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Paypal = good or bad?

What is everyone's view of Paypal?

I was thinking of selling software from a website and Paypal ( http://www.paypal.com ) seemed a good way of accepting payment. Paypal take most credit cards and they validate the recipient's address. I live in the UK, the goods would be sent by registered post and the value might be US$50 per transaction. I liked the idea of Paypal as it's diifficult for sole traders to become visa merchants etc.

Then I googled to check the consensus on Paypal and found http://www.paypalsucks.com - full of gruesome stories.

Are Paypal basically OK? Has anyone else had good/bad experiences? Any comments welcome.

To_Paypal_Or_Not_To_Paypal
Saturday, May 31, 2003

I have not had a problem with PayPal.  I use it for buying MMORPG stuff.  I think the problem with paypal is that it is a huge target.  I have recieved a lot of e-mail scams which use them, but Paypal normally warns you about the scam and You really would have to be stupid to believe some of the stuff people send you.

Another opinion bites the dust.

Patience
Saturday, May 31, 2003

I agree you would have to be a bit dopey to fall victim to the Paypal email scams (I mean the scams where you have to type your credit card details and password into a fake Paypal website).

I'm more concerned that on the paypalsucks site there were postings from sellers that had a good history, then had their accounts frozen because of a single customer paying with a stolen credit card. Also stories of people being left on hold for 20 minutes when phoning to fix the problem.

By the way what is MMORPG?

To_Paypal_Or_Not_To_Paypal
Saturday, May 31, 2003

http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=216

A "massively multiplayerly onlinely roleplayingly game"

Philo

Philo
Saturday, May 31, 2003

Yup, I literally buy pixels on the screen.  That's ok because then I can advance in level faster and become Uber!

Patience
Saturday, May 31, 2003

If your customer doesn't have an account with PayPal before attempting to buy from you then this will lead to a temporary dead end. Why? Because it's not enough to simply fill in your name, address and credit card information. Once those are sumbitted, PayPal issues you an automatic Member Number which only becomes available to you in your next credit card statement. This could be almost a month away. (Residents of countries outside the USA may not always be able to check credit card statements online.) And until you come back to PayPal and confirm your Member Number with them you won't be able to make any purchases through PayPal. Which means the website that you wanted to support will have to wait, not minutes, not hours -- not even days but possibly weeks.

Chi Lambda
Saturday, May 31, 2003

PayPal was bought up by EBay, and a lot of the things people hated about it subsided.

My GF's store uses it for handling credit card transactions as well as payment from other PayPal accounts. She's got no complaints.

Tim Sullivan
Saturday, May 31, 2003

Some people like paypal, others hate it. Like it or not, it's the lowest common denominator - everyone has an account.

If you do a little research you can find out why people don't like paypal... I think it's mostly people conducting business via paypal who've had their accounts closed for no known reason and can't get their money out.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, May 31, 2003

Ive used paypal for about 3 years and never had any major problems.
It _does_ tend to polarise people though so Id suggest you provide more than 1 method of payment...
esselerate is another verra good method :)

FullNameRequired
Saturday, May 31, 2003

Wow, talk about instant gratification from Joel's forum :)

It seems on the minus side we have:

1. Non-paypal registered customers have to go through the procedure of waiting for some magic number to appear on their credit card statement, as Chi Lambda said. I recall having to do this the first time I used paypal, and it was a pain and the only reason I persisted was I wanted the goods. I can well understand this would put people off.

2. Sellers are at risk of being frozen for some time if chargebacks occur. Paypal's chargeback protection does not apply in the UK (thanks guys).

3. Phone support seems pretty slow.

On the plus side we have:

1. It's the easiest (only?) way for self employed businesses to accept credit cards.

And that's about it. What it wants is some kind of online merchant service that charges the seller (say) 1% extra as insurance against chargebacks. I guess Paypal is the closest there is.

To_Paypal_Or_Not_To_Paypal
Saturday, May 31, 2003

So do you still have to pay a monthly fee even when you don't have any transactions? That was the reason why I cancelled my first PayPal account and why I've avoided PayPal ever since. It's been over a year ago, though, so things might have changed.

