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I was inspired to write this guide in order to help thoughs with selling ID's, that are caught up in paypals payment received 21 day holds. It seems that recently, many sellers new and longtime alike, are getting caught up in and complaining about this paypal policy. Some sellers of which, want to quit selling all together because of this policy, and I think that is the wrong thing for them to do.
I read/post on the boards frequently; chating with friends, looking for new ideas, finding helpful selling hints/techniques, to keep current with new policies and to help others via my personal buying/selling experiences. Lately, I have seen a recent rise in posts, where the seller is highly upset and complaining that paypal is holding their funds way past the DC/tracking # showing delivered to the buyer. One prominent thing that stands out in their posts. they are all manually entering the DC/tracking # into eBay/paypal, as recommended by both eBay/paypal. This is an important point to remember, as I will refference back to it further down.
Before I go further, I should provide this LINK to the paypal user aggreement, that explains why they may place these 21 day holds on monies received. I should also mention that, these holds are eventually lifted once the seller has a proven selling hisory. NOTE: The sellers selling history and the length of time involved can very, as to when the holds are lifted and if the holds are reinstated.
My personal experience with paypal's holds began when I dusted of this ID after 8yrs of non use. I came back to selling on eBay in late OCT/2010, and suffered through 3 months of waiting anywhere from 7-21 days to get my monies released for the widgets I sold. Now this ID is free of all restrictions and payment holds. I created a new seperate buying ID in late 2011, for buying and for research purposes. I linked that ID to this one and created it's own paypal account. Linking them together has some benifits, but thats for another topic.
I decided to do some research on these new holds, by listing 8 items, that I knew would sell at auction. I listed these items on my new ID, taking an inconsequential loss, but it was the research that I was after. It was more important to know how the new payment holds worked, and to see them first hand. I had the following results.
All 8 items sold
Payments were received via the paypal account used by this ID
3 of the 8 items were placed in the paypal 21 day hold
This is a key point: Since I printed the labels thru paypal, the DC# was automatically uploaded into eBay/paypals system
All 8 items showed delived to my buyers in 3-4 days
When the last package showed delivered to my buyer on day 4, ALL 3 held funds were released to my account that very day
After seeing these results of my research, it got me to thinking about; "What are those sellers doing to trigger longer than normal payment holds, even though they are manually uploading the DC/tracking # into the system?"
I mean, these sellers still aren't getting their monies released untill well after the DC/tracking # shows delivered to their buyer, and I got mine released 4 days after receiving payment from my buyers. That's when it hit me, they are either printing thru another postage service, or they are going to the post office, UPS or FedeX directly. As I stated above in pharagraph 2 of this guide, manually entering the DC/tracking # into eBay/paypals system, is the one thing they are all doing exactly the same.
We all have to face the fact that eBay/paypals buyer protection is here to stay. They want to know that your buyer got their item(s), and the only way to verify this is thru the use of a DC/tracking #. The key point to this is; when you print your postage thru eBay/paypal, there is ABSOLUTE proof that the label and DC/tracking # was printed for that buyer for the item(s) they purchased. The "absolute proof" is the fact that the label and assosiated DC/tracking # was obtained straight from the transaction detail page for that transaction. Their systems know for a fact, that postage and DC/tracking # belong specifically to that transaction.
On the other hand, simply uploading the DC/tracking # manually (as recommended by eBay/paypal) is NOT absolute proof that the postage and DC/tracking # is specific for that buyer and their item(s) purchased. This does not have any affect on your trustworthyness as a seller, but simply a case of absolute proof -v- waiting several days longer to be sure the buyer got their item. There is no way for their systems to verify the DC/tracking #'s, purchased outside their system(s), are correct and/or are specific to that transaction.
So, if your using services outside eBay/paypal to print your shipping labels (that is OK and your choice), and are caught up in the long payment holds. Try switching to and using eBay or paypals shipping center for a while, or at least until you get the holds lifted. Once the holds are lifted, you can then go back to your previous service of choice and manually entering DC/tracking #'s.
If you don't see your funds released sooner than you are experiencing presently, after switching to and using eBay/paypal shipping, then something else is triggering those holds; DSR's, opened cases, FB, switching to a different category of items for sale suddenly, abnormal surge in sales -v- gradual growth or other flagged detail.
I would like to direct you to this community board thread. This seller followed the advice of other sellers, and is currently getting thier funds released within 24hrs of their packages DC#'s showing delivered. And that is without having to contact paypal or lift a finger to do anything else.
I hope this gives you some insight into the payment holds from my perspective and personal experices. So far, no one that i've seen posting complaints about the holds, are printing their shipping labels thru eBay/paypal, and that seems to be their only common connection to experiencing long payment holds. Most of the complainers are advised to print labels thru eBay/paypal by other posters, yet most of them still want to buck that solution, continuing to rant on-n-on about it.