PayPal eChecks - don't get taken for a ride...

52 replies
Morning Guys,

There have been a few threads on here recently about people who buy a product then raise a dispute in PayPal or a chargeback with their credit card provider just so they can steal your product.

There's another one to be wary of and that is people who pay using an eCheck/eCheque then cancel it before it clears.

If your ordering system is set to fulfil orders before an eCheck/echeque clears then you're open to having your product stolen unless you can disable it remotely.

And if you don't have the facility to disable your product remotely, you might want to consider not fulfiling the order until the eCheck/eCheque has cleared. This is what Paypal recommends anyway.

Cheers,

Neil
#echecks #paypal #ride
  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Asher
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      You can turn of eChecks in PayPal
      How do you do that, Big Mike?

      Asher
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      • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
        Great heads up Neil!
        Thanks Mike.

        It's one of those things that's doing the rounds right now. I've accepted eChecks for years and no-one has ever cancelled one.

        Until this month, that is, because I've had 2 already.

        Did I say I love my remote product disabling system?

        THIS PRODUCT WILL SELF-DESTRUCT IN FIVE SECONDS!

        Cheers,

        Neil
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        • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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          • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
            Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

            I don't sweat them, refunds or chargebacks.

            Life is good
            You should definitely sweat chargebacks. PayPal can and will suspend your account indefinitely for chargebacks, as will a merchant account. It is the ultimate faux par of the credit card accepting business.
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        • Profile picture of the author lkpub
          Originally Posted by Neil Morgan View Post

          Thanks Mike.

          It's one of those things that's doing the rounds right now. I've accepted eChecks for years and no-one has ever cancelled one.

          Until this month, that is, because I've had 2 already.

          Did I say I love my remote product disabling system?

          THIS PRODUCT WILL SELF-DESTRUCT IN FIVE SECONDS!

          Cheers,

          Neil
          And just how are you doing that? What software/script are you using? Inquiring minds would like to know...

          Thanx for the "heads up"... I'm sure with the economy the way it is, they'll be a lot more bad checks surfacing...
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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    One thing to keep in mind if you turn off eChecks is that if you sell on eBay you are required to accept eChecks there.
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    • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
        Hey Johnny,

        You must have missed the part where I said...
        I don't deliver the product until the eCheck clears. That means they don't get to my download page.
        In my mind, the risk to the seller is greater than the advantage to the customer in this particular case, but thats just my opinion.
        So my risk is $0.00. How is that greater than anything?

        Besides - my objective isn't to give the customer any additional advantage, it's to get their money. Now, or after an eCheck clears is immaterial - but if I don't accept eChecks, and that's the way they chose to pay... I'll NEVER get it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dave Patterson
          Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

          Hey Johnny,

          You must have missed the part where I said...
          I don't deliver the product until the eCheck clears. That means they don't get to my download page.

          So my risk is $0.00. How is that greater than anything?

          Besides - my objective isn't to give the customer any additional advantage, it's to get their money. Now, or after an eCheck clears is immaterial - but if I don't accept eChecks, and that's the way they chose to pay... I'll NEVER get it.
          Exactly!

          Just make sure you CLEARLY STATE TO THE CUSTOMER that they should EXPECT TO WAIT TILL FUNDS CLEAR (if paying by Echeck) before they recieve their product/service and 99% of the time it won't be a problem.
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        • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
          Sid,

          I didn't miss that part and I know that RAP holds delivery until after the echeck clears, Simple Member Pro does the same thing. I wasn't speaking about you in particular but about sellers in general.

          Not everyone uses a script like the ones you and I sell to protect downloads and more people than not just use straight paypal with instant delivery after the payment process.

          There are a load of newbies here who can't afford to use the products that we sell that will protect their products or who choose to use the more direct methods that don't offer the seller protections that our products provide.

          It's easy as a seller of products like ours to assume that everyone uses one script or another to protect downloads but the truth is that a huge number of people have no idea and go for the cheapest method of selling they can find. These people do not have the advantage of the advanced IPN protection our type of products provide and need information that can help them with the methods they are currently using.

