Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"
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  1. #1
    Member Gary123's Avatar
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    Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    I've been wanting to post about this for a while, so perhaps this is old news and I may have missed a thread on it.

    Apologies in advance if this thread violates policy and mods can delete this thread and reprimand me. But this seems worthy of mention.

    ADDED NOTE: To be clear, I am in no way advocating that WUS members violate WUS rules, which I support. What follows is rather my observations and conclusions of the global market place at large and how PayPal's "Friends and Family" payments play out in that arena.

    PayPal recently made a small change to "Friends and Family" transfers: a little check box to obtain PayPal's buyer protection for purchases. The exact language of this check box is:
    "Paying for goods or a service? Tick this box and your eligible purchases are covered by PayPal Purchase Protection."
    As a lawyer, if PayPal wanted to enforce their policy of not using "Friends and Family" for purchases, this is an ineffective attempt. At the very least they could have said "You must check the box and you will get ... protection"

    I digress for three short stories. A year or two ago I spoke to a dealer of watches who said he takes several hundred payments a year thru Paypal, all "Friends and Family" payments. He said he is clearly a business and if PayPal had any issue with him taking payments this way, they would have contacted him, but have not.

    Afterwards, on a purchase I made where the seller required a precise amount, I thought I'd give this feature a try. Using "Friends and Family" to pay, I checked the box and sent the funds. Seller immediately contacted me to say the amount was well short. Interesting, so checking that box converts the payment into an ordinary purchase payment where PayPal takes a percentage. He refunded me and I paid again using "Friends and Family" without checking the box, and seller got the exact funds.

    After this, someone contacted me to purchase a watch. He had no verifiable history on any forum or internet marketplace. With PayPal's policy in mind, I told the buyer that because he has no verifiable history I would only accept payment from him using PayPal's "Friends and Family" without checking that box. My purpose was to reduce exposure from a possible scam. He did this and I shipped the watch and all was well. Several days later, Paypal Enforcement Division contacted me and asked for proof of mailing the item I sold. Interesting, they assumed the transaction was a sale and maybe I was in trouble. I asked if there was a problem because the buyer used "Friends and Family" for a purchase (without checking the box). He said "No". Interesting. I then asked what the problem was and he said they wanted to verify that the package really went to their member (the buyer) and not to some fraudulent 3rd party. I immediately contacted the buyer about this. He said he rarely uses Paypal and this purchase was by far the largest payment he ever did thru PayPal. That explained why Paypal contacted me.

    I don't know if PayPal has changed their policy, if so, apologies for missing things. And I hope I am not in trouble for this thread.
    Last edited by Gary123; February 1st, 2018 at 00:34.
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  2. #2
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    Brad (@bradwatch)
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  3. #3
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    Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    I have always thought the “Friends and Family” option took away all PayPal’s buyer protections. If you use the regular PayPal (no friends family option) and the item doesn’t arrive you can dispute it and you’ll almost always get your money back. With friends and family I don’t think you can dispute it...

    My wife buys LV and other expensive bags through a similar forum to this, only for purses, and it always makes me cringe until the bag arrives since they all require the “friends and family” method of payment. I’ve heard horror stories of someone buying something from someone and the item showing “Shipped” with a tracking number but the item never arrives or gets lost in transit. PayPal needs to make a service that protects the buyer without screwing the seller over so badly.


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  5. #4
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Re: Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    From my reading, it says:
    “Paying for goods and services? Tick this box (and you’ll also be protected)”

    Not:
    “Paying for goods and services? Tick this box IF you ALSO want protection”

    But hey, I’m no lawyer.

    Based on the forum rules, asking for PayPal gift is against forum rules and also against PayPal terms of service.
    Brad (@bradwatch)
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  6. #5
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    Re: Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    There is no policy change. The checkbox question is there so they can charge a fee. You can't check the box and still do a fee free transaction.

    Since the buyer opened his mouth about it being a goods purchase I suspect the seller will get a fee chargeback or a suspension soon.

  7. #6
    Member fastfras's Avatar
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    Re: Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    In my mind paying 4% is a whole lot cheaper than losing 96%.
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  8. #7
    Member StephenCanale's Avatar
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    Re: Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    It's "possible" that PayPal only enforces the "Commercial Transaction" terms against Commercial/Business operators.

    In other words, they may not care about person-to-person transactions, but instead mean this to apply to business-to-consumer transactions.

    Obviously the OP has received an answer that seems to support this in discussion with a PayPal employee, but that employee could also be mistaken.

    The forum rules are obviously a different set of rules entirely.

    I'd suggest Zelle which is basically a similar service and supported by the majority of major banks, most apparently without applying any fees whatsoever. I'm sure that will change if/when they ever catch up to PayPal in terms of market share, but for now it's basically a free service.

    Zelle Replaces Wire transfer & Paypal Friends-Family
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  9. #8
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Re: Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    I still don’t get the ‘PayPal doesn’t care about person-to-person’ transactions.
    They account for many millions worth and they would be missing out on legitimate fees. They may not have the resources or find it worthwhile chasing down all of these unpaid fees, but they DO intend for you to pay them. To think otherwise just doesn’t make sense.
    Gary123 and OSUMBA2003 like this.
    Brad (@bradwatch)
    - appreciating fine affordable watches since 2011



  10. #9
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    Re: Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    Quote Originally Posted by fastfras View Post
    In my mind paying 4% is a whole lot cheaper than losing 96%.
    Goes both ways. Buyers pull scams too. Playing by the letter of the rules means the buyer can send payPay a photo of a rock in a box and get a refund.

    Nonetheless, regardless of which payment method is used, I'm not shipping anyone anything until I read all your posts, find you on Facebook, and/or your employers website, and/or linkedin and we talk on the phone.
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  11. #10
    Member RobMc's Avatar
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    Paypal and buying using "Friends and Family"

    Just so you all know; friends and family payments can be reversed. PayPal will not do it, however, if you dispute a friends and family charge with your bank, they are capable of reversing it.

    For example, if you claim that your account was hacked, they can and have reversed payment.

    This is only if the PayPal payment came from a bank account/debit card. Not from a PayPal balance.


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    Last edited by RobMc; January 31st, 2018 at 21:13.

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