Order Warnings

Now that your orders are rolling in you might notice they don’t all go as planned. Don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of the warnings you may see in your Orders page to help get a better understanding of what’s going on so you can make sure your customer gets their goods, and you get paid.

PayPal Standard

Still haven’t made the switch to our new checkout features yet? Here’s what you may see instead of a paid order status in your Dashboard with PayPal Standard transactions.

Pending Payment

When a payment is marked as pending in the Big Cartel admin, it could be a variety of issues. Whatever the reason, you’ll want to hold off on shipping anything until you see a paid status for that order.

The most common reason for a large amount of orders marked as pending in the admin is because you don’t have a verified Business or Premier PayPal account, or your email address isn’t confirmed with PayPal. You can take care of this quickly by logging into your PayPal account and checking these settings.

Sometimes we find that store owners will accidentally misspell their PayPal email when setting up their PayPal Standard checkout settings, and not realize it until they received a few of these pending orders. You can double-check this from your Big Cartel admin in Settings > Checkout > PayPal email.

If the customer chose to pay with an eCheck for their order, you might see that pending status while PayPal processes that eCheck. Just like a regular check, it usually takes between 3 and 5 business days for it to clear. Once it clears, the order will be updated and you’ll see that paid status in your admin letting you know it’s safe to send that order out. You can always login to your PayPal account to get some more details on the status of that eCheck.

Failed Payment

Hold up, don’t ship any items. It looks like there was a problem with the PayPal eCheck your customer used as payment. Get in touch with them and ask that they try another payment method before going any further with that shipment. It’s best to think of this as a bounced check - it’s just not going to clear so they’ll need to find another way to pay.

Invalid Payment

There’s a high chance this could be a result of fraud, so definitely do not ship any items at this point. This warning is because the amount charged for the order is not the amount the customer actually paid. This type of discrepancy is often referred to as a spoofed order. Spoofing can affect anyone using PayPal Standard, unfortunately, not just Big Cartel stores. To avoid it completely, you can switch over to our new checkout features. In the meantime, you may want to void any invalid orders and avoid shipping those items.

Or it’s possible your customer’s payment failed shortly after the order was placed - contact your customer and ask them to try the order again.

Shipping Discrepancy

This can happen if your customer selected a different shipping country on the Cart page than they did on your offsite PayPal checkout page.

It’s also possible this isn’t your customer’s fault and your PayPal shipping profile is getting in the way. You’ll want to double check your PayPal shipping calculations and make sure they aren’t overriding your Big Cartel shipping settings.

Ultimately, it’s up to you on how to handle this. If you can afford to eat the cost on your end and show some good faith, it might be worth it from a customer service perspective. Or, you can always refund the payment and ask the customer to try again. Be sure to remind them to choose the same shipping destination in your Big Cartel store as they do when entering their shipping details in your offsite PayPal checkout page.


If you’ve ditched the old PayPal Standard checkout you won’t see the same types of errors that pop-up from time to time, but if our system catches something that looks a bit off we’ll still let you know. Here’s what you may see instead of the paid status if you’ve enabled Stripe in your checkout settings.

Billing Zip Discrepancy

If your customer enters a different postal code for their shipping address than they do in their billing details section, you’ll see this billing zip discrepancy status instead of a paid status.

This on its own is not necessarily proof that fraud is taking place, but proceed with caution if anything else with the order seems suspicious.

Spotting Fraud

While only a small percentage of sales are actually fraudulent, you may have noticed that some of these issues are related to specific actions taken by your customer. Fraud is something all businesses need to protect against, but it’s especially important when running an online store. We have some common red flags, tips, and other information available in our Fraud field guide. It’s best to read up on this in advance, so you know what to look out for when an order seems fishy.