Payment holds, declines and reserves.

We review every transaction that goes through our system using industry-leading technology, including geolocation, velocity checks, behavioural modelling and predictive analytics to help detect and prevent fraud that could impact your business. Sometimes payments are put on hold or declined while we get to know your business better or look into the risk of fraudulent activity to help protect you against customer disputes and chargebacks.

Why are we holding your payments?

Here are some common reasons why payments are held.

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You’re a new seller.

We’re getting to know your business and need to ensure funds are available in case a customer needs to be refunded.

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Your customers indicate issues.

You receive a high percentage of reversals, disputes or chargebacks compared to your overall PayPal sales.

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A transaction issue arises.

If there’s a customer dispute or chargeback, the funds may be unavailable until the issue has been resolved.

Payment holds.

New sellers and sellers with a history of problematic transactions may not be able to immediately withdraw payments they receive. Payments will be shown as pending and, if everything goes well, the money will be released after 21 days. Once you’ve established a good selling history with us, you’ll be able to withdraw your money as soon as you receive it.

If one of your payments is being held, check the payment email and transaction details page to see if you should ship the item or not.

Graduate out of payment holds

To access your money as soon as you receive it, you’ll generally need to become an established seller with us, and:

  • Complete a minimum of 25 transactions
  • Complete transactions amounting to $250
  • Meet eBay’s minimum standards if you’re selling on eBay
  • Have at least 90 days passed since your first PayPal sale

Avoid future delayed payments

To help avoid holds on future payments, focus on providing great customer service and managing customer concerns. It also helps if you keep details on your PayPal account, like your business and contact information, up to date.

Learn how to manage customer concerns


To help maintain a safer place for buyers and sellers to transact, we may place a reserve on your account if you’re in a higher risk industry, like travel or ticketing, if your business has a risky credit profile or we identify unusual behaviour on your account. This helps ensure you can meet any liabilities incurred from a claim, chargeback or bank reversal.

We’ll place either a fixed or rolling reserve on your account and review it periodically to ensure the type and amount remains suitable for your business.

Payment declines.

A payment is usually declined because the customer’s card provider declined it, perhaps because there weren’t enough funds in the account or because the transaction seemed suspicious or fraudulent. We also screen all transactions and analyse customer behaviour patterns so, if a customer’s behaviour is not in line with their usual spending patterns, a payment could be declined.

If you know the transaction in question is legitimate, Contact us and we can help.

Questions and answers

Why is my account being reviewed?

We review all accounts periodically. Changes to your business, such as a significant increase in sales volume, can also prompt us to initiate an account review.

Which businesses and industries are considered higher risk?

Businesses that offer membership or subscription services, or gift cards, and industries like travel and events ticketing are generally considered to be higher risk. These services and industries tend to experience a higher rate of payment reversals and fraud, often due to longer delivery lead times.

A payment is being held. Should I ship the item?

When you receive a payment, check the payment email we send and the transaction details page. We’ll let you know there if it’s ok to ship the item.

How do I improve my seller performance standard on eBay?

Standards for sellers on eBay are based on customers’ indications of whether they were satisfied with the transaction. You can improve your standard by accurately describing your items and shipping quickly.
Learn about seller performance standards on eBay