Why your PayPal money is on hold and how to fix it

  • PayPal is putting money on hold to make sure the platform is safe for buyers and sellers to use.
  • Your PayPal money may be blocked if you are a new seller or if your account is inactive.
  • To help release funds faster, add tracking information to your orders or print a shipping label through PayPal.
  • Visit Insider’s Technical Reference Library for more stories.

PayPal is a convenient platform for small business owners to securely collect payment for their goods and services.

Sometimes PayPal will suspend funds for up to 21 days to ensure there is enough money in your account if there is a problem with the order. There are several reasons why a payment can be suspended and ways for sellers to speed up the release of funds.

Here’s all you need to know.

Why is PayPal suspending payments?

PayPal notes that the company is suspending payments to ensure the platform is safe and secure for buyers and sellers. Although the money is yours, PayPal will temporarily prevent you from accessing it to ensure that there is enough money in your account to resolve issues such as chargebacks or disputes. Funds are released when the buyer confirms that they have received the item they ordered in the condition advertised.

Here are some specific reasons why your payment may be suspended:

  • Your PayPal account is inactive.
  • The payment you received is unusual for your typical sales model.
  • PayPal has found an unusual change in the sale price for a particular transaction.
  • You are selling an item that customers may be dissatisfied with.
  • You only recently started selling items outside of eBay.

Why is my payment pending?

There are a number of reasons that funds could be put on hold, including:

  • You are new to selling. New sellers need to build their credibility and buy-sell history. Once you have established a successful transaction record, your status may change.
  • You haven’t sold anything for a long time. As if you were a first seller, if you haven’t sold an item in a while you will need to rebuild your credibility.
  • Customers have made formal complaints for a refund, dispute, or chargeback. If you have been reported by multiple customers for various issues, PayPal may delay the availability of your funds. According to PayPal, the best way to fix this is to work directly with buyers to make sure issues are resolved as quickly as possible. To avoid complaints, be upfront about the shipping cost, item condition, and return policy. You can also set up a customer service message to let customers know if an extreme incident, such as a natural disaster in your area, prevents you from shipping on time.
  • You have a suspicious sales model. PayPal will report an account that has unusual activity, including an above-normal sales pattern or a separate change in the type of items sold.
  • You are selling riskier items. Examples of these types of items include tickets, gift cards, consumer electronics, computers, and travel packages – anything more expensive or related to an event.

When can I access my payment?

As long as there are no issues with your transaction or account (such as an undelivered package or a customer filing a dispute), PayPal will release your funds within 21 days.

How can I access my money faster?

Sellers can take certain steps to help release PayPal funds faster. These include:

  • Add a follow-up: Use one of PayPal’s authorized carriers and PayPal will release the hold on funds one day after the carrier confirms delivery.
  • Print a USPS or UPS shipping label through PayPal: PayPal will track your package and release the hold on funds one day after the courier confirms delivery.
  • Update order status for services or intangibles: For items that don’t ship, like eBooks or knitting lessons, update the order status and PayPal will release funds in seven days.

How to avoid delay of funds

  • Check your e-mail: Consult the e-mail sent from PayPal (with the subject “An important message concerning your PayPal balance”) as well as the alert located in your Account overview page. It will include information on why your funds are not available and what you can do to prevent this in the future.
  • Post real photos: Prevent refunds, disputes, and buyer chargebacks by posting real photos of the items you sell, including detailed and accurate descriptions, being transparent about time, costs, and shipping and handling methods, processing orders promptly, packing items carefully so they arrive in good condition and are clear about your return policy from the start.
  • Provide customer service: Do your best to communicate with your customers and help them when they contact you. If you have a dispute with a buyer, work to resolve it as soon as possible.

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