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Media (Apple) Businesses Media Music Apple

Paying for Apple iTunes with PayPal 296

MrIcee writes "While cruising eBay today I noted that some clever individual has apparently stepped up to fill the void left by the fact that Apple's iTunes service does not accept PayPal. While insisting that buyers follow Apple's terms of service, is buying and reselling the gift certificate legal or not? If legal, it's an interesting and simple idea that could be applied to many areas." It is pretty neat, even if the $16 markup is a little ludicrous. It's like the old adage: a fool and his PayPal account are soon parted.
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Paying for Apple iTunes with PayPal

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  • How true. (Score:4, Informative)

    by cliffy2000 ( 185461 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:05PM (#7286923) Journal
    "It's like the old adage: a fool and his PayPal account are soon parted." Indeed. [paypalsucks.com]
    • "A fool and his conspiracy theory are soon made fun of."

      According to a Paypal rep, there have been 35,000,000 individuals who have used Paypal. There are just under 7000 people registered at the paypalsucks message board. That's about 1 in 5,000. To put that into perspective, according to this article [usatoday.com] , a Princeton survey found the odds of the Earth being hit with a city sized asteroid is also 1 in 5,000. The odds of having a bad Paypal experience are really pretty slim indeed. Don't believe the hyp
  • by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <<gundbear> <at> <pacbell.net>> on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:06PM (#7286940) Homepage
    At least until someone figures out how to sell it for $15 markup.

    Then $14.

    Then $13.

    Then $12.


    Until Apple decides to implement their own version...

    So this is one of those ideas with it's own obsolescence!
  • Fun (Score:5, Interesting)

    by igabe ( 594295 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:09PM (#7286961) Homepage
    Reload the link to eBay and look at the counter near the bottom of the auction listing. See the Slashdot effect in real time. Impressive.
  • From the TOS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tsanth ( 619234 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:10PM (#7286974)
    Section 11.a:
    Payment for Products. You agree to pay for all Products you purchase through the Service, and that Apple may charge your credit card for any Products purchased, and for any additional amounts (including any taxes and late fees, as applicable) as may be accrued by or in connection with your Account. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TIMELY PAYMENT OF ALL FEES AND FOR PROVIDING APPLE WITH A VALID CREDIT CARD FOR PAYMENT OF ALL FEES. All fees will be billed to the credit card you designate during the registration process. If you want to designate a different credit card or if there is a change in your credit card status, you must change your credit card information online at the Account Info section of the Service. (There may be a temporary disruption of your access to the Service until Apple can verify the validity of the new credit card information.)

    So how would this work when buying initially through a gift certificate bought through a middleman? Would I, as the buyer, pay the middleman to pay my iTunes bill for me?
    • I don't if your aware of this, but gift-certificates are prepayed. thats the point. you wouldnt have any iTunes bill to pay, cause you get 50$ then your done. I think your missing out on the concept here.
    • Re:From the TOS (Score:2, Informative)

      by fredmosby ( 545378 )
      The iTunes Music Store allows people to buy gift certificates for anyone with an e-mail account. So the idea is that you give the people $66, they take the money and use it to buy a gift certificate and have Apple send it to your e-mail address. I think that using the gift certificate requires you to set up your own account, so you can't just buy as many songs as you want using their credit card.
      • Okay (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tsanth ( 619234 )

        That answers my other question. I suppose this means that I shouldn't be buying that gift certificate if I don't already have an iTunes account?
        • Re:Okay (Score:2, Informative)

          Has it occured to you that you could just go look up these questions yourself over at Apple? [apple.com]
  • What else can I say ? If the option is available and if someone is willing to pay the exorbitant price markup, why not squeeze few pennies out of it ? Unless apple implements this payment method, the markup will be driven down but will exist in one form or another despite how small it ends up to be. Also for the initial paypal bashing post owner : not everyone's paypal experience is as bad as what you had to hate them that much. If you know what you are getting into and not trying to defraud the system, why
    • "If you know what you are getting into and not trying to defraud the system, why worry ?"

      Because of point number 5 [paypalsucks.com]:

      5. If you are a bona fide, up-standing individual with hundreds of successful transactions, but someone pays you with a stolen credit card, your account (by PayPal's own admission) is immediately flagged as being "criminal behavior" and any money in that account is confiscated. If a customer "disputes" the charge, same thing happens. (See email above.)

  • Or, y'know... (Score:5, Informative)

    by the unbeliever ( 201915 ) <chris+slashdot AT atlgeek DOT com> on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:13PM (#7286990) Homepage
    You can get a paypal debit card, and use it to buy your merchandise from ITMS.

    I have one of the debit cards, and I used it like a credit card all the time (it's where my personal allowance money from my bank account goes). It'll also use your checking account to pull funds from if you don't keep a balance in your paypal account.

    • Paypal issues a DEBIT CARD and they are _STILL_ not considered a BANK?!?!?! WTF?!?!?!?!?!?
      • "Paypal issues a DEBIT CARD and they are _STILL_ not considered a BANK?!?!?! WTF?!?!?!?!?!?"

        RTFA. You're just using paypal send someone a bunch of money. And then that person uses THEIR credit card to send you an iTMS gift certificate. Paypal is just acting as a conduit for the moving of funds.

        • The previous poster was referring to the MasterCard business debit card that can be applied for and used against your standing e-cash balance- NOT the main discussion subject.

          And yes, I have to wonder about the debit card issuance and it not being at least held to savings and loan rules and regs.
  • by chatooya ( 718043 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:19PM (#7287027)
    Great, another middleman between musicians and fans. Are we moving backwards through the internet??
  • by Strudelkugel ( 594414 ) * on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:19PM (#7287030)

    Nifty idea, though the markup is ridiculous. But, it does represent YAWAM (Yet Another Way to Acquire Music) that is a lot easier than dealing with CD stores or even online CD sales.

    Sure would be interesting to know how the economics of iTunes music distribution compare with retail CD distribution. More profitable for the label? Less?

    Even if it is more, isn't there as risk to the label in that getting on iTunes may not require the backing of a big organization? That is, iTunes represents a much better prospect for the artist? Sure would be interesting to know what Jobs thinks of all this, let alone the accountants in the record industry.

    • It appears to be less than the typical apple markup.

    • Re:YAWAM? (Score:3, Funny)

      by drayzel ( 626716 )

      Be honest, that word is just YAAPOOYA
      (Yet Another Acronym Pulled Out Of Your Ass)

  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jjh37997 ( 456473 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:23PM (#7287060) Homepage

    You don't need a credit card to sign up for paypal, that's the point.

    But you need a checking account and what checking account nowadays does not offer a free VISA debt card?

  • credit cards? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by apoch2001 ( 701484 )
    Does it make any sense that this person lets you use a credit card on Ebay to pay for $50 gift certificate when the purpose of his $16 markup is to allow someone to pay when they don't have a credit card? I guess you'd have to be pretty stupid to fall for this one....
  • Targeted to? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by XorNand ( 517466 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:30PM (#7287116)
    I have to believe that anyone who's willing to pay for downloadable music are the type of people who have a credit card. Those without credit cards, students mainly, are still getting their music from Kazaa and the ilk.
    • Well college students do have credit cards, sometimes paid by mom and dad, sometimes with their part time job, of sometimes in massive debt. And guess what people with money like music too.
    • Many banks offer ATM cards with a Visa or Mastercard logo and capabilities. These function just like secured credit cards and only require you to have a checking account.
    • by halo8 ( 445515 )
      Those without credit cards, students mainly

      uhhh.. do what now?? what university are you going to.. every campus ive ever been in.. has at least two credit card booths handing out free stuff for a properlly filled out applicaiton..

      true story: one day i was going to class had a midterm.. but no calulator.. so i just filled out the form.. got a cheapo $2 calculator.. 4-6 weeks later got yet ANOTHER card.. and just cut it up.

      i still failed the test
  • by plambert ( 16507 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:31PM (#7287121) Homepage
    I believe the point is that the iTunes Music Store requires that any credit card used have an address inside the United States.

    Reselling gift certificates would then allow folks outside the U.S. to access the store as if they were in the U.S.

    Except I think you have to have valid credit card information whether or not you use a gift certificate. I am not certain, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:39PM (#7287164)
    In order to sign up for an iTunes account to REDEEM any such certificate you MUST enter a valid credit card number. I know. I sent my sister a certificate so she could try out iTunes. She didn't want to use a credit card, but ended up being forced to just to redeem the certificate.

    There IS a non-credit-card way get an iTunes account, but that's only as the recipient of an "allowance" which is then tied to someone elses credit card, the one giving the monthly allowance ($10 minimum each month).

    Good luck redeeming the gift certificate if you buy it and don't have a credit card!
  • First, they have their own ATM Debit card backed by a Mastercard particpating bank.

    Second, they have their own credit card.

    They also had a "pay online with a virtual card" feature, but I can't find it.
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • Discover Card
    • American Express

    Markup: $16 on $50 certificate

    Hmm, I wonder if this is an intelligent decision.

    Sounds like the ?? right before Profit! to me.

    (In reality, they only accept PayPal, but they have icons for all the above. Misleading design.)

  • Why should you need this "service"? Paypal already offers a virtual debit card service (see here [paypal.com], requires paypal login) where their system will generate a mastercard number and expiration date which you can use to buy items against your paypal balance from any online store that takes credit cards...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      But you can't do that unless you have another card on file with paypal.
      I think this is for people that have a bank account only and no credit cards.
  • Apple Stores? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:54PM (#7287259) Homepage
    It seems to me like apple would make a killing if they sold the certificates in their stores (at face value, of course!). It would make a great gift-item, and would be an impulse-buy for many (read: this is the kind of thing that mall-shoppers would buy)

    Or would that violate the agreement between Apple (Computer) and Apple (Records)?
    • Re:Apple Stores? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ottffssent ( 18387 )
      Or would that violate the agreement between Apple (Computer) and Apple (Records)?

