How Long Does PayPal Pending Take?

When using PayPal to send or receive money, sometimes the transfer might stay pending. It might be uncomfortable for some people, especially sellers. However, it is important to know that it is not done by mistake, and there are reasons for this.

How long does PayPal Pending take? PayPal pending usually takes 21 days. This is the amount of time that PayPal takes to investigate a potential fraudulent payment. If you have received a payment and it has not been processed after 21 days, then you can contact PayPal customer service for assistance.

Some of the reasons why PayPal might hold one’s funds include:

  • When a seller is new
  • When a seller becomes dormant
  • When there have been frequent chargebacks or formal complaints from clients 
  • If PayPal detects unusual activity
  • When selling risky products. 

PayPal is usually willing to bear the responsibility in case buyers do not receive the items they ordered or the products received don’t match the description provided.

Through PayPal Buyer protection, buyers might be reimbursed for the amount they paid in either of the above situations. 

So, to ensure buyers are safe, they will sometimes hold funds pending until buyers are satisfied with the products they received. 

Read on to find out how long you should expect to wait, and what you can do to expedite the release of pending funds on PayPal.  

This post breaks down why PayPal is holding your funds.

PayPal Pending: What it is, Why it Happens, and What You Can Do

Sellers who use PayPal will sometimes encounter the hurdle of their funds are unavailable or on hold. Thus, the recipient cannot access the funds just yet. PayPal does this sometimes to protect the buyer, as mentioned earlier. 

How Long Does It Stay Pending?

When PayPal puts your funds on hold, the transaction can stay pending for up to 21 days. During this time, the buyer can confirm that they have received the items as purchased, and if all goes well, the funds are released. The good for sellers is that it does not have to happen every time. 

Why Are Your Funds Pending or on Hold?

There are specific situations that can make a transaction to a seller stay pending, but they involve PayPal needing more information about a transaction. Some reasons they might need this information include; 

When You Are a New Seller

As a new seller using PayPal, it will take some time to create a good history with buyers or a positive Seller-buyer pattern. So for the first few transactions, you are likely to experience this issue until you confirm your identity or develop a positive history as a seller. 

You Haven’t Been Selling for a While.

If your selling activity stays dormant for a while, you will be treated like a first-time seller. Thus will have to build up your credibility through positive transactions with buyers. So, sellers should be consistent when using PayPal. 

Different Customers Have Previously Filed Complaints Against You

Sellers who have had multiple formal complaints filed against them or flagged for different issues by customers will have their funds delayed. The best way to avoid this is to work together with clients to prevent and solve disputes so that PayPal does not have to intervene. 

If there is an instance where clients file for refunds or dispute or chargebacks for an illegal transaction they did not authorize, PayPal will request the seller not to ship the products. 

When Your Selling Pattern Seems Unusual 

As you develop a history of transactions or sales, PayPal can detect a pattern in your sales over the long term. So, if the selling pattern suddenly changes in the future, for example, a sudden spike in sales or an abrupt change in prices, change in sale items, change in the business platform, they can hold your funds. 

When the Products You Sell are High Risk 

High-risk items are things such as; electronics, computers, gift cards, tickets, or things that are event-related or more expensive. 

In all the above instances, the funds are held for 21 days by default unless sellers take specific actions. 

What You Can Do to Access Your Funds Sooner

If there are no issues with the order, there are ways to expedite the release of your funds earlier than the 21 days provided you take these actions. You can choose either or use both. 

The first option is printing a UPS or USPS shipping label from your account. When you do that, it automatically updates your delivery confirmation and transaction information. When you do it, the funds can be released one day after delivery

You can also add carrier tracking information by uploading the tracking number of a PayPal-supported carrier. Once you do that, the funds should be released in 3 days after the carrier confirms the delivery of the product(s). 

How You Can Prevent “Payment Pending”

Instead of solving the problem of funds not being released, there are ways you can try to prevent the instances in which the problem occurs.

Read Their Emails and Important Notifications

Review emails that PayPal sends and any alerts in the account overview section. Doing this will help you know why a payment is not available at that time and also what you can do to prevent the same delay in the future. 

Prevent Disputes

Then, you should try to prevent disputes with clients. You can do this by; 

  • Posting accurate photos and descriptions for the item, so the buyer knows what they are purchasing
  • Being absolutely clear about costs, shipping and handling times, and even order processing times to prevent delays. 
  • Packing the items properly with good quality packing materials to prevent damage during transit
  • Defining your refund and return policies upfront
  • Uploading tracking information 

Work With Your Customers

Communicate with them and be responsive when they contact you. By working with clients, you can avoid simple issues such as a missing component in the product from transforming into a bigger problem. Open and honest communication makes it easier to resolve any dispute and prevent misunderstandings. 

Final Thoughts

PayPal is often criticized for favoring buyers over sellers. It is often because they do not have the resources to fully investigate every claim made by buyers. 

So, sellers need to take extra steps to ensure they are also protected, such as tracking and being open and honest. PayPal’s introduction of the seller protection policy is a step in the right direction in making sellers feel valued too.