Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Time to part ways with PayPal?

I have been a big PayPal fan for a long time. Even when I've heard of instances of PayPal hackers, I've always given PayPal the benefit of the doubt since it's been so good to me.

I'm rethinking that now.

I just found out that PayPal — abruptly and without telling its members — changed their policies. Now, personal accounts (read: free accounts) can only receive up to $500 per month in payments.

On the bright side, personal accounts can now receive up to 5 credit/debit card payments every year. Unfortunately, this change hurts me more than it helps me: I bring way more than $500 through my personal PayPal account most months.

This is how PayPal justifies the changes on their site (though I had to really dig to find any mention of it at all):

Q: Why does my Personal account now have a receiving limit?

A: Personal accounts have always been intended for personal use only and are not designed to be used for business purposes. We have not changed the intent behind the different types of PayPal Accounts, only the enforcement on our account types. PayPal considers the receipt of payment types that include Goods and eBay Items in excess of the Personal account limit to be beyond the normal level of personal use. By requiring Premier or Business accounts for all accounts that receive a large volume of payments, PayPal ensures that all high activity selling accounts are treated similarly.

This irritates me, primarily because eBay has made it clear that they'll stop at nothing to make an extra dime. I knew PayPal was owned by eBay, but until now they haven't been too money-hungry.

My guess is this change is to compensate for the break in listing fees they just granted eBay sellers.

I'm really annoyed. Everyone knows that eBay and PayPal are far from hurting for money, so couldn't they just quit picking on little self-employed folks? Save the fees for the really big earners. It's not fair to hit all of us lowly writers with them.

And it's especially not fair to even tell us about them. I would not have known until I reached $500 for the month, had a client not accidentally paid with plastic.


Hope Wilbanks said...

Wow! You have really opened my eyes. I was not aware of this at all. Where have I been?? Thanks for the informative post!

Katharine Swan said...

You're very welcome. I'm glad I was able to help!


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