Using Paypal for a client to pay for a service?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Noisemaker, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. Noisemaker Guest

    Mar 13, 2009
    I'm looking to start a small business from home, and I want to have my clients pay via paypal (or something equally as simple and easy, and credit card friendly).

    Now, they will be paying for a service that will happen after they've paid. IE, they go to my website, click to buy, checkout, then I receive notice of their payment, complete the service for them, and send them notice of it being done (with the proper proof, receipt, etc).

    During the purchase, I would want them to be able to fill out a comment/notes field with required extra information.

    What's the best way to set something like this up? Very few, if any of my clients will be local, so I can't have them meet in person for payment. On top of that, my fees are going to be minimal, so traveling to meet someone is out, as I'd spend more on gas than I'd be getting paid.

    And a side question, do I need to set up the paypal account with a bank account, or can I just have paypal issue me a check or something? I'd prefer not to link my checking account to it from some of the horror stories I've heard, and setting up a second account would be a hassle.

    I'd appreciate any advice/suggestions from users who are more familiar with setting up paypal than I am.
  2. ethical macrumors 68000

    Dec 22, 2007
    You'll have to set up a bank account with PayPal. That way they can give you the money that is in your PayPal account, and they use it to verify that you're are a legit person (matching bank account details to physical address/phone number etc).

    I'd read into PayPal fees too. If one person transfers money to another person via PayPal, PP takes a commission (obviously). The only way to not be charged is if the transfer is listed as a "gift". But, your transactions won't be gifts, they would be payments in exchange of a listing them as "gift" would be a breach of the T&C and probably illegal. If your fees are going to be very small, then PP may not be the best option. There is also a fee when withdrawing money from your PayPal account into your normal bank account, that depends on the amount of money in question.

    You also want to think about your websites image. A website with fully functioning and safe eCommerce abilities are going to look much more appealing and high-end than one that uses another service like PayPal. Although I don't know anything about setting up your own eCommerce abilities, so can't advise on that. Do some research :)
  3. Noisemaker thread starter Guest

    Mar 13, 2009
    Thanks for the info. I really just want an easy way for people to pay via credit card or paypal (since so many use paypal anymore). If eCommerce is a better option for that, I'll go for it.

    What kind of support does paypal have for payments for services? Will it do what I'm looking for, or will I end up having to basically be on the phone with a client to make it go smoothly?
  4. ethical macrumors 68000

    Dec 22, 2007
    If this is actually a business you're setting up, then I'd look into eCommerce methods that don't involve paypal. It just looks more professional in my opinion. But if it's more of a hobby/part time thing, then paypal would probably be easiest and far simpler. Browse the paypal website, there should be plenty of info on there about using it for business means - chances are all the fees I mentioned before will be different etc., a site with hundreds of thousands of users (maybe even millions) uses it must be cost-efficient I guess.

    Sorry, this post has probably implied the opposite to what my first one did. Basically, read the paypal website. Find out what it says about small business use and decide whether that suits your needs or not.
  5. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
    I've held a business account with Paypal for over 7 years, it's a chore but best to read the policy updates as they are sent to your e-mail and read over all the instructions very carefully for publishing banners and buttons to your pages and e-mails. As a standard for my services working as an artist, I ask for half up front for services I don't agree to do any work first and wait to be paid after investing time and materials should a client cancel later on and then half before the delivery process is started.

    Always make sure your business policies are clear. Mine for example does not hold the client liable should I decide not to deliver so they get a full refund of all payments (I do no work I don't keep the money or if I do do the work and decide not to deliver then I don't keep the money). But if the client chooses to cancel before delivery they are refunded the second payment but are not given any rights to the first payment as that payment was for the work already performed and I am allowed to resell the work resulting from the service publicly.

    If they choose to cancel before the entire start of the services all payments are returned--I usually give a two day grace period for buyer remorse but once committed there are limitations on breaking a service contract, where if it's my fault for breaking it at any point prior to delivery then all money exchanged is refunded, if it is the clients decision to back out not all money may be returned depending on what point in the contract that decision has been made.
  6. Noisemaker thread starter Guest

    Mar 13, 2009
    Thanks a lot for the info!

    This is the basic idea of what I'm looking to do.

    The only difference is that I'll respond within the day with what they're paying for, rather than there being a time in between. Because of this, I'd prefer to just have them pay up front.

    How has your experience with Paypal been? Was it hard to set up on your site? Do you have to communicate a lot up front with clients before they make the first Paypal purchase?
  7. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
    I immediately respond too but I make sure it is to give the client the info they need to make an informed decision regarding their purchase and remind them that they have a grace period.

    Not much communication is necessary with most of the items I sell, services however require a bit of haggling and sometimes up to 10 e-mails might be exchanged before prices and time tables are worked out but Paypal provides all those tools to construct and post shopping carts, and buy now buttons that can be inserted into e-mails or posted to your sites.

    You can create the buttons in Paypals merchant services save the buttons for later modification or to make duplicates for similar products grab the generated HTML code an paste it to an email or site page featuring a service or product. They give pretty good instructions on how to do this correctly.

    If you want you can check out the link in my signature how the buttons look when applied to a web page linked under "products>Gallery>" and click any of the artworks and you'll see what the finished buttons tend to look like.

    Also If you are setting up a web site too look into getting some marketing affiliates and and allow a small amount of rent space for them to advertise to help generate some income. This helps a little to offset the costs of leasing server space and domain name fees if you have those.

    I am curious though about exactly what kind of service you are offering I don't remember you mentioning it here.
  8. Konrad99 macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2010
    You will be paid at home if you perform some operations on some pay pals...

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