Why I try hard not to order from anyone who doesn't take PayPal

  1. Ease of use

    Simply put, there's no easier method.
    Don't bother arguing, measure it. There's no easier method. Period.

    It's less typing, less room for mistakes.

    If you don't take PayPal, you're saying:

    ...not something one wants to say to a customer!

  2. Identity theft protection

    I've been hit by identity theft twice with one credit card ... something that cannot happen with PayPal. (There's a world of expensive difference between knowing my name and credit card number vs. knowing my name and email address!)

    Let Me Repeat:


    When I don't send a credit card number to a vendor/store/person, there's that much less information available for them, or an eavesdropper, or hacker breaking into their system, to steal.

    Each new vendor I order from, and use PayPal instead of sending a credit card number, means at least one fewer computer / people who don't get to see my credit card number or checking account number. (With personal checks, they'd also see my home address.) (Sometimes it means many fewer computers/people!)

  3. Payment options

    I can usually send from bank account or credit card, with equal ease.

  4. Fraud protection

    There's a degree of fraud protection in using PayPal, over and above that of simply sending a check or money order. (PayPal has an arbitration system, which I've never used ... which is better than none at all).

  5. Time

    Writing and mailing a check is TIME CONSUMING. It generally takes me about a week to do this. I won't detail the steps, but any programmer should be able to detail them and see the large number and where failure points exist :)

    Money orders are even worse, for obvious reasons.

    And, please, don't even think of BidPay! That service is (a) SLOW; and (b) EXPENSIVE. It's the payment method of choice when you want to say "screw the customer".

  6. Professionalism

    Rightly or not, the world (i.e., the majority of those I've polled) view taking PayPal as a sign of being professional / reliable / stable / trustworthy. Although not my sentiment, I've heard some people say that not having a PayPal account indicates that the person couldn't get a PayPal account, thereby implying a problem of some kind.

  7. "Accidental Duplicate Charge" protection

    The most recent credit-card-over-email transaction I did resulted in the vendor charging my credit card twice (and I'm now trying to get a refund of the second charge) ... something flat-out impossible with PayPal.

I am aware of precisely one legitimate argument against using PayPal:

That's a losing argument, because of a four word reply:

It's that simple. If you are worried that giving out a bank account number to PayPal can result in fraud/loss, then simply open a new bank account somewhere and use that small balance account for PayPal.
Some banks (e.g., Wells Fargo) let you open a small account linked to your main account in a special way: you can move money from/to it, but people with access to that new account number have no access to you main account number (and no knowledge of it, either)! (Sort of like a network DMZ, but for bank accounts.)

Ok? Sign up for PayPal now!

If you haven't signed up yet, re-read the above and then click here.

Update: 2015-02-19: the U.S. Treasury takes PayPal!
Special note for charities: see this, a PayPal page that mentions that 501(c)(3) charities can have reduced rates at PayPal.

Here's an interesting note about PayPal protecting you, from a news report from around 2012-03-31, about a man being defrauded of over half a million dollars via an American Express card number illegally used by a retailer:

Updated 2013-12-27, 2021-12-31