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Funds Availability FAQ – PayPal

Frequently Asked Questions – Funds Availability

Funds availability details

When some sellers receive payments, we may hold the money in their pending balance for up to 21 days. We want to make sure that there are no problems with the orders, such as disputes, claims, returns, or chargebacks. After we determine that the order was fulfilled and the customer is satisfied, we may release the money earlier.

If we place your money in a pending balance, it belongs to you but isn't immediately available to spend or withdraw.

We'll let you know if payments on your account are held. We'll also let you know what steps you can take to have your money released earlier. If your PayPal account was already limited, you'll need to lift those limits before you complete the steps to release your payments.

How does it work?

Ship to Fund

You sell an item and the buyer pays with PayPal.
The money goes into your PayPal account's pending balance.
You ship the item to the buyer, or perform the service.
The buyer receives their order and has time to review it.
If the buyer doesn't report any issues, your money is available within 21 days.
If you mark the order as processed, your money may be available sooner than the 21 days, based on the estimated delivery date.

Why aren't my payments available right away?

Delaying the availability of payments for a specified amount of time is a common practice in the payments industry. Delaying access to payments helps make sure that sellers have enough money in their account to cover claims or refunds.

When does PayPal release the payment?

If there are no problems with a transaction, the money will typically be released within 21 days after the buyer pays. If there are problems, such as a dispute, claim, chargeback, or return, we'll release the payment when the issue is resolved. After you fulfill the order and mark it as processed, typically the payment will be released sooner.

The money may be released early if:

  • You ship directly using USPS, UPS, or FedEx, or pay for shipping and print labels on PayPal. Once we know that the item was delivered, we'll release the payment within 3 days, OR
  • You mark an order as shipped or processed. (This applies even if you don't provide tracking information through USPS, UPS, or FedEx or if the order does not require shipping.) We'll calculate the expected delivery date and release the payment within 7 days of that date, OR
  • You mark the item as processed and we know that the buyer has received it and is happy with the item. We'll release the payment within 7 days.

How is the estimated delivery date calculated?

After you mark your order as shipped or processed, we calculate the estimated delivery date using a combination of the processing date, the type of service or shipping company, handling time, and the shipping address, if applicable. For orders which don't require shipment, we determine the appropriate handling time based on the information you provide.

Can I pay for shipping with money in my pending balance?

When you print labels and pay for shipping through PayPal or eBay, the cost of shipping is released from your pending balance shortly after purchase. Printing labels on PayPal and eBay is free. You pay only the cost of shipping the item.

What can I do to avoid delayed payment?

Here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure that your money is available sooner and that future payments aren't delayed:

  • Process orders right away and ship quickly using a service that provides tracking and delivery confirmation.
  • Upload or save tracking information or Delivery Confirmation numbers.
  • Communicate early and often with your buyers.
  • Confirm the address and phone numbers associated with your PayPal account, and keep them up to date.
  • Verify your account and keep your financial information (like bank account and credit card numbers) up to date.
  • Avoid buyer disputes, claims, and chargebacks.
  • If you have a buyer dispute, resolve it quickly.
  • If you sell on eBay, improve your Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) scores.

Who is affected by payment delays?

Payment delays typically affect new sellers or sellers in categories that have a higher than average rate of refunds, disputes, or chargebacks.

In deciding whether to hold payments in a pending balance, we review many factors. These factors include transaction activity, the rate of customer disputes, the type of business, average delivery time, customer satisfaction, and history. We understand that some experienced sellers may be affected. While history with PayPal is important, it's only one of many factors we consider.

Here are some common reasons we may hold payments in a pending balance:

  • You have limited history or selling activity.
  • You have low Detailed Seller Ratings, negative Feedback, or other indication of below-standard performance on eBay.
  • You have a high rate of customer refunds, disputes, claims, or chargebacks.
  • You're selling in a high risk category or industry such as tickets, travel, gift certificates, computers, consumer electronics, or mobile phones.
  • Your business or selling activity is inconsistent. For example, you have a spike in selling activity, your average selling price changes, or you started selling in a new category.
  • The account information you have provided is incomplete or inaccurate, or we're uncertain about the information you've provided.
  • Your withdrawal activity has changed.