How to Resolve PayPal Payment Holds

Written by Franklin Hatchett

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Our goal at EcomElites is to help readers get the information they need, we partner with companies to help bring you that information. If a purchase or signup is made through our partners, we receive compensation for the referral. Learn More

Online money transactions are becoming part of our culture. PayPal ranks high among the most popular online payment methods. However, you may encounter a little bump on the way called a payment hold.

PayPal often holds payments for security reasons. As a business owner, you may find these holds inconveniencing. This guide will help you understand what it means when your payment is on hold, why your payment could be on hold, on how to resolve PayPal payment hold, and how to avoid them.

What it Means When Your Payment Is on Hold

A payment hold is a situation where PayPal puts your money on hold for 21 days or less. This happens if your payment order has an issue. When PayPal puts a payment hold on your account, the money in this account is still yours. However, they put the hold to await confirmation from the buyer that they have received the item.

This period also acts as a window period for your client to file a claim. If they receive the product in the condition you promised, they will confirm, and PayPal will release the money.

5 Reasons Why Your Payment Could Be on Hold

PayPal’s user agreement contains limitations, reservations, and other holds that could be placed on your account. The reasons include:

1. You Are a New Seller

New sellers on PayPal check time to gain enough transaction history for their buyer-seller transactions display a positive trend. You can easily achieve a positive status if you confirm your identity and gain positive selling activity.

2. It Has Been a While Since You Sold

Your history of positive transactions goes down if you go dormant for a long time. It takes time to rebuild, so there is no transaction history to a positive trend.

3. You Have Multiple Chargebacks, Disputes or Refund Requests from Your Customers

Your phone's processing will be delayed if multiple customers file a dispute refund or chargeback. To get positive buyer-seller transaction history, you need to work directly with your customers to prevent these incidents from happening.

There are special scenarios where an individual has illegally accessed your customer’s PayPal account and use it to make purchases. Your customer will have to file a dispute chargeback or a refund claim. It is better to hold off shipping for your security and that of the customer until your customer confirms the purchase of the item.

4. You Have Unusual Selling Patterns

PayPal will place and hold on your payment when they notice an unusual sales activity. Examples include:

  • Your sales have spiked recently
  • Your average selling price has changed
  • You have changed the business platform
  • A change in the type of items you sell.

5. The Items You Sell Are High Risk

High-risk items are important items and often expensive or hard to replace. Examples include consumer electronics, travel packages, computers, gift cards, and tickets.

How to Resolve PayPal Payment Holds and Get Your Money Sooner

  • Request Your Buyer to Confirm the Order. You will need to print a shipping label or upload a tracking number. PayPal will then email your customers and request them to confirm the receipt of goods. They will release the hold immediately the customer confirms.
  • Upload Tracking Information. You will need to upload a tracking number of one of the carriers PayPal supports. There is a chart on the carrier's PayPal support. PayPal will release your money in three days after the carrier confirms the delivery.
  • Print a UPS or a United States Postal Service (USPS) Shipping Label. Log in to your PayPal account and print a UPS or a USPS label. Your delivery confirmation and tracking information update automatically. PayPal will release the hold on the money three days after delivery confirmation.

How to Prevent PayPal Payments Hold

There are four main approaches to prevent PayPal payment holds.

1. Go Over the Alert on Your Account Overview and the Email PayPal Sends

It is important that you read these alerts as you transact. They act as guides and important notifications throughout the withdrawal process. Watch out for emails with titles like ‘An Important message about your PayPal balance.’ you will be able to collect vital information like why there is a hold up in your payment or how to prevent payment holds in the future.

