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'[OT] PayPal (was [AD] New TTL to RS-232 converter)'
2005\03\22@071459 by Gerhard Fiedler

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James Newton, Host wrote:

> The $2 are on their way to you via PayPal. Sorry about that.

What experiences with or thoughts about PayPal do you guys have? There are
a couple of sites out there that tell kind of scary stories (just google
for "paypal" :).

OTOH, it seems to be one of the more convenient ways to work around the
deficiencies of the US banking system.

Gerhard

2005\03\22@074505 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote :

> What experiences with or thoughts about PayPal do you
> guys have? There are a couple of sites out there that
> tell kind of scary stories (just google for "paypal" :).
>
> OTOH, it seems to be one of the more convenient ways
> to work around the deficiencies of the US banking system.

Hi.
Been a PayPal member for aprox 3 years.
Must have done over 1.000 transactions, of which
about 95% have been payments *too* me and the
rest payments I have made to others. In both cases
about 95% have been between me and someone in
the US.

Haven't had a single problem (caused by PayPal).

And, there is no way I might have made those intl
transactions without (something like) PayPal.

Regards,
Jan-Erik.



2005\03\22@075618 by Thomas Sefranek

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I had one guy tell me his horror story of Paypal...
But, HE was one of only a few who stiffed me!!!

In all the years I've used the service I have never had a problem
Buying or selling.

BEWARE!  There ARE look-a-likes who attempt to get your paypal account info!

 *
 |  __O    Thomas C. Sefranek   spam_OUTWA1RHPTakeThisOuTspamARRL.NET
 |_-\<,_   Amateur Radio Operator: WA1RHP
 (*)/ (*)  Bicycle mobile on 145.41, PL 74.4

hamradio.cmcorp.com/inventory/Inventory.html
http://www.harvardrepeater.org  

> {Original Message removed}

2005\03\22@081456 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Thomas Sefranek wrote :

> BEWARE!  There ARE look-a-likes who attempt to get your
> paypal account info!

Yup, get's them now and then. The link in the mail usualy
goes to some ".ru" (Rumania ?) site. I just throw them away
after forwarding a copy to ".....spoofKILLspamspam@spam@paypal.com".

Jan-Erik.



2005\03\22@083055 by Alan B. Pearce

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> What experiences with or thoughts about PayPal do you
> guys have? There are a couple of sites out there that
> tell kind of scary stories (just google for "paypal" :).
>
> OTOH, it seems to be one of the more convenient ways
> to work around the deficiencies of the US banking system.

I think most of those stories are now "pretty old", and relate to the early
days of Paypal - specially before it was taken over by eBay. I think you
will find that it is pretty stable now. I have used it for a fair while, and
never had any problem, but I have made only payments through it.

2005\03\22@084603 by Alan B. Pearce

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>BEWARE!  There ARE look-a-likes who attempt to get your paypal account
info!

Yeah, but these are the usual scam emails that try and get your details for
pretty well any of the banks, along with Paypal, eBay and anything else that
might have login online access.

2005\03\22@090354 by Mike Harrison

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On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 09:14:47 -0300, you wrote:

>James Newton, Host wrote:
>
>> The $2 are on their way to you via PayPal. Sorry about that.
>
>What experiences with or thoughts about PayPal do you guys have? There are
>a couple of sites out there that tell kind of scary stories (just google
>for "paypal" :).
>
>OTOH, it seems to be one of the more convenient ways to work around the
>deficiencies of the US banking system.
>
>Gerhard

The consensus seems to be that mostly it works fine but on the occasions that things do go wrong,
they are not good at dealing with it.

2005\03\22@094819 by Randy Jones

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My PayPal experience over several years and thousands of transactions has
been EXCELLENT.

As was mentioned in another post, I believe there were some issues in the
early days before they were bought by eBay.  It is also important that a
seller strictly follow their policies regarding shipping to the buyer's
locations that they have on record.  My understanding is that those sellers
who have had their accounts "frozen" typically became involved in an
international transaction that didn't quite follow the rules.

