Sellers adding for PayPal use is plainly BS

I am just curious, why charging buyer, in such a blatant way, for PayPal service that SELLER is enjoying? If those 2-3% will 'impoverish' given seller, why not including them in selling price? As a matter of principal, i'll never buy from such a seller!
Questions, I am currious:

(1)If it won't impoverish the seller because it is so small, why does it impoverish you the buyer?

(2)How much time and money do you spend running around to get a money order/cashiers check, plus postage/envelopes; and why is this preferrable to you, rather than paying 3% more and getting the item shipped the next or same day?

(3)If the seller could just raise the price 3% to cover the fee, why are you unable to offer 3% less?

4)If someone asking for the 3% was selling a rare piece of gear you've always wanted to own, but could not find, at a price so low, it is the deal of the century even with the 3%, would you not buy it as a matter of pricipal?

In the past, I was selling quite a few MFSL CDs on ebay. I encouraged the use of PayPal. After all, it was quick and free!!! Now that there is a 2.9% fee, I think it really depends on the situation. If the seller is really needing money and doesn't want to wait for a money order, he should be willing to pay the fee. If the buyer is really in a hurry for the product and doesn't want to wait, he should pay the fee. These two cases assume that the other doesn't care about the time frame of the transaction. If both the buyer and the seller want the benefit of a fast transaction, maybe they should split the fee.
Bowbow, you have some very good points.
I use PayPal for my auctions and never charge extra and I refuse to pay extra. If you used your credit card to buy something at a store, how would you like to have to pay extra for the privelege?
I read not that long ago about similar charges being passed on to consumers from retailers using credit cards. If I remember correctly this is illegal? If I'm mistaken surely somebody will supply the correct information.

Anyway, I think the point Eldragon is trying to make is why does the buyer have to pay the fees that are the responsibility of the seller? Bow makes good counterpoints so I guess it just depends on how badly do you want the item up for sale?
In addition to BOWBOW points:

1. what if the buyer doesnt have the cash can only buy with the use of a credit card? Does that not benefit the buyer?

2. why should the seller pay an extra $90 on a $3000 amp and when he could sell to a Cashiers check paying person and get full price?

I often times, in order to try out stuff to see what is all about, will use a credit card (Paypal) to give me a little float on the payment...using the Credit card co. $$$ instead of mine....I would not moan over paying 3% for that benefit.

I tend to split the fees (add 2%) when I sell....(i share the above stated advantages)
I always make the buyer pay the fees and I always expect to pay them when I am the buyer. As the seller, I don't care how you pay me but, I won't release anything until I am paid in full. If you are buying from me and want speedy service then it is your wish and you will pay the paypal fees. It costs the buyer to get a money order and postage to mail the money order, so it makes perfect sense for the buyer to pay the fees.
In CA and some other states it's illegal to advertise a 3% fee for pay-pal. Check the fine print at e-bay. Someone pointed that out to me once and they were right.
I put add 3% for paypal but I do it to offer the lowest price possible to the buyer. You are right I could just add it into the price but I look at as why should the buyer pay the extra 3% if he is paying by another method.

I know when I sell something I want X amount for it. From there I try to lower shipping costs and fees as much as possible to get the buyer the lowest price possible. From there the buyer can decide on paypal or 2 day air or whatever they want.
Who pays the fee, buyer or seller, is not a matter of right or wrong. Its simply a matter of negoitation between the parties. If the seller stakes out a position requiring the fee on top of the price the seller runs the risk of either scaring away potential buyers or buyers offering less. A buyer who refuses to pay the fee runs the risk of not getting the item in which they're interested. You negotiate throughout life. Audigon is no different. The comment about the rule in CA simply tells me whoever pushed that through the CA legislature is extremely naieve. The government shouldn't interfere in such matters.
Paypal charges the fees to the seller, as it is the seller who ultimately benefits from the fast and easy payment. If the seller had their own credit card services, the costs would be more. As the previous poster suggested, how would you feel if, while doing business with a retail store, they charged you extra for the priviledge of using your credit or debit card? While these retailers are paying a fee to have these services available to them, they are absorbing the costs themselves. There are other online payment services that charge the buyer. Bidpay charges the buyer for their payment service. Perhaps the buyer who chooses this service should take that fee out of the sellers payment? After all, its not the buyer's fault that the fee is charged, and the seller wants his money. So, the bottom line is that, both the buyer and seller can nickel and dime each other to death. That undermines the goal of the seller, which is to get paid for the item, and for the buyer, who wants the equipment. What you are paying for is supreme convenience. Its honorable to absorb the loss yourself, and miserly to charge it someone else. It all depends on how you want to treat your customers, and what kind of image you want to project for yourself.
Eldragon: I disagree with your statement "What you are paying for is supreme convenience." (in reference the seller).

