Calculate PayPal Fees

Tonight my wife asked me to send someone $40 via PayPal for something she’s buying through some local who-knows-what (I don’t ask more questions than I have to).

I dutifully did as she requested.

The seller then contacted her and asked why they had only received $38.

I explained to my wife that PayPal charges a processing fee, and when using PayPal, it comes out of the seller’s end. “Tell him we’ll hand him $2 when we pick it up,” I suggested, since I am a problem-solver, and if the problem is $2, then I can solve the problem pretty easily.

(I also sent her a link to PayPal’s explanation of fees which she will no doubt ignore because who wants to read that crap?)

Wanting to avoid a repeat of this situation in the future, I looked for an easy way to calculate “If I want to send someone $X via PayPal, how much do I have to really send?”

That led me to this web page PayPal Fee Calculator which makes it quite easy.

But then I realized that was dumb, because I have Soulver which can do this sort of things easily. So I made a new sheet:

# PayPal + Fees

	# enter the amount you want the seller to receive
AMOUNT = $40

	# this is the additional amount that PayPal will charge for the transaction
	# source:
FEES = (2.9% of AMOUNT) + $0.30

	# this is how much you should send

Now I just have to change the $40 in the future and Soulver will do the rest.


Here’s how it looked in the actual app:

Voilà! Now I will know how to deal with this proactively in the future.

Also: please note that the rates vary in other countries, and if using other currencies. See that link to PayPal’s explanation of fees I mentioned earlier for more details.

I presume this can also be done in iOS Shortcuts. I will leave that as an exercise to the reader, as Soulver works fine for my needs, but if someone wants to share their Shortcut here, I am sure that fame and fortune will follow.¹

¹ No actual guarantee of either fame or fortune expressed or implied. In fact, that’s very unlikely to happen. But that shouldn’t stop you from doing it anyway.

Unfortunately, I don’t read the PayPal charges in the same way and believe the fee charged on the transaction amount relates to what you pay, rather than what the vendor receives:
Received = 97.1% of Payment - $0.30

So you need to pay ($40 + $0.30) / 0.971 = $41.50

OK, that’s only 4 cents more, but I’m sure PayPal would like those 4 cents, or more for larger transactions.

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