Waiting for Paypal

Normally I don't sell to those with no feedback on Audiogon or eBay, but occasionally I make an exception. Once the paypal account shows that I have the money from the buyer, I request a check immediately. Is there a safe length of time to wait before I ship the item? Is it safe to ship once I receive the check from Paypal? My bank account is linked to Paypal. If there is a default later on, can Paypal pull the money back out of the bank account even if they sent me a check in the mail instead of direct deposit? What would you do? Thanks.
If your paypal account is linked to your checking account - watch out - they'll pull it as fast as they can if problems arise.

The "linking" is the very reason I don't do paypal, if someone gets hold of your paypal account and goes on a shopping spree - your out of luck - or at best without your $ for a long time till / if things get squared away.

Best of luck

Thanks, Peter, that's what I thought. Up to this point I have wanted a verified account so I didn't have credit limits, but was always worried about that part of it. So, I cancelled the bank account from Paypal. That way they can't pull the money back and tell me about it later, when it's too late. Oh well, it's really hard to safely transfer money and products unless you take a credit card.
I have a seperate bank account set up just for Paypal, as soon as the funds clear from Paypal into my Paypal account, I transfer them to another account. That way I can take Paypal, but still protect myself.
JMCGrogan has the right approcah. PayPal are pirates, I got burned on a Seiko watch and they did *nothing* to help. Use a separate, PayPal-specific account and xfer the money ASAP. Then ship the item. Do NOT trust their dispute resolution process, it is bogus and, essentially, worthless...

-RW- Not that I'm bitter...
Paypal not anybodys pal!!!
Yes, transfer the money immediately from PP to your bank acct. But that transfer takes 2 to 3 days before you see it in the bank.
I only have PayPal connected to myy credit card. Period.
Too many horror stores to take chances with them.
Usually I wait to ship until paypal posts to my account. Paypal cannot take money out of my money market even in the event that I am wrong since I set it up with my bank. I transfer the money from savings to money market then ship. I also tie a credit card to it. All someone has to do is to hack into your paypal account and add a couple of fake addresses then buy something and have it sent there (like a vacant lot) the post man will take it back to the local post office then the crook will try to pick it up. I had 1674 taken from my bank account (I did not have the time to transfer it into my money market) but my bank got the money back pretty quickly. I do feel sorry for the merchant that was out the money for the 2 items purchased by the crook. Paypal told me that they would prosecute the person once they traced them, but would not help me find out who they are so I could sue them due to privacy rights. Can you beleive that s--t! I guess they want their money so badly that they wouldn't even help out the merchant. Like Elizabeth, use your credit card company if using paypal. Also check out paypalsucks.com I know I'm sometimes controversial if I don't beleive that certain tweeks or upgrades work, but for everyone that IS honest, be careful!
Thanks. I had set up PayPal with my bank checking. I can set it up again and then delete the account once Paypal records the payment. Then have PayPal send me a check. I will have to ship it first. I've used U S Postal money order. But, my local PO only has so much $ on hand. Anyway, thanks for everyone's input.
A solution to the USPO money order cashing problem is to cash for what the teller will give in cash and BUY ANOTHER USPO money order for the rest.
Since YOU bought it you know it is good, and can just deposit to your own checking account.
(Banks take USPO money orders just like any check)
So for $1 or so you can cash the money order from the buyer and know immmediately it is good, and get part of it cash up front, then re-money order it as your own money order for your own bank.
I have done this and was perfectly happy with it.
Many financial institutions, including mine, have been burned by fake Postal money orders and put an inordinantly long hold on them. Basically if the MO comes back as fake after presented to the counter party, which can be weeks later, you are on the hook, as is the case with personal checks, certified checks, etc.

Your first suggest, presenting to the USPS, is best, since they can verify that the MO is legit and you walk out with your cash or new MO.
Thanks. Food for thought.
I too only link paypal to credit card, and the credit line is not big.
I deposited USPS money orders at Citibank many times and they were cleared immediately. The amounts were relatively small so I don't know what happens if you deposit a few thousands.
Quick transfers from one account to another may not be a bad idea but you can be late or something elase might happen. I wouldn't count on it 100 percent.
My understanding: often, not always, there is a difference between when funds become "available" and when you are not liable for returned checks. Payee banks must return out of state checks within 4-5 days of presentation, after which your bank will ding you for non-payment. Hence, it makes sense to wait a week, even though funds may be available more quickly.

Specific to USPS money orders, they are not subject to the same regulatory law regarding returns, and hence some institutions will hold you liable for longer. Specifically:

Section 229.42 Exclusions
States that the expeditious return, notice of nonpayment, and same-day settlement requirements do not apply to a check drawn on the U.S. Treasury, to a U.S. Postal Service money order, or to a check drawn on a state or a unit of general local government that is not payable through or at a bank.
How is it that several of you say you have Paypal linked only to your credit card, yet when I tried it they would not allow me to send money until I linked a checking account? Can anyone enlighten me on this?