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PayPal shuts me down for selling Weapons!


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Hello!@!

 

I don't know if this is the right spot for this..I just got a letter from PayPal stating that they are closing my account permanently, with no avenue of appeal and no opening a different account due to the fact that I am selling dangerous weapons which is in violation of their no firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition sales. This is a serious hit for me cause I used PayPal to pay my suppliers and well..this will make  things a good bit harder.  I am looking at alternative payment methods but still..they shut me down ..Who is next?

 

This sucketh mightily..

 

JPH

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That's a bummer, sorry to hear that.

 

11 minutes ago, JPH said:

..Who is next?

Probably the rest of the folks who don't make an effort to 'disguise' the fact that the object is a knife in transaction.  Just another symptom of the free market economy where companies let cheap lawyers and insurance companies do their thinking for them.

Edited by billyO
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56 minutes ago, JPH said:

This sucketh mightily..

 

Indeed it does.  The hypocrites.  I just checked, and eBay still lets people sell knives.  And in most cases you HAVE to pay via PayPal, and you have to accept PayPal to be able to sell on eBay.  They'd lose if you took 'em to court, but who has the time and money for that?  Unless there are any blade-collector lawyers out there willing to work pro-bono (or pro-blade-o...)

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I'm not sure if you're on Instagram or not but a folder maker, "Scorpion6knives", had this happen to him also, and after a few months of back and forth and paypal flat refusing to release funds or even review his case he was finally able to pressure them enough to review the case and they found he was not in violation and reinstated his account.
I remember he made a post about the Ebay thing as well and that it was a large part of his defense.
He might have some pointers for you if you reach out, I remember it was very public and he was excited to put a stop to it happening to individual makers however he could.

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Stories like this really boils my p*** as I see more and more of this from large online platforms.

 

I am myself no longer able to run ads on Facebook due to (supposedly) selling "weapons". Same with Instagram.

I am a member of engraving groups on Facebook - where they fear the groups will be shut down due to the fact that most engraving jobs are done on firearms, then knives and swords - in that order.

Most recently it has come to my attention that YouTube has similar policies in regards to firearms, and monetization of such videos, and most recently people who publish hunting and fishing videos have had their channels completely demonetized. I suppose there is only a matter of time before such content will no longer be available at all.

 

People's payment provider accounts have also been permanently closed due to nothing other than having conservative leaning political views - and being public about it.

 

From what I can see - it seems to be an increasingly growing ideological slant to these huge service providers - and anything that does not go in accordance with that - gets shut down and canceled. Nothing slightly dangerous, offensive or challenging - be it hardware or ideas can seemingly be permitted.

 

Mr. Longmire brings up a good point about E-Bay selling knives - and also owning Pay-Pal which they use as their payment processor. I believe Mr. Martindale's suggestion of contacting the gentleman he mentions in his post is a good idea.

 

From a personal point of view, these social media platforms as well as online payment service providers have become so huge and all encompassing - that there simply are no realistically viable alternatives to them as far as marketing and payment processing goes. They should not be in a position to shut people out due to ideological reasons, but unfortunately as privately owned companies they are.

 

Personally I will be shifting my marketing more and more towards the major knife fares and exhibits within my reach, and do wire-transfer payments for international deals. 

 

bank-to bank transfers within the same country will always be viable of course, as well as my beforementioned wire-transfers - which are usually quite straight forward - at least in my online bank.

 

Well, I'll leave it at that, and I hope things change to the better for you JPH. 

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JPH, what exactly were you selling that induced PayPal to claim you were selling "dangerous weapons" and close your account? Was it for something other than the knives and swords you show on your website? 

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All around very unfortunate that, as small fish in the sea, there isn't much that can be done that isn't prohibitively expensive and time absorbing. Although this one is a paypal problem, that doesn't mean it won't happen elsewhere and with similar lack of notice or chances of repeal. Following along with interest and a heavy heart.