I've only had occasion to contact their customer service a few times, and I
must say I have been very favorably impressed -- especially compared to my
generally low expectations from typical customer "service" operations these
days.

One occasion was when I had bought some things at the 2003 Masters
Conference and was charged twice on my PayPal debit card for the purchase.
Turns out that Microchip was the one who had erroneously made the double
charge, but the PayPal representative quickly grasped the situation and
reversed the second charge.

Like any arrangement where a seller accepts credit card payments, you are
vulnerable to unjustified chargebacks -- either through PayPal or even
months later through the buyer's credit card provider.  I think the
frequency of this problem depends largely on the category of items being
sold and the seller's customer service.  Some very good eBay sellers do see
a significant number of unjustified chargebacks, and I think it relates to
the group of customers they are involved with.  I have had nearly zero
problems in this area.

This vulnerability needs to be kept in mind when shipping untraceable
packages where the buyer has agreed to accept full responsibility for a lost
package in exchange for a lower shipping cost.  A quick trip to the eBay
discussion boards will provide a number of stories from inexperienced
sellers who have learned the hard way that this arrangement doesn't always
work out as expected when the package actually does get lost.  Not all
buyers (or sellers) are as honorable as the good folks involved in this
discussion, unfortunately.

As Howard pointed out, I ship internationally by Global Priority and
(mostly) Air Letter Post (standard air mail).  Very, very few packages have
been lost, but some to take quite a while to arrive.  Most of the delays
seem to be related to sitting in customs in the destination country.  For
example, I've sent five packages to a certain customer in Sweden.  Four have
arrived in approximately one week, but one of them took nearly a month.  The
package that took a long time was no different from the others, and I see no
pattern to this.

The pattern I do see is a significant difference in the mail systems
depending on the destination country.  My shipments to the UK and Australia,
for example, arrive pretty much like clockwork.  There is a much higher
percentage of unpredictable and lengthy delays with my shipments to Canada.
Sometimes buyers get a little "frustrated" when the package hasn't arrived
after several weeks and it's only a "few hundred" miles.  There is nothing I
can do about this, other than try to make sure that the possibility is fully
understood before the transaction is completed.

There are also countries where the mail is quite unreliable and frequently
subject to theft.  A customer in South America made sure that I would send
his order by registered mail -- and even then he knew the odds were
significant that the package might never arrive.  There are many areas that
I do not ship to, because the odds of trouble are too great.  I think that
Peter Anderson has trimmed the list of countries he ships to as well.

Overall, my international shipping experience has been very good.  I just
use the small green sticker (as Howard mentioned) and generally ship by
standard air mail.  When done properly, the odds of a successful outcome are
very high.  PayPal works great and I have no worry about the often
substantial balance I have in my account with them.  I know of several guys
who do large volume through PayPal (in one case over $200K in one day) with
no problems.  Obviously they aren't selling PICs and electrnonic
components -- heh, heh!

Since the US banking system has been very slow to adopt low-cost balance
transfers between individuals, PayPal seems to be the best way to go.  They
are also adding a number of new useful features -- such as being able to
make credit card payments in certain circumstances without becoming a PayPal
"member."

I have been very pleased with their service, and I think buyers need not
have any hesitation about using them vs. any other secure online credit card
transaction.  The seller is the one bearing the risk, which is relatively
small in my experience.

-Randy
http://www.glitchbuster.com


2005\03\22@111842 by John Ferrell

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I have been using PayPal for several years, maybe 200 transactions, no
problems. Although the fees may be a little high I find them worth it. I
believe they are now considered a bank in the US. I PREFER them for both
buying & selling!

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\03\22@161611 by James Newtons Massmind

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If you read between the lines, most of the horror stories are actually just
people being stupid. E.g. you don't leave $35,000 dollars in a PayPal
account! You xfer it out to your bank or whatever. You don't do your paypal
transactions from a coffee house. You don't let ANY employee "log in for
you" and any number of other stupid ways to get PayPal ticked off at you.

