21 Day PayPal holds for all new sellers

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eBay’s latest seller news letter says they’re introducing 21 day PayPal holds for all new sellers. For 90 days from your first sale the new security step will hold funds as “This will help new sellers to build up a reputation as a trusted member of the eBay selling community”.

There is some good news for existing sellers with a past track record – if you’re setting up a new selling ID you can link it to an existing eBay account and the PayPal holds won’t then apply to you. There’s no information currently on how to link them so I’d suggest PowerSeller support.

This step, although designed as a security step to ensure buyers don’t lose out (by which I guess I mean so that PayPal don’t lose out if a seller turns out to be unreliable), is going to be devastating for new sellers.

I remember when I started out on eBay and cash flow was essential – postage costs rack up at an alarming rate and the ability to access cash quickly enables these costs to be paid. With PayPal holds new sellers will be unable to withdraw funds for three weeks, or even to use payments to fund PayPal postage payments – the upfront investment in selling on eBay has just risen significantly for smaller sellers.

As with all PayPal holds funds may be released before the 21 days if the item delivery is confirmed or if positive feedback is received.

24 Responses

  1. Those poor buyers.

    1) buy a thing, pay promptly with PayPal.
    2) seller says “my money’s on hold, I can’t ship it, please leave me f/b”
    3) buyer says “won’t leave feedback til got thing”
    4) seller says “tough then”.

    Crazy. Utterly crazy. What are they on at PayPal and please may I have some.

  2. Although this could discourage a number of new sellers, hopefully it will weed out the bad ones. I buy and sell quite a bit on eBay (mostly rare retro video games). While these sort of new measures by eBay can ruffle feathers, I’m happy to see eBay “cleaning up Dodge” and Trying to make eBay a safer more consistent buying experience for all.

  3. This article made me literally laugh out loud having just read an article on the auctionbytes blog which implied that eBay/Paypal purposely design ‘glitches’ to boost their bottom line towards the end of each financial quarter.

    This 21 day hold for all new sellers should help earn some interest for their coffers, too!

  4. Fascinating. Earlier in the year, when PayPal rolled out and quickly pulled back various emails stating what your article mentioned, PayPal/eBay weeds said it was an unfounded rumor.

    Guess that was another in a long line of accidental premature roll outs, that later became eBay features.


    “I never make stupid mistakes. Only very, very clever ones.”
    The Doctor, Doctor Who

  5. This policy was actually first announced waaay back in January 2008 (see Auctionbytes). It was officially documented on the paypal site a few month later, and discussed in great detail mid-2008 on just about every blog. It’s been established policy for well over a year – and sellers have been complaining about it since 2008. All new sellers less than 6 months old get the hold – been that way in the US since 2008.

    BTW…not really a 21 day hold if you document delivery – then it’s within 3 days after delivery – or – if you get positive FB.

    The only thing new here is that you might be able to “link” new accts to old accts and avoid this.

    Or am I misundertanding this?

  6. I think it’s a great idea.

    This has been happening in the ticket section as most transaction are over £50 for the best part of a year now.

    Since it started happening I have seen an amazing improvement in dispatch times and the communication from sellers has also dramatically improved.

    I have had some sellers ask if I would leave positive feedback before the item was sent, I said no and that they could cancel the transaction if they so wished. They didn’t cancel the transaction!

  7. This is already in force? My husband sold a £90 book (the first think he had ever sold on eBay so he was very new)

    The 21 day hold was on the funds and he got the money when +ve feedback was left.

    It felt kinda risky though, and it will discourage new private sellers.

  8. I hope the measure restricts the amount of sellers on eBay clogging up the site, and paying no tax

  9. New sellers? Hardly…I’m not really a new seller, much longer than 3 months and they still are holding back 21 days! However, they are releasing here and there.

    Fortunately, most of my products are $20 or under. And, I have a tactic which I use to keep buyers happy even though it takes so long for them to get their item.

    But, this is bad for new sellers with minimal capital, who have aspirations to sell to make some money. And in many instances, this is bad for buyers who would like to buy things from certain sellers but have to wait almost a month to get their item. Everyone loses EXCEPT eBay/Paypal.

    I just absolutely despise this monopolistic scenario in which one entity controls buying and selling on the Internet. It’s a travesty and luckily there is Freedom of Choice. But, it’s too bad the masses don’t exercise this freedom.

    Up with eCrater/PayPay/moneybookers, etc. Down with eBay/Paypal.

  10. Well I’ve just got off the phone with eBay as we have just started selling off another id registered in 2007 and the sales we have made off it over the weekend have been held back.

    Spoke to eBay about linking it to our primary account and pointed to this article as she didn’t know anything about it. She spent ages with her supervisor investigating and then came back 5-10 mins later to say that the information here is incorrect and there is no way to link your accounts.

    Over to you Chris. Seems like it needs more investigation.

  11. Chris,

    Just got off the phone from both eBay and PayPal. eBay don’t know when the linking will become live.

    I was under the impression that if you provided tracking numbers which showed the items had been received the funds would be made available but apparently that is not the case so it’s wait until Joe Public can be bothered to leave feedback (if at all) or wait 21 days. What a bloody farce!

  12. I can assure this that this “21 Day Hold” is VERY real! I have been selling on E-Bay since 2005….5 YEARS, with 100% Feedback, the issue? I haven’t sold anything in about 8 months. I shipped the item, tracking number was entered at PayPal, item delivered, money not released. I received positive feedback, money not released. One excuse after another with PayPal. WHy don’t they just say from the start, “Hey, we are going to hold your money in OUR “REAL” Bank Account for, ummm….21 Days, yeah, 21 Days, so we can collect interest from it before we give it to you. Oh, we will take OUR FEES out of it first of course so WE can get OUR pay checks, and, ahhhh, theres NOTHING you can do about it”. No, being THAT open isn’t PayPals track record is it?


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