Friday, December 19, 2008

PayPal

So I have been selling stuff that I have had in storage on ebay for the past couple of months. I have had such great success with buying off ebay for the past couple of years that I thought it would be fun and exciting to try my hand at selling. Wow! Did I create an uproar. The first month was fine and then the "Must Upgrade" emails started. I was not sure what was happening. I called PayPal....my trusted source for SO MANY purchases to ask what was going on and was told that it was ebay's policy that if I was going to sell on ebay, I needed to be able to accept ALL forms of payment. That didn't make sense to me....
I had already sold four items on ebay the previous month without "upgrading" anything....what the heck were they talking about???? You mean I wasn't accepting all forms of payment? I thought that was what my PayPal account was for? How am I to know either way... sellers do not receive buyers pay information other than PayPal's notation of cash payment or credit payment. I mean that's the whole draw of PayPal is that buyers can spend money securely. There's no REAL verification for sellers to have proof the credit card fee being charged is real. Wow! Was I confused. After receiving two emails entitled, "ebay Recurring Monthly Seller Fees" within a week of each other (and it was clear based on the amounts that these statements were not duplicates), I decided to give PayPal another call.

I explained to the PayPal representative (Shirvin?) everything that I understood...which wasn't much. I actually thought that a PayPal account was a PayPal account. I didn't know there were different fee structures for different "levels" of accounts. Below is what I learned, how I changed my listings on ebay as they stand now, and a little message that I'm hoping a "mucky-muck" at PayPal will read.
Ebay listing notation:

*** Please note that I have just downgraded my paypal account (12-19-08) to a personal account from a premier business account due to paypal fee structures. If your paypal account is set up to pay for items you are buying with a credit card, I will no longer accept this type of paypal transaction. I WILL, however, be able to accept a paypal payment if your paypal account is set up to pay for items you are purchasing with your bank account/cash transfer. Please be aware that when paying through paypal, both credit card and bank account information is never given to sellers. Your payment protection and all paypal guarantees are still in effect. If your paypal account is set up for credit card payment only, please contact me and we can make other payment arrangements to ensure speedy delivery of your purchase. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I just found out the following as it applies to sellers:

* Paypal Personal Account Holders: Cannot receive more than
$500/month revenue
Do not get charged for any
cash payments or money
transfers
*Paypal Premier Business Account Holders: Can receive unlimited
money revenue
Get charged the same rate
for EVERY transaction
regardless of type of
payment (cash, money
transfers & credit card).

For more information regarding my reasons for downgrading my paypal account, please visit my blog entitled Paypal at http://www.funandmentalchanges.com/.


My own observation: Paypal is shooting themselves in the foot! It seems that there is a greater income level with the premier account if EVERYONE were accepting credit card payments.... more opportunity to receive credit card transactions (and actually receive a "cut" of something big).... why would paypal charge for cash transactions on these accounts? I am NOT a businessperson and do not receive more than $500 of revenue/month. It makes sense to me NOT to accept credit card payments and save the transaction fee. Of course, because I downgraded due to this discriminatory practice, Paypal will make that much less from me. Because once I reach my $500 threshold for the month, I will just change the method of payment I accept for the rest of the month to money order. Sorry that you all are having to read this from my ebay listing....but this is the information that you WILL NOT get from the paypal.com website. They just tell you, "If you wanna sell on ebay, you need to accept ALL forms of payment." That is VERY shady in my book and I want others to know. While paypal provides an amazing service to consumers (I have LOVED it for years), they really should speak to an economist. Simple common sense tells you that "business owners" make up less than 10% and regular consumers make up the remaining 90%. But paypal does not charge the 90% for cash transactions, and DO charge the 10% causing the 10% to downgrade therefore losing a huge potential for revenue. Paypal: you should not charge transaction fees at all for cash transactions. By giving up this fee, you will make more money simply by design. With unlimited revenue potential on the premier business account, there is SURE to be FAR MORE credit card transactions and far less "downgrades". Simple math 10% getting charged 3.9% on 100% transactions or 100% getting charged 3.9% on credit card transactions only (plastic IS the preferred form of payment). Why not let FREE Cash Transactions be a "perk" for everyone? You will end up having FAR MORE people (like myself who are NOT business people... you know, the 90%) signing up for the Premier Business PayPal account opening up the posibility of a DOWNPOUR of credit card transactions and HUGE revenue for yourselves (even if EVERY person did only 1 credit card transaction, PayPal would capture the 90% AND the 10% business owners. Income for everyone would skyrocket and EVERYONE would be signing up for the PayPal Premier). I may not be a genius, but even I can clearly see how the current fee structure is hurting business mainly for PayPal. Seriously... I'm gonna stop babbling now. I hope you all understand about PayPal what took me days to understand. A special thanx to the PayPal representative Shirvin for helping me to understand after I called and said, "Someone needs to walk me through this and MAKE me understand."

