How PayPal Fees Work

I’ve dealt a lot of PayPal, at work and at home. And I know people use it as a means of being paid for commissions, etc. Know your stuff to avoid those dreaded fees. (This is just as much of a reference for me!)

Let’s Break it Down:

  • Sending a payment as a “Personal Gift” has no fees ONLY if the money is coming from a bank account or PayPal balance. There IS a fee for debit/credit card transactions, even if it’s a “Gift”.
  • The basic fee is $0.30 plus 2.9% of the amount. (So, $20 would be a $0.59 fee)
  • There is a fee for international payments and, usually, currency conversions.
  • The SENDER usually gets to decide who pays the fee (aka, they pass the burden onto the receiver, most likely)
  • There are three types of PP accounts: Personal, Premier, and Business (and Student?). No account type has a monthly fee.
  • You need a Premier Account to accept debit or credit card payments. Business accounts are for, well, businesses, and allow you to use more advanced e-commerce features on your website, etc. (aka, you don’t need one of those)
  • If you use your PayPal account to request money from someone, you’ll be charged a fee when you receive the payment (seemingly regardless of what method the invoice was paid). Invoicing is great, but this is a surefire way to get hit by fees… Be sure to calculate them in if you do.

Basically, you want your commissioner to Send You Money with a bank account as a Personal Gift. If your commissioner is paying via card OR you’re invoicing them, try to factor in the fees. Ask ahead of time how they will be paying for their item and tell them they are responsible for fees, and that you encourage them to sign up for a Verified Paypal account connected to a bank account. (That’s all I got to suggest about dealing with commissioners!)

(dated 1/21/13 in case fees change)

Look at these fees for renewing your car registration online

MAIL IN FEE - 1.00
Electronic Processing (NON-REFUNDABLE) - 2.00

"Automation fee" - I’m assuming that’s for doing it online, fine.

"Mail in fee" - Wait, what? I’m doing it online…


Next time, don’t feel the need to be so sneaky. Just put "P.S. We’re also stealing $5 from you", and I’ll respect your honesty.

At the University of California Santa Cruz, where tuition runs to nearly $35,000 for non-residents, students every year pay more than 30 additional fees — including a small charge for what’s billed as “free” HIV testing. Students at Oklahoma State University pay a handsome sum to attend one of the state’s flagship schools, but they are also responsible for covering 18 different fees, including a “life safety and security fee.”

The $100 “globalization fee” at Howard University is listed — without explanation — in the school’s tuition and fees brochure. A school spokeswoman said the fee “supports internationalization initiatives” such as study abroad. Students pay the fee even if they have no intention of studying abroad themselves.

Worcester State University in Massachusetts, however, might have one of the most arresting fees. Students fortunate enough to be admitted face the challenge of paying the required tuition. But before they step foot on campus, they also will be hit with a fee to, well, step foot on campus. A portion of the school’s “parking/pedestrian fee” goes to the upkeep of the sidewalks on campus.

» via The Atlantic