Also, you don't sell things that tick off your customers and generate
complaints.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\03\22@163912 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face

> As Howard pointed out, I ship internationally by Global Priority and
> (mostly) Air Letter Post (standard air mail).  Very, very few
> packages have been lost, but some to take quite a while to
> arrive.  Most of the delays seem to be related to sitting in
> customs in the destination country.  For example, I've sent
> five packages to a certain customer in Sweden.  Four have
> arrived in approximately one week, but one of them took
> nearly a month.  The package that took a long time was no
> different from the others, and I see no pattern to this.

In my mind, that delay of a month is the same as the package being lost. The
customer isn't happy. I start feeling like I have to re-ship and eat the
loss. If the tracking were good enough to say "it is NOT lost, just sitting
in customs" then the customer could rest assured that it would get through,
but this is not possible as far as I can see.

> The pattern I do see is a significant difference in the mail
> systems depending on the destination country.  My shipments
> to the UK and Australia, for example, arrive pretty much like
> clockwork.  There is a much higher percentage of
> unpredictable and lengthy delays with my shipments to Canada.

I've had problems shipping to the U.K., Canada, and Australia which most
people say are fine. I no longer accept anything but prepaid orders (cash,
check, money order) for anything more than $50 from ANY country.

Part of being picky and refusing orders that I'm not comfortable with means
that I can keep regular prices closer "to the bone" and pass the savings on
to customers who I do come to trust.

And I have had issues in the USA as well. Sometimes, on large orders when
the address isn't confirmed, I will try to verify it by looking up a phone
number in one of the online phone books, then giving a quick call to confirm
that the expected person is at the other end and really did place the order.
One guy's mother ripped me a new hole for disturbing her at home. Refund.
Another guy wasn't sure that my customer "was still hanging around, but we
see him sometimes." Refund.

> Sometimes buyers get a little "frustrated" when the package
> hasn't arrived after several weeks and it's only a "few
> hundred" miles.  There is nothing I can do about this, other
> than try to make sure that the possibility is fully
> understood before the transaction is completed.

How do you "make sure that the possibility is fully understood"?

> There are also countries where the mail is quite unreliable
> and frequently subject to theft.  A customer in South America
> made sure that I would send his order by registered mail --
> and even then he knew the odds were significant that the
> package might never arrive.  There are many areas that I do
> not ship to, because the odds of trouble are too great.  I
> think that Peter Anderson has trimmed the list of countries
> he ships to as well.

I've seen lots of "lost" packages to Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico so I
don't accept PayPal for ANY order from the Latin countries. Love the refund
button. Does anyone share a list of countries that they will and will not
ship to? Is there a "international shipping watchdog" site that records
losses?

> Overall, my international shipping experience has been very
> good.  I just use the small green sticker (as Howard
> mentioned) and generally ship by standard air mail.  When
> done properly, the odds of a successful outcome are very
> high.  PayPal works great and I have no worry about the often
> substantial balance I have in my account with them.  I know
> of several guys who do large volume through PayPal (in one
> case over $200K in one day) with no problems.  Obviously they
> aren't selling PICs and electrnonic components -- heh, heh!

Why on earth would they not get a real CC account at a bank? Is it not
possible to xfer funds via CC?

> I have been very pleased with their service, and I think
> buyers need not have any hesitation about using them vs. any
> other secure online credit card transaction.  The seller is
> the one bearing the risk, which is relatively small in my experience.
>
> -Randy
> http://www.glitchbuster.com
>

I've noticed that you have... Well... Lasted a while now, and I hope you
have continued success of course, but I wonder what you have done to
automate or smooth the process of filling orders? Do you print postage
labels from PayPal? Do you use a separate shipping service like stamps.com?
Do you use an inventory management program? Accounting?

Pardon me while I pick your brain... <GRIN>

---
James.



