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pay for stuff with something other than paypal

 
master steward
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I got this email a few minutes ago:

I’d like to purchase your BWH+WBS2 combo set, but I don’t have a paypal account and they have been hacked a couple of times now.

Is there any way I could make a straight up visa payment to you or would you entertain some other form of payment.



I've been getting enough of these over the last few months, that I figure I should start a thread.

First, no, I have no way to accept credit cards if paypal is not involved.   I did that for a while about 20 years ago and what a damn sick, twisted mess.  I am glad to let paypal have all the hassles with credit cards and make my life easier.  

Next up, some folks here on permies convinced me to try bitcoin a few years ago.  Somebody gave me ten bucks in bitcoin and I left it there.  And then it seems like a few times a year, somebody wants to pay for stuff with bitcoin.   And then a lot of folks had some bitcoin last year and it grew a lot bigger - so now those folks are pleased as punch to buy stuff with bitcoin.   But it does seem like the price of transactions for bitcoin is a tiny sliver of bitcoin which, now that a single bitcoin is worth $10,000, transactions are something like $10.  So if you wanna buy something for $1, it will actually cost $11.   As long as you include the stuff for the transaction fee, I am cool receiving bitcoin.  More about my bitcoin magic number and other bitcoin bits and bobs here.

A long time ago, I set up with dwolla.  That seems to still work.  But I think that is on the outs these days.

I recently completed a single transaction with zelle.   I could do that.  

I have had two people send me funds via amazon.  I don't know the details, but that seemed to work.  

I have had people want to send checks or money orders.  That is a doable thing, but that is some old school stuff that I am weary of dealing with.  We do deal with it, but that is the slow train.   And then we have to sit on those funds for three weeks to make sure the system doesn't barf it back.  I would rather not deal with that anymore, but once in a while, we still do.  I will just make whiney noises the whole way.  

I am set up at coinbase, which also has wallets for "bitcoin cash", "ethereum" and "litecoin".  I don't know what those are, but I am open to getting some and figuring it out.  

One time a guy came to a workshop we had here and he paid with two cords of wood and stacked it.  That was cool.

Hmmmm ....   at one point I started to set the dvds up at gumroad.   They take credit cards without using paypal.  I suppose I could go back and attempt to complete that process.  But that would be at least several weeks away.

 I do recall that somebody once asked me to sign up for some sort of paypal alternative, but the information they wanted from me was information i was not willing to part with.  So we ended up using paypal.  

Anybody else have thoughts on this? How does everybody else send or receive money-like stuff these days?
 
steward
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How do you feel about folks physically mailing you cash or a check?  As long as they include some info so that you know what it's for, it shouldn't be too difficult to manage.  Maybe we could do a "pay by mail" option when people buy something.  They could print an invoice and then send it to you with the cash or check.   Is that possible?
 
paul wheaton
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If I receive cash, I am okay with that.  I know that jack takes silver for stuff.   That could be cool too I suppose.  But the thing is that cash or silver could be sent and not make it to me.  That's probably a small risk, but .... I also don't want to get people demanding i send them stuff and they never actually sent anything - and that seems ten times more likely than cash not getting here.  So I just wanna make it clear that if you send cash or silver, I am cool with doing that, but you have to take all the risk of it never arriving.

I definitely don't want to set up this stuff as a regular thing - only as an alternative for folks that really don't want to deal with paypal.  So maybe each thing where we sell stuff, we can say have a teeny tiny asterisk next to it that links to this thread.

I know of people that are unhappy with paypal - but paypal has been very, very good to me.  About twice a year, somebody tries to do some wicked shit unto me through paypal, and paypal has sided with me 100% of the time.  
 
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I have used e-transfer a number of times with fast results. In Canada it has become fairly common and works through the banks using just email. It works via a password that you receive from the buyer on a separate e-mail, then you log into your bank account, put in that password and receive the money.
May not be available in your area.
 
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Stripe provides a PCI compliant API that can be integrated into any site. Their fees are pretty much identical to PayPal.
 
pollinator
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very ols fashioned bank transfers work too, its a bit painful since you have to look into your account.
 
pollinator
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Any chance we could post the products on Amazon? I just read this week that half the households in the U.S. have active Amazon Prime subscriptions. Let Amazon deal with payment/fraud, and then they pay you. Their commission is steep, but I suspect it will produce incremental orders and at least pay for itself. I consider Amazon to be the second most important search engine if you are trying to sell stuff, nearly as important as Google, and it is possible that they pass them in the not so distant future. This might also be an an alternative landing page for affiliates - one that could be less work/time  than optimizing the landing pages...

Looks like this one used to be on Amazon:
http://a.co/h9bhgED

There were 66 reviews, so it must have sold a few hundred units that way...

Bonus idea - if we re-enabled that old listing, we could add links to it in the description to new DVDs to give the new ones a bonus bump to get them started...
 
pollinator
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I'm cool with paypal and not cool with bitcoin etc because when you realise that bit coin is used to facilitate all sorts of very icky stuff - drugs child porn etc do we really want to be near that stuff?
 
pollinator
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Open a store on Etsy, Amazon, Shopify, Cartel or Facebook.  I would suggest Etsy as it is pretty easy to maintain.  I have an Amazon Prime account but I've never sold on it.  I have an Etsy Store and a Shopify Store.  People seem to be more comfortable purchasing from Etsy. Shopify is pretty high maintenance but it's very scalable.  

I hate facebook but it is set up to really hammer social media marketing.

Etsy: Etsy Payments,(10 payment options) Paypal



 
paul wheaton
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98% of sales via amazon were from me sending people to amazon to buy.  

I think it would be fine if somebody who was a bit of an amazon expert bought a case of DVDs from me and had me send them to amazon.  So they sold my DVDs on amazon.  

As is, it was a lot of work to maintain that dvd listing on amazon and I never did learn how to properly manage an amazon listing.  I would rather somebody else do that.



 
paul wheaton
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I just got my first real gob of monies through zelle yesterday.  Seemed to work fine on my end.

 
paul wheaton
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updates ...


here is a website full of alternatives:  https://comparisons.financesonline.com/bitpay-vs-dwolla

Jocelyn and I have fiddled with zelle a bit.  Zelle has some growing up to do.  

Amazon pay sounds promising.  

Bitpay sounds promising.  

 
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One of the hassles I see with using a crypto currency is the wild fluctuations in value, and having your pricing reflect that accurately. Even if an exchange system manages that for you, having the "online wallet" holding that currency bounce around in value would be stressful to me, if I were relying on those sales in any way to pay the bills.

There was some paywall system I recall a gaming company used to process a monthly subscription (can't research it at work) that I had, and it seemed they preferred it over paypal. I believe they were a british company so that might have been the reason, or it might have had lower processing fees?
 
paul wheaton
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I don't know what the future of bitcoin is.  And I don't know know what the future of any stock, precious metal or paper currency is.  

I do know that a few people threw a few bucks worth of bitcoin my way in the last couple of years and it grew ten fold.  So, by accepting bitcoin, it has to be a pretty horrible mess to undo all of the upsides that have happened so far.  

 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
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