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Advice: PayPal Fees on Refunds

Greetings,

I had a commission which I originally paid for on 2012-06-30. The artist has decided to refund my money rather than finish the commission at this point.  This was her decision and not mine. However, the way the refund is being sent, since it's too late to issue it as a refund through PayPal, I'm being charged £1.57 in PayPal fees if I accept it because she's sending it as a regular transfer. I feel like the artist should be responsible for the fees, since she decided on the refund. If I gave her £35, I feel I should be receiving £35 in return, either with her sending it as a gift (I'm not sure how this transaction should be handled, because it's definitely not for goods or services, but it's not exactly a gift, either...) or with her using a calculator to figure out what the fees are in order to cover them.

I'm actually losing even more because of PayPal converting from USD to GBP and then back again. I originally paid $56.29, but if I accept this, I'm only getting $51.92 from PayPal. I've told her I don't expect her to cover the currency conversion, but that I do think she should cover the PayPal transaction fees.

At this point, I'm expecting her to cover the fees, but not the currency conversion.  Since I paid her £35, I think I should get £35 back.  Her prices are in GBP, so I understand taking the loss on currency conversion.

What would you expect?  Would you cover the fees or expect the artist to cover the fees?  Should I ask for the funds in USD rather than GBP?

Thanks for your input!

Edit:
First of all, I want to make it clear that the artist wasn't difficult to deal with, and that I wasn't intending to post a beware at any point on this.  Second, since I've never dealt with a refund from an artist before, initiated from either end, it was something new for me, and sometimes with anxiety things seem like a bigger deal than they are, but I was also genuinely curious how this should be handled, especially since with larger amounts it could definitely add up.  Then again, I've seen bewares posted for art that's cost less than $3, so I suppose I'm not sure at what point it matters and what point it doesn't.  I certainly don't mean to seem petty or anything, but it mostly that it was a new situation and I wasn't sure how to handle it.  I didn't mean to give the impression that it was a long fight with the artist over it, just more me asking what I should ask for in this situation.

Anyway, in the end, the artist resent it as a gift, so there weren't any fees, so all is well.  I appreciate the input!

Edit 2:
I just want to make it abundently clear that I am in no way upset with the artist or trying to say she was difficult to deal with.  I had never handled a refund before, so I was seeking advice on what I should expect.  Thanks again for all the insightful answers.
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Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
celestinaketzia
Nov. 5th, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
I'd expect a refund and not hassle about fees. More than likely the artist didn't see the full amount either, as sending a regular transaction takes fees from them as well. The fee is there for the use of the service. If you don't want to incur fees, then it could easily be sent via another avenue.

With that said: Artists? Sending refunds via your Paypal balance vs. pulling from your debit card/ bank account/ credit card will incur no fees for the client. The same goes if the client transfers from their balance.
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(no subject) - kattotang - Nov. 6th, 2014 01:16 am (UTC) - Expand
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matrices
Nov. 5th, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC)
Paypal has a refund feature that also refunds the fees. Ask them to find your original transaction and initiate the refund through there.

If it is past a certain number of days (I forget which) then it might not be an option any longer. But Refunds are a specific category that paypal is capable of.
starcharmer
Nov. 5th, 2014 10:18 pm (UTC)
From the post:

However, the way the refund is being sent, since it's too late to issue it as a refund through PayPal...

The limit is 100 days.
growly
Nov. 5th, 2014 10:23 pm (UTC)
I think if the artist was the one to cancel, then yes, they should ensure that you get the full amount returned to your account.
slinkslowdown
Nov. 5th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
+1
(no subject) - growly - Nov. 5th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
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ryunwoofie
Nov. 5th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
Artists should totally pay the fees if they have passed the refund time. Typically I refund as a gift payment to avoid fees for the user. That or just send the amount in fees you know that would be charged using the 'Paypal Fees Converter' etc.
starcharmer
Nov. 5th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
If it's past the 100 day mark and a refund is being sent [regardless of who requested it], I send it as a gift so there are no fees removed from the client. Yeah, it's not exactly a gift, but it's definitely not for a service. I paid for the fees when I accepted the payment, so IMO, PayPal still gets their cut and nothing shady is occurring.

