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Paypal is definitely my pal!
Member Name: SusanLesley
Advantages: Easy to pay and recieve money to and from anywhere in the world
Disadvantages: Fees to pay!
In the beginning I just offered my items to the UK bidders only as I didn’t want to be bothered with foreign currency, but quite a few people asked if they could bid from overseas. Initially they paid by cheque but this was increasing the costs considerably as my bank charge £5 for converting a cheque back to pounds sterling, so clearly I was pricing myself out of the overseas market.
I had heard of Paypal and decided to investigate both this and some of the other automated payment sites.
I decided to go for Paypal for two reasons – firstly I read some of the opinions here on Dooyoo and it sounded good, and secondly that Ebay had just taken over Paypal and so logically it must be the ideal choice for proceeds of Ebay auctions.
I found it extremely easy to register with Paypal. They ask for the basic information of name, address, telephone number and your preferred currency. Obviously my preferred currency is pound sterling but the other options are Euros, US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, or Yen.
There are three account options to choose from – personal, business or international – here I chose international as I wanted to be able to receive payments from anywhere in the world where buyers could register with Paypal, which is pretty well anywhere incidentally.
I also had to supply details of the bank account to which I wanted any withdrawals to be credited. A word of caution here, do take care at this stage because Paypal will charge you £15 for a returned payment due to your details being incorrect!
I then had to set up the details of my credit card, or I could have used a debit card, which I would use to add funds to my Paypal account. This was irrelevant to me, as I was only intending to use Paypal as a receiving account at the time. To make sure that the card you have registered is valid a small amount is taken from that card, which was £1.28 when I registered, with the promise that this will be refunded to your Paypal account. In my case this was not done automatically, so I chased them about it and it was eventually refunded to me.
For security purposes you then need to complete the signing up process with two forms of identification.
The first is that you have to replicate some numbers shown on the screen, typing them in the box provided. This proves that you are an individual human being setting up the account, as opposed to a computer set up to sign in to accounts automatically with criminal intent.
The second thing to do is to type in a reference number, which will appear on your credit or debit card statement. This might mean a considerable wait for some people until the statement arrives, but it was quite easy for me as I can access my Goldfish account on line and I was able to see the information that I needed within a couple of days.
So there I was, all set up and ready to go!
The Site Itself
It is incredibly user friendly for a start. This is great for me as I was quite nervous about setting this account up. I had been happy to see cheques arrive in the post and be able to pay them into my bank account. I’m an old fashioned sort of girl at heart you see.
To be fair to Paypal, I was impressed straight away. The site is very clear and easy to understand. Navigation is simple and quick and it is easy to find my account details and history thereof.
Another thing I liked is that there are no adverts flashing away down the side of the screen and certainly no annoying pop ups!
The log in is easy being my e-mail address together with the password that I have chosen.
I am then presented with a home screen with simple tabs to click for my account, payments, receipts, history, paying out money, sending requests for money and Paypal shops.
When someone pays money into my Paypal account, Paypal send me an e-mail to notify me that these funds have arrived. This also gives me the registered address of the person paying so that I can then parcel up their goods ready to post.
Payments are made using the registered e-mail address of the person to whom you are making the payment. You can have up to eight different e-mail addresses linked to your account. This is ideal for me as I have two different EBay identities – one in the name of brave_rufus for my cottages and another in the name of Auburnsue for my bits and pieces, both of which have different e-mail addresses.
In fact, when I first set up my Paypal account, I hadn’t thought to add my Auburnsue e-mail address and someone actually used it to pay me some money via Paypal. I panicked for a moment and thought it must be ‘lost in the system’, but no, I just added my other e-mail address and there was my payment showing in my account exactly as it should.
I have also since set up further addresses which don’t actually exist to cater for people who forget the underscore between brave and rufus or who put a dash instead.
The Accounts and Costs
There are two types of accounts on Paypal.
One is a standard personal account through which you can send and receive cash payments. This costs nothing to administer apart from 25p administration fee for every withdrawal to your bank account of less than £50. So it makes sense to wait until you have a few payments in the account and withdraw the whole amount in one go – thus avoiding the administration charge!
I have actually set up a premier account, which means that people can pay me with their credit cards. The down side of this is that although the fees for withdrawals are the same there is also a handling fee charged on payments received of 20p plus 3.4% of the value of the payment. So, if you are then using this account to receive EBay money it’s worth adding a small amount onto the asking price so that you don’t end up out of pocket, although don’t show this as an additional charge as it is against EBay policy!
The fees are reduced if you receive more than £1,500 per month (I should be so lucky!) and are as follows:
If you receive between £0 and £1,500 per month the charges will remain the same, £1,500.01 to £6,000 will be 20p plus 2.9%, £6,000.01 to £15,000 will be 20p plus 2.7%, £15,000.01 to £55,000 will be 20p plus 2.4% and over £55,000.01 (yeah right!) will be 20p plus 1.9%.
All the information appears regarding payments and receipts is shown in your account on Paypal. The gross and net payments received are shown so that you can see what the charges are.
Payments that are made to me from other countries are usually made in pounds sterling, but I they could be paid to me in other currencies for the conversion to take place at my end of the transaction.
Coming back to withdrawals for a minute – if you withdraw money to a UK bank account the transaction will take between 5 and 7 working days and is free of charge if the amount is £50 or over. If the amount is less than £50 then an administration charge of 25p will be charged.
If you withdraw money to a US bank account the transaction will take between 3 and 4 working days and will be free of charge.
If you want to use your accrued funds to buy items from one of over 30,000 Paypal shops, you can do so straight away at no extra charge.
Paying and Requesting Payment with Paypal
I have used Paypal to pay for items which I have won on EBay and again it is so easy it’s untrue! I just have to click on the pay now button on the auction details and enter my Paypal password and that’s that!
I have also paid directly through Paypal by just clicking on the ‘send money’ tab, filling in the recipient’s e mail address and the details of the payment and off it goes.
Requesting payment via Paypal is also easy if you want to send someone a PayPal invoice for any reason. This time you just click on ‘request money’ and fill in the details in the same was as a payment.
Paypal as a Bank
Well as I have said it is easy to use, convenient and the information about my account is always there at the touch of a button. Obviously the commission costs are relatively high and I wouldn’t consider using Paypal for anything else other than my EBay payments.
The other thing is that there is no interest payable on my balance so I transfer the money as soon as the balance reaches £50 (a convenient round figure for my accounts!) to my bank account. It usually takes exactly 7 days from the date of request to the date it arrives in my bank account, although sometimes it’s quicker for some reason.
Well this has definitely dragged me into the 21st century! I have been very impressed with the efficiency of notifications of money received and the ease of administration of my account – which had to be good as I am an accountant by trade!
As I have just said I would only use Paypal as a transfer system to get the cash from my buyer to me, but for that it is excellent!
Another advantage is that I have put notes on most of my auction details offering same date posting of items paid for by Paypal and I have had some great feedback from people winning an auction one day and getting the goods the following morning!
Summary: Paypal is a quick and easy way to pay and receive EBay money.
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