Paypal and E-Cigs Don’t Mix
As you go deeper into the rabbit hole and when you start investing more money into E-Cigs or vaping as most veterans in the community would call it, you’ll most likely start to gather a small collection of mods and accessories. When newer hotter items come on the market, you may not be able to resist and whip out the old wallet and buy even more (I’m definitely one of those people). And as your collection gets larger and larger, it’ll get to the point where you’ll want to get rid of some of the stuff you’ve gathered over time. So what should you do? Selling it off or even giving it to some of your friends and family seems to be the logical step. However, if you’re a loner like myself or if your friends and loved ones never smoked or don’t want to convert (yep I’m in this category as well) you may look into alternative options like selling online. So shipping the item isn’t a huge issue but trying to get money from the buyer to the seller may be. Obviously this is where PayPal comes into play.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with PayPal, it’s a secure way to utilize your bank account without doing an actual wire transfer between parties. Thank of PayPal as a very trusted middleman that acts as a buffer between the buyer and the seller. eBay utilizes PayPal on its website as well as a lot of other hobbyists that want to sell off their old stuff (trading cards, collectables, etc.) all for a very reasonable fee (3% plus $0.30). However, what you may not know is PayPal is not very E-Cig friendly at all. You see in PayPal’s eyes, they’ve categorized E-Cigs as a tobacco product, and under PayPal’s terms and conditions tobacco products are not allowed to be bought or sold using PayPal as a means of money transfer.
Violate applicable laws or industry regulations regarding the sale of (a) tobacco products, or (b) prescription drugs and devices.
But wait, on eBay all types of E-Cig and vaping hardware and accessories are sold all the time. In fact, there are dozens of listings every hour. Although technically they are violating the rules, sellers are extremely careful not to list it as a tobacco or an E-Cig product. They list the name and the description but never mention that it is used for vaping or E-Cig purposes at all. Some sellers even go as far as to neither state on their description that what they are selling isn’t tobacco related nor do they contain nicotine. eBay however doesn’t have as much scrutiny as PayPal does if you sell/buy directly from the person. Before money is transferred there is a box to describe the transaction with what is being bought or sold. If vaping or E-Cig is mentioned at all, both the buyer and seller’s account will be locked. Now this may not be a big deal for some people but some folks (like myself) leave money in their PayPal accounts especially if they use eBay often or do trades on a weekly basis. Some people have hundreds if not thousands of dollars in their PayPal accounts. When an account is frozen, your money is gone and not recoverable. You could try to contact PayPal’s customer service and argue that you weren’t doing anything against their terms and regulations, however among the people I’ve known to get their account frozen, not many were able to argue their way out of it. Their money was as good as gone!
So next time you make a trade online or if you are planning to do so in the future, keep in mind PayPal may be the most secure way of transferring the money, but leave the comment section blank. Or just don’t mention anything about E-Cigs or vaping at all. Better safe than severely sorry. A link to PayPal's policy can be found below: