to receive payments online. Good idea? Any views or advice?

I’m setting up a small online business. I need some way for my paying customers to make credit card payments to via my website. Someone has recommended as the simplest way to facilitate this. Anyone tried this? Anyone out there running a business and using Paypal to accept payments? Good idea, bad idea? Hidden catches?

Any and all feedback welcome.


My only contact with PayPal is that I used it once to pay for something and it worked. Bearing that in mind, and understanding that you should seek other opinions, you may be interested in this recent negative article about PayPal.

“Losing faith in PayPal: Aggressive anti-fraud tactics at the first widely used online payment company are spurring a consumer backlash.”

What about CCBill and others like them?

I have used paypal to both buy and sell goods on ebay. I like it as it simplifies things for me. That said, there is probally a very limitted number of people with paypal and most will not be willing to sign up to pay for an item. Also, I think they now collect fees if you receive over a certain amount.

The amount is $100 a month. But the fees are REALLY small.
I’ve used it a lot for Ebay and my son is repaying his loan by sending me $$ using it. That’s quite a trip, too, as he is on a little island in the Navy.
Go have a look at their website. I found it really easy to use, and got answers to all my questions.

I use paypal a lot, for both sending money and receiving it. There is a cost for receiving credit-card payments, but then that’s to be expected.

I find it very easy to use now… but getting it set up was sort of a drag, and it seems like newbies are daunted at first, too. But once they get through the process, it’s easy.

I must get 4 offers a week from people offering to help me become credit-card compatible (I assume they’re getting my name from ebay, because my websites don’t sell anything…though they probably don’t even read them to realize they’re non-commercial). I’ve never checked out any of these offers/companies.

I have not had any problems with Paypal, but I am only an occasional seller. I know some people have had a lot of problems, but they are in the minority.

You could also check out Billpoint. It was originally only for eBay payments, but now you can accept payments for other things and they accept Discover Card which Paypal does not.

It depends on how small your business is. As others have pointed out, to use Paypal all of your customers would have to join Paypal. Some people won’t want to do this, and it could cost you some sales.

I don’t think it’s that difficult to set up to accept credit cards.

One resource for information is the government’s Small Business Administration:

The information you need may be on their site. You can also e-mail them with questions.

You can also look at the Master Card site:

Arguably, one of the most important reasons to use a credit card for a transaction is that it gives you the ability to initiate a “chargeback” if the merchant takes advantage of you.

IIRC, paypal makes the customer waive this right.

Thus, I, as a consumer, would never consider using paypal.

Have you investigated setting up a Visa or Mastercard merchant account? If you look around, it might not be as expensive as you think.

Good luck!

For my fee for moving this thread to the proper forum, I prefer a personal check.

Off to IMHO.

You don’t wave that right, you just agree to try thier conflict resolution first, and if you do a chargeback withiout it, all that happens is your account gets closed.

Over the last year, I have received over a hundred payments with PayPal without any problems. All of my customers are from eBay auctions, and many of them are already registered with PayPal. PayPal payments account for about half of my customers, and it seems to work easily for both buyer and seller. With 5.5 million registered users, there are bound to be some complaints, but the vast majority are completed trouble free.

For getting payments, yes they are okay. Be sure to check your acct there to see if the acct actually got the funds sent.

paypal may send you can email saying someone paid you but those emails are easy to fake. sigh, so visit the site & make sure the history records it. Also, don’t leave too much money in your paypal account because it can take a long time to straighten things out if you find something ‘missing’.

I just recently signed up for PayPal and I’ve used it to pay for auctions probably ten times or so. I personally love it. The only criticism I’ve seen was one eBay seller who went into a big explanation in the item description about how PayPal is a ripoff, but he/she never went into detail about why they thought that.

I’ve only used Paypal once, when I found the perfect Christmas gift for my brother at an ebay auction and couldn’t get a check there and the package back before Christmas (I got it December 23 as it was). Considering that it’s going to cut me off at some dollar amount ($250.00? I think) because I am not giving them my checking account information, I don’t expect I’ll be using it very often.

[rant] [soapbox]
I’m currently boycotting Paypal, over their failure to take action against a customer using PayPal to collect money from sign-ups to his spamvertised website, which is in itself a scam. I am not the only one who reported this user to Paypal, giving detailed documentation of the immoral activities of the user, but as of just now, they are still collecting money for him, even though the guy is ripping people off. This is disgraceful and unacceptable, and I informed Paypal that I would no longer do business with a company that is making money out of a scam artist. They are condoning the users actions by not withdrawing their service from him.
For those with enquiring minds, the spamervertised site is a genealogy site, that promises access to their database of links and their search engine for a low monthly fee, but in many cases, people who have paid for access are not being given their user name and password, therefore they are getting nothing for their money. Those who do get access are no better off - once they get in they discover that the website is nothing more than a collection of links to other people’s work that they could find free of charge using a search engine. The people who maintain these external pages do not authorise the spammers to link to them, and recieve no payment. The search engine is a pay-per-use search engine belonging to yet another company, and the spammers have circumvented the security on that other site to let their own customers use the service without paying any money to the owners of the service. They have been kicked off three different webhosts within a fortnight because of their activities, but Paypal continues to take money for them.
[/rant] [/soapbox]
Sorry for venting. I’m angry at this situation, and I get a little carried away. :slight_smile:

I buy a lot of stuff at eBay- seeing the Paypal logo will make me more likely to bid. Money Orders are a pain in the ass. Paypal=good.

paypal says on their site that they make money by holding money for a week or two & gathering interest on it.

Thus, when someone ripped me off, I told them within two days & those were bank holidays. I knew they could refuse to pay this person (there were dozens of other users who also got scammed) because of that hold that they have. So I told them not to pay that person. I don’t know if they did or not but they did not give me back my money yet & its been two months.

They said you have to ask first. So I did, ebay said they won’t refund because paypal uses credit cards & I would have to dispute it with my credit card company but I had kept money in my paypal acct (they encourage this, saying they would pay 5.5% interest on it) so my card was not charged, thus, I can’t dispute it with the bank. So far this thing still isn’t settled. But knowing paypal has a hold on the funds, they could have refunded it right away.

There are other payment sites you can use.

I have used PayPal without any problems on many occasions for EBay purchases and to send money to friends and family. I have it set up to either use a credit card or take it out of my checking accout. I usually use my checking account so I won’t have to pay the interest.

I too look to see if the seller accepts Paypal when deciding to bid on an item. It’s a lot easier than a money order, no fooling with envelopes and such and it is easy to verify if a payment has been received.

I don’t know where you saw this, but as a frequent recipient of PayPal payments, I transfer them immediately on payment, and they show up in my checking account within three days. They might make a little off of other people who leave money in their accounts, but not me. Most of their income now results from fees charged to their business and premier accounts, which are 2.2% + $.30 per transaction.