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Advice for Designers

What Lego Can Teach YOU About Using PayPal

By 04/11/2016January 23rd, 201715 Comments

What Lego Can Teach YOU About Using PayPal | Maria Killam

Every Monday my nephews Markus and William (above) come to my home for pizza night. A few weeks ago they arrived with a Playmobile flyer that they had just received in the mail. They already have a Playmobil house and advised me ‘Auntie Designer’ that they needed some furniture to go with it. So I said, let’s look for some to buy on-line and have it shipped to your house.

So we went on-line and looked around but everything we wanted was in the ‘not available’ category.

I couldn’t disappoint them and so not wanting to give up yet, I said “Don’t you guys need some Lego to add to your collection?”, they both looked at me with a sparkle in their eyes and said “We want the Falcon!”.

“Alright, let’s find it then”. I said. We found it in seconds and then I saw that Lego accepts PayPal.

Awesome, click, password, DONE.

I never understand why more businesses don’t accept PayPal. I can’t count the number of times I have sat on the sofa clicking around on my laptop, I find something I want to buy and I’m happy until I get to the shopping cart and the cart doesn’t accept PayPal. Truthfully, I’ve thought to myself ‘I just don’t feel like getting up and grabbing my credit card’

So I don’t buy it.

What Lego Can Teach YOU About Using PayPal | Maria Killam

Photos by Elizabeth Jacobs

I started writing my blog in November 2008 and it took approximately 6 months for people to start asking if I could consult with them on-line. Back then, I didn’t have a shopping cart to accept Visa and Mastercard so I set up a PayPal account and started sending my clients invoices. Instantly, I was in business!

In fact, a few months ago when I was at the airport with a designer friend, she watched me send a PayPal invoice with this note included:

“Please pay anytime before the consultation, this way it’s easier for me to keep track”.

The next time I saw her she told me after she watched me do that, she’s started doing the same thing. She used to wait weeks and sometimes months before she billed her clients because it took her so much time, now she gets paid right away.

What Lego Can Teach YOU About Using PayPal | Maria Killam

They built this 1329 piece set in less than 4 hours!

In May 2010 I used PayPal invoices again when I launched my first live event in Vancouver. Again it was easy and effortless.

What Lego Can Teach YOU About Using PayPal | Maria Killam

Photo I took on our trip to Disneyland last Fall at the Lego store

I now have a shopping cart on my website where I accept Visa and Mastercard in addition to Paypal, and I’m happy to say Paypal is also my merchant account. So when a customer makes any type of purchase, it goes right into my PayPal account and I pay less banking fees. And you don’t need a shopping cart in order to bill your clients using PayPal. It takes minutes to set up an account and you’re in business.

I’m in Charlotte for my SOLD OUT Specify Colour with Confidence™ event! The world needs more True Colour Experts, hooray!

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

Maria’s Guide to Starting a Design Blog

10 Tips that Will Take your Home Design Blog to the Next Level

How I Discovered my System of Understanding Undertones



  • Diane Sargent says:

    You are probably the best auntie ever!

  • Linda Fitzgerald says:

    I love the traditions & memories you’re creating for your nephews.

    I love PayPal and will always choose this option when checking out online. I’ve only had one issue with a payment for product and when I contacted them, they remmed it immediately with the source and credited my bank card. Highly recommend it.

    I’m hoping my friend will register for your Toronto course this time, but money is still an issue. She’s looking for a new career to supplement her pensions and she’d be good at colour design. Fingers crossed she can join you there in May.

  • mrsben says:

    Your nephews are very fortunate to have such a good Auntie … ☺. I am a big fan of Lego as my son grew up with them and I am now purchasing them for my grandson. As for PayPal; since I live close to the U.S.A. border and have the luxury of processing orders through Customs myself, I find it basically eliminates the confusion of having ‘two separate addresses’ (billing and shipping) as many companies do not offer that option upon check out. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Glad to hear that your seminar in Charlotte is a ‘sale out’. (Don’t forget to have some fun ‘as all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl’!)

  • Koel says:

    That’s very sweet Maria. But Paypal isn’t very commonly used across all countries. For example, here in India, Paypal isn’t used as frequently and I believe it has lesser features etc than the US version. Also I believe there have been some misuse in India leading to stricter controls, along with Indian company equivalents of Paypal which are used more frequently here.

  • Renee Brady says:

    Yayyy for Lego! Timeless and unisex. Good Auntie!
    I love Paypal. Even though I know my credit card information by heart (I know, some people think that’s weird) I often don’t complete a purchase when I find out the retailer doesn’t use Paypal. I just don’t want every Tom, Dick and Harry to have that precious information because I don’t have confidence that every company has adequate security measures in place. Remember what happened at Target, Home Depot and eBay to name a few? It’s not a convenience issue for me; it’s about security. I’m sure many other consumers feel the same way.
    Good on you for using it.