 

John

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JDW:

 

They (PayPal) would NOT tell me...All they said to me was if they told me it would violate THEIR privacy policies..!!?? What the .....??  So I am shot down..butI am making a few moves so... but still...at least tell me what I was supposed to of done wrong??

 

JPH

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JPH, that really sucks mate. it's a reflection on the double edged sword that is the modern world (pardon the pun.. inadvertently deliberate)- but that is bloody ridiculous. woke culture at it's lowest, and one of the worst aspects of that is the point blank refusal to review such things impartially, almost as a matter of course. anyway, I'm wishing you the best of luck and offering my solidarity.. unfortunately that's all i can do, as I'm pretty clueless about these things. i know the members of this forum are 100% behind you also mate, and at least one of them will know exactly what to do. Cheers mate, keep your chin up!

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I just got a letter from PayPal stating that they are closing my account permanently, with no avenue of appeal and no opening a different account due to the fact that I am selling dangerous weapons which is in violation of their no firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition sales. 

Can you share the letter or what they communicated to you directly? And presumably you have been selling only hand forged edged weapons?

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7 hours ago, MikeyW said:

and at least one of them will know exactly what to do

Boy, I hope you're right, but if recent history is anything to base decisions on, I'm afraid it seems as if there's nothing that can be done other than wait and see what happens.  As many knifemakers who participate on the forums probably know, over the past few years this seems to happen on occasion.   And it also seems that occasionally some makers who put up a fuss and take the time to fight this actually have gotten a reversal of the decision.  But IIRC, it took quite a bit of back and forth.

What doesn't make sense to me is how random these decisions/actions seem to be, PayPal only seems to go after some folks but not others.  So I wonder what was the trigger that prompted this decision suddenly now.

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I suspect a great deal of the apparent randomness from the on-line payment processors and social media channels has to do with the teams that actually decide these cases. Although I am sure most, if not all, of these companies have corporate cultures that lean liberal, decision making is often a one-person or small-team affair. If the individual looking at your site feels you are breaking the rules, you are guilty until you can attract enough attention to get noticed, and then prove yourself innocent.

Where I worked, one person made the preliminary assessment. If that was contested by the advertiser, the group leader reviewed the case. But team dynamics being what they are, that leader is under pressure (consciously or not) to side with the team member. I remember a case where an antiques dealer had two handles. Both pages were reviewed for a specific post, but by two separate teams. A post with an old flintlock blunderbuss was allowed to stay up by one team, but the same post on the other page was cited for promoting weapons by the second team.

I am not sure if this is the case at PayPal or other firms mentioned in the thread, but it was certainly true only a few years ago at a medium size social media company.

Edited by Les Medley
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You can no longer do business with PayPal

After a review of your account activity, we've determined that you're in violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy. 221_reason13 As a result, your account has been permanently limited and you won't be able to conduct any further business using PayPal. This is permitted under the PayPal User Agreement sections Restricted Activities and Actions We May Take. You must remove all references to PayPal from your website(s) and/or auction(s), including removing PayPal as a payment option, the PayPal logo, and the PayPal shopping cart.

If you have funds in your PayPal balance, we'll hold it up for 180 days. These funds may be used to satisfy any obligations you may have under the User Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy, including potential liabilities to third parties and to PayPal for each violation of the Acceptable Use Policy, including monetary damages. After that period, we'll email you with information on how to access any remaining funds.

If there are chargebacks that result in your account balance falling below zero, you will need to settle the amount owed to PayPal to avoid further action.

Customers who are permanently limited for violating the Acceptable Use Policy are not permitted to use PayPal services and are not permitted to open new or additional PayPal accounts.

You can find the complete the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy by clicking Legal at the bottom of any PayPal page.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

image.png

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and it IS 100% legit cause 30 seconds after I read that I was on the horn to them and then they stonewalled me..

 

Niels: All I sell is hand made/hand forged items other than an occasional gemstone that I hand cut myself. That is it.I have no idea after some geeze 30 odd years of taking paypal (I signed up when they first started in what 1998ish?) they do this out of the blue and then they don't have the ba.... to at least tell  me why??

