Why I’m Using Amazon Payments Instead Of PayPal

I’ve heard horror stories about PayPal for almost as long as the company has existed. There are numerous websites about the various folks they’ve taken money from and sellers that they have screwed over. I actually setup a second bank account back when I did this the first time, just so PayPal wouldn’t have access to anything but the business funds.

But most of the bad things I knew about happened years ago and thus I’ve been waffling about using PayPal or not when it comes to my business.

And then this happened. The story is still spreading across the internet like wildfire, so hopefully PayPal will fix this in the next 24 hours. (Check out this wonderful post by GreenGeekGirl that breaks it down step-by-step.)

Now I am firmly now in the NOT camp.

Limited Alternatives

But not using PayPal isn’t as easy as you’d think. As unpleasant as the company is to deal with, it’s enormous and its fingers are in just about every pie imaginable. Even Smashwords uses it, and that was the company I was planning on selling my eBooks through. (Thankfully they offer a paper check option, but I have to wait until I earn $75 instead of $10 to get my money. *sighs*)


But people sold things on the internet before PayPal and darned if I’ll give them any more money. Loosing PayPal is an inconvenience, losing the ability to take online payments at all would be a death knell.

So there are basically two choices for large networks that offer similar services: Google Checkout and Amazon Payments

I Choose You Amazon Payments!

There are also some horror stories for each of these guys, although they are significantly fewer. After a quick run through of the various complaints I’m more comfortable giving Amazon my money than Google. Maybe Google has gotten better since those incidents, but I’m steering away from any company that shuts down my account and refuses to tell me why.

As a bonus, all of the folks who are looking for writing will most likely have an Amazon account already and I’m sure the model horse folks have bought things from Amazon at one point or another– haven’t we all?

So What Changes?

Not much, actually.

Amazon’s fee structure is exactly the same as PayPal’s, plus they have a micropayment option that Google doesn’t (at least until One Pass goes public. UPDATE: One Pass bit the dust on April 20, 2012, RIP.)

Over $10
Flat Fee : $0.30
Percentage Fee : 2.90%

Under $10
Flat Fee : $0.05
Percentage Fee : 5.00%

There are supported categories that you have to fall under to use Checkout and I think the horses will slot nicely into one of these three: Collectibles; Gifts & Flowers; Hobbies, Toys & Games.

The books, alas, do not… but as I was planning on selling those through Amazon or Smashwords, it’s a bit of a moot point.

Plans Always Change

So now I have to go hunting down all the information to setup an Amazon business account. It shouldn’t be too hard, but I’m definitely going to link it to a secondary bank account– just in case.

Here’s hoping Amazon doesn’t pull anything stupid in the next few weeks…

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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