  • Leigh says:

    I have a love/hate with PayPal. I love not handing over my credit card information to countless merchants, but I sometimes have problems with returns. I was told by Macy’s this past Christmas that my orders could only be returned for store credit because I used PayPal. I never understood that and made such a big deal about it that a manager just gave me my refund in cash. I just made a return to Academy Sports last week, having used PayPal, and they credited my card with no problem at all.

    And the time I had a PayPal balance of $50 and they applied that first to my online order that was over $125. They first took the$50 balance from my account and then the remaining balance was put on my card for a purchase. I had to make a return, and that was a nightmare because the merchant told me, “Sorry, but you used PayPal.” There is no rhyme or reason that I can discern. It’s always a gamble.

    The latest is over $200 in charges from our bank because PayPal kept hitting an expired card (attached to our bank) and each time it was declined by our bank, we incurred a charge. I guess after typing all this I realize that I hate PayPal more than love it. 🙂

    • Renee says:

      Leigh, There are only 4 companies that have my credit card information, including Paypal. When my credit card gets renewed, I go to each of those companies’ website to update my account information with the new expiry date of my card and have never had a problem. Actually, Amazon seems to ignore expiry dates and purchases go through without a hitch.
      Re Macy’s…they can be a problem to deal with, period. I no longer order from them online.

  • Brenda F says:

    Playmobil and Lego have been staples in my house for years. My kids have outgrown the Playmobil but my soon to be 14 year old son still asks for Lego on a regular basis. I think his dream job would be to work for Lego some day. If you ever need/want/are looking for any Playmobil Maria, let me know. I have a basement full of PRISTINE Playmobil that I would gladly send you for cheap. I have all the directions for the sets and everything is bagged and categorized, ready to go.

  • sandyc says:

    Wonderful Auntie and very talented nephews.

    I appreciate the ease of use of PayPal as well although I remember it wasn’t quite as easy when I first started using it, probably because it was a new system and new merchant users had some bugs to work out. I haven’t had any problems recently and wondering if Leigh’s frustrating experiences might have more to do with the merchant user’s system rather than with PayPal itself. Leigh also mentioned Macy which I never use anymore because I’ve never had a good experience with them on any type of purchase. When I first got my card with a $1000 limit, they wouldn’t let me purchase a couple of area rugs for $500 because I had never used the card before, and that was only the beginning. Might be worth contacting PayPal about the problems and see what they have to say. PayPal doesn’t work for everybody, of course, but I think for you, Maria, it must be heaven to have almost everything come through that one source. Much easier then to deal with the few Visa and MasterCard accounts which are always from different banks anyway. I have found that for some places that I buy from frequently such as Amazon which doesn’t accept PayPal, I got an Amazon card which I use only for them and nothing else but I’m very selective – you can get inundated with ads and stuff by mail and email. Got a HomeGoods card for instore use (through TJX), made a purchase in the store (on a Saturday) and by the time I got home, I had an email telling me I had a balance due and please hurry up and pay it. Have never used it since.

  • Maria, This is an interesting discussion. I have never thought of billing clients by paypal. I have an account with them but rarely use it. My son on the other hand uses it for his business all of the time and he tells me that I should too. I now will look into it more. Thanks for the heads up!

    Concerning your nephews, they are becoming very handsome young men! It is amazing how fast they grow and change. Sometimes you would like to keep them in the “Lego box” and keep them the sweet innocent children they once were. I speak for myself! Lol

  • Kay says:

    Agree with you about PayPal, just love it. So easy.

  • Bonnie Roetscher says:

    Paypal is great….until you forget your password! That is why I no longer use it. They were impossible.

  • carolanne says:

    love lego, can’t wait until I can purchase it for my grandson… (he’s only 2 so I have a few years to wait)

    I love paypal … my credit card is on it too so I use paypal to use my credit card (I get points towards $ on cards to use at Holts, its how I got my McQueen scarves)
    totally do not purchase most of the time without Paypal just like you…. x

  • mary says:

    The main reason I stopped using Paypal was because they kept messing up my orders, using my debit card when I requested to pay with my credit card. Then I had numerous other issues i.e. order not going through, getting locked out, having to call in and wait forever on the phone to sort the issue out. So now that I don’t use it anymore, my life is so much more simple.

  • KNJ says:

    What a fabulous aunt you are to M & W. You and the boys are so fortunate to have each other. We have little need for PayPal when purchasing anything. We have our main CC #, etc. memorized, just like our SS #. Like the business tip from a seller’s perspective.

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