Holding received funds in a pending balance

Keeping transactions safer

To help protect our customers in case something goes wrong, payments you receive may be temporarily held in a pending balance. Assuming there are no buyer disputes, these will be moved into your available balance within 21 days. They may be available sooner (typically between 7 and 14 days) if we can establish there are no issues with the order. Through holds, we help to ensure that there are funds in the seller's account to cover potential claims, chargebacks and returns.

Who does this affect?

We set aside payments to ensure there are funds in the sellers account to cover potential claims, chargebacks and returns. Here are a few examples of why your payments may be placed into a pending balance

  • You have a limited history of selling activity on eBay or elsewhere
  • You are new to selling on eBay or elsewhere
  • You have been a PayPal seller for less than 6 months
  • If selling on eBay, you have an eBay feedback score less than 100 and haven't yet established a good record as a seller
  • You have received less than 20 Detailed Seller Ratings on eBay in the last 12 months or your eBay seller performance is below standard
  • You have a high rate of customer disputes or a low eBay feedback percentage
  • You have a sudden change in selling activities (e.g. you're suddenly selling expensive items, selling large numbers of items, etc.)
  • You happen to be selling in a high risk category such as tickets, travel, gift vouchers, consumer electronics, smart phones, etc.

Depending on the circumstances, we may set aside payments for a single transaction or for all payments to sellers who meet the criteria above.

When does the payment get released?

The funds in your pending balance can typically be released and available for withdrawal 21 days after the payment has been made. They may be released earlier if we are able to determine that the transaction has been fulfilled and that your customers are satisfied.

How can I get my money sooner that 21 days?

We know it's frustrating to not have immediate access to your money, but there are some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of having a payment being set aside in a pending balance.

  • Leave feedback for your eBay buyers and encourage them to do the same
  • Ensure items are well packaged, secure and sent to the correct address
  • For items or services that cannot be sent (for instance, digital goods like e-books or smart phone apps), mark orders as processed on the Transaction details page and provide any requested additional details

Learn more about PayPal Seller Protection

Read our Chargeback Guide for Sellers

What are reserves?

Reserves typically affect sellers who accept larger volumes of payments and whose businesses pose a higher than average risk of closing. In order to ensure buyers can receive refunds, PayPal will create a reserve fund from a proportion of a seller's PayPal balance. This reserve fund is typically released on a rolling basis after a certain number of days have passed without a reported problem from your buyers.

Reserves may get applied to an account if one or more of the following applies:

  • The seller deals in an industry or business model that is associated with an increased risk of buyer claims or chargebacks (e.g. Tickets, Travel, Gift Vouchers, Furniture, Services and more)
  • There has been a significant, sudden increase in sales versus initial estimates
  • There has been an increase in chargebacks and / or refunds

The details of every reserve will be different depending on the seller's account and we'll always explain the terms of a reserve to a seller.

What if I sell on eBay in the USA or Canada?

Depending on your selling activity on eBay to date, PayPal may hold the money from each of your eBay transactions pursuant to the "Payment Hold" section of your PayPal User Agreement.