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April 2, 2014
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Artists who create commissions know one caveat with accepting PayPal: their Seller Protection doesn't cover services, so they can and will be SOL if the buyer decides to dispute the transaction. While Buyer Protection doesn't cover services either, PayPal is notorious for ruling in the favor of the buyer, so the seller needs to look into other ways of protecting themselves.

Which leads to our discussion here, of how we can leverage Seller Protection to ensure scamming buyers can't run off with the money after the service is completed -- by converting your commission service into a tangible product.

Seller Protection covers tangible products that can be shipped to the buyer, and by making a commission, you can take advantage of this by printing out your commission and mailing it to them. Right there, you have a tangible, physical item that is mailed to the buyer, and thus is covered by Seller Protection.

Adjust your commission information and terms of service to indicate the buyer is purchasing a physical, hard copy of a piece of custom-made artwork that will be mailed to them, and that they can also request an additional digital copy at their preference. Request the buyer's address in your commission forms, and when your commission is completed, mail the hard copy to them. The hard copy should have a delivery confirmation ($1.00).

Did You Know? If you're sending something overseas, and you happen to use USPS (United States Postal Service -- NOT UPS), the customs form number also functions as a tracking number. And it's free. Hohoho.

Log your delivery confirmation or customs number in a record file with the customer's information. If any of these obnoxious chargebacks happen, you now have a physical item that was shipped to the buyer as well as a tracking or delivery confirmation number.

Enjoy the Seller Protection.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconsharkysaur:
Sharkysaur Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconkawaii-candi:
Kawaii-Candi Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's so dumb for Paypal to have that... I mean, I guess it helps in some areas.. but it just seems like anyone and everyone would do that everytime... People sometimes... >_<
Reply
:iconzombiehun:
ZombieHun Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i have a question regarding this. i made transactions and one of which was paying with a paypal balance. meaning i received money from one paypal account and then paid someone else with that queued money. does this mean that when my bank finally gets to my dispute, they will likely only have only two records of disputable transactions and the third is just gone gone because it passed PayPals 45 day window?
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014
Your wording is confusing me. Which disputes are we talking about?
Reply
:iconzombiehun:
ZombieHun Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i'll just send you a note so its not cluttering your comments section
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I'm not sure if it's still valid, but there was a rule that said that there can't be refunds after two months from the date of the transaction, and/or if the payment is split into two or more transactions.
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner May 27, 2014
It only applies to PayPal, not your bank or credit card. If you use your bank or credit card to fund a transaction, you can dispute it, even if PayPal doesn't let you.
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
I was talking about PayPal rules, actually. I should read them again though, since they have surely been updated since last time I checked them...
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner May 27, 2014
Yeah. But it doesn't change the fact that you can easily do a chargeback through bank or CC if you paid with PayPal through those funding methods.
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
It's so complicated...  :dead:
Reply
:iconcoffeekai:
CoffeeKai Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Also, don't let the person you're commissioning from make you send it as a gift
then you can't get your money back
Reply
:icondragonsden46:
Dragonsden46 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Student
Gosh it's so sad artists even have to do this. :I
Reply
:iconhagon:
Hagon Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
that's sad but true , sam as Nvix - same person has scammed us.... such a sh.t ...

Maybe you will know - how much time the buyer have to ''chargeback'' it's moneys ? is there any timelimit for it that he can do it ?
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
On PayPal there's a limit to opening Resolution Center disputes. But if it's paid through credit card or bank, the buyer can still do a chargeback or bank reversal at any time - even like six months later.
Reply
:iconnvix:
nvix Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2014
I want to thank you for posting this. I've just lost about $50 to a chargeback scam and I am not happy with it. I mean a lot of artists live off this money. I've also been looking into other sites that will help monitor transactions such as www.storenvy.com Although I have not registered yet to really look into it. This method definitely will increase our chances though, since it's a physical copy. It's not 100% guaranteed to work, but maybe if the artist had a T.O.S. with a no-refunds policy?
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
A no-refunds policy won't matter if the sale is of a service or intangible good. Sorry :(
Reply
:iconnvix:
nvix Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
Ah, true that. 8[
Reply
:iconkatantoon:
Katantoon Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a very good idea but bear in mind that there are different forms of chargebacks. PayPal can only cover for certain chargeback cases not "all" chargeback cases so up till now, even someone selling physical goods cannot be 100% protected. Which is kinda sad since technically 'paintings for commissions' even if it will be shipped will fall under services or custom made. Something like that.