Chris Nahr
Saturday, May 31, 2003

the one reccomendation i've seen is to keep no money in your paypal account. that way if they freeze it for no apparent reason, you've only lost a small amount.

some people use it as a deregulated bank, but i'd be quite wary.

similarly, you might want to tie it to a bank account which is just used for paypal/other risky transactions.

mb
Saturday, May 31, 2003

Hi Chris

No I don't think there is a monthly fee in the USA or outside the USA even. They make money charging sellers about 3% commission when you transfer paypal money to a real bank account. And it will be about 5% to a non-US bank account because of currency conversion fees, cross-border fees and forex spread. But the fees are charged only when you transfer the money.

To_Paypal_Or_Not_To_Paypal
Saturday, May 31, 2003

I'm not sure that PayPal is the easiest way to accept credit cards (it certainly isn't for your customers) and I'm pretty sure it's not the only way. 

Do a search for "payment processing" on Google and you'll get a ton of results.  There are services available that vary from hosted order forms to XML/SSL backends.  It tends to be very easy to get up and running with your own processing system (particularly if you use a hosted form and let the host do all the work).  Some let you piggyback off their merchant account so you don't have to go through any hassle with setting one up and with hosted forms there's no need for you to get your own SSL certificate.

SomeBody
Saturday, May 31, 2003

There are alternatives to paypal. I didn't do much searching, but the one that made itself obvious to me costed $50 to set up.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, May 31, 2003

I use paypal every day and although I don't care to go into specific reasons why, I can assure you, I've checked around and they are your best bet.

Kent Design4Effect
Saturday, May 31, 2003

I can't figure out why nobody has specifically mentioned some of the alternatives to PayPal, all of which allow you to accept credit card purchases without the cumbersome step of requiring the purchaser to set up a separate account. 

I've purchased quite a bit of software from web sites processed through one or another of these systems.  I think I've used PayPal once; PayPal is definitely not your only alternative. 

I'm not knocking PayPal, other than to suggest that it might be wise to allow payment via a method that doesn't require your purchaser to set up that separate account.  Also, look around at various sites that sell software online; many of them set up accounts with both PayPal and one of the sites like those I've listed below, then allow the customer to choose with 3rd party transaction processer to use. 

Here are three:

www.shareit.com
www.swreg.com
www.digibuy.com

Herbert Sitz
Saturday, May 31, 2003

See also, http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Software/Licensing/Shareware_Registration/Services/

Herbert Sitz
Saturday, May 31, 2003

Here's another directory link at Google that lists some good alternatives:

http://directory.google.com/Top/Business/Financial_Services/Merchant_Services/

SomeBody
Saturday, May 31, 2003

He's already been to Paypal Sucks.com so He must know about this list:

http://www.paypalsucks.com/options.shtml

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, June 01, 2003

Hi

First time I've been referred to as "He" with a capital :)

I'm embarrassed to say I didn't see that list on paypalsucks.com. Some of the alternatives charge higher commissions, eg the usual commission for the shareware-type services is 10%, whereas paypal is about 5% even for international transactions.

The biggest problem with Paypal is the delay for a first-time user. Either they have to wait for their monthly credit card statement, or they need on-line access to their details.

To_paypal_or_not_to_paypal (aka Bill Rayer)
Sunday, June 01, 2003

I plan to set something like this up soon and the solution I plan to use is PayPal + SWReg.  You're right that most of the shareware services charge absurdly high fees. SWReg charges a reasonable $1 + 4%, more than PayPal but not so much that I'd feel bad if a potential customer chose to use them over registering with PayPal.  You don't want to lose sales over lack of PayPal registration, and SWReg provides a good way to ensure you don't.

Herbert Sitz
Sunday, June 01, 2003

I was in your situation as well, I usually do intense research before folking out my credit card. I came across these site, that happens to be paypal grievience sites

http://www.paypalwarning.com/

http://www.paypalwarning.com/WallOfShame/Default.asp

http://www.aboutpaypal.org/

http://news.com.com/2100-1017-842240.html

http://www.techimo.com/newsapp/i997.html

There is much more info at

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/paypal.html

Nader
Sunday, June 01, 2003

If you really don't want to just become a credit card-accepting merchant, consider being an Amazon merchant. Anybody can sell stuff on Amazon and buyers feel much more confident buying from their site.

