Selling/Buying and Using PayPal

Buying and selling is made easier and safer for everyone when we use PayPal for the monetary transaction. However not everyone is aware of some of the PayPal limitations.

Basically there are two methods, one designed to protect buyers and sellers and one for transferring money between friends and family. There are two big differences.

The method called “Pay for goods or services” has a fee associated with it. PayPal deducts 2.9% plus $0.30 from the money sent to the seller. That is similar to the fee a credit card company charges a seller when they accept credit cards as a payment method. It is a fair fee, a part of doing business.

Then there is the method called “Send to friends and family”. There are two sub-sections, one for the USA and the other for International. The friends and family method is free to both sender and recipient. Some buyers and sellers use this method for their payment for goods as a way of avoiding the PayPal fee. This is not a good idea.

Use of the friends and family transfer method eliminates the PayPal buyer protection. If the seller does not fulfill the purchase PayPal will not arbitrate a friends and family transfer. The buyer is completely on their own and at the mercy of the seller.

Paypal buyer protection also has some limits even when the “Pay for goods and services” method is used. PayPal buyer protection does not cover electronic purchases. For example they will not cover the buying and selling of plans or drawings sent by email attached file. They will only cover actual physical shipment of goods. There needs to be a tracking number that shows the product was shipped and delivered. A personal, face to face transaction is not covered as there is no shipping and no possibility of tracking. They don’t cover motor vehicles.

There are other rules and limits as well. We, as users of payPal should probably actually read the user agreements or at the very least read the FAQ’s.

As buyers I believe we owe it to prospective buyers to provide a fair after the purchase comment in the thread where the transaction originated. If the transaction went well leave a positive comment. If you have problems but the problem was resolved a favorable comment regarding customer service would be appropriate. Also appropriate would be a fair comment describing how the seller failed to fulfill their obligation.

A negative comment is not to be taken lightly, and should be a last resort after the seller and buyer have reached an impasse. However, I feel it is not fair to prospective future buyers when nothing critical is mentioned at all.

Thanks for the very useful reminders! Sticky’d.

Whenever I have paid someone using friends and family, I pay the fee Paypal charges.

Thanks and very clear!

So how does the tracking work exactly? And who pays for shipping? Once you make a deal with someone here and they pay you, do you just take the item to the UPS or postal office and have it sent from there with tracking? Will they give you a receipt or proof that you brought and sent the package? What happens if you sent the package, but for some reason it never reaches (stolen/lost) the person who bought it?

Tracking the shipment… the carrier (USPS, UPS, FedEx….) issues a number when the package is shipped. That # and the carriers website lets you follow the points along the delivery route. The tracking number shows that something has been shipped, no telling what for certain. If someone is a crook they can ship a brick.

Who pays for shipping?…. the buyer and seller make a deal on that. Usually it would be the buyer unless the shipper states shipping included. Some sellers, like kiriba-ru, list the shipping by weight in the sales thread.

If the package goes missing… was it insured? A tracking number does not necessarily mean there was insurance. I myself can not ever recall a package going astray and disappearing when it had a tracking number, though. A couple of packages took their sweet time with a very circuitous path before arriving here. I once followed a package via USPS and the PO info showed it had been delivered. I never got it that day. Two days later it suddenly appeared in my mailbox. No idea for sure what happened, but I suspect the mail delivery person placed the envelope in the wrong mailbox and it took a day to get corrected. It is one of those clusterboxes the mailman loads from the rear. It could have disappeared into thin air and that would have been a loss that Paypal could not really help with as tracking indicated delivery had been made. I’m not sure how insurance would have worked in that case; I don’t usually pay for insurance, though some types of tracked shipping covers certain minimum values.

When you receive a package be sure to photo document if the goods are not as advertised, damaged, whatever. Then follow the Paypal dispute protocol. Understand the rules before buying / selling.

I buy a lot of merchandise with shipping from all over and have had very few problems in years.

MtnDon wrote:

I just paid $0.93 for 10 x 12mm x 1mm Neodymium magnets, free shipping. I don’t see how the seller making any money.

True. Lots of sellers are biting their profit because of PayPal and also eBay too.

overall fees and time are the reason why I stopped selling on ebay entirely. There is still some way to make money if you sell elsewhere and just accept pp. I have also seen markets where there is a paypal card (physical card) which I didn’t manage to get yet.
Unless the item is really expensive or sells quickly, I wouldn’t go to ebay any longer. for anything less than… say… 30-40 dollars my time has a value higher than the few dollars I make.

Unfortunately, I’d have to say that flashlights are not an easy sell on auction platforms - at least not for me.