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Including my PayPal information in my profile

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Members Lounge' started by KrisBlueNZ, Nov 17, 2012.

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  1. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    Hi all, and especially moderators.

    I try to help out quite a bit on the forums, and I spend a significant amount of time drawing up schematics for users. Some of my friends have suggested that I should receive some payment for the support I give.

    I don't want to (and in any case wouldn't be allowed to) charge per job for my assistance, but it did occur to me that I could put my PayPal account information in my profile, so anyone who WANTS to show their appreciation for the help I give would be able to VOLUNTARILY make a payment into it, to help to offset the time I spend here.

    I'm not claiming to be any kind of champion here; there are many other users who also provide a lot of help, and I don't consider myself special in any way.

    What is the electronicspoint policy on this? Would it be acceptable for me to include a statement in my profile reading something like "If you wish to thank me for help I have provided, you are welcome to voluntarily donate any amount you choose to my PayPal account, which is named ****************"?

  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    I think the moderators will have to discuss this.

    Regardless of what we decide, a problem you may have is that people won't understand the value of what you offer.

    As you know, there are other members who offer to do work for a fee, so the request is not totally unprecedented.

    Kris, if you'd prefer we do this via PM we can (rather than having things here in public)
  3. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    OK thanks Steve.
    I'm happy to have this public; other members may also be interested.
    I don't mind about people not understanding the value of what I do. I'm not trying to start a commercial venture; just giving people the opportunity to "express their appreciation in a tangible form", if you like, and giving me the opportunity to pick up a few bob along the way.
  4. KJ6EAD


    Aug 13, 2011
    There should be a tip jar attached to each member account. :D

    Maybe requesting that people PM you for the PayPal info would appear less commercial.
  5. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    agreed :)

    Cocacola has people send him items occassionally for repair and a token charge

    Its a really thin line, this and other forums like it are supposed to be and normally are totally non-profit, by either the forum operator or anyone participating thereon

    Personally, I feel its crossing the line to charge for services, or doing that in a round about way by hinting at donations for services supplied
    Its the first step on a very slippery slope, and altho CC has been allowed to do it, I dont really agree. Before you know it, every man and his dog will be wanting to do the same and eventually subtle advertising will creep in etc etc.
    It then becomes a commercial forum rather than a hobby forum with the whole idea and principle of the forum destroyed.

  6. CocaCola


    Apr 7, 2012
    I fully understand the spirit of the forum, and I do my best to not to offer anything for pay unless the poster is very adamant about not doing it themselves, and I generally still try to push for the person to do it themselves in most of those cases or at least offer up direction... To me it's a hard call to tell the people who don't have the skills or desire to do something to simply bugger off this forum with a good luck wish, that will likely mean the person never gets the help they seek...

    All in all I understand the spirit of the forum and do my best to be far from the guy just popping up and offering help when there is something in it for me...
  7. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    yup exactly :)
    And I know I have learnt lots from your many worthy posts
    thanks CC

  8. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    KJ6EAD, I think the "tip jar for every account" is an excellent idea.

    That is the nature of the system I am proposing; I have no intention of making my help contingent on a payment, or even a donation, and I would not specify, or even suggest, the amount of the donation. I was thinking of amounts of $5 or $10 depending on the usefulness of my help as determined by the OP.

    davenn, I disagree that it's necessarily the start down a slippery slope. If it's presented as a "tip jar" then it's clear that it's voluntary (it could even be called a "voluntary tip jar", because in America, tipping for good service is customary).

    I don't think that "hinting at donations" is in the same realm as "charging for services", if it's clear that the donation is voluntary, and not of any fixed (or even suggested) amount, and would occur only after the issue has been resolved.
  9. KJ6EAD


    Aug 13, 2011
    That's well stated and a philosophy that's consistent with the forum's ideals.

    That's a good point but the forum owner(s) will likely want to prevent the forum from becoming an engineering/technical services bazaar, however well-intended. I think this is the slippery slope that Dave warned of.

    I know on at least a few occasions you've offered to do small but technically demanding solder jobs at no charge.

    On balance, I think the cases of overly demanding users wanting a commercial product or a school project designed for free far outweigh the few instances of a helper offering service beyond the scope of a simple forum answer for a fee.
  10. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    Just to repeat, the whole "for a fee" idea is NOT what I suggested, and NOT what I intended. The voluntary contribution tip jar concept is what I have been suggesting.
  11. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Aug 23, 2006
    I can understand the reasoning behind wanting to do this - but I wouldn't like to see this rolled out on the site (for quite a few reasons).

    I think that if one or two members did this, it would be likely that most contributing members would add something similar to their profile. It would turn the site in to more of a commercial community - which is something I've been keen to avoid (there are no commercial deals, sponsorships, etc...) and advertising is disable for anyone that joins the site.

    I can imagine that having a well used tipping service may put off posters that aren't in a position to donate and would remove the friendly community feel of the place.

    If a thread crops up where someone is looking for chargeable work, then this can be discussed over PM - but this would be a different kettle of fish to tipping or having profile links to PayPal.
  12. davelectronic


    Dec 13, 2010
    Not often i come in now, illness, reading this thread before logging in was making me feel a bit uncomfortable, i think the way Ian has chose to keep the forum is excellent, i for one am not minted, and it would lose its friendly feel.

    I might not log in all the time but still pay regular visits when health allows me, must log in more rather than just browse, glad to see the forum stays a happy friendly non profit making site for electronics experts and hobbyists alike. :)
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