As Bowow pointed out, it is actually "more" of a convenience for the buyer than for the seller. If I am selling something, whether you pay through PayPal or with a MoneyOrder is no big difference to me. As a matter of fact, I would PREFER the money order because:

A) it's money in hand whereas with Paypal I have to specifically request a transfer to bank
B) if you contest the paypal charge later, they dock me for it
C) while waiting for the money order to arrive, I could continue to enjoy the item (though I always pack it up right away)

I also don't buy the RetailStore-CreditCard argument. Retail stores are a business. They sell a LOT of things. The fees they "eat" from credit cards are built into their prices accross the board. ie. the NON-credit card users are subsidising the store for the credit card users. Given enough customers, it all evens out. HOWEVER, when it comes to a private party selling their $5000 baby, they can't be expected to "eat" $150, when the benefits to the seller are minimal compared to the benefits of the buyer.

Lastly, in an auction, the seller CAN'T "build" it into the price. The bid is the bid, and based upon the buyer's CHOICE of payment method, it should not effect the amount collected by the seller.

Now, if a seller lists paypal as the ONLY method accepted, AND adds the fee, THEN it would be a little obnoxious in my opion. In that case, find another seller - simple.
Look at it this way, PayPal fees are just a cost of doing business, like shipping. The advertisment that states that the Seller is picking up the tab for shipping is pretty rare. Adding the PayPal fee is just another cost of ownership. Besides, if you hate the PayPal fee, take the above suggestions and offer 3% less for the item, or pay by check. I think it's honorable of the Seller to state up front what his terms are (especially in an auction) rather than let there be surprises after a sale is made.

I don't harbor any illusions that the 5% fee credit card companies charge retailers is absorbed by the retailers. Even in states that think they've made it illegal to pass on those charges to consumers, retailers are just operating at a 5% higher margin to cover the credit card fees.
Yes, it is illogical and greedy to charge extra for PayPal or for a credit card. I too will not buy from somebody who charges me for PayPal.

It is a matter of convenience and security for both buyer and seller. Therefore, if anything, both parties should split the fee at most.
I guess you guys are right. The buyer should pay all fees and expenses related to you selling your "baby". How about reimbursement for the cost of the ad? Perhaps you should tack on ISP service fees you had to inquire while using the internet to sell your item. Of course, you have to charge them for the box and all packing materials you used to pack the item correctly. What about the gas you used in your vehicle driving the box to the shipper? And, the time you spent waiting there to ship your item? I mean, they are the ones who wanted the convenience of paypal in the first place, right? I learned from ebay power sellers, that most of the sales are paid for online within 24 hours after the end of the auction. While I would rather have a money order, too, alot fewer money orders come in their mailbox than paypal payments to their email accounts. Its simply easier and faster for the buyer to pay with paypal. The eager buys wants his item soon, and pays quickly. If they have to wait to go buy a money order, sometimes they lose interest. And, to support an earlier statement I made about retail outlets paying for their credit card services, it just happened to me 3 days ago at a local gift shop. The owner told me that she would have to charge me 3% on top of my order to use my credit card, because thats what the bank charged her. My order came to $60., and the fee was $1.80. I paid it because the store is going out of business and the merchandise was already 50% off. But, lets say it was another store, and I purchased an item for $2000. I already have to pay sales tax on that. If the store wants to add another $60. on for me to pay with my debit or credit card, I will probably back out of the sale. I would resent feeling nickle and dimed by the store. I wouldn't feel like my business was appreciated. So, the bottom line is that the buyer shouldn't have to worry about this fee and that charge - you agree on a flat selling price and shipping, and stick to it. And, don't start with the "handling" charges. Those are for customer service, toll free numbers, etc. A small time seller who charges blatant handling fees doesn't get my business. One thing i learned in the last few years is that there isn't only going to be a one time deal - it usually happens again.
I will have to charge you an extra 3% to reply to this post.
Cost of doing business, my hiney. What is this, a new form of taxation? I will add a few of you jokers to my list of people whom NOT to do business with.

