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Author Topic: Confusion about PayPal  (Read 816 times)

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Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Confusion about PayPal
« on: January 17, 2011, 08:39:42 PM »
Okay, I just took down every item in my ArtFire page because apparently no one uses 'check or money order' any more.  At least, I'm assuming that's why I had over 100 hits on one item and not a single nibble of interest.  Unfortunately, it looks like in order to sell anything at all online, I'm going to have to get involved with PayPal - and frankly, I've heard so much conflicting information that I'm far from comfortable doing that.  For one thing, I've heard horror stories about people's bank accounts getting drained, gripe-fests about getting the money from bits and bytes into coins and bills, and so forth.

I would like to know anything anyone can tell me to shed light on the truth behind the rumors, and whether I can do anything to use it productively with minimal risk.

Offline Kaelhiar

Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 12:43:53 AM »
Well, speaking for myself, I've used it a few times. Never had problems. I've had people send me money, I'd transfer it to my bank account, withdraw it and have no problems. I've even used it to buy a couple of things. So... uhm... myself personally? Had no issue.

Offline sleepingferret

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Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 01:13:56 AM »
Use of Paypal is basically using your head.  If you stick the same rules you would when using your credit card, writing a check, or even using Western Union to wire someone cash; then you can probably bet you'll be safe.  You do something silly, and just like sending money via Western Union to someone you don't know...guess what, you'll never see that money again (and like WU says, it isn't their problem).  Paypal has better security rules and protections than WU for such things, for example for physical goods and trading on Ebay for example (some person doesn't send you your item; but you paid him/her...you can get your money back).

But again general safety wise, decent passwords, not sharing accounts (not using the same password as your e-mail account), etc etc; will keep you and your money safe.  And will allow you to use Paypal as an easy way to handle a lot of your online payment needs.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 01:36:39 AM »
I'm more interested in using it as a way to get money in, then get it into a regular bank account.  I can already use a regular credit/debit card for paying out to places online.  I just have a number of handicrafts that I'd like to make a bit of cash off of and the Internet gives me more views than the local merchandise pin-board at the grocery store.

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Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 01:56:15 AM »
       Have used it for quite a while and never had a serious problem with it.  I haven't had to resolve anything particularly unusual, but it does give you reference numbers for everything and controls for any recurring payments...  Although you may need to dig a bit, to find them in menus at first.

       I heard once they take a certain small percentage off transactions, but I'm not sure of the details (I think sellers usually figure this in themselves).  I believe it's worse if you want to actually cash out because there's another fee for that.  Loads of merchants use it, so I don't think finding something to switch the income into would be a huge problem.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 03:28:04 AM »
I get more than a hundred Paypal transactions for every check/money order... So yes. You pretty much have to have an online payment option or else you are forgoing 99% of your business.

Google Checkout and Amazon Payments work as well, with roughly the same fees.

My personal rules regarding my Paypal account are

1) My e-mail passwords and my Paypal password are completely different. Not just changing around letters and numbers, I actually use different password schemes for my mail accounts. Recently I've also taken up Password Safe, but there are a number of password keeping utilities you can use.

2) Never, ever click a link to Paypal in an e-mail. These are often composed of very involved phishing scams.

3) Always use a browser that supports EV certificates when using Paypal. These include IE 8, Firefox 3, Chrome/Safari 5, Opera 10-11, etc. Any modern browser. Double check that you are actually at their page and using ssl (https) before ever logging in.

4) Only use Paypal from machines that you and only you have access to, and keep your machines clean.

5) This same policy applies no matter your payment processor. Google Checkout or Amazon Payments - keep the same level of paranoia.



As far as doing good by Paypal, you can set it up so that you have to actually accept the money manually, so that you have time to research your prospective client for fraud. They should be pretty up front about who they are without dealing in funny business.

They're not without horror stories, although the occasional horror story author does not have clean hands, either. I certainly would prefer a better option, myself, but if you're both taking and spending money through them they'll consider you a very valued customer and treat you accordingly.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 03:28:41 AM »
I'm more interested in using it as a way to get money in, then get it into a regular bank account.  I can already use a regular credit/debit card for paying out to places online.  I just have a number of handicrafts that I'd like to make a bit of cash off of and the Internet gives me more views than the local merchandise pin-board at the grocery store.

Are you familiar with Etsy? : )

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 06:48:18 AM »
Actually, I've got an account set up at ArtFire (not listing it here, because it's got my real name and location tied to it), and it was getting plenty of views.  I just need to update it to accept online payment options.  Since I can't really afford to have anything go wrong with my bank account right now, you can see why the stories of catastrophes have me proceeding with caution.

