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 I've seen a lot of posts flying around Tumblr lately warning artists to only use invoices when accepting commission payment. However, there seems to be no way of marking the invoice for services without an address, which makes my account look bad when there's several " unposted" items that are infact digital peices. I've tried googling for it but I've only found tips for much older versions of Paypal.

I had started using the Paypal/Me system and asking people to leave their address out of it, which worked but I saw in those same posts that Paypal where clamping down on the use of it for digital goods. When I take comms, I usually ask people to only leave a simple " code word" so I know it's their payment.

Is it all fear-mongering and bad advice?

How are other artists taking payments through paypal for digital media?

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( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2017 09:43 pm (UTC)
Selling digital items isn't banned at all. They just don't have any protections, so you're more likely to lose a case if you're an artist.

Here is their list of banned items.
Jul. 11th, 2017 09:53 pm (UTC)
I use paypal.me!

Invoices DO NOT protect you from chargebacks, despite what everyone says. Clicking 'item shipped' in paypal doesnt protect and is an auto lose for you as well, as you have no proof you shipped the item.

So I use .me, it's the easiest.
Jul. 11th, 2017 10:58 pm (UTC)
.me also lets the person send as services, no shipping which is nice.
Jul. 12th, 2017 01:37 am (UTC)
Where I am, goods/services or girl are the only option, they've combined them! But it's still better than invoices.

Ive been harassed online and dont really want random artists having my address?
Jul. 12th, 2017 01:39 am (UTC)
There is no way to turn that off, sadly. I have mine off and it won't collect email addresses on my end, but I still get emailed them. You can get a PO box (or the equivalent in Canada?), which would be worth it since you do commissions for a job.
Jul. 12th, 2017 02:19 am (UTC)
They dont get my address, I have it turned off and afaik it's never given mine out unless via invoice when I buy something.

I sadly, dont have the funds for a PO box.
Jul. 11th, 2017 10:19 pm (UTC)
Use Invoices

This ensures that your client will not send you 'gift' payment (which too much of can get you flagged), makes it clear what the total amount is, keeps it in your currency, and you can use the notes section to clearly write down what the commission is and who it is of for future reference. It even has a place for you to link your TOS. Plus, added bonus of very clear records of what has been paid in full or not and what it was for if you forget if you use the notes properly.

While it's true you don't have 'protection' for being a commissioned goods seller, digital or not, you can still plead your case if there's a dispute, and an invoice with clear information as to what the item being purchased is and what it is of, can help in making your case should that ever happen. It's not a guarantee but it puts you in a much better place.

A lot of people here have made it sound like you can't protect yourself at all or win a case if you are in a dispute with paypal but it's not as bad as all that. (the only time you're out of luck is if it's porn) You can absolutely fight it and as long as you have clear records of what was expected of your work and you are able to convey that to a complete stranger, then it is possible to have a dispute ruled in your favor.
Jul. 11th, 2017 11:01 pm (UTC)
Is there anyway to make it so that an address isn't needed? I assume my account would look dodgy if I have loads of "unshipped" items on it.

Fralea Comms
Jul. 11th, 2017 11:44 pm (UTC)
You can mark it "order processed/service rendered" with shipping service as "non-applicable" under "add tracking info". I've also seen people suggest to add "digital, no shipping required" to the description of the items.

sorry, quick edit: That will still collect the address from verified accounts, though. Unfortunately there is no way currently to mark an invoice as not needing an address afaik.

Edited at 2017-07-11 11:45 pm (UTC)
Jul. 12th, 2017 12:31 am (UTC)

you actually need to remove the shipping options all-together in a completely different section and it won't give you a prompt to ship at all.

Paypal might collect the address but the end user can't see the address. None of my invoices display my address, I've tested this before.

Edited at 2017-07-12 12:32 am (UTC)
Fralea Comms
Jul. 12th, 2017 01:36 am (UTC)
I meant the client's shipping address, not the artist's. My invoices don't show my address either.
Fralea Comms
Jul. 12th, 2017 01:50 am (UTC)
Here's a screenshot of what I'm talking about.

Its mainly an issue of client privacy, most people would rather not show you their address if you're not shipping them any physical items.
Jul. 12th, 2017 02:33 am (UTC)
okay so I see it's appearing on the transactions completed page but not on the invoices themselves. Bet that changed a few UI updates ago, darn
Fralea Comms
Jul. 12th, 2017 02:48 am (UTC)
Its been that way as long as I can remember? I think there was a way to do it a loooong time ago, as in multiple years.
Jul. 12th, 2017 12:30 am (UTC)

Yep, absolutely. Some of the layout info has changed but the categories everything is under pretty much remains the same. But if you need updated screen caps let me know
Jul. 12th, 2017 10:17 am (UTC)
Ah ok! I think I got it. How backwards and annoying that it's hidden away :/
Jul. 11th, 2017 10:39 pm (UTC)
I use invoices, since it's still more professional and feels more secure

You can make your terms and agreements explicitly say "By commissioning me, you understand and agree that nothing physical will be mailed to you. You will only be receiving a digital file." so that you can have something to fall back on in case the customer tries to say that "they never received anything in the mail" or something

Also (I don't know if this helps with anything but) once you've sent an invoice and the customer has paid, you can mark the order as "processed". Its different from saying "shipped" or "mailed", but apparently people who sell ebooks and digital stuff use the processed function.

Im not super experienced with paypal, but hopefully this may help :)
Jul. 11th, 2017 10:51 pm (UTC)
I always use invoices. It's more professional looking, and I can clearly state my ToS and writing, "By paying this invoice, you agree to my Terms of Service linked here." I also label each "item" as digital art and then in the description, I can make it a little clearer as to what it is.

Finally, by getting the client's PayPal email, I can show screenshots of them telling it to me and further their final approval of the image as proof in case of a dispute or claim.

This might not protect me, but I feel it's better to be able to label exactly what the client is paying for than leave it up to interpretation with a link.
Jul. 12th, 2017 02:48 pm (UTC)
If you haven't already, give my post a look. I have screenshots that discuss this sort of thing with paypal directly.

Jul. 14th, 2017 03:28 am (UTC)
I use invoices for larger orders, especially interfaces, in the 100$+ range so I can slap in my Terms of Service and what was agreed on. But for smaller commissions, I just ask for their paypal address (if they choose to do it) and take it on from there or just give paypal.me link if they are the ones who ask for mine.
Jul. 15th, 2017 06:36 am (UTC)
The problem I've found with paypal.me is that it automatically sets it for CAD (I'm Canadian).

A lot of international artists charge USD bc of exchange rates, and not everyone listens when I tell them to set paypal.me to USD on their end, so I've had a $15USD comm wind up being $11CAD.

Invoices prevent this, bc I can set them for USD, so I use them.
Jul. 15th, 2017 04:27 pm (UTC)
What I did was change my default currency to USD. All it does is show your total amount on your account as USD in large letters, but it says how much in CAD in small letters below it. That way it makes your paypal.me as USD by default.

So far I haven't seen a downside from switching. I still transfer as CAD with no problem.
(Deleted comment)
Fralea Comms
Jul. 17th, 2017 01:48 am (UTC)
"I don't like how some artists will have a section for paying the Paypal fee on their invoices"

That's actually against paypal's policies.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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