ShoelaceKid (quackamajackers) wrote in pkmncollectors,

Other Web Payment Options- A Crash Course

A huge part of the Pkmncollectors community is, of course, buying and selling. Thousands of dollars must be made and spent from day to day, week to week! By a huge margin, we use Paypal as our only way of exchanging our money for goods- Paypal probably has a HUGE monopoly over the entire internet in terms of money exchange! However, Paypal isn’t always the friendliest or even the most intuitive tool for us to be using. Their fees of 3% + $.30 are a nuisance to both buyers and sellers, and peoples’ accounts can sometimes be locked for flimsy reasons, just for you to jump through hoops to try to resolve your problem. There are events that happen outside of the community that gives them a bad name that are much larger than having to pay .30 cents extra to send money. This story of paypal ordering a rare and expensive violin to be destroyed makes me, a collector, cringe. Other stories, like donations going to a cause having to be sent back to donators for false accusations(plus being rude about italong the way), doesn’t make me feel too good about giving them money. A much more recent story has emerged of a website’s donations being locked because they were accused of breaking the rules, with no immediate appeal process available or guaranteed.

So what do you do if you don’t want to use this service? Do you stop using it all together, and lose your buying/selling ability in the community? Do you use it anyway, begrudgingly? Well, I say that we find something new to use! We can't really stop using Paypal, even if by some chance we all wanted to, but we can make a compromise. I’ve done some research on two different web-based exchange systems, and I’m here to introduce them to you for you to take advantage of. Personally, I think that they are better alternative, and even if they can’t replace Paypal completely, offering to use their services along with Paypal might prove themselves to be useful.

  1. These services are available in the US ONLY as of right now. If anyone knows anything that is available to other countries, or internationally, please let me know! I live in the US, so I may not be able to sign up/report on certain services. If anyone would like to help out and write up a quick summary on anther website, I would be glad to add it to the list! Any help would be appreciated.
  2. I am NOT slandering or criticizing people who use Paypal. I use it myself! I’m just showing alternatives and some reasons as to why you might want to choose another service, if possible.
  3. I am only giving brief outlines of each service. I encourage everyone to read their respective FAQs if interested (that I will be linking to), and take a look at other reviews or literature available on the web

Now, Introducing Amazon WebPay and Dwolla

Amazon WebPay
Countries: US
Fees: None!
Dispute Limit: 30 Days

FAQ 1  ~  FAQ 2  ~  Transaction Dispute Info

Ah yes, Amazon. An internet marketplace giant that many of us are probably already very familiar with. Their WebPay service I think is relatively new- it may have been around for a year or two, but I don’t think that it has picked up too much steam. All you need to start up is an Amazon account- which you can make very easily if you don’t have one already. Sending and receiving money via Amazon is very similar to Paypal. You may link your account with your credit card or bank account, and to send money all you need to know is the recipient’s email address. You can even send money to someone who doesn’t have a WebPay account set up, although in order to claim the money they must sign up for the service. Otherwise it will just be sent back!

Besides credit cards and bank accounts, you can also use Amazon Gift Cards with it! So instead of using the one you got on your birthday to buy a Eeveelution Pokedoll that might be a bootleg, you can buy one off of a member that is definitely not a bootie! You can even deposit the money from an Amazon Gift Card into your bank account through WebPay.

I think the best thing about this though, is that there are no fees. None! Zip! Nada! No external calculator to use that may end up wrong, nothin. Just you, and the money you need to send out or get in. There are some very small limitations about withdrawls INTO your bank account from the WebPay account. You must be transferring at least $1, which may only be a drawback in very few situations.

But maybe you don’t want to use such a huge marketing giant, or maybe you don’t like Amazon to begin with, or maybe you’d like to use something a little different and intuitive. Well, thats just fine too. This next one is completely dedicated to payment services, and only dabbles in one field...

Countries: US
Fees: $0.25 for transactions $10+
Dispute Limit: 30 Days
FAQ  ~  BLOG  ~ Transaction Dispute Info

Dwolla is a service whose goal is to cut out the need for credit cards online or otherwise. To sign up, you need an email account and a phone number for extra security (although adding a phone number may be optional). To send money is the same as Paypal and Amazon, all you need is an email. Although, with Dwolla, you can also send payment through Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Neat, huh?

The only way to add funds into your Dwolla account is to either receive money from another member, or sync your bank account to it. Debit and Credit cards are not accepted for reasons explained in their faq;

Why don’t you take credit or debit cards?
Take out your plastic card. See that little Visa logo (or any other card logo) in the bottom right-hand corner? Now, think of that image as your membership ID to send money on that corresponding network. Unfortunately, businesses and services must pay the card company fees and monthly costs to accept your payment and is why a lot of small businesses refuse to take cards. These “swipe fees” cost between 2% and 7% of the purchase, plus an additional $.30 cents per transaction processing fee (along with a host of other charges). To offset the annual $48 billion in fees, merchants raise the price of goods and services to compensate.  Naturally, Dwolla is building the solution to this problem, which means we must avoid these “plastic” networks.

It may seem inconvenient at first, but really they are trying to be intuitive and much more user friendly. Because of that, they have no fees in any transaction under $10. Sending money to anyone that reaches a total over $10 is  a fixed rate of only 25 cents! Just one quarter more, thats it. Sending $10 to someone through Paypal would be another .61 cents. Sending $20 through Paypal would cost you another .91, while Dwolla is still just .25. Sending $200 through Paypal will run fees up to $6.28, while Dwolla is still set at good ol’ $0.25. They have to implement some type of fee because they have to support their site, somehow. They don’t have the huge revenue that amazon pulls in, or the base that Paypal has, so I feel that their fees are pretty justified. And cheaper, anyway.

Dwolla also has an app for smart phones, so you can easily send money on the go.

So what do you do with it?

If you sign up for either or both of these services, I suggest that you list them in your sales rules as a type of payment accepted next to Paypal. If you have a permanent wants post, or you’re just posting one to the community, it may be a good idea to list them there, too. That way whoever ends up selling you your grail will know what type of options they have as well.

I do NOT suggest that you completely replace Paypal with either of these services, mainly because it is so widely used. Amazon WebPay and Dwolla can only be used by US residents, so that leaves out the rest of the world. That wouldn’t be fair at all! However, I do think that they are still very relevant to our community. A very large base of our members are living in the United States. So, if you are US bound and interested, why not give it a go and see how they work?

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