You recently sold something on Swappa. First, we’d like to thank you for using Swappa. Now that your item has been purchased, you need to make sure you got paid, and then prepare to ship the item. Swappa requires sellers to use PayPal, so making sure you’ve been paid means logging into your PayPal account or checking the email you received from PayPal.
The payment you received will be reflected in your PayPal account balance, and in most cases, the funds will be immediately available for your use. However, at times, PayPal may place a hold on your funds. If PayPal placed a hold on your payment — you’ll likely be wondering what you should do next.
Continue reading to learn more about PayPal holds, and what steps you should take to get your payment released.
How can I get my money?
Quite often, these types of payment holds are referred to as a 21-day hold. This unofficial name is due to how PayPal states they may hold your payment for “up to 21 days.” This doesn’t mean you have to wait three weeks to get paid. What it means is that you need to follow the steps outlined by PayPal to get your payment released sooner.
If your payment was held, PayPal will notify you via email, and also using an alert in the Account Overview page in your PayPal account. PayPal will be looking to see the item you sold has been shipped and delivered in order to release your payment. A few ways to get your payment released before the 21-day mark is to:
- Provide tracking information to PayPal.
- Print a USPS or UPS shipping label from your PayPal account.
Either of these options generally means your payment will be released one day after the delivery is confirmed (based on the tracking number of the shipment).
If you pick the first option, PayPal will accept a tracking number from a wide variety of shipping providers including USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and others. However, the second option, printing a label from your PayPal account may be the easier option. If you print the shipping label (USPS or UPS) from your PayPal account, it will automatically update the transaction with the tracking number and the delivery confirmation. Basically, this means a bit less follow-up on your end. It also means you can print the label and ship your item without ever needing to venture out to your local post office.
Why did PayPal hold my payment?
Payment holds can happen. In fact, PayPal has said that “most businesses will experience a time when their funds become unavailable, also known as a payment hold.” Of course, you don’t need to be a business, payments can also be held for individuals who use PayPal.
To that point, PayPal lists being a first-time seller as a potential reason they may put a hold on a payment. Payment holds also aren’t limited to new sellers. Some other reasons your payment may be held by PayPal include:
- A change or unusual pattern in your selling activity: This hold would typically apply to previously established sellers who haven’t sold anything in a while or sellers who experience a sudden spike in sales or a sudden change in their average selling price.
- A history of disputes or refunds: Disputes can happen, and they can be an excellent way to mediate an issue related to a sale. But PayPal states that a payment hold can occur after “multiple” customers have filed for a dispute, chargeback, or refund.
- Selling higher risk, higher value items: Higher risk and higher value items apply to everything from gift cards and travel packages to consumer electronics and computers.
PayPal can hold a sellers payment due to one or more of the above-listed reasons. However, PayPal can also hold a sellers payment due to concerns about the buyers account.
- If the hold is related to the sellers side of the transaction, PayPal will be looking to see the item has been shipped and delivered.
- If the hold is related to the buyers side of the transaction, PayPal will instruct the seller in regards to when they are expected to ship the item.
It is important to keep in mind that PayPal support decides when a hold is needed, and as a seller, you should always reach out to PayPal support if you are unsure of the next steps, or if you are unsure of what information PayPal needs to release your payment.
Payment holds are inconvenient, and despite a recent uptick in PayPal holds over the past year, they aren’t new. That said, it is important to remember that the holds are being used for good reason — fraud prevention — they help to keep transactions safer for buyers and sellers. And fortunately, provided you follow the steps outlined earlier in this post, they are generally easy to navigate.
In summary, if your payment has been held, the best course of action is to look for the email you received from PayPal or to view the transaction details in your PayPal account. Both of these places will have details on what you need to do in order to get your payment released. If you are unsure about what information is needed, or if you haven’t received the email from PayPal, we encourage you to reach out to PayPal support for clarification. PayPal provides various options for support including text message, email, and phone.