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01-25-2011, 03:39 PM   #1
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Should buyer be expected to pay Paypal fee if it's all the seller accepts?

It doesn't seem quite fair to list Paypal as the only way to pay for something one is selling, and then expect the buyer to cover the Paypal fee. It makes more sense that one should be required to offer an alternative payment method if Paypal fees are charged to the buyer.

EDIT:

It also violates Paypal rules:

"4.6 No Surcharges. You agree that you will not impose a surcharge or any other fee for accepting PayPal as a payment method. You may charge a handling fee in connection with the sale of goods or services, as long as the handling fee does not operate as a surcharge and is not higher than the handling fee you charge for non-PayPal transactions."


EDIT 2:

I added this edit after reading some of the comments that followed my original post. Before you read this, one thing about me that might help explain the reason for the thread is that I enjoy contemplating subjects like what is fair, and I also like living according to what fair seems to be. It isn't a "cause" to fight for or anything so radical, but it simply pleases me to live by the principles of fairness.

So, I started this thread after selling a couple of lenses and marking Paypal as the only funding I would accept. Like several who responded later in this thread, I usually include in my selling price all charges such as shipping and Paypal to simplify things as well as make it easier to negotiate a final price with potential buyer.

However, as I created the last ad, and calculated the cost of shipping and Paypal, the question arose in my mind about whose debt the Paypal fee should be if that is the only payment option I offer a seller. Paypal says that as a seller using its services, the debt is mine. My initial thinking as I started this thread, was that since according to Paypal policy sellers are not supposed to charge buyers a fee for using Paypal, I should not build the fee into my selling price (hey, I realize we are talking about normally $10-$20, so as I say, for me it was mostly a reasoning exercise in fairness).

After digesting posters' points, I do see that Paypal offers some protection to a buyer, that we aren't really doing business, and often people buying lenses want it NOW (i.e., LBA). So it seems to me that if I build some of the Paypal cost into my selling price (again, if that is the only payment option I offer), it is fair to split the cost with the buyer. After all, both of us are using the service and benefitting from the service.

Of course, that's just how I see it, I am not trying to force anything on others. I was surprised at the somewhat vitriolic-sarcastic vibe of a couple of the comments. It seemed like some posters thought it was insulting to question group assumptions, whereas to me, assumptions are the absolute perfect thing to subject to scrutiny.


Last edited by les3547; 01-26-2011 at 09:24 AM.
01-25-2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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Up the the seller entirely. He can call it a "convenience fee" to get around paypal's terms.
01-25-2011, 04:04 PM   #3
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I couldn't agree more with you. There are times I list PayPal as the only payment option, but I don't list "add a fee for paypal".
My belief is if you are only going to accept PayPal only then you should either incur the charges, or add them to the cost of the item.

Makes sense to me.

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01-25-2011, 04:06 PM   #4
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My thoughts are that if you don't think it's fair, then don't do business with the seller in question; find someone who offers another method of payment, or lists a different set of conditions on their sale.

01-25-2011, 04:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pop4 Quote
My thoughts are that if you don't think it's fair, then don't do business with the seller in question; find someone who offers another method of payment, or lists a different set of conditions on their sale.
That seems to me a separate issue. Obviously one can refuse to do business, but buyers and sellers find themselves on both sides of transactions (i.e., buying and selling), and each role has its obligations. My question is about whose responsibility is the Paypal fee when the seller only accepts Paypal, not whether or not buyers can refuse to interact with a seller for whatever reason. So . . .

What sound logic is able to conclude I should pay your Paypal fee so you can sell your product?
01-25-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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The other way to look at it is if you add the PayPal fees to the product, you then advertise at a higher price.
Almost a gimmick when you have a lower price, but the buyer adds this-that-and the other to the cost themselves, it usually seems like a bargain to the buyer because they still use the original price as what their "mind" thinks they paid for the item.

I don't know, there's always fees when selling items and the buyer will always pay them in the end.

It's just a matter of whether or not, when all added together, it seems like a good deal to the buyer.
01-25-2011, 04:24 PM   #7
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With all these kinds of issues I tend to add the total price up and if it is fair I do it, and if not I don't. If someone wanted to sell me a mint K-5 for $300, I'd not complain about the Paypal.
01-25-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
The other way to look at it is if you add the PayPal fees to the product, you then advertise at a higher price.
Almost a gimmick when you have a lower price, but the buyer adds this-that-and the other to the cost themselves, it usually seems like a bargain to the buyer because they still use the original price as what their "mind" thinks they paid for the item.

I don't know, there's always fees when selling items and the buyer will always pay them in the end.

It's just a matter of whether or not, when all added together, it seems like a good deal to the buyer.
Sure, I do that too (when selling), and then if a potential buyer makes a counter offer, I decide if it is worth it given I am covering Paypal and shipping out of what he pays me.