2. Work to Avoid Chargebacks, Disputes or Refunds

There are various ways you can avoid chargebacks, disputes, or refunds. They include:

  • Post Actual Photos of the Products. This is the first and most basic of initiating buyer-seller transactions online. The picture you post on the e-commerce platform for your website should depict the actual product. This minimizes disputes or requests for refunds. Your payment will be processed quickly when the customer gets what they asked for. For marketing purposes and make sure you take a clear picture that will attract customers’ attention but still depicts their actual product.
  • Give Accurate Descriptions. Descriptions back up the images you post on your e-commerce platform. Ensure these descriptions accurately describe the specifications of the product. Indicate every detail down to the size and color to minimize customer complaints files for refunds.
  • Communicate Clearly About Shipping Methods and shipping time to enable the customer to anticipate the delivery. Ensure you process the customer orders promptly.
  • Packaging. Ensure you package the order appropriately. This means you need to consider the features of the products being shipped. For example, fragile products will need to be packaged carefully to prevent breakage. Enjoying the use of quality material to preserve the items you ship. Customers are happy when their orders arrive in good condition.
  • Have a Return Policy and Publish it on the Product Page where the customers can easily access and read it so that it makes the process easier as the customers understand your return policy and procedures.
  • Upload Tracking Information for any of the carriers that supports people. Alternatively, you can print a UPS/USPS shipping label on PayPal.

3. Ensure You Have Good Communication Flow and Collaboration With Your Customers

Communication and collaboration have a significant impact on customer relations and satisfaction levels. In case your customers reach out to you, ensure that you are responsive and resourceful. Furthermore, you should involve your customers early enough in the buyer-seller transaction. This will prevent the chances of a small problem becoming a much larger one.

You should also follow the guidelines above to prevent or minimize the rate of charge box claims and disputes. In case a dispute occurs to be responsive and try to get it sold as soon as possible. Good communication is characterized by openness and honesty. This helps remove any misunderstandings between the buyer and the seller.

4. Create a Customer Service Message

Go to the resolution center to set up a customer service message. This will help you prevent disputes. For example, in case there is a delay due to unavoidable circumstances such as a natural event like a hurricane, you will be able to notify your customers of a possible delay and prevent disputes.

PayPal’s List of Supported Carriers

CountrySupported Carriers
United States of AmericaUSPS, UPS, DHL Global Mail, DHL Express
United KingdomUPS, FedEx, DHL Express, Royal Mail, Collect+, Parcel Force, Yodel
CanadaUPS, Canada Post
SpainGLS, Correos, DHL
GermanyUPS, Hermes, DHL Packets, DHL Express, DPD, Deutsche Post. 
ItalyUPS, DHL, Post Italiano.

Summary & Conclusion

As you sell your items on popular platforms like eBay, it is important that you integrate a payment method for shopping. PayPal is one of the most common and popular online payment methods, globally. The platform offers quick money transfer. However, there are some cases where they will put a hold on your payment.

PayPal holds these payments to make the buyer-seller transaction more secure for both parties. The payment fully gives the buyer enough time to confirm receipt of the goods. PayPal will hold your money for a maximum of 21 days as they await confirmation. The buyer is free to file a claim dispute or chargeback within these 21 days.

A payment hold on your account happens for numerous reasons. The main ones include:

  • You are a new seller.
  • It has been a long while since you sold.
  • You have multiple chargeback, disputes & refund requests from your customers.
  • You have unusual selling patterns.
  • The items you sell are at high risk.

You can resolve your payment hold to get your money sooner in either of the following three ways:

  • You can request your bio to confirm the order
  • You can upload the required tracking information to PayPal
  • You can print a UPS or are USPS shipping labels.

The first method helps you lose that payment hold immediately. As for the last two payment holes are resolved within three days of delivery confirmation. You will be able to quickly resolve a payment hold if you rely on careers that support PayPal. For example, in the United States, the careers people support include UPS, DHL Global Mail, DHL Express, and USPS.

4 main approaches that can help you prevent PayPal payment holds. They include:

  1. Go over there a lot on your account overview and the emails PayPal sends.
  2. Employing various ways to prevent chargeback disputes are refunded, for example, posting the actual photos of your product, providing accurate information, proper packaging, and more.
  3. You also need to maintain good communication and collaboration with your customers to improve customer relations and satisfaction levels.
  4. You create a customer service message. The resolution center on PayPal lets you create your own customer service messages. You will be able to communicate early enough and prevent the disputes that cold course payment holes and damage customer relations.

Excellent customer service through responsiveness, communications, and good relations helps you to prevent PayPal payment holds easily.

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