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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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09.27.11         michael's insights  

Vendor Paypal Fee Hot Potato.... What the....?


I cannot stand it when businesses nickel and dime customers or at least try to give their customers their problem. (The Hot Potato syndrome- I have a problem and want you to solve it kinda thing.)

Something I notice more and more is the willingness of certain businesses and vendors attempting to charge their customers an extra 3% for paying by Paypal. The reason in their minds this is justified is that Paypal charges them about 3% (its actually a little less) to process the transaction. This rate is also normal for just about any business owner who accepts credit cards.

The thing that I do not understand, is that Paypal is be super fast and convenient as a business owner. How in the world can a business logically justify charging a customer to make accepting payments from them easier? I dont get it.

When you go to any physical store location and pay with a credit card, how many of them ask you to pay an additional 3% because you are using a credit card and they want you to cover the expense of their convenience? It happens, but rarely.

When I first saw this trend for online payments, it really bugged me. It is so common now however, that when it does happen, this is what I say:

"I am sorry I do not believe it to be a good practice to charge the customer a credit card processing fee and instead I can send you a check by mail. It will take 7-10 days, and another 2-3 to clear. What is your mailing address?" I do this in hopes they see that the 3% the should be paying themselves is well worth the speed of receiving payment.

I know there are some exceptions, but if a business insists on you paying that 3% fee, pay by check and send it to them in the mail the old fashion way if you can.


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