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.