Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Is PayPal YourPal?

Just a short one today, about a pet peeve...

I am all about avoiding unnecessary fees, in all parts of my life. Like if a website offers free or flat-rate shipping, I'm more likely to be a customer. I wouldn't dream of carrying a balance on my credit card or banking with a place that charges account maintenance fees. I curse all of the mandatory taxes and fees on my airplane tickets that sometimes amount to 1/3 of the price.

Now, I use PayPal in my line of work, so I know that to accept a credit card transaction costs 2.9% plus 30 cents. I don't mind sucking that up too much, since most folks who opt for this wouldn't use my services otherwise and are usually after premium services, like a housecall. So whenever I see the "Donate" button on a charity's website and it takes me to PayPal, I hesitate. Some charities, e.g. Kiva, have gotten PayPal to waive their fees, while others haven't. Very few sites mention their PayPal arrangements, and I appreciate it when they state something along the lines of "For the greatest impact, send your donation by check to avoid a piece of it being taken for mandatory processing fees".

If any of you are reading this, please put a little footnote to that effect on your "How to Donate" page. Some of us smaller givers want to make as much impact as possible.

No comments: