I just came across some info (Paypal raised fees to receive money with personal accounts - earlier this month from what I can tell) via Twitter (through Darren Rowse and an article on SitePoint). Now the SitePoint article was a bit half-assed, so please forgive me if I'm misunderstanding anything here (to the author: doubling zero doesn't equal 2.9%, or 30 cents, or even the combination of both).
That combination is apparently now going to be charged to personal Paypal account holders when they receive money for goods and services (in other words, when they operate in a business capacity).
Sure, I can understand why the cheapskates are upset. They can't rely on the other business owners (with premium and business accounts) to pay their way anymore. Don't get me wrong. I'm not the biggest fan of Paypal (although I can't say I've had any big problems with them either). I know the fee addition on these account holders doesn't mean that business and premium account holders are now going to get a break. But that said, I'm actually glad people won't have a way to (as easily) play the system anymore, acting like their business should be exempt from things everyone else has to pay.
I found the PCWorld.com post about it almost amusing. Are we supposed to feel bad for the author because he's a writer and he earns a "significant chunk of [his] earnings" through Paypal payments? I hope not. As I put it on Twitter - boo fuckity hoo. If he was earning that much through Paypal payments, then he should have been on a premium or business account to begin with (and unless I'm mistaken they limit your business income on a personal account to $500 per month anyway, so it probably isn't as "significant" as he makes it sound - but of course that wouldn't sound as sensational). Who knows? Maybe I'm wrong.
Paypal did royally blow the change when their PR and marketing people thought they could put a positive spin on "we want your money." I'll give the article's author that point. But hey. You're smart enough to see through corporate spin, right? Then you should also be smart enough to get the right kind of account for your business needs, and suck up the fees like a professional. You didn't really think you could get something for nothing forever, did you? (Speaking to everyone and not just that writer - Jared Newman.) Maybe some people opted out of the emails from Paypal so they didn't get notice. Maybe Paypal really didn't mention it (in which case it's more than a little snafu on their part). I don't know. I've always gotten terms updates without a problem for my business account, but I won't speak on that part beyond my experience.
The PCWorld article also links to two news stories supposedly cited by Paypal's PR manager. Again, I could be wrong, but I'm more than a little skeptical that she would have pointed him to new stories about the new change that were published more than a month before it happened (at least based on any mention I can find of it). Something doesn't seem right there. Either the links he posted were way off base (although they'd help make his point), or she really did give him those links without thinking (and I'm one of the last people in the world that would make excuses for a bad PR move). But still, on seeing them common sense should tell you they're probably not about the same issue. At least he later clarified the quote a little bit in a followup post.
This so-called story is a major yawn in my book. It's about damn time all business transactions are treated a bit more equally. Business is business folks. If you're not responsible for paying your business' way, then who the hell do you think is? So tell me. Am I missing something in all of this garbled mess? Is there really a story somewhere? The most I see is that Paypal needs a new PR Manager (or of course that there could be more to what she said given that we're just seeing a limited quote). As for the "grumblings" mentioned in the PCWorld article. TS for them. Sudden or not, they should count their blessings they got to do business for free as long as they did.
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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