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Tue Jan 24 2017 17:24:58

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

By: Ina Steiner

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This Wall Street Journal headline caught my eye: "Go Ahead, Write a Check for Your Coffee, I've Got All Day." The newspaper cited Federal Reserve statistics that showed Americans wrote 41.9 billion checks in 2000. That number was down to 17.3 billion checks in 2015.

The article focused on in-store payments, and you have to love this quote from a college student: "I honestly didn't even know you could use a check in a store." 

Many people might be surprised to learn that checks were once the norm for online purchases (eBay even accepted cash and checks when it began charging seller fees in 1996) - but eBay helped quash the practice with its "safe payments policy" in 2008.  

The article made us wonder if anyone ever asks to pay with checks for their online orders anymore, especially with the advent of the debit card.  

When's the last time you were asked if you accepted checks? And even with local pickup, would you be willing to accept a check from a buyer?




Comments (28) | Permalink

Readers Comments

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: Bob V. This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 24 17:48:22 2017

I received a request just a few months ago to accept a personal check.  It's rare, but it does happen.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 24 18:37:03 2017

We accept checks all the time. The last time was just this morning.

And unlike most people WE DON'T DO ON LINE BANKING. We pay our bills with checks or a credit card. Nothing is automatic deducts.

Not to lazy to write the check and if it takes a few minutes longer in line and you are behind us TOUGH.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: songe-d-automne This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 24 18:54:57 2017

I got asked to accept money orders a few times for some facebook transactions. No problem here, money is money.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: Bidderboy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 24 19:09:06 2017

I have a few regular buyers who pay me with checks all the time.  

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 24 19:46:21 2017

@Feeling Froggy
 I am the same way. I pay with a check. The writing of the check and doing the math of deducting it from my balance keeps me in touch with my funds.
  Paying through the internet, and the math is automatically done, does not in-grain the balance of money you have on hand.
  I know what money I have in the bank and I know I don't over spend at all.
  There is also the SS7 Mobile Network Security problem that the hackers love.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Jan 24 20:27:27 2017

I sure buy a whole lot less off of eBay now than I did when checks and money orders were common.  I never minded receiving them either but since eBay imposed that gag rule on even mentioning them I don't even get asked anymore.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jan 24 20:55:35 2017

I used to accept checks and money orders until the branch of my bank that I could walk to (I don't drive) was closed and now it's just too difficult to make deposits since I have to wait until the weekend so my husband can drive me.

I don't do pick-ups, but if I did it would definitely be cash only.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: handmedownheaven This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jan 25 00:45:43 2017

After being the victim of identity theft, I paid off and cut up all plastic.  I pay nothing online anymore except with a paypal debit card that keeps a next to nothing balance.

All bills get checks in the mail, the method that served me well for 30 years prior to computers.  For retail stores I use nothing but cash.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jan 25 00:50:47 2017

I have never accepted checks for on line payments but would take MO and they became less and less over the years. I do use checks for payments for places that don't have on-line payment services, like my cleaning lady! I also love being able to double check and keep up to date with my checking account on line.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: Michael in BC This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 25 01:15:14 2017

At one point years ago, on eBay, I took checks in US dollars, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars and British pounds - as my bank didn't charge me a fee for processing them.

I get asked if I'll take a check a couple of times a year, and in 20 years on eBay, I had only 2 bounce which were immediately made good by the buyers.

I still pay bills via check, pay for my antiques business purchases by business check, and (up till he retired last month after 42 years of cutting my hair), I'd pay my barber with a check.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: birdman This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 25 05:15:54 2017

I can imagine the response if I offered to pay a plumber, electrician or other workman by Paypal. Unless the sum involved is small I always pay by cheque.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jan 25 08:00:58 2017

In some instances checks are still viable.  I still write one sometimes.  I could not get my bank to sell me less than a box of checks so I requested emergency checks and they sent me 50, which should last a few years.  Don't be afraid to ask for that bank service.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 25 08:18:24 2017

There are 2 separate questions here:

1) should you/do you take checks

and

2) should you/do you TRUST Paypal.

