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Regarding PayPal:

In the beginning there was eBay and they created BillPoint.  It worked, except then came PayPal.  PayPal worked so much better than BillPoint.....and eBay complained about them, fought with them, and eventually bought them. 

PayPal used to be free, and you could send unlimited amounts of 'cash' to anyone who had an email account.  Then they started putting limits on the "free" accounts, and are now down to $500 per month.  I believe it was an attempt to force everyone into upgrading their accounts.  I did not upgrade.  Why?  Because what they didn't tell you is this:  when you upgrade to receive that credit card payment, and are charged $.30 plus the 2.9% transaction fee, they take away forever, the ability to receive any payments without fee.  Fees will now be levied on every penny you receive, even those that were "free" before the upgrade. 

So what does that mean? Use PayPal for a transaction and see.


$1000 , recipient gets $970.70 , PayPal keeps $29.30 =2.93%
$100 , recipient gets $96.80 , PayPal keeps  $3.20 =3.20%
 $50 , recipient gets $48.25 , PayPal keeps $1.75 =3.50%
$10 , recipient gets $9.41 , PayPal keeps $.59 =5.90%
 $5 , recipient gets $4.55 , PayPal keeps $.45 = 9.00%
 $1 , recipient gets $.67 , PayPal keeps $.33 =33.00%





You can see how this method is fine for those selling high-priced items.  eBay will no longer allow a seller to say "Cash Payments" which are free.  Sellers cannot say, "PayPal accepted for purchases over $10."  Sellers who accept PayPal must accept all forms of PayPal payment.  The real sadness is, most buyers do send cash from their linked accounts, since that is PayPal's default.  With these transfers, fees are NOT paid to the credit card clearing house, they are retained by PayPal. This might be a good income generating tool for PayPal, but not good for the buyer or seller.    For those purchasing or selling items for $5ish, more than 18% goes to eBay and PayPal, often more than the profit the seller makes. 

If eBay forcing a seller to use this system does not violate anti-trust laws, it certainly does not "level the playing field," as they try to state in all their reasoning for their changes.  It appears to be an easy way to increase their income, without doing anything.  To make matters worse, when a seller pays eBay their "final value fee" it is based on the sale price, and s/h is excluded.  Many sellers use the s/h to cover the cost of handling the item; listing it, selling it, packing it, and it makes sense that the eBay fees are exempt from commission; why would you pay eBay a percentage of their own fees?  But use PayPal, and you pay them a commission on their commission....sound like a fair deal? 

So merchants (like me) who already have real "Merchant Accounts" (mine is through Bank of America) accept payments through a banking institution, governed by the Federal Reserve Act and regulated by the Federal Reserve Board. There are Consumer Protection Laws, and "rules" they MUST follow.  This is a good thing, it protects the seller, buyer, and the bank.  There is a Board to resolve complaints and take necessary action.

PayPal is NOT a bank, even though they function like one.  Many people think PayPal is a Merchant Account.  They are not.  AND, they do not have any laws governing them; they make them up as they go along.  The agreement you agreed to when you opened your account, is probably not the agreement today.  This is why there have been lawsuits to settle many of the problems that have developed with this new business model.  In one court case it was determined the user agreement was "unconscionable" under California law. 

There are many sites devoted to and reporting on the problems.  Here are just a few:,aid,57964,00.asp

It is a lot of information to digest, and as we've been told, you must sometimes determine fact from fiction.  I know there are times I read the problems and say, well THAT hasn't happened to me, there must be more to the story.  And perhaps, sometimes, there is.  But if you trust Television News, I highly recommend you listen to this short video, from CBS, Channel 2, New York, they did their research; it is enlightening. 

 View CBS News Story


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