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Help Center > Payments/Payment tracking > Why is my payment on hold or unavailable?

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Why is my payment on hold or unavailable?

If a buyer pays you and the payment is on hold or not available right away, we’ll notify you via email or an alert on your Summary page.

Notification
This email or alert will be the best source of information on why your payment is on hold or unavailable, and what you may be able to do to help access it faster.

Why is the money in my pending balance rather than in my available balance?
Your payment may be placed on hold in your pending PayPal balance because:
  • The payment you received may be considered unusual for your selling pattern
  • Your account was inactive for a while
  • We found an unusual change in selling price of this transaction
  • You’re selling an item that can potentially cause dissatisfaction with customers
  • We noticed you only recently started selling outside of eBay, so your history with us as an off-eBay seller is quite short.
Why does PayPal do this?

Delaying funds availability is a common industry practice we implement to help ensure the safe and secure use of PayPal by both buyers and sellers. By placing your money in your pending balance, we can ensure there is enough money in your PayPal account to resolve any issues that may arise with your account such as chargebacks or disputes. The money still belongs to you. It’s just temporarily not available to use, until your buyer has received the item they ordered in the condition promised.

When will I have access to my funds?

If there aren't any issues with your transaction, such as a customer filing a dispute, the payment will move to your available balance with 21 days of receipt.

How can I get access to my funds faster?

If you are experiencing delayed funds availability, here are some shipping tips that may help make your payment available sooner:
  • If you provide tracking information (UPS, USPS, or FedEx) and we can confirm delivery, your payment should be available three days after we can confirm the delivery date.
    • Pending payments are generally released three days after we can confirm delivery, but sometimes the delivery information takes a bit longer to update. If it’s been three days and your payment is still pending, the information is still processing and the payment should be available soon. Please note that pending payments can’t be released before you meet these requirements.
  • If you don’t upload tracking, but mark the item as shipped on the Transaction Details page, your payment should be available after the item is marked as shipped (seven days for domestic or 14 days for international shipments).  
    • Buyers can also mark the item as received in the Transaction Details page, which will release the payment three days afterwards. The buyer confirmation option will be available after the item has been marked as processed or shipped.
  • If the payment was for a service, mark the payment as processed and your payment should be available in seven days for domestic or 14 days for international payments.
  • If you fulfill the order, but don’t provide any shipping information, your payment should be available after 21 days, as long as your buyer doesn’t report any issues with the transaction.
To help ensure a successful transaction, we always encourage sellers to adhere to the following best practices:
  • List successfully by including clear photos with detailed, accurate descriptions of items
  • Be clear about shipping and handling time, costs and methods
  • Ship promptly
  • Upload tracking
  • Define your return policy upfront
  • Communicate with your buyers and respond to inquiries quickly and in a professional manner
  • Review all communications from PayPal
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