I'm not sure if this technically fits here because it's not about a particular buyer or seller BUT it is about a service that we as artists use. I think it's super important information for people to know. If this doesn't belong here I'm sure an admin will tell me and I'll remove it ^ ^
So I've had a number of people ask me why I've stopped using PayPal and started using Square so I figured I'd make a bulletin explaining my reasoning.
More and more I see cases of artists getting completely screwed over by PayPal because PayPal doesn't protect digital artists. I, unfortunately, was one of those people who got screwed over. My experience when dealing with PayPal representatives wasn't a pleasant one at all and goes as follows:
Feb. 14th- I notice that my PayPal account is limited and they wanted me to provide some legal documents to prove my identity. I gladly sent in copies of my legal documents and hoped to get the limitation removed so I could transfer my funds into my bank.
Feb. 18th- I get an email from PayPal saying that my account was permanently limited due to me apparently breaking some of their Acceptable Policy. Which I didn't mind you. It all seemed really strange as I've never gotten any charge backs or any disputes filed against me before. I was really confused as to why they would limit my account. I then check my account and it was true, I had been limited permanently. I then contacted customer support through the website and they just bs-ed me and threw the same copy, paste information that they did in their email. I then pushed more to try and find out how I possibly violated their policies. I never got a reply from them again, they just completely ignored me.
I waited a couple hours and still no reply, at this point I was really getting worried so I called PayPal through their phone number. Once I was on the line with a representative she was very helpful but didn't seem to know what she was doing. She asked me where I sold my art and I told her, I even provided proof that customers were getting my products. She said she would fix it and get back to me within 7-10 days.
Mar. 5th- After two weeks with no word from PayPal I decided to call customer support again. This time, the call was much shorter and much more upsetting. I told the woman about my situation and how I had waited for their call and she said, "I'm so sorry to hear that you had to wait but if you want your account unlimited you're going to have to have to take us to court." I was shocked at that, especially when the other employee said that she was fixing things. She then asked me if I wanted to know why I got limited, to which I said yes. In response in the snarkiest voice ever she said, "Then you'll have to take us to court."
I mean you don't have to like your job but I don't think you should talk to clients like that? Basically I want nothing to do with PayPal anymore.
Now for the reason that I use Square. Square (not cash) has charge back protection for all users of their system and as long as you follow their guidelines when processing your payments then you're covered up to a certain amount per month. Why are we using a service that HURTS ARTISTS. PayPal was designed around EBay for physical sales ONLY. There are better options out there with a multitude of features that makes it easier on both the artist and their clients. Square has an integration with other e-commerce services that easily allows you to fit your needs.
internationally, does direct depositing to your bank account, has tons of more features and services for people who provide a service. Just please take some time and take a look into the service yourself. Scams are becoming more and more common, we need to protect ourselves. If PayPal doesn't care about digital artists then we should STOP USING THEIR SERVICE!!
Edit: Thanks to Pinkaboo-Hime bringing to light something I missed, Square is somewhat international. "Card payment acceptance with the Square app is currently available in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom. We currently don’t support payment card processing outside of these countries or in U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands."
BONUS: Square is used more commonly than you think, if you've ever gone to a business and paid on an iPad then you've used it. They also own the personal fund app called Cash ($Cash app) is only for US residents the last I checked.. It's similar to PayPal's Venmo and is for personal transfers and you can't do business through it.
Square has so many features that make invoicing and selling easy. Way easier and more comfortable than PayPal and includes even more features that can tailor the service to fit your business. Please, please try it out in the future for your own sake, we don't need to be taking the risk of charge backs and other issues just because we use PayPal.
Square's integration with lots of other e-commerce services can benefit not only digital artists but are great for merch sales too!
Below is a test invoice to show you all how it looks from the seller's perspective. It's quite nice actually, much nicer than PayPal's. You can request tips, deposits, allow a customer to save their CC info for next time, and add an attachment of your TOS very easily.
Below this is the invoice from the buyer's perspective. When you click pay in the email you are redirected to a secure web page to actually process the payment.
There's even a referral program through Square! Just as a little incentive for artists out there I'll link mine.
If you wanna make an account as a seller, if you use that link you can get free payment processing! The free processing is up to $1000 and is good for 180 days.
Also that link can only be used by those in the US. Square doesn't yet support Cross-border free processing at this time.
If you have any questions I'll be happy to answer and if there's any other service that's an alternative to PayPal that's trustworthy feel free to reply here with it! Also if you've had any problems with PayPal please share your stories as well, let everyone be informed about the risk they're putting themselves in!
I don't know everything as I just started using this service so if anyone has information to correct me or to add about this service let me know as well!
EDIT: Payments accepted as of now are through debit/credit or via Google/Apple pay!
