Remember PayPal, one of the earliest, if not the first peer-to-peer payment service? Well, if you have forgotten that you had an account, now is the time to wipe off the digital dust and take full advantage of its many features. In addition to being able to send friends and family money, when you use it as a payment source for online shopping, you are eligible for the “Return Shipping on Us” program – a free benefit. I had totally forgotten about this until they sent a reminder this morning about it – and with even more benefits than before, supposedly.
Let’s walk through what this PayPal program can offer
First of all, the program is free, which is always awesome. Here’s how it works, when you buy something online and pay with PayPal, you are eligible for a reimbursement (up to $30, 12 times a year) for any shipping costs that you might incur if you have to return an item. There are other eligibility requirements, of course, but basically, if you buy something, return it, and are charged a return shipping fee (either directly or as a reduction in refund), PayPal will reimburse it. Not bad! The caveat is that you have to show that you were charged a return shipping fee by filing a claim. So, this might be a bit of a turn off to some.
I had the chance to try this out today. Right before Christmas, I bought a jacket from L.L. Bean, which will charge you $6.50 for returned items. Since I used PayPal to buy the jacket, there was a link on the transaction record to file a claim for a shipping charge refund. Following all of the instructions, which are basically two steps – proving that you bought and returned the item via screen shots, I submitted my claim. As soon as I filed it, I received a note from a processor – Telus International Europe – acknowledging the claim receipt. Within about five business days, I should have a response if it went through.
We will see what happens. I am really excited about this feature as it will naturally encourage me to use my PayPal account at online checkout. Since my credit card is linked, I will still be afforded all of the points and other protections that my card provides. The bonus benefit is that I will not incur any return shipping charges.
Other PayPal benefits
In addition to the great benefit I just mentioned, for a while, PayPal has been offering deals for a variety of online retailers. Some of the offers are enabled via coupon codes that will appear at checkout and others you have to manually add yourself when you go to pay. Recently, offers included $5 off $50 at Target and 20% off FTD. I will take it.
Bottom line – using PayPal is definitely worth another look. Its ease of use in paying back friends and family, and other shopping benefits, make it worth bookmarking in your browser.