How to set up an escrow type service

KobyKoby subscriber Posts: 1
edited May 2010 in Business Planning
Hi there,
Fantastice website! I`m on the verge of having a website built for a new startup and have hit a stumbling block in terms of how to process payments. It might seem straightforward but I`m hoping to get some advice on how to set things up so my profits are not all eaten up by fees and commissions of PayPal, etc.Definitions for easier explanation (sorry!):Clients - professionals who pay me a monthly subscription to list their profiles and services offered on my website.Customers - these are people who use the website to engage and buy services from my clients. Only customers who have bought services may then leave a rating for my client.
The issue revolves around the customer making the payment to my client but me having full visibility of payments being made:
* The customer lands on my website, chooses which of my clients he wishes to use, contacts them and they agree on a price for services.
* The customer must book and pay for at least one `job` through the website in order to be allowed to leave a rating.
My thinking was to have customers pay me, I hold the money in escrow, and release the funds to my client at a later date. In a perfect world, I would have the customer pay my client directly with me simply receiving confirmation but I`m told by PayPal that this is not possible. Also, I intend to carry the cost of any fees for the payments from customer to client as I`m charging my clients a subscription for the service anyway.
Has anyone come across a similar business model and what was the best way to set up the payments? Any recommendation on which service provider to use? I would be hugely grateful for any advice, tips or direction anyone can give?


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