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Just looking to get this off my chest. Been simmering for a while and after hearing other similar stories or funds withheld, I thought I'd share mine.
I own a t-shirt business and I've had a paypal account for about 15 years. I've sold thousands of shirts and other items where paypal was used as payment method. My account was limited in April and remaining money taken out of my account in September.
I have been emailing to no avail with no response. The only contact I got was when it first started. I was called by paypal and told my account is being limited because of price gouging selling blank and printed masks. And told there was nothing I could do about it.
I've been doing this for a LONG time and am in an industry where I know the people in the US that make the masks, so I had access almost immediately.
I also sell hot market items like championship shirts as soon as a team wins, so I know price gouging restrictions and have never had a problem.
I had my masks priced at one of the lowest anywhere too make sure there was in no way a price gouging issue.
In addition I do merch for bands, who were out of work due to covid, and donated 75% of sales to these bands who's fans were buying printed masks I did to help support them.
I was selling a blank 3-layer cloth mask with a pocket for a filter and 5 filters for $8.95 plus $4.50 shipping. That was the highest I ever charged.
At the time a blank mask like that cost me $3.50 plus $.50 shipping to me per mask because I was having them sent next day air to make sure I kept my shipping to customers on time.
Paypal made their decision based solely on an invoice I paid using paypal showing I paid $3.50 per mask. That's the EXACT reason I was given. I asked again and tried to explain and that was the only reason given. I was told I was price gouging because they had an invoice I paid using paypal for masks that cost me $3.50 and was selling them for $8.95 with filters.
My total cost per mask shipped was
$3.50 for the mask
$.50 shipping to me (I used my fedex account and was having them sent to me next day air and could show receipts)
$4 shipping to customer (I used stamps.com and also had receipts)
$.75 for shipping containers (Bought from Uline with receipts)
$.50 for labels (Bought from Uline with receipts)
$1.00 paypal fee
$1.00 ebay fee
So a net profit of $2.95 per mask sold. So about a 22% profit margin not including paying workers. So this also was allowing my employees to still get paid.
I did sell the band printed ones for $13 with the band logo. But I donated 75% to the band on what was sold.
And those payments to bands came from my paypal account. So they could check and easily see I paid out at the time close to $3,000. I could provide the contact person for the band and could verify they received funds and had records of online sales of the printed masks.
And while all this was going on, except for my mask sales, I had no other sales because of covid. My sales wet to zero.
At the time my account was frozen, I was making a profit of about
So I was essentially stopped from making a living, for selling a product to help people survive a problem that left me with no income.
Through mask sales my net profit per week after paying workers was about $1,000.
Don't know about you, but that sure doesn't look like price gouging to me.