2005\03\22@164825 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> What experiences with or thoughts about PayPal do you guys
> have?

I have used it for a few years without a problem. But that does not
contradict the horror stories, which indcate that problems are rare, but
if you have a problem it is almost impossible to get it solved. So I
just cross my fingers and make sure the amount of money on my account is
never too high. I know no other service that could replace them (there
are a few, but they are less widely accepted, charge a higher fee, etc
etc).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\03\22@194813 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <20050322214122022.AAA396spamKILLspamnt2.massmind.orgspamKILLspamSONYGRT270PB>>          "James Newtons Massmind" <.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam.....massmind.org> wrote:

> Does anyone share a list of countries that they will and will not
> ship to?

Will ship to: UK, USA, Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway,
Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Finland, Spain, Italy, a few of the other Western
European countries that I've undoubtedly forgotten, and Japan.

Will not ship to: Nigeria (or any other part of Africa for that matter), most
of Asia and Eastern Europe (inc. the former Soviet Bloc countries).

If the seller pays using some prepaid method - wire transfer with cash,
postal order or similar - I'll send it anywhere that's not on the export
blocklists (ITAR?).

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
EraseMEphilpemspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTphilpem.me.uk              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... --T-A+G-L-I+N-E--+M-E-A+S-U-R+I-N-G+--G-A+U-G-E--

2005\03\22@210627 by icroControllerShop

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At 12:46 AM 3/23/2005 +0000, you wrote:
>In message <20050322214122022.AAA396spamspam_OUTnt2.massmind.orgspamspam_OUTSONYGRT270PB>> >           "James Newtons Massmind" <@spam@jamesnewtonKILLspamspammassmind.org> wrote:
>
> > Does anyone share a list of countries that they will and will not
> > ship to?
>

We ship worldwide, with exception of countries on the US trade embargo list
(Cuba and Iran) We regularly ship to Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa

We do however, manually check each order for signs of possible fraud
and request additional info in such cases (copy of picture ID and credit card).
We also enforce use of the credit card card verification code (CVC).
For high fraud rate countries like Nigeria requesting additional
verification material
is standard procedure. This stops 99.8% of all fraud attempts right there.

We had fraud attempts (not successes however ;-) from (in order of frequency):
Nigeria, Indonesia,  South Africa, Israel, Vietnam, Kuwait, Egypt,
Argentina, Colombia,
Portugal, UK (We also have, however, valued customers in each of these
countries).
You may note that some countries are on this list that many would consider
"safe".

On over 1500 shipments, we had 3 successful fraud attempts, of which in
hindsight
one could say it was our own stupidity in not reading the warning signs
correctly
(but you learn as you go ;-))

We also always use trackable methods of shipment. USPS Global Express
for International and Priority Mail with Delivery Confirm for Domestic orders.
Using USPS Global Express for International orders unfortunately results in
high shipping cost as others have noted before, but we do not see
any alternative to it and others (Fedex, UPS) are more than twice as much.

I would also like to comment on the "making sure the customer understands
that cheaper shipping options are at their own risk" when shipping by
regular airmail
comment made here before: If push comes to shove you as the
shipper/merchant will
be at the shorter end of the stick. If the customer claims he/she did not
receive the goods
and files an affidavit with the credit card company to that extend, the
credit card company
WILL chargeback the disputed amount to you plus a $25 chargeback fee if you
can not prove
that goods have been delivered. Unless you would have a written and signed
contract with
the customer that he/she carries the shipping risk (which I think is not
very practical).
Having proof of delivery saved us more times than you may think from
getting charged back,
not to mention the uncountable number of cases where the "receptionist got
it", but it never
made it to the person that ordered it (i.e. internal company mess ups),
without tracking/delivery confirm
you would have a lot of problems.


best regards
Volker
MicroController Pros Corporation
The MicroController and Embedded Systems Tool Store
http://microcontrollershop.com
+1-408-333-9266 Phone
+1-800-510-3609 Toll-free phone
+1-215-243-6071 Fax

2005\03\22@213922 by Vitaliy Maksimov

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> Yup, get's them now and then. The link in the mail usualy
> goes to some ".ru" (Rumania ?) site. I just throw them away
> after forwarding a copy to "KILLspamspoofKILLspamspampaypal.com".
>
> Jan-Erik.

