I discovered 2 handy services in one place

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Many of the things I cover here on my blog and on my podcast are products or services that I discover just in my routine daily work. Recently I came across a couple of handy things – one is an online service, the other is a product that’s sold online – and I know that a lot of people will find one or both of these useful.

handy services


I was recently involved in a transaction with a client out of state, and part of the process was that the client needed to send me some money via Paypal. I know there are a few people that don’t like Paypal, but I use them all the time and so far have not had any problems.

When someone pays you money through Paypal, Paypal takes a small percentage of the amount. That’s how they make their money. But in this case, I needed for the NET amount to be a certain dollar figure, so the client had to add on the amount of the Paypal fees to what he sent so that I would actually receive the right dollar amount.

That meant we needed to figure out what Paypal would charge for their fees. I know as a rough figure Paypal is usually around 5%, but that percentage gets adjusted based on the amount being sent. So I didn’t know exactly what percentage we would have deducted. And if you go on Paypal’s website, it’s not the easiest thing to find (although I know they do publish the information somewhere). I also could have called them, but going through the phone menu with a big company can sometimes be a hassle.

So I found an easier way – the online Paypal Fee Calculator. You can try it out at TheFeeCalculator.com.

Paypal fees calculator


To use it, the process really couldn’t be any simpler. Right there on the front page is the place for you to enter the dollar amount of the transaction. For example, if my client is going to send me $475.00 through Paypal, and I want to know how much Paypal is going to deduct for their fees:

Paypal fees


You enter the amount, and hit “Calculate” and it immediately gives you this answer (with a little bit of editorializing):

Paypal fees


In most cases that’s what you need to know, what amount you will net. But there’s another little bit of information that is also processed. If you know the amount that you NEED to net, what is the amount that the sender needs to send? That calculation is also offered on the same page:

Paypal fees


The site is run by a guy named Derek. He tells about how it came about back in 2005:

Paypal fees


So now, whenever I need to calculate a Paypal fee, I know where I can go to get it quickly and easily.

But while I was on the site, I noticed what appeared to be an advertisement, right below the place where you enter the dollar amount:



It’s talking about nametags, like the ones that people wear when they work in a service business. Normally I don’t even notice ads such as that, much less click on them. But for some reason I clicked on this one.

I do wear a name tag. It has my company logo and my name on it. There’s no real requirement for it, but there are some benefits. When I’m doing on onsite appointment in a client’s home (or business), and it’s the first time they have met with me, a name tag with the company logo adds a degree of credibility. And actually I even wear it when I’m working at home, because sometimes first-time clients drop off their computer at my home office.

And in addition to the credibility factor, if I happen to stop in a store to pick something up, or I stop to fill up with gas, there have been several instances where people notice the name tag and comment on it. When they see “The Computer Tutor” the most common remark is “Boy, I sure need someone like YOU!” and in a few cases it has resulted in a new client.

So I do definitely find value in wearing my name tag. But I’ve had this one for a few years, so it’s starting to look a little worn. The colors are fading a bit and it’s just not as sharp as it once was.

When I clicked on the text link advertisement, it took me to a different website – Nametag Ninja (NametagNinja.com).

nametag ninja


What caught my eye were the 3 main features displayed on the first page:

  • Free shipping
  • No setup fees
  • 24 hour turnaround

At that point I knew that as long as the prices were reasonable, I was going to order a new nametag. When I checked into the pricing options, I saw that a new nametag was only going to cost me $8. I don’t remember what I paid for my current one but I know it was more than that, and that was from a local business that took a week to get it done.

Here’s the interesting part. In placing my order, there was a problem with the online ordering process. I was trying to customize the nametag to a particular size, and to have a magnetic attachment rather than a pin. But it wasn’t showing up that way in the final order. So before I completed the process, I sent an email to inquire about how to get this resolved.

Almost immediately I got a response back from a man named Derek, who said he was unaware of the problem but would look into it. In the meantime, he said I could just email him my requested order and he could manually invoice me, so that my order would not be delayed by the website order issue.

This is why I like dealing with small, “mom and pop” businesses.
Can you imagine getting this kind of personal service from Vistaprint?

I was planning to do the order via email the next day, but before I could even do that, Derek emailed me again to advise that the website problem had been fixed so I could order the regular way. He was also appreciative that I had let him know about the problem so that he could get it fixed.

In my communication with Derek, I came to find out that he is actually the one that created the Paypal Fees Calculator website as well. For the record, he did not ask me for this blog post or recommendation, and I don’t get any commission for sending him new customers. I did this because it’s unfortunately kind of unusual to come across a service that is reasonably priced and provides excellent attention to the customer. So when I find something like that, I like to pass it along. I know that a lot of my blog readers and podcast listeners either own a service business (like I do) or work for one, so this is a good source for employee name tags.

If you end up ordering some name tags from the site, tell Derek you heard about it here.

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