A PayPal glitch is allowing users to withdraw funds being held under the 21 day rule. A thread on the UK Payments and Postage board details how a user made a legitimate partial refund and discovered that funds became instantly available with the temporary hold removed. A similar thread on the US discussion boards was pulled by the moderators.
Some sellers have tested refunding as little as 1p and their payments have come off hold as well, allowing them to withdraw the balance to their bank account. The sellers who have reported this state that they have already been left positive feedback and so PayPal should have released the funds anyway. They’re not using it to release funds which are still legitimately on hold according to PayPal’s rules.
For anyone thinking of taking advantage of this we’d highly recommend that you don’t. PayPal can still hold funds or even freeze your account even if you’ve withdrawn the money. If you think the funds should be made available then telephone PayPal and ask them to remove the hold, rather than risk losing your account entirely.