EDIT: If anyone using Stripe could give us more info on it that would be extremely helpful! As Square is not available in some countries!
This was really informative! I've had paypal give me the runaround before too, randomly prompting me to prove my identity despite never having dealt with charge backs or being in the negatives in the 10 years ive been using it. Luckily when I called the person on the phone was really helpful and understanding and was able to fix it but i'm so sorry to hear that they treated you that way on the phone
oh MAN so i wasn't the only one who had this happen to them? thank goodness. had nearly the exact same experience as you. i didn't contact support about it though. i logged in about 4-5 days ago and got the same thing; 'hey your account is limited'. i have no idea why, i've had the account for YEARS. never once have i had a dispute filed against me, or had to give out refunds. nothing. i had to file a dispute once against someone else, which i won, but that was in January and my account got locked down within this week. so i wanted to unlock it, however of course they wanted my personal info too-- SSN, utility bills, and my drivers license.
let it be known that i don't really have two of these things. yeah, i'm 20, but i'm still going to college and i'm currently bound at home due to some chronic conditions we're trying to figure out. i don't have utility bills in my name, and i don't have a drivers license because i'm very scared of driving, and i don't have time to practice (especially where i live). i asked my parents on what to do, and they didn't even know why they wanted my info. i googled it, and i still can't find why they want that info in the first place. apparently the only way to get it to not ask for info like that is to open a bank account. to which i don't have either, i don't have stable enough income to keep an account open because i'm a freelance artist.
maybe this is my fault for not having all this stuff already at my age, but i LIKE giving out my private information like that TO ANYONE. hell, i'm scared to give my SSN to my doctors sometimes, let alone paypal.
glad i didn't even try to solve the issue if this is what happened to you. i think i'll look into square.
klovni Yeah it's weird that they randomly decide to ask people for proof of identity, especially when they've been using it for many years! I'm glad to hear you got your situation fixed I must've just gotten some rotten people unfortunately...
Lotor As far as I know, I haven't heard of anyone getting into trouble with chargebacks through square as they have a pretty good chargeback protection policy. As for the buyer's perspective I'm not quite sure, I've never had issues with sellers through Square but as I interpret from their chargeback protection page, as long as you have proof of purchase and documentation of them being shady you should be protected and get your money back. If I find out anything more regarding this I'll let you know!
I'm sorry to hear that you've been having trouble with an artist for so long. Buyer protection is just as important as seller protection and honestly both should be held up to standard more.
pegasys Oh jeez that's horrible..... I think PayPal should be more understanding of people's circumstances tbh. Not everyone has their own bills, I live at home too but I have school bills that come in my name so that was my proof of housing for them. I was curious about them asking for my information as well, but I have a bank account linked to my PayPal so I'm not sure as to why they even put it against me anyways. I will mention though that Square requires you to have a bank account to sell on there, because the funds go straight into your bank after about a day or two. But I hope you'll be able to use a better service in the future that won't require you to do proof of identity so often.
SoraDeathEater Yeah unfortunately the people I talked to weren't as nice about the whole thing. I'm glad to hear that you were able to get everything sorted out and had a pleasant experience! I would highly recommend using it in the future, it's really nice and easy to use ^ ^
This is making me want to use square more tbh. I was thinking of getting an account for when I sell at cons, etc after my mom started using it for her business when they sold at large venues and shows. After all the garbage paypal's been doling out I think I might just switch. Dunno if I'll lose business on here if I do though? How did you find sales after you made the switch?
SquidsInTheAttic Yeah Square is definitely the better option in my opinion! But honestly you'll probably lose business at first, I lost a few sales simply because people don't know about Square. That's one of the reasons I made this thread. I wanted people to know about my experience and to learn more about the service I'm using. I think it's worth it in the end though, you'll be more protected from bad things happening to you.
Yeh I think I'll def make the switch, especially on larger sales. Thanks so much for posting this<3 I've been nervous about chargebacks a lot over the last few months. Thank god I've never had one, but the worry is always there. I'm so thankful for my repeat customers as I can actually work without worry on their things ; v ;
For anyone curious about needing to use a bank. I recently purchased a comm from a friend using this service and i paid via google play on my google i have my paypal so i ended up paying that way.
Is it possible to transfer funds from Paypal to Square? :0c That's where most of my money is atm, and I'm wondering if there's an easy way to transition.
Lotor It's no problem, I honestly missed it the first time I read through it! But yeah it's a lot of money and it could really save someone!! The invoices are so mmmmmyesss
SquidsInTheAttic Yeah it's always a good option! I haven't had any problems with chargebacks either because my customers are always so nice and genuine but it does happen unfortunately.
Stormchi Not necessarily! Payments accepted as of now are through debit/credit or via Google/Apple pay!