          Without some type of advanced script like RAP or SMP sellers are delivering products upon completion of the PayPal process, regardless of method of payment and regardless of if the payment clears instantly or not.

          Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

          Hey Johnny,

          You must have missed the part where I said...
          I don't deliver the product until the eCheck clears. That means they don't get to my download page.

          So my risk is $0.00. How is that greater than anything?

          Besides - my objective isn't to give the customer any additional advantage, it's to get their money. Now, or after an eCheck clears is immaterial - but if I don't accept eChecks, and that's the way they chose to pay... I'll NEVER get it.
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          • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
            Hey Josh/Johnny,

            Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

            I just can't follow your logic there since anyone who can send an echeck can also send an instant payment direct from their bank account with the only benefit of echeck being that they can do it without having to first withdraw their paypal balance which takes nothing more than a couple clicks.
            When they send an 'instant payment direct from their bank account', it IS an eCheck. At least according to the quote you posted from eBay.
            Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

            So here is the answer to my own question as found on ebay.com:"The benefit of the eCheck is to allow a buyer to pull funds directly from their bank account for payment. An eCheck is an electronic transfer of funds. When you send money via eCheck, PayPal will debit your bank account for the full payment amount, regardless of your PayPal account balance."
            I normally keep a balance in my Paypal account, but many don't. If they receive funds into their Paypal account, they immediately transfer them to their checking account. By accepting eChecks (whether it defaulted because of lack of account balance, or because they specifically requested to pay that way), you allow a purchase today. If you don't accept eChecks, you're dependent on getting them back to your offer AFTER they have transferred funds back to Paypal.

            Johnny,

            Originally Posted by Johnny Slater View Post

            I didn't miss that part and I know that RAP holds delivery until after the echeck clears, Simple Member Pro does the same thing. I wasn't speaking about you in particular but about sellers in general.

            Not everyone uses a script like the ones you and I sell to protect downloads and more people than not just use straight paypal with instant delivery after the payment process.
            I don't believe I even mentioned RAP. Just posting why accepting eChecks is a better alternative than not accepting them. The OP mentioned his own script that disables the product if an eCheck doesn't clear. Big Mike mentioned the use of DLGuard for the same purpose. All I did was reinforce those comments with my own.

            There are a load of newbies here who can't afford to use the products that we sell that will protect their products or who choose to use the more direct methods that don't offer the seller protections that our products provide.
            So... is that a reason NOT to inform them that there may be a better way? A lot of the 'newbies' don't even realize that they have any exposure (which I believe was the reason for the original post in this thread), but there are much better alternatives than to disallow eChecks - because disallowing eChecks costs you sales (and allowing them doesn't have to).

            It's easy as a seller of products like ours to assume that everyone uses one script or another to protect downloads but the truth is that a huge number of people have no idea and go for the cheapest method of selling they can find. These people do not have the advantage of the advanced IPN protection our type of products provide and need information that can help them with the methods they are currently using.
            I don't assume that at all, and if it weren't important - it probably wouldn't be a feature of either of our scripts, would it? In fact, I expect it's more likely they don't even know they are exposed, and I think this thread will be an eye-opener for many. Rather than helping them "cope" with the inadequacies of their current methods - I think they are better served by knowing that there are much better methods available.

            Getting them past the problems that eChecks present (if they're just using Buy Now buttons from the button factory), doesn't help at all with un-protected download links - or the many other things that an advanced script would offer them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Ayres
    why dont you use DLGuard then the product isnt sent until the echeck clears?
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    • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
      why dont you use DLGuard then the product isnt sent until the echeck clears?
      I'm not sure if this question is directed to me.

      If it is, I prefer to fulfil the order immediately and remotely disable the product if the echeck does not clear.

      That way, legitimate customers are better served because they don't need to wait.

