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Paypal Authorization only guaranteed for 48 hours

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  • Paypal Authorization only guaranteed for 48 hours

    Almost found out about this the hard way. We had a customer place an order on a Thursday. Due to inventory shortages, we weren't able to ship until Monday. The customer knew about this and was fine with the delay.

    On Monday, we tried to capture the funds from the Paypal transaction only to be met with an error message. I called PayPal and was told that the authorization was over 48 hours old and therefore could not be guaranteed. After further investigation, it turns out that the customer's bank was denying the reauthorization.

    Now, we've only been using Paypal for about 18 months. We handle transactions the same way that we do credit card transactions. In other words, we capture the funds once the order has shipped. After speaking with Paypal, we found out that apparently Paypal has no such regulations that prohibit the immediate capture of funds, prior to shipping.

    In this case however, we had already shipped about $600 worth of merchandise before realizing that we could not capture the funds. Our only options were to halt and redirect the shipment back (costing about $200 in unrecoverable shipping fees) or void the transaction and contact the customer for a new payment. Luckily the customer was very honest and worked with us to capture a new payment but it could have easily gone the other way.
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