And just a tidbit. It's the card company that decides on chargeback cases, so every cases will vary.

*sigh* and it's gonna be hard specially for international artists :iconcryforeverplz:
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
You're absolutely right -- even if you're shipping physical goods, buyers can still scam, get the money, and keep the item. It's been done before and it'll be done again, unfortunately :(

But the point of this is that we're increasing the chance that we do win those chargebacks. With services or digital items, our chance of winning is much lower than shipping a physical item.
Reply
:iconkatantoon:
Katantoon Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very true :( and you know how those card company works. Report it as unauthorized and boom insta money return. Specially for AMEX.

It's worth a try :) hopefully there will be a more secure way to receive payments for artists in the near future.
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
Considering not even "real" merchants can really prevent fraud, probably not. :(
Reply
:iconpaichi:
paichi Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
since i finally see this in the journal footer;;

orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr we can just not use paypal//
at least IF you have an alternative to paypal because honestly, paypal's service is shit and the fact that they have a monopoly on this business lets them do whatever the hell that they want.

i also saw someone say that buyer protection doesn't protect against digital products either like???? what the fuck paypal stop going in circles

oh but venting aside, if i was a commissioner, i wouldn't feel comfortable/want to giving out a shipping address for things boring transparent chibis (as opposed to a print/poster, maybe i'll conisder). in order to reverse the chargeback, the ultimate proof of delivery is the proof of shipping and i'm just guessing here but they probably cross check your address on paypal with the one on the proof of shipping. do i want to give out my real shipping address? nty.
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
Most payment alternatives are:
1) US only, which leaves out international sellers,
2) Relatively unknown, which means buyers won't trust them or enter their financial information into them.

PayPal does have a monopoly.
Reply
:iconkupieckorzenny:
KupiecKorzenny Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Student General Artist
I don't live in USA, I'm screwed :iconlazycryplz:
Reply
:iconendouhemel:
EndouHemel Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Totally. Even the delivery cost (non-paper) within my country itself (with tracking number) is quite expensive for me. Sobs... :iconhnnghplz:
Reply
:iconkharemi:
Kharemi Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
The thing is, to get a tracking number for mail in my home country costs 7,30€
which is a little over 10 USD and that's a lot. :/
Like, I'd have to charge double the price I normally do
and so the customers'd start complaining about how the prices are way too up. :c
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
Yeah, non-US sellers are kind of screwed. But that's just how PayPal is.
Reply
:iconsoniamatas:
SoniaMatas Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oh shit, that's right D: Thank you for the journal anyway, I didn't know it!
Reply
:icona4bondpaper:
A4BondPaper Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist
Hi I'm new to paypal and have been searching the net about it and I found this 'gift' thingy (actually i'm not that knowledgeable about it myself). If you instruct your commissioner to send their payment using the 'gift' feature, are there still chance of chargebacks?

or the 'Payments owed' for some accounts that dosen't have the gift option
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
Instructing the customer to send a service as a gift is a violation of PayPal terms of service. They can and will penalize your account for receiving too many. That said, a customer can still file a chargeback or bank reversal on a gift. How it's sent via PayPal doesn't change the fact that any transaction can be disputed through a credit card company or bank if it was made with one.
Reply
:icona4bondpaper:
A4BondPaper Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist
I see, thank you very much. You've been a great help!
Reply
:iconpuddlefisher:
puddlefisher Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014   Digital Artist
I've not had any problems selling via Paypal (art commissions) before, but this has prompted me to take some precautions in future - just in case! Is this an issue that's becoming an prevalent now? If so, thanks for the heads up!
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
There's been a lot of talk about it recently. I don't feel the risk is any higher than it was in the past, but this method does still even the playing field for protection and coverage.
Reply
:iconbeeftank:
beeftank Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
are you sure about needing to go to the post office to get delivery confirmation? i've shipped stuff just usps.com (hover over "Ship a Package" on the front page), you put in all the info and pay for the shipping online (they accept paypal for it actually iirc) and it gives you a shipping label to print out, you get a tracking number with it (& a receipt sent to your email with that number, transaction # all that good stuff)

here's a screenshot of a past receipt of mine for example (w/ all the personal info blurred out ofc):
i.imgur.com/Ncfpkux.png

