How to Get PayPal Money Off Hold Without Tracking Number

By Robert Courtneidge 12 Min Read

So, you have funds in your PayPal account but it keeps saying they won’t release funds until a tracking number is added. Well, this guide shows you how to get PayPal money off hold without tracking number. This issue will happen if you delivered the item yourself, so there is no tracking.

Does PayPal Need a Tracking Number to Release Funds?

Yes, PayPal may require a tracking number to release funds that are on hold.

If you use one of PayPal’s approved shipping carriers, the hold on the payment will be released approximately 24 hours after the courier confirms delivery to the buyer’s address.

If the held payment is for a service or intangible item (e.g., piano lessons, e-book), you can update the order status to “Completed,” and the hold will be released 7 days after confirmation.

How to Get PayPal Money Off Hold Without Tracking Number

How to Get PayPal Money Off Hold Without Tracking Number

1. Understand the Situation

PayPal may place a hold on funds for various reasons, such as a direct payment without a PayPal account or high-risk transactions. Understanding why the hold occurred is essential.

  • SCAM Alert. Be cautious of fake emails and scams that ask for tracking numbers. PayPal never requests you to send an item before the payment shows in your account.
  • Family and Friends Payment. If the money is sent as goods and services in error, it may be held. Ensure the sender marks it as friends and family during the payment process.

2. Don’t Do Personal Deliveries

Avoid using PayPal for personal delivery in the first place to avoid wondering about how to get PayPal money off hold without tracking number.

  • Why? PayPal requires a tracking number for seller protection. Without it, a buyer can dispute for non-receipt, and the seller would lose the dispute.
  • Solution: Use ‘cash on collection’ for personal deliveries to avoid fees, waiting time, and disputes.
  • Words of Caution: If a buyer pays with PayPal, refund that payment and re-state ‘cash on collection.’

3. Wait for the 21-Day Hold

21-day hold period? Well, you might want to consider waiting this long to get PayPal money off hold without tracking number.

  • What is it? If you can’t provide a tracking number, funds are held for 21 days.
  • Why? This is part of PayPal’s new seller hold policy.
  • Solution: Accept the 21-day wait or, ideally, accept cash instead.
  • Further Reading: Why are my payments for non-eBay sales pending?

Not all purchases require receipt confirmation, and PayPal will release the funds after 21 days if the buyer does not confirm receipt. Alternative payment methods like Cash App or Zelle could be best for your business.

4. Confirm Receipt with the Buyer

If you’ve shipped an item without a tracking number, you can still release the funds by having the buyer confirm receipt. Here’s how:

  1. Go to “Add Tracking”: In your PayPal account, find the transaction and click “Add Tracking.”
  2. Select an Order Status: Choose the appropriate status for the order.
  3. Contact the Buyer: Ask the buyer to confirm receipt on their end of the transaction to release the funds.

If you’re concerned about the buyer’s intentions since you don’t have tracking numbers, you may choose to wait the full 21 days when PayPal automatically releases the funds.

5. Consider Alternatives

If you’re a service provider and not a seller, PayPal payments might still be on hold. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Understand the Problem. Recognize that standard solutions for product shipping may not apply to you.
  2. Avoid Asking for Reviews. Don’t ask clients to leave reviews just to get the payment.
  3. Seek Alternative Solutions. Since the standard solutions may not apply, consider reaching out to PayPal support or exploring other payment methods like Stripe.

Why Won’t PayPal Release Funds Until Tracking Number?

So, we have explained how to get PayPal money off hold without tracking number. But why is PayPa doing this to you?

1. PayPal’s Policy for Payment Holds

PayPal may hold payments for up to 21 days to ensure the security of transactions. This policy is in place to monitor unusual changes in selling patterns and to protect both buyers and sellers.

Ways to Release Payments

  1. Add Tracking. Using approved shipping carriers, PayPal releases the hold approximately 24 hours after the courier confirms delivery.
  2. Update Order Status. For services or intangible items, confirming the order status as Completed will release the hold after 7 days.
  3. Print Shipping Labels with PayPal. This will also lead to a release 24 hours after delivery confirmation.

In rare cases, even after these steps, PayPal may hold the payment for up to 21 days.

2. Problems with Personal Delivery or Untracked Shipping

a. Personal Delivery

If an item is personally delivered or collected, PayPal offers no seller protection. Without a tracking number, a buyer can dispute the receipt, and the seller may lose the dispute. In such cases, the funds are held for 21 days, or cash on collection is recommended.

b. Shipping Without Tracking

Some sellers may ship items without tracking, such as in letter form. In these cases, PayPal requires proof of fulfillment to lift account limitations.

