Why Protecting Your PayPal Account is Important
Starting as a virtually one-room operation in 1998, PayPal has grown into a multibillion dollar business today. For years, the company was owned by auction site eBay, and PayPal made it a great way to buy something on eBay and pay for it instantly. While PayPal was initially associated largely with eBay, today it serves as the primary source of payments for millions of Websites, including a lot of sites related to Internet marketing. If you’re going to be working in the make money online niche, it’s quite important that you take care in protecting your PayPal account, as there are a number of things you can do that might jeopardize it.
Why should you be concerned about protecting your PayPal account? Because PayPal has their own rules and regulations and their terms of service are quite lengthy and also rather strict. If you do something wrong, you might find yourself having your account canceled or suspended and that could be seriously detrimental to your online business. That’s a particular problem if you have no other way of accepting money online, and for many online marketers, having their PayPal account canceled could put them out of business overnight.
What Protecting Your PayPal Account Means
Not everyone uses PayPal the same way. Some people use it strictly to buy merchandise that they purchase online, such as when they buy things on eBay. For a lot of affiliate marketers, PayPal is the primary way that they pay for software tools and monthly subscription products and services. Perhaps you pay for your Web hosting that way, or for some article spinning software, or perhaps you use PayPal to pay for your monthly subscription to a mentoring site such as Wealthy Affiliate or Affilorama.
I use PayPal for things like that, but I also own a retail Website, and PayPal is the only method I make available to my customers for buying merchandise from that site. If I were to lose my PayPal account, I’d be completely without any way to make money on that site, because I don’t have a credit card merchant account with my bank, nor do I have the secure (https) Website that such a merchant account would require.
Why would PayPal cancel an account? Because, historically, PayPal isn’t very fond of Internet marketing. I’m not referring to selling things on the Internet; if you’re putting widgets in boxes and you’re mailing them to people, PayPal is OK with that and actually encourages that sort of activity. It’s different, however, if you’re selling products in the make money online niche. PayPal has very strict guidelines about “make money online” products, as well as anything that looks or smells like a pyramid scheme or a scam. And keep in mind, it’s not about whether you think the product you’re selling is a scam; if PayPal thinks you’re selling a product that they think isn’t entirely honest or beneficial to the public at large, they’ll suspend or cancel your account in a pinch.
Such items aren’t excessively detailed in the PayPal terms of service, either. They take these things on a case by case basis, usually after someone complains. That’s why I always avoid promoting any product that claims it will “put money directly into your PayPal account!” as many products, such as Internet Business Kits, do. I cite IBK as an example, but there are hundreds of products out there that offer minimal benefit to buyers while claiming that you’ll soon see riches in your PayPal account. You might, but if someone complains, you might find your account suspended, and that can lead to permanent cancellation and loss of all funds. If you’re lucky, PayPal will only hold your money for 180 days, but in the meantime, you don’t have access to the money and you don’t have any way of accepting payments or, in the case of many products you might buy, any way of making payments yourself.
There have been cases of people having their PayPal accounts suspended when they had tens of thousands of dollars in their accounts. Gone! Just like that.
How to Go About Protecting Your PayPal Account
So, how do you go about protecting your PayPal account? Here are a few things that I do to ensure that the account I’ve had since 2000 remains open and active:
Do not promote any product that promises to pay you directly via PayPal. Many scams and fraudulent “systems” involve elaborate schemes that pay you directly. I’m not talking about affiliate programs where you get paid commissions from the vendor by PayPal. In those cases, the vendor is making the sales and sending the commissions to you. But products like Internet Business Kits or even simple retail systems like $7 Secrets can put you in jeopardy, because should anyone complain to PayPal, they’re going to be complaining about you directly. Always try to keep a buffer in place.
If you’re creating your own information products in the make money online niche, be sure to sell them through a third-party gateway such as Clickbank or JVZoo. PayPal will consider them to be the vendor, and these companies have established a good reputation with PayPal and they can weather any complaints that come along. If you create a course on how to make money and sell it through Clickbank, and someone complains that they think the product is a scam (regardless of whether it is or not), Clickbank’s going to take care of the problem and PayPal will likely refer any complaints they receive to Clickbank. If you’re selling the product yourself and collecting payments directly to your PayPal account, PayPal may respond to scam complaints by immediately shutting down your account without any warning or explanation. You might get it sorted out and you might not, but until you do, you not only don’t have a way to get paid, but you also don’t have a way to pay anyone.
If you insist on selling your make money products directly and you’re having a big product launch, contact PayPal before your product launches and make sure they’re aware that you’re launching a product and that you’re likely to have a sudden influx of cash into your account. Suspensions are often triggered by any unusual activity, and having thousands of dollars appear in your account one day when that doesn’t ordinarily happen can easily cause a suspension. I’ve seen this happen before, when a product was being promoted by hundreds of affiliates sending thousands of visitors to a site…only to see the entire thing crash when the shopping cart stopped working because PayPal shut down the account taking the money.
If you’re in Internet marketing, your PayPal is a vital and necessary tool that you simply cannot do without. Because of that, you need to make sure that protecting your PayPal account is a priority and you need to ensure that it doesn’t get shut down or suspended due to either a violation of the PayPal terms of service or even a perceived violation. Justified or not, a suspended account will leave you in a bad place, so you need to do your best to make sure it doesn’t happen.