Need Help RENTING Via Pay Pal

chisueAugust 10, 2010

I thought I had this all worked out. Now I don't.

I want to be able to accept credit cards via Pay Pal when we rent our vacation condo. We advertise on and are contacted by guests through VRBO evidently has a connection with Pay PRO -- a credit card processing company. They will not allow a Pay Pal 'button' in our VRBO ad.

When I try to sign up to rent using Pay Pal I only find applications that are for 'items'. I'm not selling an item; I'm renting a vacation condo on Maui. I need to be able to accept a deposit when someone books and to accept the balance due 30 days before the guest arrives.

Any help, please?

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Use Pay PRO and take the hit of what it costs to accept credit cards. Sounds like if you want to continue using VRBO, you'll have to play their game. So raise the rent by however much it costs to pay for the processing.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 7:33PM
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Be careful. I believe it is illegal to charge the credit card charges to the renter, but you can can a flat rate online processing fee.

We used paypal pro for our VRBO rental, but the majority of our renters mailed in checks.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 9:17PM
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You can legally raise the amount you are charging and offer a discount for cash.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 11:43PM
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Thanks, sushipup and barbcollins.

I am allowed to USE Pay Pal, just not allowed to put their direct-connect 'button' on the VRBO ad. I'm trying to figure out which Pay Pal account to sign up for to do the rentals.

Barb -- Would you mind explaining what Pay Pal account you use. (Oh, I see you said "used" -- past tense. Are you no longer using Pay Pal?)

We've done checks and money orders for years, but I'm being told that we are missing out on rentals because we don't permit people to charge the rental.

People just want to 'charge it' sometimes, and sometimes they want those AAdvantage miles or whatever their card benefits are. Some even think they have 'protection' if they charge the lodgings, although that's not true. (VRBO has VERY cheap trip insurance that does protect a renter.)

Anyway -- what I'd like to find out is which Pay Pal account setup is appropriate. Calling them is useless and I can't seem to 'get it' when trying to register online.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 11:06AM
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When you send money you have 2 tab choices: the Purchase tab is goods, services or ebay; the Personal tab is for Gift, Payment owed, cash advance, living expense or other.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 2:34PM
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Thanks for the hint, clg7067. So...I should chose a program that allows the PERSONAL tab? (Sorry to be so slow.)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 5:20PM
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I'm late to this discussion. We own a vacation rental and have been debating taking credit cards. Our property manager friend told us of experiences she had with vacation rentals and credit cards. Some tenants will decide to dispute the charges saying the unit wasn't as advertised if even a fork is missing, the bedspread isn't the same as in the pictures or it rains for 6 out of the 7 days they are renting your unit. While they may or may not win the dispute, your money is tied up while the credit card company investigates the dispute.

I have no idea how often it happens but her company won't take credit cards because of problems they've had in the past.

Just thought I'd pass on a down side to taking credit cards on vacation rentals.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 7:08PM
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jlhug -- Funny, isn't it how guests are so worried YOU will cheat THEM. They never think about the fact that we are entrusting a many-hundred-thousand-dollar home to people WE don't know. (That $500 damage deposit wouldn't go far today.)

We've never had a problem, and as long as the claims are unfounded, the CC would eventually pay out. Annoying though!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 12:22PM
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So true.

Most of our guests are great but some leave me shaking my head. The last group left our rental a mess. I don't think they wiped off the table or counters once during the entire week. The table looks like someone painted it with chocolate syrup. The coffee table is covered with food smears from small children and it looks like someone wiped the sliding glass doors with peanut butter. They took the mop bucket to the beach which is ok but it would have been nice if they had dumped the sand on the beach and rinsed the bucket out in the showers at the beach. What bothers me more is the spots where they sat on the couch and chairs in wet bathing suits. There were visible wet spots when we got there on Saturday.

I just hope they don't want to come back next year.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 7:22AM
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jlhug -- Oh, they won't be back. They'll remember what a dump your place was (when they left)! HaHaHa!

