An alternative payment system - discu... Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Swap Shop and Wish Lists » For Sale & Trade » Archive through March 14, 2012 » An alternative payment system - discussion « Previous Next »

Author Message
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10424
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011 - 5:37 pm:   Edit Post

I'm posting this here rather than the Misc. section because my subject might be of particular interest to those of our members who are considering buying and/or selling instruments or gear. And some of you may already be familiar with it and can share your experiences with the rest of us.

Today I ran across something called Dwolla. Dwolla appears to be an online payment system somewhat similar to PayPal, but without the fees that PayPal collects. Dwolla is cash based; and the only fee is twenty five cents per transaction.

The Dwolla site is here.
A short wikipedia entry is here.
An interview at Business Insider with the founder is here.

My guess is that this, at the moment, is just US based, as you would have to have a US bank or credit union account.

I have not signed up, yet; but from what I've read, it looks promising. By taking credit cards out of the system, it takes out the fees associated with credit cards. PayPal's fees assume credit card transactions; thus if you're selling an instrument worth a couple thousand dollars through PayPal there will be a significant fee. But with Dwolla the fee would only be $0.25.

So, what do you guys think? I've read through the links above, but I'm thinking some discussion here might be helpful.
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1072
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 6:56 am:   Edit Post

Personally I'd love to have an alternative to Paypal. I've been disgusted with their collaboration with ebay for years now. It seems like both of those sites get by because they are well known, despite the fact they provide their services for a ridiculous fee. I'd love to see a viable competitor.
Advanced Member
Username: tubeperson

Post Number: 225
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 7:20 am:   Edit Post

I believe ebay owns paypal. Not the most clear separation of "church and state".
Advanced Member
Username: billostech

Post Number: 222
Registered: 1-2011
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 7:21 am:   Edit Post

I may give them a try with my next sale/purchase.
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2599
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 8:07 am:   Edit Post

I haven't looked at the new site yet.

The biggest problem I have with PayPal is that they have some had and fast rules in place that favor scammers. They force you to use particular shipping methods and then still allow a finding against you. You have to force a buyer to pay for full insurance and tracking if you want any protection against a non-delivery claim. Any international transaction is nearly impossible to do securely.

Buyers and sellers should be able to agree on terms and then be held to them. There should be the option for a buyer to accept responsibility for non-delivery to avoid paying extra shipping charges for tracking, insurance, and possibly the service upgrades required to activate those features. There should also be a crystal clear, step-by-step set of recommendations for shipping alternatives that, if followed, provide absolute protection against chargebacks.
Intermediate Member
Username: bluplirst

Post Number: 134
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 1:47 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah, Paypal is a neccesary evil and I'm not a fan. Unfortunately, if you want to make a living buying and selling, Ebay is the best exposure you can get and paypal is the only option there.

When paying with paypal I always use my credit card, because paypal will never take your side LOL!
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2600
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 4:54 pm:   Edit Post

Paypal is way worse at screwing sellers than buyers, especially since the credit card companies back buyers. I generally feel safe buying, but selling requires the highest level of tracking and insurance for packages so that you are self-protected.
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1067
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2011 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post

I've recently been hassled by PayPal. It turns out that as a seller, if you do not have 25 sales transactions in the last 12 months, they hold up your funds until 3 or 4 days after the item arrives. This means they get to use your money for a week or two. I got caught off guard, thinking I wouldn't ship until the funds cleared and my customer send me a polite but firm message wondering why I was waiting so long to ship. After 4 more days of trying to figure out what was going on, I could have easily earned a negative rating due to delays. Luckily, he was a nice guy and understood my confusion. To add insult to injury, they took a huge chunk out of my sale price. I sent in a complaint, but never got a response. I'd love to leave PayPal in the dust.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10426
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2011 - 6:32 pm:   Edit Post

25 sales in the last 12 months? I haven't used paypal for a sale in quite a while; I would have been surprised too.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10451
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 3:54 pm:   Edit Post

I thought I would post an update on this since some of you found it of interest. I opened an account and sent some money to a friend of mine. Our transaction was completed successfully, though we did have a glitch.

First; when you open an account, Dwolla has to verify your bank account; and that can take two or three business days.

Second; both parties will need to have Dwolla accounts. So if you wish to use this for a sale or purchase, there will be some additional waiting time if both parties don't already have their accounts setup and their bank accounts verified.

The Dwolla site says that you can send someone money by entering their email address. That's where our glitch came in. I sent the money to her email address, but she set her account up under a different email address. But she contacted their customer support who advised her to suspend the initial account and open a new account with the email address the money was sent to. So it seems to me to be the best thing that both parties have their accounts set up in advance and make sure everything is right.

But it works. If your accounts are already set up then it's faster than mailing a check and waiting for it to clear. And it's much less expensive than paypal or credit cards.

If you're working with someone you know, like a fellow club member, this seems to be a very good method of transferring cash.

I don't know what their dispute resolution process is like; so I don't know how useful it would be for dealing with someone you don't know.

Since I initially started this thread, Dwolla has announced that transactions under $10 are free. So this could be very useful for selling things like mp3s of your recordings.

Interesting stuff.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10533
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 8:30 am:   Edit Post

For those who found this to be something to keep an eye on, CNN has a video up on Dwolla.
Username: collyman

Post Number: 6
Registered: 10-2011
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 4:26 pm:   Edit Post

Dave, did you sell your fretless?
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10538
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, January 23, 2012 - 6:39 am:   Edit Post

Hi Mike; yes, it shipped last week.
Username: wfmandmusic

Post Number: 12
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 5:15 pm:   Edit Post

I spoke to a guy a few months ago who said that Dwolla is the best way to go. He uses it all the time for selling and buying stuff. He said he has turned many people on to it and it's great.

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration