill the gap in the market with much more favorable conditions. It's easy to complain but some action need to be taken . Time to ACT!
Yusuf Vali on 13:44 17 Sep
If paypal hold funds - then at a later date the issue is resolved - why do paypal not sure clearly that the money has been placed back ? When taking the money they quickly take it and make sure you cannot access it - when putting the money back there is no clear method that they have put the money back. Its an absolute shambles. After i have sold the last lot of items through them will stop using this awful company
Nick on 22:50 17 Sep
Yes it is what we want, but we use the funds to pay for shipping. Im not rich, when I shop at walmart online, my bank doesn't hold there money for 21 days.

When you sell on ebay and hundreds of satisfied transactions and customers, With no complaints or disputes then they should not hold the money.

No it's not right one bit for most sellers.
Hannah on 12:07 11 Oct
I have had a terrible experience with Paypal. Fraudulent claims, payment holds for weeks on end. Very poor customer service non-existent unless you fancy hanging on the phone line listening to automated messages and waiting & still getting nowhere because I need to be passed around to other departments, I gave up. They didn't even bother replying to any complaint until I got a lawyer involved. Now I have closed the account so troubles over now. Really took a lot out of me all the back & forth and frustration. Avoid it like a virus. eBay are no better with their expensive fees it is very hard to get the full value of your items. I do not recommend ether.
Tom on 14:07 1 Feb
Just got my funds deposited in my Paypal account after waiting a week after shipping my item to the buyer. Very frustrating wait. I sent two notes to Paypal, called eBay, had to escalate to a senior manager. Also had to point out to the customer service rep that eBay owns Paypal! Issue was never resolved, although to her credit the last person I talked to at eBay seemed to know what was going on. There was a comment on eBay's website, purporting to explain the delay, that I had to sell 22 more items before I would receive my funds (which is obviously false). So this was a very negative experience for me vis a vis eBay. Fortunately though the buyer was very happy with her item and in the end that's what really counts. We are not a business and I'm not a power seller. I may sell an item every couple of years at most. These policies do not cater to the occasional seller who is selling a relatively high-value item. After all the effort my wife went through to pack and ship the item, we were led to believe that once the item had shipped we would be paid.
Tom on 14:09 1 Feb
Forgot to add one other thing. In general for buying things Paypal is pretty good. The nice thing about it is you don't have to give credit card data to all kinds of different merchants, and your credit card data on file with Paypal (if any) is never exposed during a transaction. These things are important, and it is one reason I have stayed with Paypal over the years, inspite of glitches like the one I described above.
Roger on 1:12 20 Apr
What about non ebay sales. My seller can't access the funds i sent and won't make the custom dress i ordered, until she receives the funds and i can't blame her. This really screws me and her over badly, with a hold for 21 days.
Diana Merrill on 1:01 14 Jun
Not trying to get RICH - Just trying to SURVIVE... And from out of nowhere, PayPal withholds the funds on my sale today for no apparent reason. AND, even worse, I read "eBay non-performer" on my PayPal page, just below where I was just informed that I cannot have my money yet. I am crushed! Non-performer? My feelings are really hurt...
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!
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.
David 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?


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