eBay and PayPal Explain Item Holds

    January 25, 2009
    Chris Crum

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?