Everything New Sellers Need to Know About Getting Paid on eBay

Sourcing items, taking photos and creating listings are all essential parts to completing transactions on eBay. There are, however, not the main purpose. The reason we’re almost all here is to make money. The payment stage of any eBay transaction is therefore incredibly important. If you’re new to selling, take five minutes and read on to fully understand how payments work on eBay.

Payment methods for eBay sellers

Sellers have a choice of payment methods to offer eBay buyers:

  • PayPal. eBay’s most popular payment method, PayPal is quick, simple and reliable to use for receiving payments on eBay. Buyers can pay for items with their own PayPal balance or with a credit card. There is usually a fee for using PayPal to complete transactions.
  • Merchant credit or debit card. Sellers with their own payment gateway can receive direct credit and debit card payments. This payment option is only available to sellers who opted in before 31st October 2018.
  • Payment upon pickup. If a buyer is coming to pick-up the item (selected categories only), sellers are allowed to accept bank or personal checks, money orders, cash, PayPal, or cards.
  • Bank transfers, checks and money orders. These payment methods can only be used for payment within a limited number of categories.

To select which methods of payment buyers can use, sellers simply need to edit the ‘payment options’ section when listing. Alternatively, it is also possible to set payment preferences that will automatically be used for all listings.

Getting paid on eBay

How fast a seller is paid for an eBay transaction is dependent on the buyer and the type of payment method specified.

  • PayPal payments are usually immediately transferred to the seller
  • Credit or debit card payments processed through PayPal or a seller’s payment gateway will also be processed very quickly, if not instantly
  • Bank transfers, personal checks and money orders can take ten business days to clear, sometimes even longer
  • Payment on pick-up methods vary in speed from instant (cash) and immediate (PayPal) to slow (checks, money orders)

For most methods, you can check whether a buyer has paid for an item yet by navigating to ‘Orders’ within Seller Hub or ‘Sold’ in My eBay and select ‘awaiting payment.’ Always verify that payment has been made and received before sending the item.

On eBay.com, buyers need to pay within two full days. After this time, the seller is able to file an unpaid item case. It is good customer service to first try and contact the buyer before opening the case. There could be many reasons why the payment is delayed. After the unpaid item case is filed, the buyer has four days to pay before the transaction is cancelled without defect to the seller. In this scenario, the Final Value Fee will be credited back to the seller.

Receiving funds via PayPal

When buyers pay directly using PayPal, an email is sent to notify the seller of received funds. After receiving a notification email, sellers should always verify the payment in their PayPal account. Fake PayPal notifications are used in a variety of eBay and online shopping scams. It is also worthwhile to check if the ‘awaiting payment’ status in Seller Hub or My eBay has been updated as mentioned above.

Payment holds for new sellers

There are some exceptions to the payment timelines listed above. New sellers on eBay, for example, are subject to temporary payment holds for up to 21 days. A ‘new seller’ is defined as one who has been selling for more than 90 days, has completed more than 25 transactions and $250 total in sales.

Until this time, sellers face the following restrictions:

  • Up to 24 hours delay of payment after eBay confirms order was delivered, if seller pays for shipping and uses eBay labels
  • Up to 24 hours delay after eBay confirms the order was delivered, if item shipped directly using USPS, UPS or FedEx and tracking information is entered manually on My eBay
  • Up to seven days delay after the estimated delivery date, if item was marked as shipped in My eBay
  • 21 days delay after the buyer pays if tracking information is not uploaded, the item is not marked as shipped or it is not possible for the estimated delivery date to be calculated

Payment holds also sometimes happen for established eBay sellers too. Some example scenarios in which payments would be put on hold include when the seller:

  • Has had a ‘Below Standard’ Seller Dashboard rating for at least 90 days
  • Needs to add tracking details to resolve a Money Back Guarantee case
  • Has started selling items in a different category than usual
  • Experiences a dramatic increase in defects or Money Back Guarantee cases
  • Has received an ‘Item Not Received’ or ‘Item Significantly Not as Described’ request from a buyer

Experienced sellers, what is your preferred method of payment? Does it vary depending on the type, cost and size of items?

Gemma is our all things eBay expert. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Canada and travels extensively. You can read about her travels at her blog Off Track Travel.

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