eBay and PayPal Holding My Money

I’m tired of my phone — again. So I decided to list my BlackBerry Curve on eBay while the prices were still decent. After my item sold, I waited a day for payment and to my suprise, PayPal put a hold on it until I ship the item, they receive it, and leave feedback. What the fuck? I’ve never heard of that before and I have no negative eBay feedback. Is eBay trying really hard to put themselves out of business? Let’s see here…

PayPal Hold

I’ve had my eBay account since the middle of last year and over that time I’ve acumulated a whopping 9 feedback, all positive. This is my first time selling something on this account. I have another, older eBay account floating around with a zillion feedback but can’t remember enough information to retrieve the password so I created another one. At first I thought the PayPal e-mail I received regarding the payment hold was a scam. “SHIP ITEM” in big bold letters sounds fishy to me. So I logged into my PayPal account and ta da — it’s the real deal. I’ve been paid but my account balance hasn’t moved up.

eBay and PayPal want me to ship the item and then wait for the buyer to get it, make sure it’s what they wanted, and leave me positive feedback or I can feed them a tracking number and when their website says my item was received, a few days after that they’ll release the funds if I don’t get any bad feedback.

What we have here is a stalemate.

I can’t ship an item I haven’t gotten paid for. Hell, they didn’t even release the shipping money immediately to allow me to send my stuff to a total stranger and let an automated system determine if I’m getting paid for it. I ended up doing a refund via PayPal so the buyer can have her money back — I can’t use it. I guess I’m forced to try that free local alternative that puts cash money in my pocket with a face-to-face transaction. What’s that called again? Not eBay.

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Richard is a professional web developer and business consultant. He opened his first web hosting company at the age of 13 out of his bedroom on an ISDN connection and hasn't looked back since. Richard currently resides in sunny Florida.

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7 Responses to “eBay and PayPal Holding My Money”

  1. Ron

    Why I will Never Buy or Sell again on EBAY!

    Brand New Motorola PM400 Two Way Mobil Radio

    Here is the reason that I will NEVER Buy or Sell again on EBAY, because they sit up there and play GOD.

    I joined Ebay back in 2003 and started Buying and Selling several things, I know that I never became one of there Power Sellers, BUT I do have 234 Positive Feedbacks several were from the same seller, so it only shows that I have 174 Positive Feedbacks ALL POSITIVE ( Yes That’s Right 100% Positive Feedback And I Was Proud Of That. ) I Treated People Right, I Paid When I Bought Something And I Shipped When I Sold Something Just Like You Should Treat People.

    Since the time that I joined Ebay they have made many changes, most of them for the worst, they look out for Ebay first and then they take care of their Power Sellers the rest of us little guys doesn’t even count in their books, and it’s harder than ever to get ahold of them, ( Because they don’t want to listen to any of us little guys ). In the following Paragraph I will tell you just what they done to me.

    I listed several items the last week of July 2010, and one of the items that I sold was a Brand New Motorola PM400 Two Way Mobil Radio, It sold on August 3, 2010 to Buyer

    surplusradios ( 6467) as you can tell he has several more Feedbacks than I do, BUT he has several Negative Feedback and he also has some Neutral Feedback but never the less he is one of Ebay’s Big Boys, and in the end they will take care of him.

    After my Brand New Radio arrived to him on August the 9, 2010 and he check it out, he then left me this Positive Feedback ( Great Seller ) Then on August 23, 2010 he filed a claim on me saying, that my item doesn’t match my description because I stated that it was Brand New which it was, BUT it had already been programed from the factory which I did not know. BUT this Radio can be reprogramed over and over again because it’s made that way, ( THIS ONLY TAKES ABOUT FIVE MINUTES TO DO ) and the Buyer claims to be a Radio Man if he really is he would know that.

    So now he wants a full Refund and claims that he couldn’t get ahold of me which was a LIE, When I placed my ad on Ebay it asked me about a return policy and I picked NO RETURNS & NO REFUNDS on this item, because if someone that don’t know what there doing hooks it up wrong then it will blow this radio and it will be JUNK, I wrote back and forth with this Clown several times the last time that I wrote to him was on August 26, 2010 and he has NEVER RESPONDED BACK so who couldn’t get ahold of who.

    In the mean time Ebay is playing GOD and reached in to my Paypal Account and tied up my money in my Paypal account ( which I believe that this is illegal ) well in the end Ebay has went against there own ad contract where I said NO RETURNS & NO REFUNDS, and Ebay has made their Final decision which was they decided in the buyer’s favor. So now they ask the Buyer to ship my Radio back to me by Sep. 19, 2010, and that they would once again reach into my Paypal account and give him his money back. ( HE will have had my Radio now for a month and 16 days NO telling what kind of shape that I will get it back in, Thanks to EBAY )

    This Buyer surplusradios ( 6467) is a ( LYING JERK ) He is about as SORRY as they come, and EBAY is just as SORRY for going against what my ad stated. Ebay has changed their rules several months ago to where we couldn’t accept Checks and Money Orders. This way it gives them the right to dip their hands into your Paypal Account ( which they own also ) and then they are the ones that control your Paypal Account NOT YOU.