Knowing that Paypal is run by ex-eBay employees should give you night terrors. Looking at how eBay and Paypal work IN CONCERT against you as a seller - should male you run the other way (right into the arms of Square etc).

Even on eBay where YOU as the seller pay the %2-4 vig, Paypal will ALWAYS listen to eBay (who are they in all this) as apposed to you. Thats right, pay for a service and a 3rd party gets to make all the decisions.

Id take a check and wait a week for it to clear BEFORE I trust Paypal.

Although as an aside - "on the whole" they are better then eBay on some things ... "so they've got that going for them!".

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: dmg61 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 25 08:36:35 2017

I still get checks sometimes for payments, use them all the time to pay at stores and bills. I prefer checks. NO FEES people. I also don't trust Pay Pal that much.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 25 09:33:50 2017

I gladly accepted whatever currency (save for bitcoin) that MY CUSTOMER wishes to use.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 25 10:05:28 2017

We encourage folks to pay by Postal Money order instead of checks.  BUT I would take either. I would just hold the shipment of something paid by check until my bank said ok.

do you know, if you get a check drawn on a national bank, you can go to any bank and "cash" it?   I used to do that all the time.

Most folks pay by Paypal now but I take any type of payment they want to use.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jan 25 10:37:11 2017

About 1 in 1000 orders is paid for by check or money order.

Haven't got any cash in the mail in over a decade!

We still write 2 checks a month and that will soon change to zero.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: cillianred This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 25 11:25:17 2017

I haven't accepted checks in many years, but if asked, will still accept money orders. Though I don't think I've had such a request in at least 2 or 3 years. Maybe longer.

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 25 13:09:43 2017

On Etsy, I advise that payment with a check or money order is fine.  But no has ever paid with a check or money order.  

EBay is the same.  Last check received was a long time ago.

I have not written a check in a decade or more.  Occasionally, I will pay with a postal money order.  Otherwise, I pay online or in person with a credit or debit card or cash.  

Daily, I visit all my banking websites and reconcile each credit and debit card plus my eBay account to the penny.  Especially eBay and Paypal.  Not wise to trust those crooks.  Lots of ''bad blood'' over the years.

Cash is great for buying at antique shows and flea markets.  I love the wheeling and dealing with the dealers and the look of happiness on the dealers puss when I hand over the cash.  And most antique malls give a 10% cash discount when paying with a credit or debit card.  Makes life easy and safe.  

And I especially do not miss standing in line at a busy grocery store, the person in front of the cashier stands motionless until the clerk has completed scanning all their groceries and gives the person the total.  

Then the person starts by opening a purse (a large full purse) to scrounge in there for the checkbook.  Then they look for a pen.  Now they start with writing the date, then the stores name, then the amount in numbers, then the amount in words, and finally they sign. And before ripping the check out, they update the check details in the front of the check book. Finally, the person hands over the check which now the cashier has to process.

Not that the person has done this over and over and over for twenty, thirty, forty years or more.  Do NOT miss the check writing.  

In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?   In the Age of PayPal, Does Anyone Use Checks?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 25 21:03:54 2017

@ Toledo Maud:
''Then the person starts by opening a purse (a large full purse) to scrounge in there for the checkbook.  Then they look for a pen.  Now they start with writing the date, then the stores name, then the amount in numbers, then the amount in words, and finally they sign. And before ripping the check out, they update the check details in the front of the check book. Finally, the person hands over the check which now the cashier has to process. ''

I don't even want to guess how many times I have stood behind that person.

But, at least in my observation and experience you missed a step.

After she hands over the check she closes her handbag and stands there and the clerk then asks for ID before starting the check process. So, open the bag, dig around for wallet, find ID and either pulls it out of the wallet or hands the whole wallet to the clerk and, finally, the check is put in the register and and the receipt is finally printed out.

The longest time I can remember timing this process was a bit over twelve minutes.......  

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