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eBay Hacks by David A. Karp

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Protect Yourself While Accepting Payments

Reduce your odds of getting burned by setting firm policies about the types of payments you accept.

Just as bidders must be cautious when sending money, as described in [Hack #29], sellers must be careful about the payments they receive. A little common sense is all that’s required to avoid fraudulent payments, payments that can be reversed, and payments that require excessive fees to process.

Fortunately, it’s the seller who sets the rules, at least when it comes to payment terms. Before you start selling, and especially before you send payment instructions to your customers, you’ll need to develop a strict policy regarding the types of payments you’ll accept.

  • PayPal. PayPal goes further than just about any other payment service to protect its sellers from fraudulent payments (such as those made with a stolen credit card). But in order to qualify for PayPal’s Seller Protection Policy, you’ll need to do each and every one of the following:

    • Have a Premier or Business account, not a Personal account, as described in [Hack #29].

    • Verify your account, which involves nothing more than linking an ordinary bank account with your PayPal account and “confirming” it by having PayPal make two small deposits into it (which you get to keep).

    • Ship only to a customer’s confirmed street address, as described in Shipping to Confirmed Addresses. You can see whether or not a buyer used a confirmed address in the transaction details, found at http://www.paypal.com ...

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