A little side bar on the paypal premier business account: Transaction fees may be a "business deduction". Please speak with your tax attorney/tax accountant for eligibility. However, whether or not you are operating with the paypal premier business account doesn't determine a business qualification for such purposes. If you are not earning that $500 + per month, you may not be considered a business to deduct these expenses even IF you've been utilizing this (so called) upgraded business paypal account. I have finally figured out why I am not a millionaire yet.... I'm too smart. Apparently I need to work on being completely devoid of common sense then maybe, just maybe, I can be the one in charge. I DO look pretty snappy in my suit... I'm halfway there!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Nail Epic

So, as some may or may not know, I am working on trying to master caring for my own nails after my economic situation has required me to cancel my standing nail appointment with the "Amazing Alison". I have realized just how hard a job it is! My nails were in dreadful shape after having fake nails for so many years. I have battled brittle nails, peeling nails, polishing issues....you name it, and I suffer with it.

The first was the peeling of the nail layers right after the fake nails were first removed. I attempted to "strengthen" them with nail strengthening products such as OPI's Nail Envy. I found out that strength was not what I was needing because that led to my nails being so "strong", they would break with the slightest pressure since the Nail Envy did nothing to help with the nail's flexibility to give without breaking. I then ordered Nail Aid which I STILL use as a basecoat (this product is still my number one!).

The polish issues, more specifically BUBBLING, are still present. I haven't figured out how to polish my nails to the mirror finish like I always got when I visited the Amazing Alison, so I call her. She informed me that my nails need to be clean and the brush cannot be too dry nor too coated when applying the polish. Also, she said that the polish needs to be set up between coats and that natural nails take longer to dry. She said that they will NOT be completely dry for 24 hours. I now polish my nails first thing in the morning, and find that, for me, splitting up my coats gives me better end results. I have split it up between two days (I wish I could do it all in one day, but I just can't without seeing bubbles). The first day I do the first two coats, the second day the last two to three depending on what color I've chosen.
So there you have it! My progress so far. I have a VERY long way to go in mastering this, but I've also learned that after fake nails, the only thing that fixes your nails is time (and in the case of polish....lots and lots of practice). There is no miracle product to fix the problem, but there are some pretty good tips and products to help mask it. Good luck to everyone out there and if you have any tips to pass along....PLEASE do!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spiritual Beings in the Human Experience

So yesterday's blog was kind of a "downer". And just when I think that I am not going to find my "silver lining", the silver lining finds me. As I was flipping through the channels this morning I paused on a local morning program. I love it when that happens! When you see something you normally wouldn't look at or you hear something that "sticks" and you have no idea why, just to find out down the road that it was exactly what you needed to see or hear to help you in the knick of time.
Well this was it! The featured show guest was Mindy Mendelsohn speaking about our divine connection and how we are choosing to act and what part of us is influencing our decisions. To really look at what decisions we are making from moment to moment and what is REALLY influencing those decisions certainly boggles the mind. But I also think it gets us closer to really knowing ourselves...the real us inside this skin. Clearly my post from yesterday was getting in touch with my human-self worried about the state of our government, economy, my bills and affording this Christmas holiday. Like so many out there, I am finding my focus going toward the negative instead of realizing all the positive around me (something I thought I was so good at!). Mindy's appearance on that program this morning really brought me back to what I believe is important. I cannot feel bad enough to change a thing, but I CAN feel good enough and move mountains. I think that is important this holiday season. I somehow forgot that I believe an attitude of gratitude can literally save my life. Mindy....thank you for putting me in check! Ordinary people who do extraordinary things in spite of the circumstances they are faced with....THAT is the topic of my next blog, because we ALL have that opportunity right now. I think we all should check out Mindy's site to help us turn around this holiday season.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Can't Find the "Good" In This One

This economy is HURTING so many people. You are hearing it on the news and even in my day to day, talking to people who are getting downsized and jobs being cut. It is unbelievable to think about the "chain reaction" of things. Gas prices effects food prices. Loss of housing effects the spending that ultimately effects businesses that effects future jobs....the list goes on and on. I spoke to someone yesterday who is in the medical field. People are not spending money on health care because they can't even afford to keep their houses....my heart is broken. Why, oh why, did our government choose to "bail out" all those banks when the people who put the money IN the banks need the "bailing out". Our government chose (ignoring "the people's" voice) to bail out the minority when the minority is dependent on the majority to spend the money they now have even less of because we are funding the bail out of the minority. That sounds to me like a never ending vicious cycle.

How do these people get in power? How is it that the people with the least amount of common sense wear the snappiest suits and get to override the voice of the people they are supposed to SERVE? In any other walk of life, they would be put on trial and made to pay for their crimes.
Isn't that the very reason we just exterminated Sadam Husain? He was hurting the people he was supposed to govern. Instead of governing, he was controlling. Isn't that what our government is doing? And not even discretely!

As I personally am trying to take a financial inventory in preparation for this Christmas season, it occurs to me that my silver lining is clouded this time. I am so disappointed in what we've allowed our government to become. I really just want to cash out retirements (if there is anything left) and move overseas, some place quiet and unassuming where the government openly controls without the smoke and mirror and facade that is our democracy. The only difference is that in America we have rights that we are choosing not to fight for (and clearly we still need to). We are currently fighting for other's right to choose while abandoning our own. WE are allowing our government to ruin us. How much more will have to occur before we decide that enough is enough and take it back. Someone said on a blog recently..."it's time for another tea party." I'll bring the cakes!