What Does “Payment Processing” Mean On Etsy Orders?


If you’re an Etsy customer who got an email that says your payment is processing, or an Etsy seller who sees the “payment processing” notification on your orders, you might wonder what it means and how you should handle it.

“Payment Processing” on Etsy means that there’s been a delay in finalizing the payment for an order. This is usually because the bank or Etsy suspects a problem with the payment method, so they’re delaying the approval until they verify that the payment is legitimate. Payments are usually processed within 72 hours if there is a delay, but the payment could also be declined.

There are different situations that can affect payments, so keep reading to see what you should do if you get the notification that a payment on Etsy is processing.

What does payment processing mean on etsy

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What does “payment processing” mean on Etsy for the buyer?

If you receive an email from Etsy saying that your order is processing, it means that the payment hasn’t been verified, and the seller has been instructed not to send it until the payment goes through. Etsy sends emails to customers to alert them to this when it happens because it could cause a delay in getting the order in the mail.

When the payment does go through Etsy will let you know, and the seller will be able to send the order.

If the payment isn’t approved for some reason, Etsy should also let you know about that via email.

If a payment doesn’t go through, you can try a different payment method to place another order that might be processed faster.

To do that, you should contact the seller to have them cancel the first order, and you can reorder using a different payment method.

How long do Etsy payments take to process?

As a general rule, all Etsy transactions are processed quickly, almost immediately after the order is placed. If there’s a problem with the payment method, it might take up to 72 hours to completely process the payment. Some Etsy sellers report that they had orders that took up to a week to process completely, but that’s very unusual.

If your payment didn’t go through and Etsy has sent you an email saying that your payment is processing, you should wait for 24 hours before contacting the seller unless you want to try to use a different payment method that might go through faster.

As I mentioned above, you can ask the seller to cancel the first order and place another one using a different payment method.

However, chances are that you won’t have to do that, because most payments are only held up for a short time before they’re approved.

It’s likely that if you wait a little bit, the payment will go through and your order will be fine.

Every now and then, though, payments don’t get approved, and your order will be automatically canceled by Etsy.

Etsy sellers don’t have anything to do with this process, so we can’t answer questions for you, unfortunately. You’ll need to contact Etsy support directly to see why the order was canceled.

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Why did my Etsy order not go through?

If your Etsy order didn’t go through, it’s generally because the bank that processed the payment detected something wrong with the payment method. This can also happen if the card being used has a limit that’s under the total of the purchase price. The seller will not be able to give you the reason for the declined payment because Etsy handles all payments and doesn’t give sellers that information.

Sometimes the payment doesn’t go through and there’s nothing wrong with the payment method, so this does happen by mistake occasionally.

If you contact your bank you might be able to find out why the payment was declined, but most of the time there won’t be an answer.

I’ve had my credit card numbers stolen in the past, and my card company tends to be really quick to challenge charges.

Most of the time there’s nothing wrong with the transaction, but when I ask them about it they don’t tell me what triggered the hold.

It’s inconvenient, but I’d prefer that they cancel a real transaction than to let fake ones go through, so I look at it that way.

If your order on Etsy doesn’t go through, you can try a different payment method, or you can call your credit card company to let them know that you’re going to be buying something on Etsy.

If they know ahead of time that the charge is valid, it will probably go through with no problems.

I wrote another article that goes into a few more reasons why an order might not go through on Etsy. Read that here: Why Can’t I Check Out Or Purchase On Etsy?

I’d prefer that they cancel a real transaction than to let fake ones go through…

What does “payment processing” mean on Etsy for the seller?

If you’re an Etsy seller with an order that says “payment processing” or “not paid,” it means that there’s a delay in completing the transaction, and you need to wait to fill the order. When the payment is processed the message will disappear and you’ll be able to process the order as usual.

If the payment is processing, the money for the order has NOT been received officially by Etsy, so it’s not really an order yet, if you look at it that way.

If it takes longer than a day or two, you might get impatient and be tempted to send the order anyway.

Don’t do this, because the order can be canceled if the payment fails and you’ll lose out!

payment processing question on a facebook forum
Seller question about payment processing

Sometimes the customer will say that the order went through on their end, and ask you to send it.

Regardless of what the customer says, if the order is marked as not having been processed, you shouldn’t mail it yet.

Sometimes a customer will think that the order went through because it looks like the order was placed when they hit the “buy” button.

You can tell them that they should have received an email from Etsy explaining that the order is processing and let them know that you’ll send it when it clears.

note from etsy about not sending the order until payment is finished
Message from Etsy about a pending transaction.

Should I ship Etsy orders before the payment is processed?

If you have an order that says “payment processing” or any similar message nest to it in your orders, do not send it until the payment has cleared. Until the payment has been approved, there’s no way to know if it will be declined, and you might end up losing money if you ship a product without being paid for it.

Even though it may seem like it’s taking a long time, don’t mail the package!

Etsy will make a note on the order itself, and will also send you an email about the order processing and tell you not to send it yet.

I’ve had orders that said “payment processing” that totally disappeared from the orders, which means that the payment was declined and the order was canceled.

Mailing too soon can result in loss of income and product, so be patient and let the order either complete or cancel in its own time!

Etsy estimates that most orders will process within 72 hours, but some sellers have said that they had orders that were still processing after a week. At that point, I would just cancel the order because that seems like more of a banking glitch than anything else.

Make sure that you communicate with the customer about it, but if something is taking more than 72 hours, canceling might be the best thing to do to get the order out of the system.

You can also cancel sooner than that if the customer wants to reorder using a different payment method.

Canceling doesn’t hurt your shop, and sometimes it’s the most efficient way to take care of the situation.

Do NOT be tempted to take a payment off of Etsy, for example having the customer send you the money directly.

That’s considered fee avoidance, and it’s also risky as far as verifying the payment goes. If the payment is declined there’s a chance that the card is stolen, so let Etsy verify the payment and don’t risk it yourself!


Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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