And yes it is illegal for merchants to charge anybody more for the use of a creditcard than if somebody were to pay cash. Perhaps it is illegal with PayPal also?

Hmmm, I wonder if there might be some kind of reward for whistle blowing?

Charging for credit cards is no more "BS" than charging for shipping. (I'm sure FedEx would love a law that said you couldn't charge extra for next-day shipping - to "protect" consumers, of course!)

BTW, PayPal is still FREE for non-credit-card, personal use. So use it in that mode and be happy.
I have to very respectfully disagree with Eldragon for the long list of reasons cited above plus when you go to an Audiostore you are likely to pay 15-50% more for the same used piece, albeit with a warranty. But have to tell you in 33 years of getting quality used pieces I have never had a serious problem, most times no problems, with any of them.

If you need a credit card to buy something maybe you really should not buy it based on the overwealming evidence: $7000 in credit card debt of the "average" american household.

Just my $0.02 :)

'nuff said
I am sure sellers who list paypal as an option for purchasing is in fact offering this service for the buyer. I would have no problem with a buyer sending a money order or cashiers check if that is what they prefer. My experience has been that buyers want that quick, easy, non-lazy way of paying with credit card, maybe also because thay dont have the funds in their account to pay with money order or cashiers check. The buyer also has the right to decide whether they will go to their credit card bank and obtain cash on their limit.

Really makes me no difference, but if you choose to use paypal when I am selling, you will pay the fees, probably going into debt for something you cannot afford anyway and quite frankly, you can look elsewhere, makes no difference to me, the seller in most cases is offering this for the buyer, who does have choices and more often then not it is because they dont have the funds to pay out of their bank account.

But thanks for venting your thoughts here, in fact there is no charge for it here, just use of audiogon space.
Most of us, whether seller or buyer, do what we can to make the other party as comfortable with a transaction as possible. Why complete a transaction if one party is dissatisfied? Communication almost always leads to a resolution of different but openly expressed views whether that resolution is to forget the deal or to proceed. It's just part of the process.
I had numerous buyers offer to pay the 3% extra for paypal, even when I did not even ask for a 3% surcharge. I look at paypal being a buyers advantage.
Although "Danner" makes the most business sense, I would not like to buy from a seller/especially a dealer who wants to charge me for paypal fees. For most buyers it boils down to how desperate they are or how good the deal is. However, I still believe that the buyer has the advantage; there are a lot of sellers who do not charge paypal fees. If all buyers felt like me than sellers could never charge for paypal fees.
When you go to the dealer you ARE paying for the costs of his ads, credit card fees, shipping material, his time, and even his gas to and from where ever he has to go. The only difference is that it is worked into the price already. At least this way you have a choice.
Are any of you old enough to remember when certain brands of gas stations started to charge more if you used a credit card? I forget who started it, but most everyone followed. Maybe 15-20 years ago...they said it cost them more to take credit cards - at that time their own - so credit card users should pay more. Funny thing, those brands started to lose market share to the station down the street (Shell I think it was)who started advertising "Same price, cash or credit".

I suppose it is a little different in the context of used audio equipment or auctions given that there may not be readily or immediately available alternatives. On the other hand, those of you who are proponents of "tacking it on" may want to take notice the number of people that are annoyed by the tactic. As a result, some may chose to ignore your items, thus reducing the market size and, perhaps, reducing the price you end up receiving. Why not take the suggestion and bury it in the price and just make it easier for people to bid/offer to buy and maximize your buying audience. You can always offer up a bit more of a discount for cash if someone wants to go the PayPal route.

I believe this is called Marketing 101.

