eBay and PayPal Explain Item Holds

Claim it Only Happens 5% of the Time

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Monroe Labouisse, the director of PayPal’s business on eBay in the US and Canada sat down with eBay’s chief Blogger Richard Brewer-Hay and sketched out this post explaining the policies behind eBay Item Holds.

An eBay Item Hold is when eBay asks PayPal to hold a payment in a seller’s PayPal account for up to 21 days. This occurs as a "buyer protection" when eBay believes the transaction is more likely than the average transaction to be fraudulent.

They say this only happens less than 5% of the time normally. Sellers are warned on the "Sell Your Item" form or through listing software if that’s how the seller lists, in the payment section:

Sell Your Item form

Paypal has all of the details in the policy section for item holds:

When Does PayPal Hold a Payment?

– You have been an eBay member for less than 6 months, and you sell an item for more than $100, or

– You have an eBay feedback score of less than 100, and you sell an item for more than $100, or

– You have a Buyer dissatisfaction percentage** 5% or greater than 5%, or

– You have an average Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) of less than 4.5, or

– You have received fewer than 20 Detailed Seller Ratings in the last 12 months, or

– You are listing your item in a high-risk category such as gift certificates, video games, cell phones, computers or consumer electronics.

PayPal Says it Doesn’t Hold Payments if you meet the following:

– You have been an eBay member for 6-months or more, and

– Your total Feedback score is 100 or greater, and

– Your Buyer dissatisfaction percentage** is less than 5%.


– Your average DSR is 4.5 or greater and

– Your have received 20 or more DSRs in the last 12-months

– Your buyer dissatisfaction percentage is less than 5%

eBay claims that the item holds only occur a very small percentage of the time. As an eBay seller, have you experienced this in the past? If so, has it happened often?

eBay and PayPal Explain Item Holds
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  • NoHonestyLeftOnEbay

    Go to the actual amended Paypal User Agreement and you can see for yourselves that the Paypal can now withhold ANY USER’S funds for 21-180 days at Paypal’s “SOLE DISCRETION”!

    If a user wants to fight the holds, Paypal IS the only entity available!

    Paypal IS the JUDGE, JURY and EXECUTIONER of ALL withheld funds.

    Has ebay/Paypal EVER released ANY funds due to users proof that the withholding of their funds was unjustified?

    NEVER that I have seen!

    Read ebay’s own discussion boards “Paypal” and “The Soapbox” to get more info, but PLEASE be aware that ebay is extremely active in massively censoring their discussions!

  • Guest

    Richard Brewer-Hay is a paid ebay employee. Of course he’s going to be a parrot for ebay!

    Search the internet for

    “Ebay Stockholders and Sellers Calling For Immediate Termination of John Donohoe CEO Petition”

    to read many ebayers’ experiences and solutions to the current ebay Inc. problems.

    Go to glassdoor.com and search ebay for what employees are saying “off the record”. It’s not looking good for ebay or it’s wayward CEO!

  • Sick Of Ebay

    I was a power seller on ebay for almost 6 years with well over 7000 successful transactions and a 99.9 lifetime buyer satisfaction rating selling mostly high end costume jewelry.

    In early 2008 ebay began announcing many changes that would take place at marketplace. Many of the forcasted changes cncerned me enough that I decided to take some time building my own website. Because I didnt do much selling on ebay in 2008, most of my 12 month feedbacks rolled of my record.

    I recent began selling on ebay again, only to find out that Ebay had informed paypal to put a 21 day hold on my buyers payments because I hadnt logged many sales in 2008 and was therefore considered to be a RISKY seller. What a crock of SH*T!

    After 6 years as an Ebay member with over 7000 previous sales, including 5400 positve feedbacks+, Only 6 negatives (3 of which were lame), 99.9 lifetime buyer satisfaction rating….ebay claims my U.S. licensed business cant be trusted now merely due to lack of recent sales activity. Ironically, in 2008 my company used paypal’s payment services both on our website and two other online storefront recieving nearly 1000 payment transactions without a single buyer complaint or credit card chargeback, yet Ebay still forced the 21 day hold on all my buyer’s payments.

    That’s the last straw for me. Since Donahoe took over as CEO of Ebay….every single change that has been made has been absolutely maddening. It’s no wonder so many long time ebayers have been leaving ebay. Ebay and paypal will never get another dime of my money. I will NEVER buy or sell on ebay again, and I have recently removed the paypal payment option from all 3 of my online stores.

  • http://randomplaza.net Brave Agent Pubeit

    How do you know eBay/PayPal is lying? Its lips are moving.

    eBay lies about things regarding PayPal’s safety. It lies about people preferring PayPal. They lied about how many people prefered their awful new “my ebay”, search system, and view item system — most people hate them all. Pretty much any statistics it makes is a lie. eBay once claimed that something like (I forgot the exact numbers) 90% of transactions are through paypal or whatever, but then when they did paperless payments it turned out something like half (I forgot the exact figure) of payments on eBay were done by mail.

    As for that petition that “Guest (WPN reader) on Wed, 01/21/2009 – 12:29pm” mentioned, it’s petitiononline.com, not something from the board of directors at ebay. I’ve never seen anyone site take a petitiononline.com petition seriously, I’m afraid.

  • http://randomplaza.com Brave Agent Pubeit

    I forgot to mention this about holds on my last comment.

    In the USA, PayPal is not licensed as a bank or an escrow service. PayPal’s set 21 day holds are escrow and thus illegal for paypal to do.

    • Guest

      When you have an de-facto monopoly, you can make your own rules and the majority of the public will simply get in line and drink the Kool aid.
      eBay and its PayPal money printing arm suck. Effectively forceing us to use eBay’s own payment service is clearly an anti-trust law violation, but everyone goes along with it since eBay says it’s so.
      Don’t contribute to the problem. Look for alternatives. Don’t be a sheep being led to the slaughter.
      eBay sucks and everyone knows it, but most are simply too lazy to do anything about it. eBay sucks!

  • Guest

    After being screwed royally by PayPal. I for one have quit using eBay.
    eBay sucks and everyone knows it. They are so mismanaged and are to be pitied.
    Don’t contribute to the greed of these jerks.
    If you use eBay, cancel and look for alternatives.
    eBay sucks big time.

  • Guest

    “Monroe Labouisse, the director of PayPal

  • http://www.UpgradeYourLife.net/ebid Joe

    A great alternative to Ebay is eBid.net – it was voted BEST EBAY alternative by webuser magazine in 2008.

    • http://www.cedarsavage.net Guest

      if it is votest best ebay alternative, that in itself is showing just how good ebay is.
      they still set the bar, or mark for performance, and nobody has surpassed it or they would be saying “best alternative to ebid”
      or “best online shopping site” with no mention of ebay
      By the way, ebid is verging on copyright infringement on purpose, because the ebay name is so familiar they are trying to copy or mimic them, and get business by imitating the real deal.

      • Guest

        You are a dumbass. They are selling themselves on being an another choice to ebay. Yes they could have said best online auction site, but it sounds better to say alt to ebay.

        Does the whopper taste better than other hamburgers or does the whopper taste better than the big mac?

        • Guest

          i totally agree, why are you defending the scamming w*nkers, your money is earning them interest when they withhold it from your account. are you dumb or what?

  • http://www.cedarsavage.net Guest

    I satisfy ALL of the requirements to NOT have a hold, yet my money was held day before yesterday.
    I have 100% positive feedback over 100, more than 10DSRs, 5 average DSR in every category, member for more than five years.
    Alos not in a high risk category, home and garden construction materials, Cedar shakes and shingles.

    perfect DSR, no dissatisfied customers, perfect feedback score, no risk factors, still held my money

    I replied immediately, with a phone call, polite, factual, email, polite factual, answered every question they had to the complete satisfacction of the operator, who said this is pretty straight froward, sure we’ll have your account open quickly….

    Nope, got an email the next day asking for all the same answers again!

    I issued a refund, that made them happy, released my account, but now I’ve shipped $5040 in shingles, with no guarantee that I’ll ever get paid for it.

    The last email to ebay wasn’t as nice.

    truth is they’ll hold your money no matter what your reputation is like, the criteria they have given you is an outright lie, they do not follow these guidelines, they’re just blowing smoke up the collective behinds of the consumers.

