Update 5-28-10: It’s now easier to avoid Paypal Fees. Look here to find out.
If you receive money at a “Personal” Paypal account, and the other person sends money from their Paypal balance (and not from a credit card or echeck) then Paypal doesn’t hit you for a 3% fee.
In a personal paypal account, you are restricted to withdrawing up to $500/month from the account.
If you have a “Premiere” account, you’ll get dinged with the 2.9% + $0.30 on every transaction, no matter what.
So you might tell people, “If you are paying from your Paypal balance, please send a Paypal to email@example.com. Else, just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t know what this means, just send the money to email@example.com”
Personal Paypal accounts can accept up to 5 credit or debit card payments annually. Credit cards are charged a transaction fee of 4.9% plus $0.30 on your Personal account. So you can accept payments from your friends (paying restaurant tabs and the like) with your personal account without incurring any of those annoying fees as long as your friend is paying you from their Paypal balance or an echeck. It can be a bother to maintain 2 Paypal accounts but you can end up saving over $150/year in Paypal fees!