Joel Spolsky
Sunday, June 01, 2003

I have been using SWReg for a year now with no problems, they accept paypal on my behalf and a number of other options such as paying by cheque and of course credit card. Just accepting PayPal will reduce the amount of orders you get.

Tony E
Monday, June 02, 2003

Two points of clarification:

1) There are not and have never been set up or monthly fees.

2) Only a small percentage of credit cards need go through the Membership Number process before being able to be used.

pb
Monday, June 02, 2003

Hey Philo your a goon too ?

Application Specialist
Monday, June 02, 2003

Evening all & thanks for the feedback.

Some thoughts:

Herbert Stitz - SWREG looks better and may be the answer. If I offered SWREG as well as paypal, this should help the people who don't want to wait a month for pp verification, like you said. I think SWREG charge $20 p/m though - I still have to read their site properly.

Joel - Amazon Marketplace charge 15% + $1 per sale, which is 17% on a 50$ product. Up to 10% commission makes me grumble a bit, but over 10% seems greedy. It took me a billion years to write my product - do I have to give away 17% just to sell it?

pb - "Only a small percentage of credit cards need go through the Membership Number process before being able to be used.". Is this true? I thought paypal verified every new credit card, with the attendant delay of up to a month. If this is true, problem solved because people just type in details using the paypal site then they're straight back to my wondersite.

Application specialist - what is a goon (in the context of "Hey Philo your a goon too ?")

Thanks everyone.

Bill Rayer (paypal wannabe)
Monday, June 02, 2003

Nearly 100% of US users and the vast majority of non-US users can use their credit card immediately in PayPal.

pb
Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I've used PayPal since shortly after they first started and never had a problem.

When I first saw some of the Anti-PayPal websites I was a little shocked, but, you have to put things in perspective -- every business, from the biggest megacorporation down to the smallest mom and pop store, has some unhappy customers.  Sometimes mistakes are made, sometimes employees screw up, sometimes shit happens, and some people are never happy no matter what. 

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not trying to defend PayPal or say that they've never done anything wrong -- but all of these PayPal "horror stories" combined only add up to a tiny fraction of one percent of PayPal's customers.

And, I'm a little suspicious of these people who claim that their accounts were closed "for no reason".  Since PayPal's main source of revenue is fees on transactions, it makes no sense for PayPal to get rid of a paying customer for no reason.

Heywood Jablowme
Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I have gone back to using Ebay, because of Paypay.

I have no time, or interest in waiting for somebodies check to clear. It is not my problem their babysitting money didn't come through. When the auction is done, unless there is a genuine problem, I have clear, collected, no-nonesense, real, spendable, good old American e-cash, and THEN I ship.
80% of my gripes, concerns, fears and irritations over online auctions are gone.

My stuff now says, PayPal only, if you don't like that, then don't bid!!

I am convinced only the flakes and scammers refuse to bid.
 

John Mulligan
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Post to www.PayPalsucks.com


I submited this story not because I want $100. I just want to warn people who are and will be using PayPal as their payment processor for their business or personal.

That was terrible! PayPal is not safe, helpful and specially, PayPal does not respect their members' finance.

The customers bought a product, then they file a complaint. PayPal did not know what's right and wrong. They took money out of my account even I gave the tracking/shipping number and explained about that.

When our balances is $0.00, PayPal automatically control over and take money out of my credit card and checking account without a permission or respect.

And now I was a buyer. I bought a thing but did not receive the product from them. I don't know what happened between PayPal and The seller (this is a well-known company), PayPal closed my complaint and did not refund. It showed the complaint already solved but I still don't know the details or what it's going on. Someone says PayPal has relationship with the company so, they continue using PayPal.

Ask yourself, do you want to join a service that does not respect you/ your finance? Do you feel safeful or peaceful when they have your credit card, bank account information and they can control over it at any time to take money out of your account with your permission. Do you want to join a service that you don't know what/how is it going on when something happens?

Kim
Monday, August 23, 2004

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