    And 5%? I don’t know about that because every time I try to get them it’s 80 to 90 minutes on hold, it’s either over %5 or they only have one operator for North America.

  • Paypal Stealing in daylight

    Paypal, together with eBay is the largest legal scam and association of deceivers! They block at their own will any account or funds with very flimsy reasons, making millions in the process. My account was frozen, and funds blocked, several times without valid grounds; we call this stealing in daylight. Please avoid Paypal and eBay.

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    The same thing happened to us Paypal froze our account for no apparent reason, so we got fed up with them and now they lost business from us. I’m sure a lot of merchants have been on the same situation and got fed up with them. A day will come where alternatives to paypal and ebay will come. In fact I’ll try our eBid.net, as suggested by other people below.

  • tformercanadianselleronebay

    My post was asking about some answers from eBay and Paypal as I have members of the Canadian Media watching this blog to see what both ebay and Paypal have to say.

    My original post was:

    The problem I have is eBay not communicating technical issues on their site and how this can lead to buyer dissatisfaction.

    I had enough technical issues with my account – from emails not being received by my customer or me as well as Paypal payments showing as PENDING for days when they actually cleared that it made my 5% dissatisfaction get to 5.1%

    28 DAYS

  • robyn

    I am an occasional seller of used and unwanted household items on Ebay. Haven’t sold anything in a while. I went to sell a DVD box set today – and it seems like if I want to sell anything – I have to accept Paypal or credit cards or something like that unless I am selling something like a car or adult sex toys. Am I reading this correctly when I try to list an item?

    I have been selling (and buying) on Ebay for perhaps 6 years or so – and – since I have had prior accounts hacked at least twice (where people bought stuff using my ID info after stealing it from Ebay) – I have no intention of giving Ebay anything except my email address.

    FWIW – I always accepted cashier’s checks – money orders – and personal checks with name/address on them (always gave them time to clear) – and never had a problem with payment for anything (even items costing $100-500 – I buy/sell mid-century modern items among other things). Similarly – I never had a problem when I bought anything from a small private seller.

    So are us “small fry” out of the equation now? If so – doesn’t bode very well for Ebay. Also FWIW – I would never ship anything before I got payment from anyone – including Paypal. Which means my buyers might have to wait almost a month until I shipped (as opposed to 5 business days – which is the time I gave for personal checks to clear). Robyn

  • Jim

    I’ve been through this as well now. I don’t use either very often and I had no idea it was even an issue until went to use them the other day. The fact that Ebay and PayPal are so closely linked has got to be a serious problem that governments should now look into as these policies have been introduced.

    Current policy changes and negative attitude towards SELLERS and those that are in fact the drivers of this type of e-commerce, seems very much like someone’s idea of good policy forgot who is paying for them to have their paycheck in the first place.

    Also, lets be clear, ALL retailers and e-tailers ask and expect you to pay for goods before you receive them. No one says, give my your money and I’ll hold it for you while you use or try to product. Just ask Starbucks if they would do that.

    lets see, if I go to the Barret Jackson Auction, will they or the buyers accept a sale on a try or buy? I don’t think so.

    I have closed my EBay and will Close my PayPal account now. Having spent an hour on the CHAT with EBay, they couldn’t even reset my password without a FAX. (no that’s not joke) Good thing that’s secure, right EFax ;-).

    The current PayPal policy allows them to withhold the MERCHANTS money for atleast 21 days, based entirely on information provided by Ebay. Now given that they can, why wouldn’t they, obviously they then make money on the interest over a longer period of time.

    So now EBay is BLACK LIST!, is that LEGAL? It certainly seems prejudicial and possibly they might be infringing on our right to privacy here, by passing this kind of info to someone that is essentially supposed to be a third party. I wonder. If there is Class Action, I want to be a part of it. If EBay are going to do this now, will they also be passing on this information to other credit agencies as well then, or are the going to become the new E online Credit Agency and were just waiting for the time to be right and stealthily introduce without us noticing it.

    I think the bottom line is, in this time of need, world-wide, some oik, has made up what he though was a good idea while away at a team building session and implemented it without putting his brain in gear first.

    Personally I prefer Craigslist and Google, these are 2 sites online that deal in the real world and and understand commerce.

