With all those guides out there giving Paypal a good slating - I would like to stick my 2 penneth in to defend this great service.
For a start, Paypal has over 100 million members worldwide (and growing), and every second, it handles an average transaction volume of $823 in total payment volume. In 2004 alone, Paypal handled $18.9 billion worth of transactions, and this is growing every year! I think this is quite an achievement, even if no-one else does!! And it also shows that people do use it - and if everyone was getting stung left right and centre, Im sure they wouldnt be as successful as they are.
As with every system - there are flaws, and things do sometimes go wrong - but this is relatively rare given the volume of accounts held with the service, and there are various solution set in place to help you out. Apparently, only 0.01% of transactions, according to ebay, result in a case of fraud. And considering there are millions and millions of listings every day - You have got more chance of getting screwed over by your bank or credit card company - dont even get me started on them. In fact - the odds of winning the lottery are probably higher than you being a victain of fraud more than once!
I suppose our impression of all companies and services stems from personal experience, I have had a few dodgy transactions which, were it not for the protection policies in place by paypal, I would have lost a substantial amount of Money. If you keep proof of posting for all of your items and make sure that postal insurance is at the discression of the buyer, then you really should not go wrong - if a buyer chooses not to pay for insurance, then it is frankly their loss if you can prove the item has been posted. Likewise, if I buy an item and it goes missing in the post, i will file a dispute, and paypal immediately holds the funds until the seller can prove he has posted the item, and if so, if i havent taken out insurance, then its my loss!
An increasing amount of large business are now offering paypal as a convenient payment option. Another indicator to is relative success and security.
Oh, and a little fact im sure none of you knew, paypal is one of the very few websites (one of 26 I would say!) to have a one-letter domain name... if you type in 'x' .com you will be forwarded to the paypal page - pretty cool i thought... shame the cross symbol is synonymous with 'No' And 'Do not use' - a subliminal warning maybe?
ha ha ha