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You know, I think I have a better shot at getting the money over by the drop the bottle method than by the toss the suitcase method.

 

Perhaps I should buy something else just for the sheer joy of lobbing over the money.

 

Spending money has never been so much fun.

 

Perhaps I could talk all sellers into this new method.

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Hey Dirge,

 

Sorry if I was the one who tipped you over the edge. I thought in my reply I stated that I thought the seller was getting a hit moneywise when the buyer uses Paypal. I try not to use credit cards when dealing with small businesses. Paypal when dealing with unknown people on ebay has some advantages for the buyer.

 

I have seen listings on ebay that say only verified Paypal users, but perhaps they can't enforce that and only people like me believe it.

 

Rants are fun. Rant away.

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I've been using PAYPAL as the credit card processor for my guitar parts business for many years and highly recommend it to Frank. Yes they will charge you a percentage as the seller (no charge to the buyer of course) but the percentage is very competitive, in my case, less than I would be paying if I had to set up a Merchant account to process my own credit card transactions (because my sales volume is low).

 

Enroll as business account, the single biggest advantage of that being that if you should have any problems/questions you can call a toll-free phone number and talk to an actual human being!!!

 

Lots af big companies are getting on the PAYPAL wagon, I just noticed today that Musician's Friend (world's biggest on-line music store) has a brand new banner at the top of their page "We Now Take PAYPAL".

 

Dirge, I've never had any problem with PAYPAL that wasn't resolved quickly with one toll-free phone call (over 5 years of transactions, many thousands of dollars over that time period). Never had to 'prove' who I was beyond the initial enrollmentt, never had any trouble getting my money. Perhaps the difference is that I have a 'business account' with them??? I don't know, all I can go by is my own experience with them.

Edited by Sandy Winters
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Check out this site, one of many if you care. <http://www.paypalwarning.com/> they are not without their own adgenda. ( want you to set up a regular credit card buisness account instead of paypal ) I read Pay Pal's fine print a long time ago, and decided it left me too much at their mercy, and gave me no protection in return. Like any business, they will try to keep most of their customers happy, but like Microsoft, once it corners enough of the market they will pretty much dictate the terms. I'm sure it is convenient for most people, but be aware of the trouble you may get into.

Dana

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I paid in GBPs to Concertina spares from the US. Doesn't seem to upset a recipient, perhabs the charge you are talking about, begins with a certain sum?

More likely, the seller was/is willing to pay the fee -- someone else has said that it's 3.4% -- in order to do business, and they consider it part of their "overhead" expense.

 

And no charge was taken from my account for currency transfer. I don't understand your remark. Have you been charged the difference in the buy-sell?

Of course I have, and so have you. No bank states it as a separate charge, but just compare the conversion rate you were charged with the published interbank rate for the same day. (Even that latter is only an average of real transactions, but it's a good indicator of what banks really pay.)

 

E.g., the June 2 interbank "buying rate" of Danish kroner against the dollar published at x-rates.com is 5.7763 kr/$, but my bank's rate was 5.9701 kr/$, which represents a "charge" of 3.3%. They don't call it a "charge"; they just include it in their "exchange rate". (That's for a cash transaction. They take a smaller profit -- i.e., they use a different exchange rate -- on electronic transactions, and even an intermediate third rate for traveler's checks.) This charge which is "hidden" in the rates can be very easy to see if you go to your bank and use dollars to purchase 100 UK pounds, then take that same 100 pounds back an hour later and see how many dollars you get back for it. (Do both transactions either before or after 11:00 am, as that seems to be when all banks post new rates.) Depending on the bank, the difference could be as high as 10%.

 

And why absence of small countries' currencies like Dennmark is an indication of badness of some financial institution?

Who said that? I didn't! My complaint is that they won't let me use dollars, simply because I receive my mail in Denmark, even though I have a dollar-denominated account in my Danish bank. And they charge me handsomely (through their non-competitive exchange rate) for the unnecessary conversion.

 

It's a private business, if you are upset, set up your own Internet bank,...

An interesting thought, but since I don't live in China, I'm afraid that trying to do that without adequate financial (or political?) backing would earn me a jail sentence. That might give me the opportunity to spend more time practicing concertina, but it would also make it difficult for me to attend music festivals, squeeze-ins, and the like. :( So thanks for the idea, but no thanks.

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I've been using PAYPAL as the credit card processor for my guitar parts business for many years and highly recommend it to Frank. Yes they will charge you a percentage as the seller (no charge to the buyer of course) but the percentage is very competitive, in my case, less than I would be paying if I had to set up a Merchant account to process my own credit card transactions (because my sales volume is low).

 

I have found Paypal extremely difficult to deal with when trying to correct a US$ card that they were charging as a Canadian dollar card. Visa then converted it back to US$, leaving me with a double exchange hit. Eventually I gave up on them. You can get to a real person but they haven't proved to be very competent to date in this case.

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The Button Box can recieve funds both by credit cards and by PayPal. Even though PayPal charges more for the transaction, many people prefer PayPal because theyare afraid of giving a credit card info over the internet. Most of these people are NOT previous customers (who don't have a problem with the net and credit cards) but new ones that are worried about the security of the internet.

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Even though PayPal charges more for the transaction, many people prefer PayPal because they are afraid of giving a credit card info over the internet.
My credit card is through Citibank and they have a setup called "Virtual Account Numbers." Whenever you need to send a credit card over the internet (you can also use it for phone orders) you get a one-use-only number that gets charged to your regular account. You can even limit the dollar amount. See details at www.myvirtualaccountnumbers.com.

 

Only thing you can't use it for, of course, is automatic payment of recurring charges. <_<

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The Button Box can recieve funds both by credit cards and by PayPal. Even though PayPal charges more for the transaction, many people prefer PayPal because theyare afraid of giving a credit card info over the internet. Most of these people are NOT previous customers (who don't have a problem with the net and credit cards) but new ones that are worried about the security of the internet.