      I can do all this because my products, ordering and licensing systems are all home-grown and integrated with each other.

      Cheers,

      Neil
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      • Profile picture of the author Amber_Writes
        Originally Posted by Neil Morgan View Post

        I'm not sure if this question is directed to me.

        If it is, I prefer to fulfil the order immediately and remotely disable the product if the echeck does not clear.

        That way, legitimate customers are better served because they don't need to wait.

        I can do all this because my products, ordering and licensing systems are all home-grown and integrated with each other.

        Cheers,

        Neil
        I'd love to know how you remotely disable your products. Could you teach me? Or perhaps do you offer some type of custom software solution?
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        • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
          Or perhaps do you offer some type of custom software solution?
          It's a custom solution that I wrote for my products.

          I may offer it as a product/service in the future. I'm still thinking about that.

          Cheers,

          Neil
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    • Profile picture of the author Denise Hall
      Originally Posted by SpudDS View Post

      why dont you use DLGuard then the product isnt sent until the echeck clears?

      Rapid Action Profits works the same way. The customer isn't directed to the download page after purchase, nor do they get the download link in an email at that time. When the check clears, the email gets sent automatically.

      Denise
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  • Profile picture of the author Charann Miller
    Gosh, I wasn't even thinking e-checks, but thanks for the heads up. Will be aware of this feature from now when selling my products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    What I do not understand is why anyone would need to pay via eCheck if they have a bank account attached to their paypal account?

    What is the benefit?
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    • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
      My thoughts exactly Josh. And exactly why I disabled all echeck transactions inside of PayPal.

      Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      What I do not understand is why anyone would need to pay via eCheck if they have a bank account attached to their paypal account?

      What is the benefit?
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      What I do not understand is why anyone would need to pay via eCheck if they have a bank account attached to their paypal account?

      What is the benefit?
      So here is the answer to my own question as found on ebay.com:

      "The benefit of the eCheck is to allow a buyer to pull funds directly from their bank account for payment. An eCheck is an electronic transfer of funds. When you send money via eCheck, PayPal will debit your bank account for the full payment amount, regardless of your PayPal account balance."
      So the answer is there is NO benefit to the seller.

      The only purpose of the echeck option is so that if a paypal user has funds in their paypal account and does not want to make a payment using those funds the only way to bypass that is to pay via echeck unless they first transfer the funds so their paypal account has a zero balance.

      Disabling echeck acceptance in your paypal account is probably a smart idea since it will not have any effect on the ability of a person to send you money or make payment.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
        Hey Josh,

        I don't think that what eBay said...
        Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

        "The benefit of the eCheck is to allow a buyer to pull funds directly from their bank account for payment. An eCheck is an electronic transfer of funds. When you send money via eCheck, PayPal will debit your bank account for the full payment amount, regardless of your PayPal account balance."
        ... is sufficient for you to draw this conclusion...
        So the answer is there is NO benefit to the seller.
        I DO accept eChecks, but I don't deliver until the eCheck clears.

        The eCheck is canceled in about half the purchases, but they don't get my product - so I'm out $zero for those. (BTW... This is EXACTLY the procedure recommended by Paypal for this type of payment - so there's no danger of repercussions from them.)

        Some number of the eCheck payments result in a support desk query. I have a "canned" response, explaining that until their funds are cleared via Paypal, they are not released to me, and that they will receive an email with a download link [automatically] once the payment has cleared.

        The long and the short of it is that about half of those payments eventually clear and as long as I'm willing to wait for the money, and the customer is willing to wait for delivery - I make sales that would otherwise be lost.

        If you're using "Buy Now" buttons from the Paypal button factory on your sales pages, this isn't an option for you, and you probably should reject eCheck payments (as you don't want the eCheck customer returned to your download page immediately - but if you use Paypal's Instant Payment Notification (IPN), you can effectively send eCheck buyers to an explanation of why they are not receiving immediate delivery, and process eChecks on virtual auto-pilot like any other payment.