Now, if the seller gives me a choice of using money order or waiting for my check to clear, etc., but I want the instant transfer through Paypal, then I don't mind paying what he will be charged.


Last edited by les3547; 01-25-2011 at 05:13 PM.
01-25-2011, 05:14 PM   #9
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Maybe it's some of that "instant gratification" thing. I think I have to go back to the late '90s as the last time I bought camera equipment on eBay and paid with a money order. Some people are willing to wait for the mail both ways, great.

I didn't mean it as an actual gimmick like some stores do. Such as advertise an item below cost just to get you in the door. And I wouldn't say everyone that does it uses it as a marketing strategy. Many put it as pure honest. And I've run into a few that are simply displeased with PayPal's charging policy. Of course if one doesn't like it, then don't use it.

Again it all comes down to the transaction. With all costs added, hopefully both parties are happy with the transaction.

*except for those of course that are always looking for something great for nothing*
01-25-2011, 06:34 PM   #10
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I'll typically pass the fees along in the shipping price. If I've over charged as I did with a couple recent ones, I'll refund the difference in postage paid vs postage charged but I'll keep whatever the Paypal fee was. Some may still consider that unfair but a thinking buyer has to be conscious of the idea that I'm probably just passing it along. I don't offer discounts for cash transfer either as that also violates Paypal's terms. You can choose to pay that way but it isn't just a simple transfer, you are paying for an item..

With respect to paper payment. I'm more than willing to accept it. Most people don't care to wait for a check to clear (including non postal money orders). I will accept Postal money orders as I can at least have them verified and cashed at the post office before mailing an item. I deal with the worldwide audience and do not restrict sales to Anyone. The last time people from other countries paid me with a money order, the only ones I would accept were sent from Western Union, Postal money orders from Canada or Japan. The latter two being accepted at the US post office (I don't know if that is still the case). Anything else carried a $15 international funds fee at my bank. That was automatic whether it was drafted in US funds or not. If it came from outside of the USA, that was the policy. Wire transfers to my bank accounts have Never been an option.

Paypal basically charges 3% for most transactions. In the case of some countries, it's 4% after they take their pound of flesh for currency exchange. Most of what I sell, that amounts to less than $2 or $3. You can go and buy a money order, put it in an envelope that you have to pay for, then put a stamp on the envelope and mail it. At the end of the day, how much do you think you would be saving? Or is it just the option of 'fees if applicable' that rubs you the wrong way? If so, carry cash into your local gas station because They likely pass the CC charges along as well.

01-25-2011, 06:45 PM   #11
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I try to set a price at a level that includes domestic shipping and any Paypal fee that will get charged. I think this is the most straightforward strategy and I think that buyers are more likely to think i've asked a fair price if they aren't nickel and dimed with extras.
01-25-2011, 07:48 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GregK8 Quote
I try to set a price at a level that includes domestic shipping and any Paypal fee that will get charged. I think this is the most straightforward strategy and I think that buyers are more likely to think i've asked a fair price if they aren't nickel and dimed with extras.
That right there. If you are accepting Paypal, you roll it into the price of the product and be done with it. You as the seller know what you will and will not accept as far as a final price, and what those fees will be. Set the price at what will put the amount of money that you desire in your pocket. Extrta fees make it seem as less of a value, even if it's not.
01-25-2011, 08:11 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
It doesn't seem quite fair to list Paypal as the only way to pay for something one is selling, and then expect the buyer to cover the Paypal fee. It makes more sense that one should be required to offer an alternative payment method if Paypal fees are charged to the buyer.
Why would someone be required to offer alternatives? It's a private transaction, not a business.

You're demanding the guy down the street holding a garage sale to accept credit cards because you don't like that he doesn't accept checks.
01-25-2011, 08:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Capslock118 Quote
You're demanding the guy down the street holding a garage sale to accept credit cards because you don't like that he doesn't accept checks.
Lol, that analogy makes no sense.

Yes you can require Paypal, but I am simply saying you should pay your own fee if you allow no other way to pay. It is your account, not the buyer's account. It is your fee, not his. You are choosing to use Paypal, not the buyer. In your analogy, it is like a guy wants to pay you cash for an item and you insist he use some form of payment that costs him 3.5% more.

Keep in mind, my solitary point is only allowing payment via Paypal, and then acting like it is the buyer's responsiblity to pay that fee. At the very least it should be a shared cost.

Last edited by les3547; 01-25-2011 at 09:01 PM.
01-25-2011, 09:10 PM   #15
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This thread has been truly illuminating. I have a lens for sale, for which I was initially asking 250 net to me. In light of the apt observations expressed here, I changed the price to 260--I'm paying the paypal fee now. That is, I pay the fee, and not the buyer. Right? (Unfortunately, I can't take credit cards--can anyone on PF? And checks are a bit too risky, especially when willing to ship worldwide.)

Last edited by causey; 01-25-2011 at 09:35 PM.
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