Author Topic: Any word on 2021?  (Read 1534 times)

Offline hikanteki

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Re: Any word on 2021?
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2020, 02:59:06 AM »
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As for fees, that depends on the payment processor.  Some will not refund the fees, others will.  PayPal for one no longer does.  Square on the other hand makes the merchant completely whole as long as they process the refund within 1 year.  They refund the original fee.  Which brings up time limits.  By waiting too long, refunds can no longer be processed.  For PP I believe it's 6 months.  For Square it's 1 year.  Once outside this period, refunds can no longer be processed.  Even though PP doesn't return the original fee, they do not charge a refund fee.  Once outside the refund period, then a "refund" will have to be processed as another original charge.  Thus incurring another fee.  Doubling the cost.  So if fees are a concern then refunding would have saved money.  By the time it was officially canceled, it was pretty clear that this pandemic wouldn't be over any time soon.

Yes, the fee and timing does depend on the processor. Most don’t have as lenient of a policy as Square. As you mentioned, some such as PayPal don’t refund the fees at all. (Though this is a fairly recent change, previously they used to partially refund the fee.) Stripe doesn’t either.

Refunding directly wouldn’t have saved money. By the time they canceled they were likely past the refund deadline anyway. There are other ways to get the money back to badge holders at no/low cost. PayPal friends & family is one. Good old fashioned personal check is another.

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100,000+ people don't buy 4 day badges.  There's not enough room for 100,000+ people to show up everyday.  100,000+ is the attendance across the entire con.  Many people only buy a badge for one day.  Not to mention the volunteer badges and the comp badges.  So the fee cost is not as high as your calculation.

Most people who I see there have four day badges although I admittedly don’t have the exact stats on how many people buy what day badge. Even if my estimate was halved, that’s still half a million dollars.
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Offline chocolateshake

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Re: Any word on 2021?
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2020, 08:40:52 PM »
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There are other ways to get the money back to badge holders at no/low cost. PayPal friends & family is one. Good old fashioned personal check is another.

Using PP friends and family to skirt fees is a good way to get banned.  While individuals doing it from time to time can get away with it, a business trying to do it 100,000 times is committing PayPal suicide.

Checks are the most expensive way to issue a refund.  Between paper, postage, labor and transaction fees it can cost several dollars per check.  Businesses avoid that as much as possible.  There's also the hassle of a US banked check being worthless internationally as well as having to deal with people who lose their checks or just don't cash them.  Being a serial non-casher, businesses really don't like it.  It throws off the accounting.  I've had one business ban me from getting checks, ACH only.  Which brings us to the cheapest way.  ACH transfers.   But that has the same problem with international transfers.  Also, not everyone has a bank account or is willing to provide their bank account information.

All in all, going through a payment processor is the best way for most business transactions.  That's why companies use payment processors.

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Re: Any word on 2021?
« Reply #17 on: Today at 07:56:42 PM »

Offline hikanteki

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Re: Any word on 2021?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2020, 01:20:25 AM »
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Using PP friends and family to skirt fees is a good way to get banned.  While individuals doing it from time to time can get away with it, a business trying to do it 100,000 times is committing PayPal suicide.

The rule against businesses using F&F to skirt fees is in regards to businesses trying to receive payments with it. They don’t have rules against using it for sending which is always free unless using a credit card.

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Checks are the most expensive way to issue a refund.  Between paper, postage, labor and transaction fees it can cost several dollars per check.  Businesses avoid that as much as possible.  There's also the hassle of a US banked check being worthless internationally as well as having to deal with people who lose their checks or just don't cash them.  Being a serial non-casher, businesses really don't like it.  It throws off the accounting.  I've had one business ban me from getting checks, ACH only.  Which brings us to the cheapest way.  ACH transfers.   But that has the same problem with international transfers.  Also, not everyone has a bank account or is willing to provide their bank account information.

Stamps are 55 cents and they could probably even get a lower bulk rate, envelopes and checks you can get for 10 cents or less. I’ll give you that labor for checks would be messier than other methods. If people do not cash it then that’s on them, not the vendor. (Unless it’s due to getting lost in the mail, in which case the vendor can just cancel the old one and issue a new one.) ACH is a good method. I wouldn’t be worried about customers not having a bank account...if they paid with a credit card then they’ll have a bank account to pay the CC off. International attendees make up a very small percentage of total attendees, and they can just use a different method for those.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 01:24:47 AM by hikanteki »
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Offline chocolateshake

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Re: Any word on 2021?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2020, 12:28:53 PM »
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The rule against businesses using F&F to skirt fees is in regards to businesses trying to receive payments with it. They don%u2019t have rules against using it for sending which is always free unless using a credit card.

That is not the rule.  That's not how friends and family works.  As the name implies, friends and family is for personal transactions among individuals.  It's for when a grandparent wants to send her grandchild $10 for their birthday.  It is not for commercial transactions whether it's an individual or a business.  For example paying for items on ebay.  Individuals do skirt this rule by doing exactly that.  Businesses can't.  Every transaction by a business is a business transaction.  Businesses don't have personal transactions.  Businesses don't have family or friends.  Even setting aside all that, to send funds using friends and family the sender has to attest that it's a gift.  So anyone can still ask for their refund, since the funds sent weren't that.  It was a gift.

Abusing friends and family is PayPal suicide for a business.  Many small businesses find that out the hard way when they get a lifetime ban.  Those fees are PayPal's bread and butter.  They don't take enforcement of that lightly.