Don't you love it when someone pay-pals you a few grand but they don't include a verified address :^( I think everyone knows what could happen if you ship to a non-verified address? It's a crazy little thing called chargeback. You know, that's when they rip the money out of your account one-day with no rhyme or reason. And guess what? You have know recourse. Try not to make that mistake more than once. Always ship to a verified address.
1) Paypal is strictly a convenience

2) Credit cards are strictly a convenience

3) Convenience saves time

4) Time is money

5) Pay the fees if you want to use a convenient service ( Paypal ) and take advantage of another convenience ( credit card ) at the same time

7) The seller is happy as they don't have to sit around and worry about whether "Customer X" has actually put payment into the mail

8) The buyer is happy because the package is on the way to them within 24 - 48 hours since payment has arrived instantaneously


9) Put the deal on hold until you can send out an acceptable form of payment, which you may have to pay for anyhow ( money order, cashiers check, wire transfer, postage, etc.. )

10) Wait for for the funds to arrive at the seller's

11) Wait for the seller to deposit said funds

12) Wait for the funds to clear

13) Twiddle your thumbs in anticipation for a few days while all of this takes place

14) Be glad when all is said and done, about two weeks or so later.

If paying 3% to secure a product that you want in a convenient and timely manner is going to break you, you are in the wrong hobby. Not only that, why should the seller be penalized for making it faster and more convenient for you to pay him ? There is NO reason for a seller to be penalized for this payment option UNLESS they specifically state that this is the only form of payment that they will take. It is no longer a "payment option" under those circumstances and they should absorb such fees since that is how they demand payment. Otherwise, it is the BUYER'S "choice" to pay in this manner and the BUYER should pay the fees involved. The seller is not making you pay that way, so why should they take the loss for giving you the option of making payment convenient for you ???

Either pay the fees for services rendered ( Paypal IS a service and has operating expenses like any other business ) and shut up OR get off your duff, do the leg-work yourself, sit around for a few extra days and save PART of the fees that you would have otherwise had to pay. How hard is that to understand ??? Sean

PS... Sorry if this came across as disrespectful, but i can't understand someone pissing and moaning about a service or option that they don't HAVE to make use of.

PPS... It was Amoco that started the cash / credit price structure. Being a vendor that has to pay an outside source to process credit cards, i can understand why they did it. The consumer, who has little idea of what it actually takes to operate a business and accept credit cards, whined loud enough that laws were passed making it illegal. Of course, guess who lobbied for these laws ? If you said the credit card companies, you might be right. People weren't using their cards as much, so Visa / Master were losing money and took steps to protect their business interests. The loser in all of this ? The consumers who pay cash, since retailers had to raise prices across the board to cover the fees that are charged to them when someone pays by credit.
You apparently haven't read my previous post. But regardless, i still believe that anyway you look at it, practice is DISGUSTING! Something like 'stiffing' your waitress at your favorite restaurant.
Amen Sean, well said. I usaully do auctions and sometimes these auctions end at a price lower than I paid as a dealer. We're talking brand new gear, deal of the century kind of thing going on here, and I still have the buyers in some instances cry about the 3% fee I add to the total for paypal. They will even argue over $5.00 frt. if they think I'm too high on the frt. Never mind that they are getting a $5000.00 amp for $2000.00. I beleive you could give away gear with the only catch being that they pay frt. and some would still gripe and cry.Like Sean said it's yor choice for the convenience. You tip the pizza del. boy, don't you? Audiogon is all about getting good deals and info. that 5 yrs. ago was unheard of and now that we have such a great source, some are always going to be as we say in the South "looking a gift mule in the mouth"!Keep on griping and see how audio life is without Audiogon or Paypal!
What a silly notion. Adam Smith (if he were inclined to read Audiogon forum posts) would turn in his grave.

If you subtract any consideration of what the buyer gets in exchange for payment of ANY fee (which, as rational maximizers, is an analysis all buyers perform before parting with their money), then EVERY payment becomes merely a seller's convenience and (under this rationale) morally objectionable.

Since the premise of EVERY purchase is that the buyer will have possession and use of the item for sale, and it's the seller's obligation to make sure the buyer gets possession, why not object on the same principle to buyers paying shipping charges? After all they just finance the seller's convenience by making the buyer pay to relieve the seller of the obligation to deliver the item personally.

By the way, I have read all the posts, and I have to agree with Sean.
If you don't want to pay the fees then send a money order. If as a seller I had to pay the fees then I simply wouldn't offer it as an option.

Eldragon, I am confused as to why you are so offended by this and your comparison to sitffing a waitress on a tip makes no sense to me.

I am certainly not going to spend hundreds of dollars on paypal fees for someone who is to impatient or financially unable to send a check.

So I agree that in the context of the classified and auction sales iit is an added cost much like shipping.

..... and really aren't there truly DISGUSTING things that you could better spend your time spouting off about. All this fuss about 3% on toys.........
I guess I'm not impatient because I always pass on the 3% extra charge on something I buy, not because I find it morally objectionable or am worried about the legalities, but because keeping the cost down is a good thing. Even if you are getting a $5K amp for $2K, saving $60 is worth saving. If I'm really looking to streamline the process, I can even send the seller a personal check and tell them to wait until it clears - no time, no extra $$$ sending the payment.

I've always viewed the use of PayPal as being something that's extremely beneficial to the seller. It's also indisputable that the number of times (in 2002) that you pull out a cc and get charged more for using it is near zero - standard practice is that whatever the price is, you can pay however you like. Now it's true that on a large purchase you can try to negotiate a better cash price, but outside of PayPal, I can't remember the last time I was told there would be a surcharge for paying with plastic. So, again, not because it's unethical, immoral or illegal, but just because protocol exists that says payment form shouldn't alter the price, I have never absorbed the PayPal charges.

Now, if somebody posts a Wadia 861 CD player that I've been searching for and lists a price of $2K and says the only way they'll sell is if Payment is by PayPal with buyer absorbing the cost, I'll pay it in a heartbeat because it's still a great deal. In essence, though, all that's saying is that the negotiating is pre-made - there's no sense in trying to negotiate down because the price is already so good, completely on the seller's terms, that you either hit the offer or move on.

I always find it interesting which threads grow to be the longest - I don't think I could predict which ones will catch fire with any accuracy. -Kirk

Very good, Chelillingworth. This is dumb & soooo boring.
I find this thread very interesting and any feedback that will help me sell my gear better is good feedback. I am very suprised to see that paypal fees bother some people but its good to know.

As far as the legality goes I wonder what state law would take presetant. The state in that the product is comeing from or the state that the server is located in.
I think most of you guys are WRONG! And out of spite, i wont pay your paypal fees, even for "deal of the century" (which i doubt any of you cheapskates will offer ) Still, who i need suggestion on good (cheap) red wine!
Eldragon- You are making me laugh here, calling all others cheapskates simply because you are to cheap to pay insignificant paypal fees, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black I don't know what is. I collect them and I pay the fees if it is an item I want- and I am forced to pay via paypal, I much prefer wire transfer($25) or certified funds but in a pinch paypal is easy and cheap, deal with it or don't sounds like you are one of the only ones who feels that it is a huge injustice on there rights. I am sure the rest of the world is wrong :-\
Sean, You were talking about something called cash? What exactly is that? :^)
If adding the PayPal option is solely for the convenience of buyers and so valueless or burdensome for the seller, why bother with the hassle?

Presumably sellers add the PayPal option to increase the size of their potential market to include those who don't have the cash to pay immediately or have an aversion to sending strangers large sums of cash. Presumably, this is to drive the maximum sales price. Some customers/buyers are just more expensive to deal with than others - I agree with a couple of comments that it is just a cost of doing business that most retailers recognize.

Having said that, I wholeheartedly agree that any seller has the right to charge whatever they want for whatever they have, including tacking on PayPal fees. Why not bill back any long distance charges for return phone calls, as well? Recognize, though, that it may turn off a subsegment of the market, such as Eldragon, with whatever implication that has for price you get for whatever it is you are trying to move. Given one off sales of high end audio, the implication is probably nothing. For most retailers, the implication is meaningful.

I'd remind you of various threads here and on AA about how some people react to the "attitude" of various high end dealers. The "tacking on of PayPal" fees potentially falls into the category of "attitude" for some.

For me, I can live with either alternative.