    Even though Craigslist is not an online auction house. You are in control not Big-Brother. and Google, well they are just getting better, while getting bigger and still maintain the spirit of the internet, which EBay and PayPal have obviously lost now. John Postel would be turning in his grave if he could see what’s happening here.

    Ebay and PayPal, you both do suck, you’ve lost the spirit. But since you are so big and so rich and powerful, you just don’t care do you?

  • Guest

    ha, im starting to reminisce those days where i used to take advantage of paypal and ebay”s stupid policies and rip off people legally… Ha, CLASSIC.

  • Guest

    I am going to try out ebid, this hold shit sucks.

    • Guest

      Seriously, I never EVER pay eBay now. Never! I used to until the changes and the extra fees. HAD GREAT feedback over 1k. But now I ask myself why I even cared?
      I start a new account every month! eBay and PayPal!
      I then sell everything I can for that one month.
      I put PayPal as my Primary Payment for eBay fees.
      I then close my Checking account and Credit Cards at the end of the month from PayPal and Click the close account link (of course it does not close right away but it does later).
      Right after it is all closed down I immediately set up a new one with the same CC and Bank account the last was linked too! Seriously as long as you remove them a few days before the payment tries to come out from eBay fees your in the clear and they never link up. I then do what that other guy here says and get a card from *** open up a new seller account and sell away. Not a Walmart you have to link your SSN too.

      I NEVER have a problem with having no feedback in regards to people actually bidding on my items. I always refund my customers almost immediately after they pay and say it was accidental so they will send me the funds outside of eBay and there is no more hold! Used to be able to refund .1cent and all was well but they fixed that glitch since then!

      Last month I made off with almost $800 in fees I will never pay. That will never be linked to me and my false addy, name and one of the 100’s of routers locally in the neighboring apt complexes I can pick up with an extended wireless router antenna I have on top of my house!.. I can use a $10 USB dongle on? Seriously, a seller can get away with a lot more on eBay than they would like to admit. But, I always make my customers happy. I never have a complaint. I don’t want to rip them off only eBay.

      Why would anyone ever pay a fee for their ever growing shat service?
      The only account info I have linked to myself.. That is if I ever need to buy anything. Besides that, I use throw away cards and Temp prepaid accounts that require no SSN. There are obviously many ways to link them to me! But, they never will? So many open and close accounts the same way and eBay cannot keep up with them at all.. There is no way possible. My credit is clean! Of course I always use a forwarded phone number I get from my1voice.com So none of PayPal or eBays lame self owned collection departments giving me nonstop calls. Every month throw away and start a new that’s what I do. I do sell “knockoffs” too! What I sell no one ever even knows? So not a big deal.. I figure if it is good enough to pass by thousands and they never know the difference! Than it’s a good product and who really cares?? Besides those companies that are ripping customers off with their ridiculous prices! I don’t sell iPhones or the clones. But did you know on average it only costs approximately $5 to produce one, and how much do they sell for? Over $800 New. I agree forget those guys, I sell the same quality items and people get a much better deal.. Harp all you want, I don’t care. I will still make lots of money selling them for as much as you pay for wholesale – like the good little sheep you are! HAHA!

      I do well on eBay with this. Everyone should give it a try and then lets see what eBay does! They can’t boot everybody off! BE GREAT IF THEY DID! Then everyone can start building the next eBay with something like eBid and we can all have many good years with them until they start this same crap up and we can shut them down as well. They can never stop us all!!!

      • Guest

        well you are the bomb, I say GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! I HATE THEM and I wish I could figure out exactly how to do what youre talking about because I would too!!!

  • Guest

    I have funds held 3 times but when its shipped with con number I call paypal and they checked to see if it was delivered then released the funds right then over the phone.

  • Alex

    I am so frustrated about recent Paypal’s actions against my account. They are using my moneyand I repeat MY MONEY that i receibed from selling MY OWN MERCHANDISE!!! Paypal put it on hold and won’t let me withdraw them. I’ve been using its servises for a long time and paypal has already made gigantic profit from my transactions. But it is obviously not enough for them. They want more!!! Greedy b…rds!!! I am closing my account as soon as I get my money back from them and wil neve EVER use their services again. On top of that I will warn everyone who hasn’t used their services not to do it under any circumstances!!!

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