Some people blog for the pure fun of it, but most people would like to earn some income. One of the best ways to make money online is to produce an electronic product, like an eBook, for example.
One of the easiest ways to sell your product is to use e-junkie. With e-junkie not only can you sell your product, but you can create an affiliate program to have fellow bloggers in your niche sell your product. Sure you can sell your eBooks all by yourself, but with affiliates they tell their friends and you have the potential to earn even more!
So you’re selling a product online, the month has ended and it’s time to pay your affiliates.
E-junkie suggests using mass payments, but if you are new to using e-junkie, once you get to PayPal most likely you will find that you cannot use mass payments. Apparently at one point in time it was automatically an option available to everyone with the right kind of account at PayPal but now you have to make a special request for it. Bummer. But wait, don’t give up yet. It’s very easy to get set up with mass payments. All it requires is a quick phone call and PayPal can add this option to your account. Here’s the number you’ll want to call: Sales 1-888-818-3936. You can learn more about Mass Payments here: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/mass-payments.
You do need to have either a Premier or Business account without any issues on the account, and it will help if your account has been around for awhile. If you are a blogger making money, you are operating a business, so you should have a Premier or Business account.
I would suggest keeping your Personal account and opening a new account for your business. I don’t know if this still applies, but it used to be that once you upgraded from Personal to Premier or Business you could no longer have a personal account. I like having a personal account because it allows me to keep my business money and personal money separate. It’s easier to keep track this way. You can use your personal PayPal account to transfer funds between you and friends or family, get paid for personal rebates or buy products for yourself personally (not business related) and your funds will not be commingled. The IRS doesn’t like commingling.
Okay, so now you have a Premier or Business account. By the way, the Business account allows you to enter a business name, instead of your personal name. Here are the differences according to PayPal:
- Personal: Recommended for individuals who shop and pay online, or wish to send or receive personal payments for shared expenses such as splitting of dinner bills or rental charges.
- Premier: Recommended for casual sellers or non-businesses who wish to get paid online, and who also make online purchases.
- Business: Recommended for merchants who operate under a company/group name. It offers additional features such as allowing up to 200 employees limited access to your account and customer service email alias for customer issues to be routed for faster follow-ups.
Now you need to put in a call to PayPal. Here again is the phone number: Sales 1-888-818-3936
Tell the representative you would like to use mass payments and if they can’t help you, they will put you in touch with who can.
Now what does this do for you? Two things, you’ll save time because you can pay using a file which you will download from e-junkie, and secondly, you can make payments the proper way.
You may have noticed that PayPal has two tabs for making payments, Purchase and Personal. Look at the screenshot below.
Under the “Purchase” tab you see your options are Goods, Services or eBay items. The person you are paying will incur fees on their end: $0.30 USD plus 2.9%. This is the cost of doing business for someone who is providing goods, services or selling on eBay. But your affiliates should not have to pay fees.
Let’s say you are paying your affiliates 25% of the cost of your book, so they earn $5.00 for every one of your eBooks that they sell. One of your affiliates is a super seller, and has sold 100 copies of your book in one month! Awesome! They have earned $500, and because of their super selling ability you have earned $1500! Yay! If you pay them using the “services” method, they will be hit with fees of $0.30 plus 2.9% which comes to $14.80. That’s a big hit, especially when it shouldn’t happen in the first place.
Or maybe your book sells for $10 and your affiliates earn $2.50. One of your affiliates sold one book and gets hit with fees of $0.59. So instead of earning $2.50, he only earns $1.91.
That sucks and it’s not necessary.
Let’s look at the personal tab.
Okay, this isn’t a gift. It’s not Living Expense. It’s not a cash advance.
You can use Payment owed, or Other, and there are no fees incurred; however, this transaction is not “personal” – it is a business expense and therefore consideration a business deduction. So that’s kind of confusing and doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.
The other option, if you look at the top, is “Make a Mass Payment”.
When a friend of mine mentioned the tediousness of making payments via PayPal I told her she should look into Mass Payments. She said “But when I tried to click through it says, ‘My account is not set up this option, contact your PayPal account manager.’” It sounded like it was going to be a big hassle but I encouraged her to call them anyway.
She put in a call and her account was enabled within minutes.
Okay, so you’ve called PayPal and you’ve been approved. Yay! What next?
If you’re using e-junkie, when the month is over you will see an option when you pay your affiliates to make a mass payment. You will download a file which will contain the following information:
- [email protected]
- 4.25 [affiliate amount earned]
- USD [currency]
- 123456 [Affiliate ID]
You can open this file in Excel and manipulate it as desired. For example, let’s say you told your affiliates that you would pay them a $50 bonus this month if they earned over $100 in affiliate earnings. You can change the dollar amount as you wish.
Save the file as a .txt or .csv (Comma Separated Values).
When the file is ready, log in to PayPal, click on the Send Money tab, then click on Make a Mass Payment. Here’s what the screen looks like.
Type in an email subject, and message to recipient. You can enter 1000 characters (spaces included).
If you want to send a different message to different affiliates, break the file into two separate files. For example, you are sending a surprise bonus to your affiliates who earned over $100, but not to your other affiliates. Submit one file for each group if you wish.
One last thing. You are going to pay a small fee to send these payments. It will be 2% of the amount, up to $1. So in the example used above, you will pay $1 to pay Super Affiliate. Affiliate 2, who earned $2.50, will cost you a shiny nickel.
Remember, it’s the cost of doing business and it’s shoddy business to make your affiliates pay processing fees. There’s no quicker way to lose your affiliates’ interest than to make them pay fees when they shouldn’t even be paying them in the first place.
If you’re not using e-junkie, but would still like to use mass payments, here is the format you will need to produce a file. You can use Excel (save as .csv) or a Notepad (ends in .txt).
Here is the format for the text pad:
[email protected] 100.00 USD 000000
Email address, hit tab, enter dollar amount plus decimal point and cents, hit tab, USD (for currency, in this case United States Dollars), hit tab and enter affiliate ID.
Here is a screenshot of how the file will look:
Here’s what your Excel spreadsheet will look like:
Just save it as a .csv so that PayPal can read it.
I hope this helps to make your life a little easier.
Note: In researching this post, I did find a thread from e-junkie from November 2011 which said you need to meet several criteria, including processing X amount of dollars per month in order to be eligible. FWIW, my friend does not earn that amount, and as I mentioned, her account has mass payments enabled and it only took 60 seconds once she finally got through to the right person. Hopefully since the time of that thread, PayPal has realized that some of us would like to have this option and will allow it since it is very helpful. Also, in the aforementioned thread, e-junkie can go to bat for you, so you may want to contact them if you are denied.