On a different subject - Eldragon - try the 1999 Abadia Retuerta Rivola. Quite good for around $10/bottle.
I've never used the c2it service, but I notice that they don't charge a fee on either end for credit card transactions within the US. I'd be curious to hear from folks that have some experience with their service and can compare it to PayPal.
Well, we all have our quirks and blind spots. As previously noted, I will buy only from sellers who ship COD. They don't wanna do COD, we don't do business, it's that simple. Interestingly, despite all the indignant sellers who got up on their hind legs the last time this topic came up, I've NEVER had a seller refuse a COD transaction, though lots of them say up front that they won't do it under any circumstances. I think it is a matter of building confidence in each other via phone or email. That and the fact that I agree to pay shipping both ways up front on items of any significant cost.

That's my quirk. PayPal is somebody else's quirk. My point is, if you want the gear then negotiate the price. I don't care if the seller wants to charge me for laundering his shirts. If the price is what I'm willing to pay, let the deal go forward, shirts and all. If it isn't what I want to pay, and we can't get together on a workable price, then PayPal fees and shipping charges and the phase of the moon have nothing to do with it.

When ebay began, it was a neat, clean, and simple way of putting (mostly) casual buyers and sellers in touch with each other. Now it is heavily influenced by dealers and pseudodealers and would-be dealers and know-it-alls of every ilk, plus enough rules, regulations, complications, and add-ons to gag a goat. Little wonder that more and more buyers make end runs around the whole process, merely using ebay as a means of contacting sellers, negotiating prices, pulling gear out of auctions, paying listing fees, closing the deal, and getting on with life.

Why must this all be so grim and serious? Are we not supposed to be having fun?

My local Hifi shop charges me if I choose to use a credit card if it is for a pre-owned item at a giveaway price. I consider this to be perfectly fair – I want the best deal and the shop is trying to work with me. By contrast, if some bill-roll walks in to buy a 5000k piece and slaps down his card without haggling, no problem. Nothing said. The issue of CC fees would never be brought up.
Kjg, there is another Audiogon thread titled c2it thanks - or something like that. Be sure to check it out before you register with those guys.
My question is: Why do some sellers ONLY accept Pay Pal and not a money order or check? I was ready to buy some tubes from someone who only accepts Pay Pal and mentioned that I would rather pay by money order and was turned down! I didn't talk down the price either. That was truly BS.
Bradz-He probably turned you down because you don't have that clk55 yet ;) But seriously I don't understand why a seller would turn you down, some people are weird(in particular in this hobby).
Payapl does give you a verified shipping address etc..
When I buy gear I don't mind paying the extra 2.9% PayPal fee. I look at it as a big time saver - I don't have to stand in line at the bank, pay the fee for a Cashiers Check, then stand in line at the Post Office, find change for the parking meeter, pay to insure the package and pay for postage. And then wait in Agony to hear back from the seller once the funds are received.

Instead, I sit in the convenience of my office - log on to PayPal and just hit "send money" and its done.

Of course there is a value curve with PayPal use. If I am purchasing something which costs more than "x" dollars, I consider if it would be more cost effective to spend the time and energy to get a cashiers check and mail vs. absorbing the PayPal fees.

Guess it depends on how much you value your time.

For purchases under $1000 PayPal's 2.9% fee is a relatively "fair" price for the service - given the alternatives.
Wouldn't seller, that charges that %, be charged by paypal % on top of that? If product you are selling is $100, and buyer pays $103, paypal will charge % on $103, which will be higher than $100? What is the point?
I just had an experience where the debit card that I had previously used charge free (to seller or buyer) on PayPal is now considered a credit card. A seller denied my payment based on the fee charged to the seller. I have asked them for clarification from PayPal; they list a PayPal debit card as a category now. Are they a bank or credit card company?
What do members think?
I hesitated before posting a reply to this thread. It seems to be a "hot" topic and I've been involved in one too many flame-wars in the past.

Let me just say this. Many of the arguments against passing along Paypal fees (beside the legal issue) use department stores and other business' as examples. Guess what. I'm not a department store nor am I an audio retailer. I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys music. The only reason I sell anything is to upgrade; and I bet that this is true of many Agon sellers. So, keep in mind next time you think someone is nickel-and-diming you that many of us are just individuals who are probably already losing money on the item you are buying.