We've had little damage. Worst problem is people who walk in, turn on the A/C and leave it on 24/7 whether they are there or not, whether it's even hot out or not. It's still on when the cleaner comes in after they've left. I had one monthly electric bill over $400. The condo is 849 sq ft interior. It was rented two-thirds of the month. Gah!

Back to Pay Pal. I got someone to walk me through the registration, but now I can't get any further help on how I tell a potential guest how to use the service. I DO have EIGHT emails from Pay Pal -- blah, blah, blah, all generic and none that apply to my questions. I don't even know what my costs would be!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 9:46AM
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chisue - Sorry, I said "used" because we sold the vacation home. I do have a "Premier" account. I still use paypal a lot for eBay, and we also use the Paypal debit card to get the cash rewards.

To send a client an invoice for the rental, log in to your Paypal account and click on the "Request Money" tab. You then have a choice to send just a money request for a simple amount, or an "Invoice" which allows you to break it down into line items (Rent, Cleaning, Security Dep etc).

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Barb -- What does this cost you per transaction? Let's say I'm renting ten nights @ $100 per night. That's $1000 + 13.42% tax we must collect for the state and county = $1134.20.

The guest must send me a $300 deposit when he books. Then he must send me $734.20 thirty days before he is to arrive.

Can you 'draw me a picture' on what my costs would be on this guest? Am I charged on the total, including the tax portion?

I think I see a proposed 2.99% charge on each money transfer, plus a flat charge of something like $3.00 each time. (It's 3.99% on a Canadian card.)

I have a Canadian guest who comes for several weeks. He's been pushing me to do the Pay Pal thing. I wonder how excited he'll be if I have to add $300 to his bill to recoup my Pay Pal costs.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 9:24AM
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We also use paypal to receive payments on our rental properties. However, we encourage visitors to send us a check versus the paypal. We don't charge extra for using paypal, we just eat the extra expense. But if it was used all the time, we probably would need to start tacking on the extra fees to the visitors. We use paypal by telling them how to access our account (it's my email address) and then paypal walks them through the payment process. We do not have a direct link off of the website. Not sure that there is one, but if so, that would be a great feature.
I have to comment on visitors though. I swear that one day I am going to write a book about my experiences. I have one right now (a couple rented for 2 weeks in March) To make a long story short, I collected $150 of their deposit and returned the rest (which I have only kept part of deposits maybe twice previously in renting properties for 9 years) so I don't make a habit of it. I am still to this day receiving threatening phone calls and messages from them about returning their deposit or they are going "to make sure I never rent my place again" and they are going to post notes on the website so that no one ever rents again and that the place is a dump and a joke. So on and so forth. Just unbelievable. Of course up to the point that I contacted them about the damages, they were extolling the virtues of the place. But whatever, it's really kind of creepy. There really are some nutty people out there.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 11:26AM
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twit -- I'm sorry for you, still dealing with a "Guest from H*ll". All this over $150? Geez.

We've only had to collect damages from two guests. Our agency took care of both because THEY did these bookings.

One booking was two young couples, who, from their entries in our guest book, were drunk much of the time. They ruined or stole a print we had over the sofa and replaced it with a Walmart cheapie.

The other was more creative. I'm picturing this person as a Samoan -- anyway he LIT A FIRE on our Corian kitchen countertop, "To cook," he said.

I could wish that all of our guests were Canadians. Never had the least problem. I think they all had good mothers because they all write me a Thank You note! (I have to pry hard to get any negative comments out of them -- and I do want to know if anything is not right.)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 12:40PM
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Paypal charges 2.99% + .30 per transaction. There are discounts if charge more than $3000 in a month. That really is not that bad of a credit card rate considering you don't have to go through the hassle of setting up a merchant account with a bank etc, and there are not statement fees like most charge.

We charged a flat online fee of $5.00 which obviously did not cover the fees, but encourage people to send in checks.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 6:15AM
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