        Disabling echeck acceptance in your paypal account is probably a smart idea since it will not have any effect on the ability of a person to send you money or make payment.
        But it DOES have an effect on their ability to send you money TODAY! And if you don't get it today, what are the chances they'll come back and re-purchase once the funds have been transferred to their account? (no need to respond - that's a rhetorical question)
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        • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
          Sid,

          If you have a bank account tied to your paypal account, which you would have to have in order to do echecks, then you can pay with paypal normally and they will automatically draft your bank account if there is not enough in the paypal balance.

          There is no difference in that and using an echeck other than the echeck bypasses paypal drafting your paypal balance if there is enough in it.

          Customers who can use echecks can use normal paypal transactions and accomplish the same thing, it is no different to the seller either way. The only difference is on the customers end, and it has nothing at all to do with their ability to purchase now or later, other than some people may use echecks knowing the funds are not in their bank account and are hoping they can put the funds in before the echeck clears.

          In my mind, the risk to the seller is greater than the advantage to the customer in this particular case, but thats just my opinion.

          Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

          Hey Josh,
          But it DOES have an effect on their ability to send you money TODAY! And if you don't get it today, what are the chances they'll come back and re-purchase once the funds have been transferred to their account? (no need to respond - that's a rhetorical question)
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    The eCheck is canceled in about half the purchases
    Holy cow! Glad I don't market to your niche.

    In the 6 years I have been using paypal.... I can count the number of echecks that have failed on one hand.

    But if you choose not to accept them the buyer still funds the payment from the same bank account so if they did not have sufficient funds to begin with then you are not out anything by not accepting them.

    So the benefits of not accepting echecks are:

    1. The customer can still pay from the same bank account
    2. No customer service enquiries about echeck purchase delivery delays
    3. No bounced checks.

    I am still looking for the benefits to the seller?

    The echeck option seems to be designed only for the benefit of the buyer and they can still pay from their bank account without that option which is the same source an echeck would have been drawn from only instant.

    But it DOES have an effect on their ability to send you money TODAY! And if you don't get it today, what are the chances they'll come back and re-purchase once the funds have been transferred to their account? (no need to respond - that's a rhetorical question)
    I just can't follow your logic there since anyone who can send an echeck can also send an instant payment direct from their bank account with the only benefit of echeck being that they can do it without having to first withdraw their paypal balance which takes nothing more than a couple clicks.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
      Had this happen to me and I disabled it immediately so it never happened again, never even thought to post on WF about it, was too caught up in it I guess. Thanks for posting this will help a ton of people, this should be STICKIED even.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Chris
      Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      I am still looking for the benefits to the seller?
      HA HA... I found this thread accidentally through google because I want to set up a system where people are only allowed to pay via eCheck when paying through PayPal!

      I'll tell you a major benefit. (Not sure how long it will last though.)

      The maximum processing fee on a PayPal eCheck is $5.

      So, at the base merchant rate of 2.9 % + .30 cents it would save the seller money on any payment of $159.65 (approx) or higher.

      Hypothetically, lets say someone wants to accept payments of $10,000 at the standard merchant rate of 2.9...

      Non eCheck Fee: $290.30
      eCheck Fee: $5

      Seems like a benefit to me!

      Downside is you have to wait for it to clear, but I would rather have the extra $285.30 personally.

      Your mileage may vary.

      If anyone has any advice on how I can easily set up a system to only allow eChecks I'll take it. (In most cases... I would think this would be a bad idea, but it isn't in this case... I have my reasons.)

      Thanks,
      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Kerr
    I have had the same idiot try to buy three different items over the past few weeks and each time his echecks did not clear, but since I use DLGuard he has never received anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
    I've noticed a growing trend in the amount of echecks being used and I don't care for them much. I disabled the option but had to turn it back on again because I realised quite a few of my members were using this system.

    I had what was obviously a fraudulent attempt at using an echeck the other day. EMP details are not sent either until the check clears, obviously the person using the account didn't realise this and made 2 $297 purchases and 1 $137 purchase before they gave up.