Without tracking, sellers must wait for the 21-day hold period or provide other evidence, such as customer confirmation or a detailed explanation.

3. Solutions and Workarounds

a. Calling Customer Service

If unable to provide tracking, calling PayPal customer service and explaining the situation may lead to a resolution. They can note the issue and forward it to the relevant department.

b. Buyer’s Manual Confirmation

On the buyer’s side, there’s an option to click on “received” to give manual confirmation of receiving. This can be a better proof of order arrival.

c. Provide Alternative Proof

If tracking is not available, providing a document explaining why, along with any proof of delivery or confirmation, may suffice.

4. Scam Protection

PayPal’s policy of holding funds until a tracking number is provided is primarily aimed at protecting both buyers and sellers from potential scams.

In some cases, scammers may encourage direct PayPal payments and promise to release funds upon providing a tracking number.

However, PayPal never instructs to send an item before the payment is showing in the account.

The tracking number requirement ensures that the transaction is legitimate, and the item has been shipped. If no tracking number is added, the funds may be held for up to 21 days.

5. Delayed Funds for Non-Shippable Items

For transactions that don’t involve physical shipping, such as receiving money from a family member or for services like piano lessons or writing projects, PayPal may still hold the funds.

The funds can be released earlier if the seller marks the order as “Processed” and provides the required details, or if the buyer confirms receipt. If these conditions are not met, PayPal will release the funds after 21 days.

This policy ensures that the transaction is completed as agreed upon, even if there is no physical item to track.

6. Lack of Tracking for Envelope Shipments

In situations where items are shipped in an envelope without tracking, such as selling stickers, PayPal may hold the funds for 21 days. The seller can ask the buyer to confirm receipt to release the funds earlier, but without tracking numbers, this process can be risky.

The policy prevents potential disputes between buyers and sellers when there’s no tracking information available.

7. Payment Holds for Service Providers

Service providers who use PayPal to receive payments for monthly invoices may also experience holds on their payments. Since they don’t have products to ship, traditional solutions like providing tracking numbers are not applicable.

This situation highlights a challenge for service providers who want to use PayPal for non-tangible goods. The hold seems to be a part of PayPal’s broader risk management strategy, but it can create inconvenience for those who don’t deal with physical products

How Long Does it Take for PayPal to Unhold?

PayPal may hold your payment for up to 21 days, but there are ways to release eligible payments earlier. According to PayPal, below are the methods and their respective timelines:

1. Add Tracking

  • Method: Use one of PayPal’s approved shipping carriers.
  • Time to Release: Approximately 24 hours after the courier confirms delivery to the buyer’s address.

2. Update the Order Status for Services or Intangible Items (e.g., piano lessons, e-books)

  • Method: Confirm the order status as Completed.
  • Time to Release: 7 days after confirmation.

3. Print Shipping Labels with PayPal

  • Method: Print shipping labels through PayPal.
  • Time to Release: Approximately 24 hours after the courier confirms delivery to the buyer’s address.

4. Rare Cases

  • Note: In some rare cases, even after completing the above steps, PayPal may need to hold the payment for up to 21 days. This can happen if an unusual change in your selling patterns is noticed.

Can I Call PayPal to Remove Hold?

If PayPal has recently placed hold placed on one of your payments, you can contact them via phone call to request a hold removal.

However, there is no guarantee as they might end up giving you generic responses such as waiting for 21 days for the hold to clear.

Conclusion on how to Get PayPal Money Off Hold Without Tracking Number

When dealing with personal deliveries or collections, it’s best to avoid PayPal and opt for cash payments.

If you’ve already used PayPal and can’t provide a tracking number, you’ll have to wait 21 days for the funds to be released. Always consider the payment method that offers the most protection and convenience for your specific situation.

Read alsoHow to Accept Pending Payment on PayPal Faster

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Independant Industry Expert in Payments and the Digital Future of Money, Co-Editor of The PAYTECH Book, top Payments Lawyer and voted No. 1 in Payments Power 10 at #PayExpo What do I do? I solve the problem of moving payments firms into the new era of money. Traditional financial services businesses risk getting left behind as Generation Z leapfrogs the banks, opting instead for big techs, challengers, and social commerce propositions. Ignoring blockchain technology and the widening knowledge gap between the financial services and digital sectors puts businesses at risk of falling behind their competitors, compromising their competitive edge, and ultimately becoming redundant.
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