I've never had any chargeback/dispute problems myself, but the friend who showed me how to do everything on the usps site has had a seller try to chargeback before; they just had to give paypal the tracking # (and forwarded their email receipt of the shipping label too i think, for extra proof) and it got taken care of pretty fast!

also usps can send packs of either priority or flatrate envelopes/boxes to your house for free (-:

(i don't have a drivers license so being able to do all this stuff without having to drive to the post office is pretty great)
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
Sounds good. I have to go to the post office myself because I have no where to put mail that would have a printed out label. We have boxes that are far too small and no mail receptacle.
Reply
:iconymira:
ymira Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is soo helpful ;_;

so, ive expanded on your idea a little bit and heres what ive come up with

ymira.deviantart.com/journal/P…

do tell me of any possible feedback  ~
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
Postcards can be expensive if you don't get a single design in bulk.
Reply
:iconymira:
ymira Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
sob sob

thats true ;n;
and I dont really want it to get damaged on the way ahaha >u<
so ill probably just stick to snailmailing
Reply
:icongetanimated:
Getanimated Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Student Filmographer
Dammit viral do u have skype? I wanna pester u with more questions
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
Yeah, it's "explorerkoss"
Reply
:iconnonestar:
NoneStar Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
All I see Is sellers now Scamming buyers for payback, then hacking would start :I
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
Artists already scam here. I've been scammed numerous times on DA. Caveat emptor. We all have to be careful as either buyer or seller.
Reply
:icongetanimated:
Getanimated Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Student Filmographer
I think you mean the opposite
Reply
:iconnonestar:
NoneStar Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Not really, extra precautions won't cause them to, if it does, then eh xD
Reply
:iconpuppet-child:
Puppet-Child Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmmm very eye opening. Some day when I get better, I too want to open up ccommissions. I had no idea some $hit head could pull this kind of crap and get away with it....thanks for the advice!
Reply
:iconsecv:
secv Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
The Buyer Protection information in the Paypal User Agreement section 13.3 states:
-Ineligible Items. PayPal Purchase Protection only applies to PayPal payments for certain tangible, physical goods. Payments for the following are not eligible for reimbursement under PayPal Purchase Protection:
  1. Intangible items, including Digital Goods
  2. Services
SO digital files/services are not covered in buyer protection. Sending a physical item actually makes you more vulnerable to rescinded payments. I called PayPal and received confirmation of this policy.
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
We're not focusing on the buyer protection, we're focusing on seller protection. We want the protection for physical goods as a seller. The buyers are he problem.
Reply
:icongetanimated:
Getanimated Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Student Filmographer
Why can't we sell physical art? It's tangible
forget about the digital part
this is not digital it's tangible art in the mail
Reply
:iconsecv:
secv Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
You can sell physical art, and such art is covered in both the Buyer and Seller Protection. I was addressing the issue of non-tangible services and items. My point is that adding a tangible good as part of a non-tangible transaction places both you and the client within the guidelines of protection. If there is a dispute/claim then it may be harder to defend yourself rather than just make it clear "The artwork was provided in digital format. It is not subject to Buyer Protection."

Now, if you take the steps above common sense would dictate that you will be covered in the case of a claim. Ultimately, if everyone is honest then this isn't an issue and everyone is happy. But if the client is dishonest, it is easier for them to get money from you if the good is physical, and more so if you don't take the steps outlined above.

I want to reiterate, the advice in the journal is sound. My view is that adding physical products to otherwise digital-only services is a liability.
Reply
:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
Your comment isn't making any sense. In the event of a reversal for a physical item - as described here - you would provide the shipping number and that is that. You would not have the issue of having to say it was intangible because it is not. Thus you are covered under Seller protection. There is no " extra liability."

Our issue is that, despite services being uncovered for buyer protection, PayPal rules in their favor anyway. This leaves us SOL. With a physical item, we level the playing field and have concrete evidence of a product sent to the buyer, as PayPal asks for shipping information.
Reply
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