      Apple (Computer) doesn't seem bothered by that prospect. A little history:

      Apple (records) came first. Apple (Computer) tried to register a trademark or some such, and Apple (records) sued. Apple (Computer) (correctly) said that they're in different businesses, thus no namespace collision, thus no trademark problem. Apple (records) backed down, and said "stay out of our business, and you're in the clear."

      Apple (Computer)
      • I think Jobs should just hard-code iTunes to not play any Apple Records music....That would be fair and keep customers straight. They could even implement digital watermarking technology to prevent playing Ripped music like records or CDs. A personal vendetta can go a long way in the business world!

        Of course when iTunes & iPod become the "windows" of the music world....Oops! Who's the Beetles! Must not be important because my iPod won't play um.

      • "Apple (Computer) made an iPod. Apple (records) sued. Apple (Computer) paid 'em off."
        That didn't happen.
  • Non US customers. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Oscar_Wilde ( 170568 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @09:55PM (#7287263) Homepage
    Hey! I know this particular auction is only open to people in the US but how long will it take before someone starts selling gift certificates to non US residents?

    The gift certificate section on the iTMS doesn't say that non US residents can't receive them.
    • The iTunes Music Store is useful to US Citizens who want Music but don't want to be sued by the RIAA.

      Since there isn't a single legal system, or Recording Industry Association that represents the rest of the world, every other country must be dealt with individually.

      Countries that operate very much like the United States and have strong Recording Industry Associations provide good markets either for iTMS or iTMS clones. At the opposite extreme are countries which don't respect intellectual property at al
  • by FSK ( 123170 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @10:07PM (#7287341) Homepage
  • So...does Apple charge sales tax when you buy the gift certificate? Or just when you buy the music...which is how my two $0.99 songs are $2.16 on the credit card.

    Or maybe they do it on both....

    • I purchased a gift card earlier this week and they did not charge me any sales tax on the card. However when the person I gave the card to used it, they charged her sales tax on her purchases.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Geez, you guys know that anytime an auction gets in the news, Mr. Kevin Pursglove (whatever his name) issues a cute little statement along the lines of "we are investigating the auction".

    Then the next day, the auction is pulled for some obscure reason: "the seller created and posted the auction between 10pm and 11pm from a state that outlaws ferret hunting during summer months. Persuant to section 573, paragraph 43 of the eBay user agreement, which we just updated last night just for this guy, where it say
  • 9 days 13 hours left, and not a single one has sold...
  • by Mean_Nishka ( 543399 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @10:57PM (#7287612) Homepage Journal
    To avoid the $16 mark up, all one needs to do is use Paypal's virtual debit card to make the purchase of the GC. It assigns you a temporary mastercard number that you can use on just about any website that takes credit cards.

    Go to the 'my account' tab, select withdraw, and click on the 'shop online with a paypal virtual card' link. The number won't be tied to any website in particular, so you should be able to type it in through itunes and have it work.

  • by ratfynk ( 456467 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @10:58PM (#7287632) Journal
    "Open the IPOD bay doors Steve"..... "I am sorry, I cannot do that Bill"
  • I can just see the eBay web architect in his design when choosing to have a counter on each listing saying:

    "5 digits on the counter should be enough for any listing"

  • Doesn't something like this enable people in canada/japana/europe/etc buy from the US iTMS?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One of the largest obsticles to buying music online is using a credit card. There are still many who don't trust it. Granted, this isn't the crowd that itunes apeals to most (older folks who don't trust technology).

    Still, I bet that there are MILLIONS of teens out there, all downloading online music - mostly hit singles, WITHOUT acess to a credit card. What apple needs to start doing is selling music cards, with set amounts of dollars on each (ala pay-as-you-go cell phones).

    This would allow teens to bu
  • Paypal Debit Card (Score:3, Informative)

    by ewwhite ( 533880 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @12:40AM (#7288094) Homepage
    My solution is to use the Paypal debit card. It's linked to my Paypal account and acts as a Mastercard. I use it for all of my Apple iTunes store purchases. It works quite well....
  • Why can't you use a virtual credit card number? PayPal offers this service.

    Quite silly.

    • Why can't you use a virtual credit card number? PayPal offers this service. Quite silly.

      Oh right, only if you have plastic on file . . . nevermind.

      Just get a damned card then

  • It appears someone else is selling gift certificates as well as music in general for people that cannot access the store. The auction is here [ebay.com]

    Good luck I guess.
  • Why on earth would anyone want to use Paypal???? I can understand the not wanting to use a credit card part, but if I didnt want to use a credit card, I wouldnt be looking to purchase anything online.

    As it is its hard to pay with a personal check anywhere anyway other than paying your bills, so whats the point??? Just go to your local used CD store and buy them there

    • With Paypal, I do use my credit card, but the merchant never sees it. That's one of the nice features; you only have to worry about paypal's trustworthiness (won't argue that here), not that of every 'net merchant you meet.

      If I pay you $50 out of my paypal account, paypal draws it out of my CC and you get it from paypal. You don't need a CC merchant account and you don't ever see my CC information.

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