.ru = Russia, Romania is .ro.  :)

http://www.theodora.com/country_digraphs.html

Best regards,

Vitaliy

2005\03\23@040257 by Howard Winter

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Phil,

On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 00:46:18 GMT, Philip Pemberton wrote:

>...<
> Will not ship to: Nigeria

What is it with Nigeria?  Is there a single honest person in the country?  I seem to have had an email from
each member of the population, trying to work some scam or other!  

I still like the one I had a few weeks back that at least was honest enough to address me as: "Dear Mark," :-)

Cheers,




Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\03\23@075821 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> What experiences with or thoughts about PayPal do you guys
>> have?
>
> I have used it for a few years without a problem. But that does not
> contradict the horror stories, which indcate that problems are rare, but
> if you have a problem it is almost impossible to get it solved. So I
> just cross my fingers ...

Thanks to all who replied. I guess I'm getting more confident, and might
just do what Wouter does :) -- which seems to be the consensus.

Gerhard

2005\03\23@083759 by Bob Ammerman

picon face

----- Original Message -----
From: "Howard Winter" <RemoveMEHDRWTakeThisOuTspamH2Org.demon.co.uk>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <spamBeGonepiclistspamBeGonespammit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 4:02 AM
Subject: RE: [OT] PayPal (was [AD] New TTL to RS-232 converter)


{Quote hidden}

I know that there is at least one family of honest people there. Our church
supports a native Nigerian as a missionary there and we are certain he and
his family are as honest as the day is long.


Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems


2005\03\24@094532 by Lawrence Lile

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My daughter has run an online business through Paypal for two years.  We had a single incident, where a shipment never arrived and the customer had us blacklisted instead of contacting us first.  We would have just shipped them another order no questions asked and that would have been the end of it.
>From this we learned that all shipments through paypal should have some kind of delivery confirmation.  If we had that, we could have resolved the complaint immediately, instead it took several weeks of hassle.

Paypal is very rigid about suspected fraud, and they come down with both feet if a customer doesn't recieve something that was ordered.  Most people just email us if there is an issue, but a few react with road rage and start a formal complaint as their first move.

Paypal is an efficient way to handle low volume E-commerce.  I can't speak about high volume E-commerce, it may work well there too.

--Lawrence Lile
http://www.lile.biz
Lile Engineering Nichrome Sales
Joy Lile, Proprietress






{Quote hidden}

2005\03\24@101253 by Paul James E.

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All,

I too have used Pay Pal for many years for online sales and for  ebay sales and purchases, and I have never had any problems with  it.  I think Pay Pal is great.   Of course, all my dealings have  been domestic, so that may factor in somehow, but otherwise, I'm  completely satisfied and happy with the service.

                                        Regards,

                                          Jim


{Quote hidden}

>>

2005\03\24@151731 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Paul James E. wrote :

> I think Pay Pal is great.   Of course, all my dealings have
> been domestic, so that may factor in somehow,...

Hard to value that statement without knowing exactly what
part of the globe *you* define as "domestic", isn't it ?

Jan-Erik.



2005\03\24@170123 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > I think Pay Pal is great.   Of course, all my dealings have
> > been domestic, so that may factor in somehow,...
>
> Hard to value that statement without knowing exactly what
> part of the globe *you* define as "domestic", isn't it ?

But probably not Euro-europe or one of the other countries with a mature
bank system. And given the ease of use of the word domestic I would
guess US.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\03\24@170844 by Paul James E.

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All,

Domestic meaning USA as that is my geographical location.
Sorry for the confusion.

                                    Regards,

                                      Jim


{Quote hidden}

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