 

Well Rich, I may have an explanation for this phenomenon. I don't generally worry about using a credit card to buy things over the net but earlier this week I ordered a couple of CDs from, yes, the Button Box website, intending to pay with my credit card. I changed my mind when my browser (Opera 8.52) informed me that the checkout page used an outdated encryption method that is not considered secure. :)

 

Steve Jones

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earlier this week I ordered a couple of CDs from, yes, the Button Box website, intending to pay with my credit card. I changed my mind when my browser (Opera 8.52) informed me that the checkout page used an outdated encryption method that is not considered secure. :)
Yikes! I'll have Alice (our webwonk) look into that first thing tomorrow morning!

 

-- Rich --

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I did check my account and yes, I have been charged for the currency exchange.

Still, I think Paypal was a good deal for me, considering otherwise driving to central bank office, where they have the currencies, missing my lunch, waiting in line for an hour PLUS paying for the cashier's check and be late for work.

Then the next day driving to the post office, parking, missing my lunch, waiting in line, paying for the shipping of the envelope and waiting for another 2 weeks for the delivery and be late for work.

Hey, don't badmouth Paypal. Have you called your cell service representative lately? Speaking of incompetence...

I would say if I were a seller, and I was at times, I'd take Paypal. 3.3% doesn't seem alot compared to exausted customer giving up on my services alltogether or finds suitable good in easy (for him/her) currency while in the process of figuring how to send me money.

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Still, I think Paypal was a good deal for me, considering otherwise driving to central bank office, where they have the currencies, missing my lunch, waiting in line for an hour PLUS paying for the cashier's check and be late for work.

Then the next day driving to the post office, parking, missing my lunch, waiting in line, paying for the shipping of the envelope and waiting for another 2 weeks for the delivery and be late for work.

With my Danish bank I can do an international electronic transfer online. With my (smaller) American bank, I can do one with an email and a phone call.

 

Hey, don't badmouth Paypal. Have you called your cell service representative lately? Speaking of incompetence...

"Representative"? No. But not long ago I had a technical problem, and the technical support person was competent, friendly, and helpful. Then the next day a company rep phoned me to ask my opinion of the quality of the assistance I had received.

 

Not an American company, though.

 

As for PayPal, I never said they were incompetent. I think they're very competent... at serving themselves, rather than me.

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I'll look up my banks net services. Last time I looked, a few years ago, Paypal was ahead of them.

 

On a very side note, we changed already two Cell companies, because of "employees" just couldn't understand why they charged us twice in one month. They claimed the charge was for another month, but didn't know which one.

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The Button Box can recieve funds both by credit cards and by PayPal. Even though PayPal charges more for the transaction, many people prefer PayPal because theyare afraid of giving a credit card info over the internet. Most of these people are NOT previous customers (who don't have a problem with the net and credit cards) but new ones that are worried about the security of the internet.

 

Well Rich, I may have an explanation for this phenomenon. I don't generally worry about using a credit card to buy things over the net but earlier this week I ordered a couple of CDs from, yes, the Button Box website, intending to pay with my credit card. I changed my mind when my browser (Opera 8.52) informed me that the checkout page used an outdated encryption method that is not considered secure. :)

 

Steve Jones

Hello, this is Alice, the Button Box weblady. I wanted to clarify a bit about Opera and shopping carts. We use a shopping cart vendor called Americart -- the same one the owner of concertina.net uses for his ecommerce site ;) . Their encryption certificates are up to date.

 

Opera has some fairly stringent security preferences built into the browser, so a user might get a warning at certain sites. According to Americart, Opera has had an issue with the version of SSL encryption version they use; however, Firefox which actually uses the same code as Opera and IE does not. Americart is working with Verisign to resolve this issue.

 

As always, we are happy to take phone orders if anyone would rather talk to a real person.

 

Cheers,

 

Alice

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Hello, this is Alice, the Button Box weblady. I wanted to clarify a bit about Opera and shopping carts. We use a shopping cart vendor called Americart -- the same one the owner of concertina.net uses for his ecommerce site ;) . Their encryption certificates are up to date.

 

Opera has some fairly stringent security preferences built into the browser, so a user might get a warning at certain sites. According to Americart, Opera has had an issue with the version of SSL encryption version they use; however, Firefox which actually uses the same code as Opera and IE does not. Americart is working with Verisign to resolve this issue.

 

As always, we are happy to take phone orders if anyone would rather talk to a real person.

 

Cheers,

 

Alice

 

Thanks, Alice. OK I will just phone next time!

 

Here is a link to the Opera help page on the warning I received. http://www.opera.com/support/search/supsearch.dml?index=798

 

The issue with the Americart page is no. 3 on the list: "Key exchanges are performed using RSA or Diffie-Hellman (DH) keys less than 900 bits long." (According to the warning dialog, the keys Americart uses are 768 bits.)

 

Perhaps the security threat is pretty low for the moment, but it would appear from the quote that follows that Americart ought to upgrade, and perhaps you should suggest this to them, rather than assume that the warning is an error on the part of Opera.

 

Cheers,

Steve

 

RSA Security recommends a minimum of 1024 bits, but only if your information is worthless by the year 2010, and 2048 bits if you want to keep it safe until year 2030, based on their extrapolation of current trends in computing power and methods.

 

Any site using weak RSA/DH keys (<1024 bits) should replace their key as soon as possible with at least one 2048 bit key, and get new certificates from their Certificate Authority for that key. There may be a valid reason for limiting the size to 1024 bit if you are targeting browsers on embedded platforms (like mobile phones), but phones are catching up fast on processing speed.

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