I'm not entirely sure what you've heard, but I'll be the first to admit that I was misinformed. Also - I'm afraid I shared this misinformation with some others - so I'm trying to rectify that today!
"You may not use the "send money to a friend of family member" feature in your PayPal account when you are paying for goods and services."
Here's that chunk taken directly from their website:
Please do not pay in this manner!
Your virtual assistant may ask you to pay them in this way, but do not! I know people who have pre-paid for website design work to be completed via the "Friends and Family" option, only to have the designer never do the work or only complete half of it. And you know what - PayPal would NOT refund their money. :( They said the money was sent to "friends and family", so there was no way to get it back.
PayPal actually protects the buyer! If you prepay for work, that's perfectly acceptable. BUT PayPal will refund your money (or at least part of it) in most instances if you can prove via some method (screenshots, email, etc) that the promised work was not completed. But you must be using the "Pay for Goods or Services" feature.
What does that option look like? Oh, I'm so glad you asked!
As of the date of this blog post, you hover over "Tools", then go down to "Send Money". These are the options presented to you.
If you are paying for work that's already been completed, simply click on "Pay for goods or services", and you'll be on your way!
Does your VA have to pay a fee if you pay this way? Yes, they do. However, they should know this when they set up business. This is one of those (sometimes annoying) operating costs that they should take into consideration when they set their prices.
Now - one area where I'm extra cautious is when I'm sending money for a giveaway or for another blogger for a get-together or some other event or situation.
For example, I am part of a group of teacher blogger sellers who hosts a giveaway several times a year. Each time we need to send money to the gal organizing the event. No problem, right? But - how do I pay?
I still use the "Pay for goods and services" option because it's part of my business. But it can be a hassle to figure out exactly how much to pay the person when I don't know what fees PayPal is going to take out on their end.
That's where this handy little website calculator comes into play! Let's say I need to send $25.00 over to the person in charge of the giveaway. How much do I send them to ensure they get the correct amount?
First I head over to this website (which I have booked just for such occasions!). Then I simply type in my dollar amount and click "Calculate".
Look at what it shows me!
Is this annoying? Yes, a bit. BUT - I'd rather pay the extra $1.06 (which I can use as a tax write-off as part of the giveaway anyway) than have my PayPal account shut down due to using it incorrectly.
Please make sure you realize how to use PayPal correctly! I'm sure I still have plenty more to learn, but I wanted to share these tips so you also knew how to pay through PayPal as a teacher blogger. After all, no one wants to see their PayPal account shut down - especially if that's the way you've chosen to be paid each month by Teachers Pay Teachers!
Do you have another PayPal tip I need to know? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!