In an interesting move that may or may not be tied to the economic times, Paypal has introduced a new service in which it exhorts you to proposition people and offer to pay them to do stuff. Or, as they say in one of their online ads, “Get stuff done for money”.
“Get stuff done for money,” says the ad. “Use PayPal’s “Do Stuff for Money” to get your friends to do stuff for money. Because sometimes just asking isn’t enough.”
The way the service works is that you go to the special “Do Stuff for Money” site, create your offer, and then wait for the recipient of your offer to accept.
Also, your offer is posted publicly for everybody to see:
Creating your offer is very easy – you just fill out the cutesy form and hit “Send Offer”:
In addition to the offer being posted publicly, your offer is also sent directly to the person to whom you are making the offer. You have two choices for how you want to send the offer to your intended – by email, or via Facebook. (An interesting use of integrating a Facebook log-in from another site, to be sure. And we wonder if Paypal is collecting and planning to use the email addresses from this service, although it is true that Paypal has been squeaky-clean ethical in their handling of recipient email addresses with their primary service.)
Interestingly, the process does not require that you log into or otherwise verify your own Paypal account.
Even more interesting is the legal question that this service raises – do these offers create valid contracts? What is the legal implication of putting an offer out on this service? Particularly considering some of the rather interesting offers that are already out there, such as this one:
Or even this one:
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The answer to this question is that, generally speaking, when it comes to the law and the formation of contracts, when someone makes an offer to someone – even publicly in a forum like this – and even more particularly when that offer is also directed to that person personally – when the person to whom the offer was made then performs the action as the action was described in the offer, a contract is deemed to have been created, and the person who made the offer is on the hook to fulfill their part of the bargain. The old standard of contracts that there must be “offer and acceptance” for there to be a valid contract is satisfied because the very performance of the task is considered to incorporate the acceptance of the offer as well. (There must also be “consideration” for there to be a valid contract – consideration is the “what I give you of value after you’ve done your part” – in this case it’s the money being offered.)
Then comes the question of verification of identity of the “offerer” through the Paypal site. Probably nobody would really believe that the offerer in this offer is who they claim to be:
Still, if enough protestors ceased protesting based on this offer, it would be a hassle for Mr. Ahmadinejad to have to deal with the throngs demanding their $5.00 (issues of international law and jurisdiction notwithstanding); he might have to subpoena Paypal’s records – and that of their ISP – to prove that it was not his IP address from which the offer was made.
Actually, the more I think about it – Paypal has just handed contract law professors everywhere the subject matter for their next final.
Legal issues aside, however, the offers on the site make for some good – even interesting -reading.
Some of them even tug at your heartstrings. We sure hope that Grandma accepts this offer:
You can post your own request for babysitting, foot massages, or Windows crushing at the http://www.Paypal-DoStuffForMoney.com site.
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