eglmods (eglmods) wrote in egl_comm_sales,
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PayPal FAQ

PayPal and the EGL Sales Community: A Brief FAQ


What is PayPal?
PayPal is a site that allows you to transfer money directly to another person over the internet. It is the most common method of payment on egl_comm_sales  since it is not subject to the high fees of wire transfers, the long waiting times (and sometimes fees) of bank transfers, and the high risk of concealed cash or money orders. In order to create a PayPal account, you need only a bank account (or credit card) and an e-mail address.

Does it cost anything to use PayPal?
While PayPal does not charge membership fees, it is still a business--and they remain solvent by charging a 2.9% fee on most transactions. This fee can be as high as 6% if seller and buyer live in different countries, use different currencies, or use credit cards to pay (among other things).

Who pays PayPal fees?
According to PayPal’s terms of service, it is the responsibility of the seller to cover the fees’ cost. You can be banned from PayPal for charging additional fees to those using PayPal as a payment method.

Can I charge PayPal fees so I don’t lose money?
While it can get you banned from PayPal for charging them, sales community moderators will not reject or delete your post for charging PayPal fees. That said, we strongly discourage users from charging PayPal fees and instead recommend that you raise your price slightly to cover the fees. If you are anxious to not lose money, we also recommend listing prices in your home currency rather than in USD, yen, or another common currency, as PayPal will charge a fee to convert your payment to your home currency.

That said, sales community rules mandate that you list all fees and charges up front. If you chose to charge a PayPal fee, you must clearly say so in your post. If you charge a buyer a higher price than initially stated because you added in PayPal fees, the buyer has the right to back out of the sale and leave you neutral feedback for the transaction. Additionally, you will receive an official warning.

A seller asked me to send a personal payment or a gift. What is that, and should I do it?
A personal payment or gift, depending on the amount, will either eliminate fees entirely, or pass the fees on to the buyer. Sales community moderators will not step in and intervene if a buyer chooses to pay using one of these methods; however, we highly advise against it unless you know the seller and their reputation well. Payment via personal payment or gift payment strips the buyer of PayPal’s Buyer Protection, and may make it impossible to receive a refund if the seller is untrustworthy.

I am a seller. How should my buyer send payment as a gift?
You must give your buyer your PayPal email as an address. They must then send a payment and select the "gift" option when doing so. Buyers cannot send payment for an invoice as a gift.

I am a shopping service/auction service/GO organizer. May I charge PayPal fees?
As stated up above, while we discourage the charging of PayPal fees as it is a bannable offense on PayPal, we understand that some situations necessitate the charging of fees and recognize that the decision to charge fees ultimately rests with the individual seller. Be sure to state the full extent of all fees in each post that you make, though, as charging buyers unexpectedly high prices can result in buyers backing out of a sale, neutral feedback, and official warnings from the moderation team.

What kind of protection can I get through PayPal if I am a buyer?
If you choose to pay through PayPal without sending payment as a gift, you are eligible for buyer protection. This means you can obtain a refund in the event that a seller does not send your item, or your item is significantly not as described.

Before going through PayPal’s Buyer Protection Program, we strongly recommend that you first attempt to contact the seller and give them a reasonable amount of time to respond. If the seller does not ship your items after a week, or they have sent an international package and it has taken more than ten days to arrive, then you probably shouldn’t file a dispute. If the seller doesn’t get back to your PMs, comments, or e-mails within ten days of a sale and has not shipped your items, then you probably have cause for a dispute for an item not received. If you receive an item with rips, stains, or other significant flaws (e.g bows missing, severe discoloration, etc) not mentioned in the sales post, you should contact the seller first to arrange either a partial refund, coverage of the costs of repairs or dry-cleaning, or the return of your item. If they do not respond within ten days, then you probably have cause for a dispute for an item significantly not as described.