    I've cancelled 2 of the transactions but left the first one up just in case it was legit but I'm fully expecting it not to be.

    I think you're right, people are cottoning on to the fact that it can be abused

    Kim
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    In the 6 years I have been using paypal.... I can count the number of echecks that have failed on one hand.
    Me too Josh - until this month where I've had 2 already. Now, that could just be a fluke but only time will tell.

    I think you're right, people are cottoning on to the fact that it can be abused.
    That was my initial thought too Kim - we'll see how it pans out.

    Cheers,

    Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author Alice Seba
    <b>Josh</b> - I also believe people who don't have credit cards in their account have to pay with an echeck. Also, if you ever go above your sending limit of instant transfers, it will force you to send an echeck if you're trying to send from your account. At least from what I've seen and experienced.

    Alice
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I have never heard of this before but a few people did send me Echecks and they all cleared after a week.

    If you are selling some sort of a product online, I suggest that you send it to the buyer AFTER the funds are CLEAR.

    Tal
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony Shepherd
    I'm pretty sure e-junkie does delayed processing for echeques as standard too.

    Tony
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  • Profile picture of the author thomasukm
    Thanks for sharing, it's really useful especially if people are taking advantage using loopholes.

    Thomas
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    • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
      And just how are you doing that? What software/script are you using? Inquiring minds would like to know...
      I developed the whole thing myself - it covers everything from order right through to product activation and remote disabling if there is a reason to do that such as a cancelled check, refund or chargeback. I've used it for years.

      Actually, I was thinking of turning in into a product/service for others to use next year if there's a market.

      Cheers,

      Neil
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      • Profile picture of the author Troy McDonald
        I'm all for it Neil, as a product.

        But 197% effort on ARP 4.0 for now, please.


        Originally Posted by Neil Morgan View Post

        I developed the whole thing myself - it covers everything from order right through to product activation and remote disabling if there is a reason to do that such as a cancelled check, refund or chargeback. I've used it for years.

        Actually, I was thinking of turning in into a product/service for others to use next year if there's a market.

        Cheers,

        Neil
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        • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
          But 197% effort on ARP 4.0 for now, please.
          And the rest!

          Cheers,

          Neil
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          • Profile picture of the author Troy McDonald
            With the rest of your time, go ahead and make yourself something to eat.

            And oddly enough, I just saw aweber is having a t-shirt design contest on their blog.

            Originally Posted by Neil Morgan View Post

            And the rest!

            Cheers,

            Neil
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              This is why I love DLGuard. If a person pays via echeck, DLGuard will not
              send them to the download page and will not send the email with the
              download link until the echeck payment clears.
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              • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                Originally Posted by Neil Morgan View Post

                I developed the whole thing myself - it covers everything from order right through to product activation and remote disabling if there is a reason to do that such as a cancelled check, refund or chargeback. I've used it for years.

                Actually, I was thinking of turning in into a product/service for others to use next year if there's a market.

                Cheers,

                Neil
                Originally Posted by Neil Morgan View Post

                It's a custom solution that I wrote for my products.

                I may offer it as a product/service in the future. I'm still thinking about that.

                Cheers,

                Neil
                Like others have said, Neil, I'd be interested in a product that would allow me to do that. You've had a few asked about it in this small thread already, early indications looks like there is a market.
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
        Originally Posted by Neil Morgan View Post

        I developed the whole thing myself - it covers everything from order right through to product activation and remote disabling if there is a reason to do that such as a cancelled check, refund or chargeback. I've used it for years.

        Actually, I was thinking of turning in into a product/service for others to use next year if there's a market.

        Cheers,

        Neil
        That's a service I would be interested in. Not a pleasant thought knowing
        someone is enjoying your software and you can't do anything about it.

        Although on the customer side I have remote authentication.

        Thou hypocrite! (To self.)