Offline Serephino

Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 07:28:20 PM »
My boyfriend had horrible luck with them.  He set up an account to sell some stuff on ebay.  Our bank account did get emptied.  We got things straightened out with the help of Pay Pal and our bank, but it was awful.

They really aren't that secure.  At any given time my boyfriend has an average of 5 Pay Pal accounts in his name (none of them his) and some tied to his or my credit cards.  They used to be helpful and closed them and what not, but this last time I wanted to mass murder them. 

There was a whole shit load of charges made, and they came from Virginia.  We live in Pennsylvania.  They dragged their feet on the investigation until it was too late to go through the bank to get our money back.  Then they accused us of driving all the way to Virginia and setting up a mailbox down there so we could claim fraud and get free stuff.

I don't know, maybe he just got bad service reps, but it still pissed us off.  It could also be that my boyfriend had his identity stolen shortly after he moved in with me, so he's an easy target.  It's just scary how easy is seems to be for thieves to open up an account under his name.

I have purchased things through Pay Pal without any trouble.  Of course I don't make an account...  My piece of advice would be to tie your account to a prepaid card.  That's what we started doing when we deal with them at all.  That way, if it gets stolen, all the thieves can take is what is on the card.   


Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 08:23:57 PM »
Currently, the plan (which is being formed as I read these responses) is to open a completely separate bank account with about $100 in it - just enough to keep the account open.  The PayPal would be tied to that account, and anytime it got over $200, I'd probably transfer money out into our regular account.

Offline Kaelhiar

Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 10:36:19 PM »
Oniya, that sounds like a wise idea. That way the chances of you being, er, robbed are slim to none.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 03:25:56 PM »
Okay, I talked to my bank today, and they confirmed that I could open an account with that minimal $100, not get any checks for it, maybe not even get a debit card for it (I have to check and see if I need that for the PayPal connection part of it), and there won't be any fees.  The bank employee actually said I could go as low as $50 for opening it, but that 'they' preferred $100.  I suspect 'they' means the higher-ups, or maybe federal stuff. (God, I love living in a small town - it's like Cheers everywhere you go!)

Offline Vekseid

Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 05:34:28 AM »
Currently, the plan (which is being formed as I read these responses) is to open a completely separate bank account with about $100 in it - just enough to keep the account open.  The PayPal would be tied to that account, and anytime it got over $200, I'd probably transfer money out into our regular account.

That's often the safest route. Don't hand the account number to anyone but Paypal. I also think you can

Suppose I should clarify, your password for your Paypal e-mail, and your password for your Paypal account, should both be different, and be completely separate from any other password you use, anywhere. Doing otherwise is asking to get cleaned out.

I never log into my Paypal e-mails outside of a machine I have complete and utter control over.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 08:00:20 AM »
My work requires me to regularly change a fairly strong password (at least two digits, at least one cap, at least one special character, can't be something the server recognizes as English), with a fairly long 'can't use it again' period.  I've gotten pretty good at coming up with new ones.

Offline Kaelhiar

Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 02:57:17 PM »
You would not need a debit card. All you'd need to link PayPal to your account is the routing number and account number. Then PayPal would "deposit" a few cents on two separate occasions. Once it has arrived in your bank account, you'd need then go to PayPal with that information and type in the verification of the amounts. Once that's done, PayPal would consider that verified and linked.

At least, that's what I had to do when I opened one a few years ago. :)

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2011, 03:28:51 PM »
Good to know.  Everything will be set for NestFeatherings to go back into business after tax time!  :D

Offline AtlasEros

Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2011, 08:14:41 PM »
I use paypal regularly and have for nearly 10 years.  I own a business that has a large online component.  One big difference between you using paypal or money order is if I was to buy something from you with paypal, paypal would charge you a fee.  On the other hand, the customer has to pay with a money order.  Checks are really sketchy.  I think paypal is way safer than taking a check.  If you do use paypal, you want to make sure you have delivery confirmation or tracking on all packages you ship or the person who recieves it can simply claim it didn't show up and get a full refund.  That's the major thing you have to worry about.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2011, 08:39:37 PM »
If you do use paypal, you want to make sure you have delivery confirmation or tracking on all packages you ship or the person who recieves it can simply claim it didn't show up and get a full refund.  That's the major thing you have to worry about.

Excellent advice.  The more thought I put into this, strangely enough, the more confident I feel about it.

Offline AtlasEros

Re: Confusion about PayPal
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2011, 08:49:23 PM »
Excellent advice.  The more thought I put into this, strangely enough, the more confident I feel about it.
Glad to be of help.  You'll be fine with it though, it does make getting paid easy.  It is really quick too.