Friday, September 7, 2012

How to survive Paypal

PayPal is evil

I came across a rather interesting blog post on HN today,

In it, the author explains how himself and others had their paypal accounts frozen for dubious reasons, for extended time periods and without any proper customer support.

Now that sucks, and that warning is PRICELESS.

However, the blog post could be answered with the old standard saying:
Want some cheese with your whine ?
I know, I'm an insensitive asshole, but think about it, if you were facing the same risk, wouldn't you rather have a solution with the warning ?

The problem

  • paypal is the fastest, safest, easiest way to pay - in the eyes of many customers (maybe a majority)
  • paypal can freeze your account for long periods
  • paypal cannot possibly freeze your account indefinitely, as a court would eventually force them to unfreeze it
  • paypal seller support is impractical to fix those issues
So, either we drop PayPal and lose 30% flat of all sales (arbitrary number), OR we find a way to lower the impact of the PayPal system bugs.

And in fact, such solutions have existed for a long while, because it has happened in the past that customers would take months or even YEARS to pay an invoice.

The solution

From the top of my head, one could easily use the following fixes:
  1. withdraw from paypal at regular intervals
  2. have backup paypal accounts in case one gets frozen
  3. use other payment services that enable paypal themselves (so THEY are taking "the paypal risk")
  4. credit cards
  5. other credit solutions
  6. loans
So sure, you will lose time and money on the solutions, but will that really cost you more than losing all those paypal sales because you didn't care that your customers preferred paypal ?

Your call, bud considering option 3, which is pretty cheap, why wage a holy war ?

Last thing, the OP talked about his own payment solution, that sounds nice, but either you get into that business seriously and make a global payment solution, or you'll just be annoying users (and you can be sure I will avoid purchasing anything on your site as much as possible, just because I don't give my credit details to "anyone") and losing sales, and risking way more than just your paypal account balance.

If you give a man a knife, prepare to get stabbed.

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