You have 45 days to open a dispute, so in most cases it is not necessary to jump to conclusions. Again, we strongly urge you to contact the seller and give them at least ten days to respond to your query before filing a dispute. When you file your dispute, please include as much information as possible- the more detailed you are, the more likely PayPal is to rule in your favor. Filing a dispute freezes the funds related to the transaction, and notifies the seller that something is wrong. You and the seller will then have 20 days to work the dispute out, whatever form that may take (refund, return, etc).

If you are not satisfied with the seller’s resolution, or if the seller has not responded to your dispute, you may escalate to a PayPal claim. You have 20 days to do this. PayPal representatives will review your case, and may ask you or the seller for further information. The claim will end in either the buyer being refunded, or the seller retaining the buyer’s money.

What kind of protection do I have through PayPal if I am a seller?
While seller protection on PayPal is more limited, it does exist. Always ship via a tracked shipping method to a confirmed address, and enter the tracking information on PayPal. That way, a buyer cannot falsely file a dispute for an item not received in order to scam a seller.

In Short:
- Sellers, remember to state all fees upfront! Furthermore, do your best to stay in touch with your buyers- even if it's just to let them know that you'll be delayed in shipping their items.
- Buyers, be careful and cautious when buying online using PayPal- but don't jump to conclusions or prematurely open disputes or claims. You have plenty of time to do both, so there's no need to rush.
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  • 7 comments

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Anyone with a paypal business account will pay fees on incoming non personal transters(though as stated above the personal transfers could be no fee or have the sender pay the fee). On the bright side when a refund is issued before the dispute deadline, paypal fees are refunded as well.
It's not just business accounts, personal accounts pay fees on incoming non-personal transfers too.
I didn't want to say for personal accounts, as I've never had a personal account only a business account.
Alright ^^ Just thought it should be added.
Do you know if Paypal takes Visa gift cards? Oh, and how do you pay for items on places other than online stores and such? I suck at using things like this, haha.
You might be able to use a Visa gift card as a buyer for a one-time transaction without opening a paypal account, since it works exactly like a regular Visa until your money is gone.

You can't open an account and use that as your card, though. You'd get in trouble the first time they tried to charge it and the charges fell thru.

If you can't get a credit card due to credit problems, you can use a debit card. I do that, which is why I'm very careful to follow the Seller Protection Policy--I can't afford to have them take the money off my debit card or out of my bank account if something goes wrong.
I have run across people on the community thinking that they can invoice people and get the payment as a gift.

It's probably a good idea to put something in the FAQ to the effect that if you send an invoice, the buyer cannot make a personal gift payment. There's no such thing as a gift invoice, that would be like calling someone up on your birthday and demanding your present.

A buyer can of course ignore the invoice and send a personal/gift payment to the person who sent the invoice in order to avoid paypal fees, but I personally wouldn't accept it as a seller because I am then dependent on the buyer to give me an address and I have no idea if that is a confirmed address or not. And while the buyer can't go to Paypal if the item doesn't arrive after sending a 'gift', they can leave me negative feedback which imnsho is more damaging given that like ebay and etsy, egl is a rep-based community.

While Paypal is primarily interested in protecting buyers, Paypal also protects sellers when they send to confirmed addresses using a trackable, insured shipping service. (For purchases over $250 you must also require the buyer to sign.)

Paypal is also REALLY interested in protecting consumers against scams and has gone so far as to go after a local transit company that wouldn't give me a refund I'd asked for. I would never ask for Paypal fees because they WILL go after anyone that they think is scamming buyers. I have paid them because I understand why people ask for it, but if you want to do this and get away with it you're better off saying that it's a handling charge or convenience fee.

I personally offer free shipping to all US buyers and simply add the shipping and fees to the price I set. (I started doing that when eBay stopped allowing sellers to require buyers to purchase insurance but did not stop refunding payments for items that didn't arrive if they were uninsured, and because of one whiny buyer who complained about me because I won't ship media mail--I know the item is insured and will get there within a week, if I ship it my way, so I don't have to be afraid to spend my money.)

Math is hard but getting a new paypal account or your reputation back is harder.