PayPal - to use or not to use, and why (especially on eBay)

Door RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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09-11-2009, 23:05

(moving this thread into general discussion).

I see the co-operation between eBay and PayPal like this: when you make a deal via eBay, eBay takes a cut of the proceeds. This is reasonable, and what you agreed with. If you think eBay is greedy, argue about the percentages, not about them taking a cut.

If you pay using PayPal, then PayPal takes a cut (via the recipient of the money, above certain minimum/month levels IIRC) on the payment, which is also reasonable: you are free to use their services or not, or argue about their percentages.

But when eBay and PayPal team up, the combo takes a cut of the auction price, and then takes again a cut of the [auction + shipping] price. This is unreasonable: Their effort for enabling the deal is a (probably small) constant per transaction. It's none of their business if you pay $0.01 or $200 to get the item(s) on your doorstep. With eBay and PayPal's percentages similar, and lots of small transactions where shipping is an important part of the total, I see this as a sneaky way to double eBay's take of what eBay was already taking (and eBay wasn't doing bad, with or without PayPal). Trying to enforce PayPal as the only payment method makes it worse (thank god many countries have a government that won't allow this).

Also I place more trust in a normal bank, with a local office in my town, than some online 'wannabee-bank'.

(..) there's a lot of bad excuses in this world, a lot of which poor individuals can't do anything about. Let's live with it.
Strongly disagree with you there, D-Tail.

For the above reasons I prefer to avoid PayPal whenever possible, only use it when a seller takes nothing else and there isn't another seller with a similar item. Don't think I would ever use PayPal for large sums of money. If PayPal became the sole payment method on eBay, I'd move to other auction sites ASAP. :RNFF:

If everyone would act like that, PayPal would be dead in the water. So you do vote with your feet: if you don't agree with something, don't accept it as unavoidable. Simply don't use their services, don't put money in their pockets. Make them irrelevant.

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Van Metalion

Paragon (1625)

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10-11-2009, 09:07

Agreed, the double cut from eBay and Paypal seems a bit unreasonable.


I have been buying on eBay and using Paypal since 2000, mainly buying car parts in the USA (I restore a old american car). And it's the quickest and cheapest way, period. The debate might be different within the boundaries of Europe, as IBAN and SWIFT do provide a viable alternative, although it depends from the country. I live in France, and doing a SWIFT transfer does cost some money, even if it is for a small amount. Sometimes it is even cheaper to pay with Paypal within France than the cost of a stamp to send a check !!

But outside Europe, there is simply no cheaper and quicker solution than Paypal ! I know, I tried ... At the beginning, I was paying for my eBay auctions from USA with a simple international postal money order. It took somewhere like 3 weeks to get to the seller, and the costs were huge ! Paypal gets the money to the seller as quickly as sending an email, and its costs are minimal compared to other solution (something like 10 to 1 compared to the international money order).

So, from my point of view, even if eBay and Paypal take a double cut, it is still the best, quickest, cheapest solution around. And I did not even talk about their insurance covering your buy !! (which I never had to use so far).

In the end, I buy only from eBay buyers offering Paypal, excepted when it is a rare item and I have no other choice.

Van Hydragon

Paladin (751)

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10-11-2009, 11:40

I always look for paypal methods as well, because IDEAL isn't supported always.
paypal is fast and easy, especially if itis about transfers outside your country.
The seller else might say, I never received a payment and such bullshit.
With paypal you have at least some hard evidence, to proof the wrong.

I had to use the insurence covering once, cuz I paid an object, but still after 2 weeks, didn't receive a thing.
Buyer had sold it to someone else ( figured that out later ) but with help of ebay I got my money back.
It's ok by me, they take some for their own, cuz on this way, they do make it it the safest method of trading.

Van Leo

Paragon (1236)

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10-11-2009, 14:05

use it for international

Van [D-Tail]

Ascended (8263)

afbeelding van [D-Tail]

11-11-2009, 09:35

RetroTechie: I too am an idealist, don't worry Smile And yes, the remark I made, to which you are referring, states the simple fact. Metalion and koetjemsx are right: within the Netherlands, I always look for the iDeal option, then bank transfer, then PayPal (in that order). Within Europe: bank transfer, then PayPal. When intercontinental, although I haven't made such a transaction yet, I'm afraid PayPal is the only viable option. That's what I meant with: 'let's live with it' Wink

Van [D-Tail]

Ascended (8263)

afbeelding van [D-Tail]

11-11-2009, 09:37

And from my personal point of view: it is ridiculous that banks, especially in a country like France, ask money for making a SWIFT/IBAN transfer.

Van Leo

Paragon (1236)

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11-11-2009, 09:59

in france it is 3,5 euros for bank transfer inside "euro_coountries"
it can go up to 23 euros for countries like Tcheck (in that case in france we call it "un tcheque en blanc" ! , hu sorry)
even inside france between to bank : you pay !

Van Manuel

Ascended (19461)

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11-11-2009, 22:18

For EU, just use IBAN. It's free (at least for Dutch people, I think the European laws say it will cost not more than a money transfer within your own country, so free in many cases) and easy. No insurance though.

For payments to Japan or the US, PayPal is really useful, I think.

Van SaebaMSX

Hero (533)

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11-11-2009, 22:49

IBAN was not free when I used it many years ago, at least in Spain. And it was not cheap either! Maybe the laws changed, I don't know...

Van Alex

Master (205)

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12-11-2009, 15:41

Like stated above, a bank in a EU country may not charge more for an IBAN cross-border transfer to another EU country then for a domestic transfer. This is the case since a few years.

So if banks in France ask 3,5 EURO for cross-border transfers within EU zone it implies that they are asking the same for domestic transfers in France or that they are violating the law.

Van RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

afbeelding van RetroTechie

12-11-2009, 18:47

in france it is 3,5 euros for bank transfer inside "euro_coountries"
it can go up to 23 euros for countries like Tcheck (in that case in france we call it "un tcheque en blanc" ! , hu sorry)
even inside france between to bank : you pay !

That is ridiculous! Traditionally such fees are thought as (or supposed to be) 'handling fees': for example if you fill in a form and send it by snail mail, the costs the bank has to make to have someone read that form & enter the data into a computer system. Or have a machine read it, and a human check the machine's operation. So for electronic banking, such fees should be a lot less.

I can understand such fees are high when you're dealing with a far away country where banking (& governments) are unreliable / untrustworthy, or which use a system that involves a lot of people & paperwork. But between modern, 'western' countries that have all-electronic banking support, and you provide the data electronically yourself? oOQuestion


  • International transfers are indeed free for the Dutch, provided you supply a valid IBAN & BIC, and within the EEA
  • The EEA has a few more countries in it besides EU member states (for example Iceland & Norway, not EU members)
  • Many, many more countries support the IBAN + BIC (Swift) system
  • For Dutch people, transfers outside the EEA are also expensive. That's why I also use PayPal in those cases (eg. small payment NL -> China)

For example NL -> China payment, I wouldn't have a clue how much it would cost, or how long it would take. So I use PayPal there, not because it's good but because alternatives are worse :hannibal: