Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Paying with PayPal? Hold Up!

In addition to the traditional forms of payment (Visa, MasterCard), J.Crew also accepts MasterPass and PayPal. J.Crew has been accepting PayPal for some time now. However, there are still a few "hang ups" that JCAs have encountered with using this payment method.

"Thanks!" to AppGal (in this post) who raised the following question:
OT question: Has anyone used Paypal to pay for an order that had a backordered item? Does the amount for the backordered item deduct from your account once it's shipped (like when you use a CC) or do you pay for it all at once? 
"Thanks!" to R (in this post) who replied with the following:
I inquired with CS about this once, and this is what their reply was with regard to PayPal and waitlisted items, and this was the response:

"When placing orders with PayPal we are only able to hold authorizations for 30 days. If the item doesn't become available within that time limit then we will need a different form of payment to use. You should be notified via email if we need another form of payment."

So that's an explanation, but clearly many people have not been notified that a new form of payment is required...
From what I heard, if you use PayPal then the funds go "on hold" up until the item is available, shipped, and then fully charged from your account. (Unlike when placing an order with a credit card like a Visa. The card is only charged when the item is available, shipped, etc. No holding funds for any time period.) If the item is wait-listed more than 30 days, customers may lose out on the item because PayPal only holds onto your funds for a period of time. I have not heard of J.Crew notifying customers about another form of payment when the time period runs out. Probably because PayPal does not really notify them, and J.Crew thinks the form of payment is declined. But I am not 100% sure.

Also, when it comes to returning with a PayPal payment... Doesn't really work. I personally encountered a situation where I paid with PayPal and tried to return an item. There is no way for the store to return your money onto your PayPal account. Thankfully the store just put it back on a credit card.

I like paying with PayPal for certain scenarios (like for the JCA Weekly Exchange), where my credit info is kept private. However, for major retailers, I find using mainstream credit cards like Visa, is the way to go. It is much easier to get refunds and to look up past orders.

What are your thoughts on PayPal & J.Crew? Are you a fan of this payment method? Are there any tips you would share with fellow JCAs when it comes to PayPal?


  1. I agree with not being a fan of paypal. I created an account for ebay and etsy purchases, but I've had some problems with returning items to stores. Unlike you, the stores I purchased at were not willing to put the money onto my credit card, and instead only offered store credits. It's slightly different for J.Crew, seeing as you cannot return to a Canadian store anyway, so I put most of my orders through paypal. If only they could figure out a way to reimburse your money!


  2. I think one of the problems is that J Crew offered the Paypal option without actually defining the terms of use. The first time I returned an item that I had paid with Paypal, they had no idea what to do, didn't know they even accepted Paypal, and after much discussion credited my credit card. Since then that it what has happened at my store. Anthropologie does not allow in store returns when paying by Paypal, maybe to keep it consistent? They should come up with a set of standards to use.

  3. I've experienced some confusion returning at Madewell when I've used PayPal. They'd put it back on a credit card that was linked to my PayPal, but I stopped using PayPal to avoid any possible confusion with credits back.

  4. I use PayPal for eBay and etsy and the JCA exchange... Once was asked to use it by a merchant who turned out to be out of stock on my item and promptly - in less than an hour from the time she emailed me with the apology for running out - credited my money back. It does appear that there is a particular technique to doing this and I'm guessing that it's not something that can be handled at cash registers.

  5. I have used Paypal with Zara and J.Crew. As you all have said, J.Crew credits a credit card for a return (which I don't mind at all actually) while Zara credits my Paypal account on a return. So it is possible!

  6. I use Paypal frequently when shopping online. Lands' End will return the money directly to my Papal account as long as the return is made within one year of the purchase, otherwise it's a refund check. Places like American Eagle give a store credit (not that useful since I only shop at AE for the occasional jean). Zappos/6.pm.com will refund directly to your Paypal account too. I feel comfortable using Paypal for places like eBay, Etsy, Lands End, LL Bean, Zappos or only when I know it's something I'm not likely to return.

  7. I have been using the Paypal Debit Mastercard for many years now, and never have a problem with online ordering or returns. The card works like a regular CC, allowing you to also use it at stores, and the funds are deducted from your Paypal balance. When you make a return, the refund goes directly back into your Paypal account. Plus you get cash back on all your purchases. I'm pretty sure that anyone who has a Paypal account can get one of the cards, and I would highly recommend doing so if you like to use your Paypal account on a regular basis.

    1. I forgot to add that you can use the card at sites that do not offer Paypal as a payment option since it is the same as using a credit card. You just enter your card number at checkout like you would any other CC.

  8. I have used paypal for Anthropologie online orders, and if your paypal account is debiting your checking account, they can refund the credit to my debit card. No problem. However, they did cancel an item on me, and didn't explain the long backorder/holding funds issue. I would have gladly offered another credit card.

  9. Paypal is an accepted form of payment for our business but most people don't use it, maybe 10%. So I usually just keep the balance in the paypal account and we use to pay for things that accept it--plane tickets, hotels for vacation, some household bills, and other junk I order. I also use the card, again typically for things like vacation.

    I use the account for JC but only if the item isn't backordered and I'm confident I won't return it. I've had trouble with both scenarios. The first time I had a huge order that I used paypal for, intending to return the sizes that didn't work. I was issued a gift card. That's fine, but I would have preferred notice that the money wasn't going to the account. The second time was a backordered skirt. The order was cancelled without notifiying me about additional payment. I'd say the DC is the way to go if you have a balance to work with.

  10. I haven't used PayPal at J. Crew before, but I did use my normal credit card to purchase a back ordered item. Finally, after 5 or 6 weeks, the item was available. Instead of using the card I selected though, J. Crew used a debit card for a checking account I closed YEARS ago that they had on record. Of course the transaction couldn't go through and they contacted me. Lesson learned. If you are ordering anything on back order, contact customer service to see which forms of payments they have listed on your account. They keep track of this stuff for years (which is kind of scary).

  11. I use Paypal with J. Crew online orders frequently and have had no issues. Even with returns, if I paid with Paypal and return an order by mail they return the funds back to my Paypal account. Paypal sends me an email that J. Crew has done so. No complaints here!

  12. As with Kim and Firefighter Wife, I use Paypal almost always for J.Crew and Madewell purchases (I live in Canada). For returned items, the credit goes back to my Paypal account and J.Crew and Paypal usually send me emails for the credits. Also for final sale items I have returned or items past the return date (if stuck in the mail serve for example) J.Crew will mail me a gift card instead. No problems whatsoever. I appreciate the security of Paypal for online purchases. I have encountered the Paypal 30 day limit for waitlisted and backordered items. If I get an email notice from J.Crew/Madewell and Paypal for these types of items I call customer service and they can usually fulfill the request, even for impossible to find items (e.g. J.Crew Factory Herringbone Excursion Vest).


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