PayPal pays out a percentage of refunds when you use their refund feature, so actually doing it this way, they get more than they would if that feature was used.

Edited at 2014-11-05 10:27 pm (UTC)
ctk_hullo
Nov. 5th, 2014 11:31 pm (UTC)
They should send it as a gift to avoid the service fees. I'm not sure what to say for currency, part of me thinks the artist should refund you in the same currency you paid them, but I know how much conversion fees suck. Might be best just to ask if they'd refund in your preferred currency.
zzyzx
Nov. 6th, 2014 07:11 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'm fine with taking the currency hit. I'm just not sure how to act with the fees. I mean, if I paid with a card at a shop and then got a refund, I'd get the full amount back and they'd cover all the fees with their card processor. I know it's a small amount, but I've never really done a refund with an artist before, and I'm just not sure what's expected in this situation.
wolf_goat
Nov. 6th, 2014 09:53 am (UTC)
I'd normally say yes the artist should cover the fees but..it's £1.50. You can't even buy 2 cans of Coke for that. I'd just leave it and if you're not happy with how things went down, don't work with the artist again - but with such a tiny sum it's not beware-worthy or anything.
zzyzx
Nov. 6th, 2014 07:06 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not posting a beware, I'm just asking advice. I've never dealt with a refund on either end of a transaction before, so I'm not sure how to handle it. I'm also not sure at what point it's worth making the fuss and what point it's not. I guess part of it is just principle.
thaily
Nov. 6th, 2014 01:41 pm (UTC)
I suspect Paypal's refund function should send the entire amount back, maybe minus the initial fee, without any extra fees. That said.

If artists can't charge extra to cover their fees, should they give extra to cover the fees of a refund to a customer? :/
I can imagine that it feels unfair to be shorted when an artist refunds you, but it also doesn't look good to kick up a lot of dust over £1.57

Odds are the artist has a GOOD reason to refund you, like if they feel they can't give you your work, that you paid for, within a reasonable amount of time, if ever. Or can't give you something of sufficient quality. They might even not be happy about their customer for some reason and no longer feel comfortable doing business with them.

Artists don't refund for funsies, and you have most of your money back, that's more than most people who post here get.
zzyzx
Nov. 6th, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not meaning to kick up dust about it, and I'm not posting it as a beware. I'm genuinely curious, especially since I've never dealt with a refund, initiated on either end, with an artist before. I guess, if I went to a shop and paid for something with my card, they'd cover the fees, but if I went for a refund, I'd get the full amount I paid, no fees subtracted from my end. I'm really just not sure, and it's also kind of a question for if it comes up in the future, because obviously if it was a larger amount, it would be more of a problem. I'm not saying I'm going to flat out reject the idea of paying the fees either. I'm just not sure what to do, which is why I asked...
(no subject) - teekchan - Nov. 6th, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Nov. 6th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
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thaily
Nov. 7th, 2014 12:09 pm (UTC)
"Then again, I've seen bewares posted for art that's cost less than $3"

In which case that is the entirety of the amount in question. If people didn't refund that, they wouldn't have refunded anything.
zzyzx
Nov. 8th, 2014 12:19 am (UTC)
I understand that. I'm not saying I was getting the worst deal ever or anything like that, and in the end, I got it sent as a gift so no one had to worry about fees, so it wasn't a big deal. I'm not trying to make this out as something awful or anything like that, so I'm sorry if it came across like that. Like I said, I've never dealt with a refund from an artist via PayPal for, so I was really curious what the general expectation would be. Does the expectation change depending on the dollar amount?
(no subject) - thaily - Nov. 8th, 2014 11:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zzyzx - Nov. 9th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Screened comment)
oceandezignz
Nov. 11th, 2014 04:03 pm (UTC)
MOD NOTE
Hiya!

This was an advice post, not a beware. These posts remain anonymous as to who the artist/client could be referring to.

You don't owe any explanation in the case of an advice post, so I'm screening your comment to keep you anonymous.
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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