 

Oh I am not done with this....no where near..  all ideas and suggestions are being considered here cause if they can do it to me..they can do the same others..

 

Mortem Tyrannis!!

 

JPH

 

 

Edited by JPH
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Just looking at the date the policy went into effect, I'm thinking some flunky just ran a query on who specifically mentions knives and swords and Paypal, you (and others) came up, said flunky took a gander, saw a bad-a$$ sword, thought "That can't be legal everywhere!" and hit the "suspend" button, after which he or she went on their merry way down the list without bothering to check on the actual legality.  

 

Like Les said, these things are generally the result of action by a lone operator within a monolithic system, and that action will not be investigated until a sufficient ruckus is raised.  

 

It'd be one thing if you were selling switchblades across state lines in violation of federal law (they are perfectly legal to own, sell, and trade in states that allow them, like, oh, Tennessee), but you're not.  Likewise, Double-edged blades are illegal in some states, but not federally, so they can't get you for that either.  

 

Perhaps you could re-label them "executive back-scratchers" or "long-distance nose-pickers."  ;) :rolleyes:

 

You shall prevail, it'll just take time and energy you shouldn't have to waste on such nonsense.

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JPH ......... Strange that they would flag you for selling the same items thousands of others are selling everyday.

 

Is it possible it's because of a prohibited item you bought from someone else?

 

Also, in your original post you say your account was closed ".......due to the fact that I am selling dangerous weapons which is in violation of their no firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition sales......"  I don't see any reference to weapons in the letter from PayPal you copied and posted. I am not sure, but appears that  "PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy. 221_reason13" relates to "File Sharing".

 

 

edit........ one other thought. Are you sure this is a real notification from PayPal and not some phishing scam? Have you tried logging into your account?

Edited by JDWare
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JDWare:  It was 100% legit cause when I called paypal they said it was closed due to me selling  prohibited weapons.. but they would not tell me what was prohibited to them....so the fight continues...

 

JPH

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I don't use Paypal unless I am absolutely forced to do so. I do sell through my ETSY store and Etsy handles the transactions. BTW-the funds retention period is only 7 days on ETSY, not 180...... 20 cents for a 6-month listing fee, and something like 7% tranaction fee.

 

Other than that, I use bank to bank transfers through Venmo or Zelle. Neither of those services charge a fee or give a fig what the money is being transferred for, they just have a $1000 cap per transaction.

 

Set up a business checking account and screw Paypal. They are not your "Pal" they are a bloodsucking corporate tick.

Edited by Joshua States
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My thoughts were along the lines of Joshua's.

 

Between services like Venmo, and the fact that most web service hosting companies will provide an ecommerce solution for you, I think you can probably flip PayPal the bird and move on.  I'm not sure who does your hosting, but as I understand it, square space will provide the ecommerce tools and take care of the credit card transaction.

 

I'm not a fan of anti-trust laws, but it seems like ebay requiring that you use paypal, which is another product of theirs, is a violation of them.

 

 

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On 9/23/2021 at 8:07 PM, Joshua States said:

 

Other than that, I use bank to bank transfers through Venmo or Zelle. Neither of those services charge a fee or give a fig what the money is being transferred for, they just have a $1000 cap per transaction.

 

Set up a business checking account and screw Paypal. They are not your "Pal" they are a bloodsucking corporate tick.

Pretty sure Venmo's max is $4999. I've sent that much to our son but that was a "transfer" and not a transaction I guess. 

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42 minutes ago, HSJackson said:

Pretty sure Venmo's max is $4999. I've sent that much to our son but that was a "transfer" and not a transaction I guess. 

They might have upped the max since the last time I used Venmo. Good to know, thank you.

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JPH, You might want to consider selling through ebay. I doubt they would shoot themselves in the foot. Of course this may be their way of forcing you to sell through them. The other to do is classify your work as art objects, nothing more. Of course I have one of your blades, you would not be lying!

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