Ask Me Anything, Edition 9

Ron K. Jeffries followed up my post about PayPal’s new fees with a question:

Are Google or Amazon services cheaper in terms of transaction fees?

Google and Amazon both offer tools to help you accept payments. However, they’re set up a little differently than PayPal, focusing primarily on sellers rather than freelancers. The fees are generally the same — Google Checkout uses a graduated fee schedule which has the same fee per transaction as PayPal as long as you’re receiving than $3,000 in a month.

There are other payment processing services online, some of which are cheaper and some of which are more expensive than PayPal. However, they don’t have the name recognition of PayPal and you may find your clients reluctant to use them. To a lesser extent that can even hold true of Google’s and Amazon’s services. Odds are pretty good that your clients either already have an account with PayPal or are at least familiar enough with it that the idea of handing their credit card information over to the site doesn’t worry them. They’re going to be more reluctant to use a less familiar payment option.

In general, my recommendation is to bite the bullet and pay PayPal’s fees if you want an online payment option. Remember, those fees are tax deductible as business expenses, so the situation isn’t quite as painful as it might seem.

Got a question for me about freelance writing? Comment here or email me — I’d be happy to include it in next week’s ‘Ask Me Anything.’

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