Understanding money holds and how to avoid them.

We know money holds can be inconvenient. But we use them to help ensure secure transactions between PayPal merchants and customers.

What are holds?

A money hold means you can’t use or transfer that portion of your balance. We use them to help ensure secure transactions for you and your customers. If we put a hold on your money, we’ll contact you. Once you provide the information we’re seeking, your hold will be lifted.

PayPal account overview
Women browsing on the computer

Why do holds occur?

iconYou’re a first-time or occasional seller.
When you’re new to PayPal or haven’t sold using PayPal in a while, it takes time to build a track record of sales.


iconYou have some customer complaints.
If customers file for a refund, dispute, or chargeback, it can delay the availability of your funds.


iconYour selling activity appears unusual.
This could include a recent spike in sales or a change in your average selling price, or type of item being sold.


iconYou’re pre-selling goods or services.
You may be collecting money for items before they’re available – such as tickets, gift cards, consumer electronics, and travel packages.

You can also read our User Agreement for more information on other holds and reserves we may place on your account.

How do I avoid holds?

iconBe clear about what customers are receiving.
The more detailed product information you provide to customers, the less likely they will initiate a dispute or chargeback.
Discover Best Practices


iconRespond to your customers in good time.
Responding to your customers quickly and in a helpful manner can prevent small issues from becoming big problems.
Learn More


iconAdd tracking details to your order.
You can also use Royal Mail to post your items and we’ll automatically add tracking details to your Activity page. This allows us to verify when your item was received and lift your hold 1-2 days later.
Learn More


iconRespond to action items quickly.
We’ll always tell you what’s going on with your money. If a transaction has been placed on hold, we’ll ask you to take action by email or account notification if required.
See Example

Men browsing on the phone

How can I access my funds faster?

To release your hold, we’ll ask that you provide the following details.

What did you sell

Physical product
(e.g., clothes or electronics)

Service or virtual product
(e.g., e-ticket or piano lessons)

What you need to do

Add the tracking number provided by one of our supported carriers1 in the transaction activity page.

Update the status of your service or virtual product sale in the transaction activity page
(e.g., delivered or pending delivery).

When funds will be released

1-2 days after PayPal verification of product delivery

Up to 7 days after PayPal verification

Woman at the computer

What is Funds Now?

With Funds Now,2 money from your completed sales will be available in your balance with PayPal within seconds – even during a dispute – at no extra cost. Continue building a strong track record of sales with few claims or disputes and we’ll contact you when you’re eligible. We continuously review merchant accounts for eligibility.

Not eligible yet? Enjoy the benefits of PayPal today with our Seller Protection program.3

We can protect your transactions and give you flexibility with your funds.

manage risk iconHow we manage risk
Get peace of mind with advanced fraud protection.Learn More

make payments iconHow to use your balance
Access money to manage cash flow, pay suppliers, and make purchases.Learn More

1 See all PayPal supported carriers.
2 Funds Now is available to select PayPal account holders in good standing and may be withdrawn, suspended or modified at PayPal’s discretion. Exceptions apply (see How it Works).
3 Seller Protection is available on eligible purchases. Limits apply.

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