    People wake up and get smart and send a message to Ebay that we are not going to take this anymore, If all of us little guys would quit one at a time, Buying and Selling on Ebay they would get the message, that they do have to take care of the little guys also. They can think what they want, BUT we are the ones that keep them going.


    The Picture Below Is The Radio That He Received, It Still Has The Plastic Over The Dail.

    This radio is worth between $400.00 and $500.00 and I sold it for $382.00, so that is how much money Ebay cheated me out of to take care of one of their boys.


    Another story about what Ebay and Paypal did to me this year was. I own a web site store to sell some of my things on, Because Ebay won’t let you list just everything. Early this year a man went to my web site and bought one of my Key Machines for $275.00 and paid me through Paypal and he left me all of his shipping imformation, on my web site. ( Which It Shows Everything On My Web Site ) When I got home that night and went to my web site and seen where I had sold this machine and I thought this was good.

    So I boxed up the Key Machine and Copied and Pasted his shipping address that he had left for me on my web site, and put it on the box and shipped it off the very next day, About a week went by and I received a email from Paypal saying that they had tied up my $275.00 because this man told them that he hadn’t received the Key Machine, After double checking I found out that this Buyer had left me the wrong State to ship this Key machine to and paypal had the same address that he left for me except for the State was different. Paypal told me that I should have looked in Paypal to get the right address, and I showed them where he had left me the wrong State, So Paypal give him back my $275.00 and now someone out there has my Key Machine, so I lost twice Thanks to Paypal.


    The last thing that Ebay did not to long ago, My son listed several items for sale and he also listed around 10 or 12 Playboy Magazines, about 5 or 6 of them had 3 and 4 bids on them Ebay pulls them off and told him that they had to be listed in the Adult Section ( which I agree ). The problem was that my son had to relist all of them in the Adult Section, and he never sold not one, BUT anyone could type in Playboy Magazines and still find over 6200 Playboys listed in the same Section where he had first listed his, why did they not pull all of the others.

    So you see ( Ebay and Paypal are the same people ) they have got so big, that they think they can treat people just anyway they want. Well as for me ( NEVER AGAIN ) I’m Done!

    ( Check it out I have all 100% Positive Feedback )

    • Thomas

      In all 3 incidents you were at fault. In the first, the “No returns” policy does not apply if your item is not in the condition you specified it would be in. In the second, you were still at fault. You should have checked Paypal for the proper shipping address; it’s standard procedure and eBay/Paypal even suggest this. Besides, if you include a return address on your package (or purchased a tracking #), it will be returned to you. In the final incident, you are once again at fault. eBay removes items when other users report them. You cannot complain that you should be allowed to break a rule simply because other people do.

  2. Paypal Sucks

    Oh so wrong there Alex and Thomas…… First off, PayPal will not investigate anything. Do your homework and read how these scammers operate. You sell an item, the person receives the item…. if the person doesn’t take 2 seconds to leave you positive feedback, you are screwed for 21 days… period.
    Sell your items the old fashion way…. tell the people you don’t use Paypal and have them send a USPS money order. If they don’t like it, the next guy in line will be happy to do that. Give them all your contact info to assure them you are on the up and up. Second to porn, paypal is the worst thing to ever hit the internet.

    • Thomas

      I don’t see your connection between scammers and Paypal holding the money for 21 days if the user doesn’t leave feedback. Regardless of whether they leave feedback or not, you’re eventually going to get your money, so where’s the scam part? I think your explanation of how “scammers operate” is flawed, as they would have had to have paid in the first place in order for Paypal to hold the money. In other words, it isn’t a “scam” as the supposed scammer is still paying for the item.

  3. Thomas

    Aaron- There’s where you’re wrong. Just because the buyer initiates a fraudulent chargeback doesn’t mean they automatically get their money back and move on with their life. If that was the case, no one would sell things on eBay anymore because the system would be greatly flawed. If you initiate a fraudulent chargeback then Paypal and your Crecit Card Company start an investigation to see where the charge came from (IP Address) and then compare it to the IP Address you are using. This is usually a strong indication although not even close to where the investigation ends because otherwise I could over to my friends house and make the charge and then file the claim at home. Where the investigation goes after that, I haven’t a clue. But next time think and do a little research before you start making claims that aren’t true.

  4. Aaron

    Alex, while I understand what you are saying, sending a package using recorded delivery does not offer any protection from scam at all. If the buyer initiates a fraudulent chargeback the money will be refunded to the buyer before the seller has even had any control over their money. Then the seller will have no item and no money.

  5. Alex


    While I agree it’s kind of ridiculous, I just sold my iPod touch on eBay, and it went without a hitch. They do this for items they consider “high risk.” Just make sure that when you send the package you get signature confirmation. That way, if they deny picking it up, you have third party to verify.

    I sent my iPod out after receiving one of these emails with signature confirmation, and all you have to do is give PayPal the tracking information. They will release the funds if they can confirm it’s been delivered; the buyer doesn’t need to do anything besides accept it.