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Stamps are 55 cents and they could probably even get a lower bulk rate, envelopes and checks you can get for 10 cents or less. I%u2019ll give you that labor for checks would be messier than other methods. If people do not cash it then that%u2019s on them, not the vendor. (Unless it%u2019s due to getting lost in the mail, in which case the vendor can just cancel the old one and issue a new one.) ACH is a good method. I wouldn%u2019t be worried about customers not having a bank account...if they paid with a credit card then they%u2019ll have a bank account to pay the CC off. International attendees make up a very small percentage of total attendees, and they can just use a different method for those.

People often mis-price the cost of doing business by applying their personal experience.  That's not how business works.  Labor is free when you are doing things for yourself.  It's not when your are running a business.  There are no transaction fees when a individual writes a few checks a month.  There are transaction fees when a business issues thousands.  All those things add up.  Here's a company that's famous for printing paper checks quoting an estimate of $7.78 for a business to issue each check.

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Unless it was agreed to otherwise, a check not cashed is not on the payee.  The money is still owed.  That liability is still on the books.  Which is something a company has to literally account for going forward.  It's a headache.

There's no requirement to have a bank account to get a credit card.  People have credit cards that don't have bank accounts.  Personally, I would not hand out my bank account information just to get a refund that I originally paid with a credit card.  I would expect that to be put back on the card.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 12:33:43 PM by chocolateshake »

Offline hikanteki

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Re: Any word on 2021?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2020, 02:42:19 PM »
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That is not the rule.  That's not how friends and family works.  As the name implies, friends and family is for personal transactions among individuals.  It's for when a grandparent wants to send her grandchild $10 for their birthday.  It is not for commercial transactions whether it's an individual or a business.  For example paying for items on ebay.  Individuals do skirt this rule by doing exactly that.  Businesses can't.  Every transaction by a business is a business transaction.  Businesses don't have personal transactions.  Businesses don't have family or friends.  Even setting aside all that, to send funds using friends and family the sender has to attest that it's a gift.  So anyone can still ask for their refund, since the funds sent weren't that.  It was a gift.

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree here. The F&F rules apply to the receiver, not the sender. You no longer have to attest that it is a gift (that changed years go), just F&F payments are not eligible for buyer or seller protection. Also, eBay purchases can’t be paid using friends & family anymore. eBay provides a link from the site where the transaction is automatically treated as a purchase.

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People often mis-price the cost of doing business by applying their personal experience. That's not how business works.  Labor is free when you are doing things for yourself.  It's not when your are running a business.

Not sure what you’re insinuating here. I never said labor was free. I even said I gave you that labor for checks was messier.

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There are no transaction fees when a individual writes a few checks a month.  There are transaction fees when a business issues thousands.  All those things add up.  Here's a company that's famous for printing paper checks quoting an estimate of $7.78 for a business to issue each check.

7.78 is a decent ballpark estimate if you include the cost of labor but I think it’s still a little high. There are ways to manage it to make it a bit cheaper.

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Unless it was agreed to otherwise, a check not cashed is not on the payee.  The money is still owed.  That liability is still on the books.  Which is something a company has to literally account for going forward.  It's a headache.

It’s on the payee because once you receive it, the business can’t force you to cash it. It’s in your best interest to cash it. Of course it’s still considered money owed on the books but accounting for these is not a headache, most bookkeeping software can account for uncashed checks.

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There's no requirement to have a bank account to get a credit card.  People have credit cards that don't have bank accounts.  Personally, I would not hand out my bank account information just to get a refund that I originally paid with a credit card.  I would expect that to be put back on the card.

There are also issues with refunding it to the credit card. For instance, some customers may have closed their card accounts. No method is going to be 100% perfect. There is always going to be hassle and costs when refunding 100,000+ orders. This is one of the reasons why I expected them to not automatically refund and create this kind of trouble for themselves until they were sure there was no other choice.
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Offline chocolateshake

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Re: Any word on 2021?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2020, 01:28:01 AM »
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I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree here. The F&F rules apply to the receiver, not the sender. You no longer have to attest that it is a gift (that changed years go), just F&F payments are not eligible for buyer or seller protection. Also, eBay purchases can’t be paid using friends & family anymore. eBay provides a link from the site where the transaction is automatically treated as a purchase.

Or we can agree with PayPal.  They should know most about their own service right?  For business accounts there is no legitimate way to receive or send funds without a fee.  For business accounts, the fee to send money not involving the purchase of goods and services, a payout, is paid by the sender.  The method you are describing is for personal payments, not business payments.

The way that people use friends and family to pay for ebay purchases has been the same way for years.  The seller contacts the buyer to complete the transaction outside of the ebay system.  Ebay can't stop it.  All they can do is warn people about the consequences of doing so.  Which is losing any buyer and seller protection.

I do agree this conversation has run it's course.  Especially since comic-con doesn't even accept PayPal.

Offline hikanteki

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Re: Any word on 2021?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2020, 02:46:32 AM »
I’m also mostly finished but I need to clarify that this isn’t entirely accurate:

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Or we can agree with PayPal.  They should know most about their own service right?  For business accounts there is no legitimate way to receive or send funds without a fee.  For business accounts, the fee to send money not involving the purchase of goods and services, a payout, is paid by the sender.  The method you are describing is for personal payments, not business payments.

Since strictly speaking as a matter of functionality, business accounts (I am aware there are differences from personal accounts) can send funds without a fee using F&F. It just doesn’t work to receive that way.
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Offline stl_ben

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Re: Any word on 2021?
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2020, 09:19:56 AM »
As someone with a paypal business account I can fully state that you can not send refunds or payments as "Friends & Family" without risking your account getting flagged.  I know numerous businesses that have had their accounts flagged and either suspended for 6 months or permentantly for doing just that.  If you are avoiding paypals fees, paypal is going to avoid you.