Why Does It Say Pending Payment on eBay?

By Jen Cordwainer

Pending payments on eBay auctions or sales can have several causes, based on seller and buyer accounts.
i Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

When you purchase or sell items on eBay, you may occasionally notice a "Payment Pending" status on your account. This can be due to a number of factors, including past eBay transactions, your linked PayPal account, the form of payment used and the buyer return process.

Your eBay Account History

If you are a new seller, payments to your account are automatically subject to a "pending" status during your "new account" period. You will have access to funds three days after eBay confirms product delivery using shipment tracking information. This "pending payment" delay can prevent fraudulent transactions, since the buyer must receive a product before funds become available. The new account period is lifted once you have earned at least $250, completed 25 transactions, and 90 days have passed since your first sale. A pending status can also occur if you have negative reviews or if your account has recently been suspended.

Invalid Seller PayPal Email

If a buyer on eBay submits a payment that is now pending, it may be due to an incorrect seller email account, such as an old address that is not linked to his PayPal. As a seller, you can check your email accounts by logging in to eBay, clicking "My eBay," and selecting "Sold." Choose the listing with the pending payment, click "Relist" and then "Edit Listing." Write down the email address displayed under "Select How You'll Be Paid." Sign in to your PayPal account. Navigate to the "My Account" tab, click "Profile," go to "Account Information," and choose "Email." Type your old email address displayed on eBay into the "Sell Your Item" field and press "Save." Once you have confirmed the old email account, the payment should appear in your PayPal account.

Payment Method

The pending period can vary depending on the form of payment a buyer used. If you purchase an item on eBay using an eCheck with PayPal, it can take up to three business days for the check to clear. Until then, the payment status will say "Pending." Also, participants involved in protective processes, such as PayPal claims or eBay Buyer Protection, may be subject to pending periods.

Buyer Returns

Buyers may begin an eBay return process, which will cause a payment to have a pending status. Buyers and sellers must meet several criteria for a sale to be eligible for return. Check the listing under the "Return Policy" section to make sure that the seller has enabled returns for this product. To opt in, buyers must adhere to the return time range and request a full refund of the product. Refund time frames and charges vary, depending on the ship time and condition of the returned product.