Online Escrow Services & Online Payment Options

by Jacques Sprenger on April 20, 2010

“Escrow.com reduces the potential risk of fraud by acting as a trusted third party that collects, holds and disburses funds according to Buyer and Seller instructions.”

Online businesses are growing faster than offline businesses, according to an article by InternetRetailer.com. And the number has reached almost $35 billion in the second quarter, says the Census Bureau. But to ordinary people like you and me, these astronomical quantities mean very little. What we really want to know is how to start a business online and how to make money online (e.g. how to make sure that the buyer will keep his promise once we have sent them their product). And once you start actually making money, then the issue of how to get paid online enters the picture.

online escrow services, online payment options

Online Escrow Services & Online Payment Options

Here is where some very smart people intervened by offering to operate as intermediaries between buyer and seller — all for a fee of course! Ebay, for example, uses Escrow.com as a licensed escrow service company. Beware of those fraudulent escrow services that seem to have popped up almost as fast as weeds on your prized lawn. Do not send money to a company that has not been vetted by Ebay, in this case.

Watch Out For Online Fraud

To give you a personal example, I write articles on the Web for customers who like my style or who simply do not have time to do it themselves. In almost every case, when there is an agreement between buyer and seller, an escrow service is used. I have had the bad luck of sending an article on psychology to a fraudulent company who claimed to be preparing an introduction to psychology for an online university. It took me 3 hours to gather the data and write the four page article. After 3 months, I am still waiting for my payment.

Use an Escrow Service!

Just remember that it is much easier to start an Internet business than a brick-and-mortar one. You may sell your vinyl records (my wife has a ton) on Ebay; or you may want to exercise your writing skills (like I do). In any case, you should always use an escrow service to protect you. But do you want the money to be sent to you by check or do you prefer an intermediary?

Paypal: What’s A Pal For?

Enter PayPal, the most famous person-to-person payment service on the Web. They take and make payments to more than 100 countries; however, they are not an escrow service. On the other hand, Paypal will protect the buyer on Ebay according to these terms.

Another site that I recently discovered is Revolution Money Exchange. Even though they don’t deal outside the United States, their terms are unbeatable. No fees to send or receive money. You save from 3% to 6% compared to other services. They don’t offer escrow protection (but they should).

Registering is free for both PayPal and Revolution Money Exchange (RME). I would suggest becoming a member at both sites at no cost, so you can always be ready for any customer. One of my writing sites deposits my payment directly into PayPal. Another customer prefers RME. And from either payment management site, I can have the balance directly transferred into my online savings account. Cool, isn’t it? No paper checks, no stamps, and no delay.

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