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Sellers’ Money Goes Missing on PayPal

Sellers all over the Internet were scrambling when payments went missing from their PayPal accounts for hours on October 1. And it impacted not just sellers on eBay, but on Etsy, Bonanza, and even people who transferred their money from one account to another.

Sellers reported the issue on Wednesday morning on the Ecommerce EKG boardbeginning at about 12:30 am EST: “Item shows paid in eBay but payment is not in PayPal.”

There was no sign of an acknowledgement on the PayPal blog, on the PayPal discussion threads, or on the AskPayPal Twitter account, annoying sellers who took the time to call in to PayPal customer support, and leaving many concerned about their funds.

Several hours into the problem eBay moderators had yet to respond to many threads spotted on the eBay discussion boards, including the eBay’s Technical Issues board.

An Etsy moderator responded to reports from sellers posting on this discussion threadat 4 pm EST. “Hey there! Thank you for the reports here; we’re keeping an eye on this. Be sure to check PayPal’s site status for more details.”

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The PayPal site status site included an event notification for October 1, but it deemed it resolved at 9:43 am EST, hours before reports came flooding onto boards around the Web.

Some users were concerned about the possibility of duplicate payments that might result due to the glitch.

At 7:30 pm EST, a PayPal spokesperson released the following statement to EcommerceBytes: “We are aware of an issue where some customer transactions were not showing up or were delayed in posting to the customer’s transaction page. We have addressed the issue, and customers should start seeing their transactions appear soon. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Update 10/2/14: We’d asked PayPal if they could tell us anything about the nature of the problem. A spokesperson got back to us on Thursday with the following response, “We have no additional information to share at this time.”

We had also asked whether anything was communicated to sellers during the problem. “Our customer service team was aware of the issue to handle any customer questions, and we worked quickly to address it,” she said.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.