        -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    If they receive funds into their Paypal account, they immediately transfer them to their checking account.
    One thing about this - if a chargeback or refund comes in that would take your balance below zero, PayPal cancel every pending withdrawal no matter how many or how much for.

    Something else to be aware of.

    Cheers,

    Neil
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    • Profile picture of the author Charles E. White
      I must be a lucky man because I have taken lots of echecks over the years and have never had one bad experience with them...yet!

      As stated above, PayPal says to not ship your product until the check is cleared, which usually takes about a week.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
        LOL

        It's that face Charles. They're afraid to mess with you
        Originally Posted by Charles E. White View Post

        I must be a lucky man because I have taken lots of echecks over the years and have never had one bad experience with them...yet!

        As stated above, PayPal says to not ship your product until the check is cleared, which usually takes about a week.
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        • Profile picture of the author Charles E. White
          Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

          LOL

          It's that face Charles. They're afraid to mess with you
          Don't hate me cause I'm beautiful, Sid
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    I must be a lucky man because I have taken lots of echecks over the years and have never had one bad experience with them...yet!
    A few of us have said the same in this thread Charles, but have seen an upsurge lately. You're next mate

    Cheers,

    Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    I just got an email from PayPal saying that an echeck someone sent me in July failed and that I should not ship the item.

    How many months are we supposed to wait? And how does it take 5 months for a check to fail?
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    • Profile picture of the author Denise Hall
      Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood View Post

      I just got an email from PayPal saying that an echeck someone sent me in July failed and that I should not ship the item.

      How many months are we supposed to wait? And how does it take 5 months for a check to fail?


      That's INSANE! I'd call PayPal and ask them the very questions you posted here, because that makes no sense at all.

      Denise
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      • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
        Hi Chris

        I got one of those this week too - but it turned out it was actually a duplicate of an earlier notification. Why they sent the duplicate this week, I have no idea.

        You might want to check on that.

        Cheers,

        Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author igrowyourbiz
    Well,

    I am glad I am blessed, I have recieved many e-checks and very few didn't pan out...but i go after a different type niche though usually.

    My target audience are very rarely hucksters lookin to get something for nothing, they are hard working people.

    Also, over the last few years I have used 1SC, which lets me delay processing of e-checks (without turning it off directly in paypal)

    This is handy for the ocassional e-bay or special request from a customer.
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  • Profile picture of the author edpudol1973
    I just experience this yesterday from Sitepoint I am selling one of my site for $3500 and the guy agreed to buy it for $3500. He sent the money to my paypal using e-check.

    I told him that I will transfer the site to him, but luckily I lose my internet connection for almost 24 hours. When connection resume I check my paypal and noticed that the echeck payment was returned.

    I tried to contact the prospect buyer to his email and his sitepoint account asking why , but he never message me back again... At least I have not transfer the site yet to him else I lose it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Fenty
    echeques are a real hassle to a seller because you want the person to receive there item quick but you want your cash before you send anything out
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  • Profile picture of the author AtticusBaker
    Excellent point! Fortunately, most folks I've dealt with through PayPal tend to use plastic of one sort or another. I must make sure order fulfillment happens after any eChecks clear, though.... Just in case!

    I've heard some real horror stories about PayPal anyway, so this is just one more thing to look out for, I guess. DLGuard sounds like a great solution, as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author adesbarats
    My very first eCheck was a bad experience. I learned from it. Order doesn't ship until the check clears!
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  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    Aw, man. I just hope people don't stop accepting them entirely. I don't mind the delay in getting the product, but if I had to transfer money from my bank account into my Paypal account and wait a week to ten days for it to actually transfer, I probably wouldn't want to buy the product anyway. I've paid via echeck several times because I don't have a credit card, there's no credit card attached to my debit card (like many people I know), and I didn't have enough in my Paypal account, but their sales letter was just too compelling to resist. I disagree that echecks are outdated -- I do need to use them sometimes.

    My $0.02 CDN.
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