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  • eCommerce

    I have been investigating different options to receive money from clients. How do you receive payment from Web customers? I had thought about Paypal but saw some funny reporting from the BBB online about them.

  • #2
    I read somewhere that Ebay was buying PayPal.

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    • #3
      Kevin, As you already know, I've got the same question, so I'm hoping that someone has some advice or experience they can share.

      Do you only want to take credit cards online? Or will you need to be able to take them over the phone & in-person as well? Just asking b/c the solution may be different depending on your needs.

      Jeanie

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      • #4
        I have used Paypal quite a bit with absolutely no hitches. eBay has bought it out and it seems to be working well.

        I always suggest it to customers as it is quick and painless for me, especially being in Canada whereas many buyers are in the states.

        My experience has been that approx 75% of customers go right ahead and use it gladly when I take the time to explain that it is FREE for the purchaser.

        The fee I pay for the service is worth it to me as I get paid much faster than having to wait for mail and clearing checks.

        I have used Paypal for my graphics business as well as for selling many items.

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        • #5
          Thanks for your reply revenmd. That makes 3 users so far that haven't had any problems with Paypal. I had asked 2 other site owners that I knew used Paypal how their service has been and they were both positive also.

          The only thing one user said is that Paypal is not good for international customers. He used clickbank for international customers.
          Last edited by KevinBE; 03-10-2003, 07:16 PM.

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          • #6
            The ISP that we've signed up to host my son's site offers the whole eCommerce solution as part of the business package.

            This is a quote from their site:

            Included free of charge with all of our Business Hosting Packages is the versatile, innovative online storefront builder and shopping cart software, Simply E-commerce.

            A shopping cart works by allowing your website visitors to travel through your site, adding products to their shopping basket, then "checking out" to complete the order. The shopping cart keeps track of the order and calculates shipping, tax, etc. automatically. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses in any industry to sell their products and services directly over the Internet to compete. With Simply E-commerce, LFC's e-commerce services including Merchant Accounts and Live Credit Card Processing, and the 128-bit SSL security native to all of LFC's hosting plans, it is now easier than ever for businesses of any size to sell over the Internet with little to no knowledge of the web!
            I'm betting that most hosting company's offer something similar.

            Just "feels" more businesslike to me.

            Margaret

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            • #7
              Kevin,

              I've just been reading the PaypalS*cks website and I have to say I'm more than a bit concerned by what I've been reading. It doesn't seem like just a few disgruntled people. It seems like some people have been happy with Paypal for years and then whammo - their accounts get frozen with thousands of dollars b/c someone tried to purchase something from them with a bad CC. (Paypal apparently has also completely wiped out the checking accounts associated with the Paypal account.) And, "their decision is final." To be honest, I'm seriously thinking of cancelling my Paypal account - and I've only ever used it to purchase auction items. Granted, I've never had any problems and it's unlikely I will unless I either (1) become a seller or (2) make a claim against a auction gone bad. Seems like Paypal is OK until there is a problem either on your end or your client's end (and if the problem is on the client's end you might not even know about it until after Paypal has frozen your account.)

              I have been looking at merchant accounts today b/c I had another friend ask me if I knew anything about them. I hadn't planned on researching this just yet, but it seems to be the topic du jour, so I've done a little web surfing.

              I've found one company that looks promising for a merchant account: Practice Pay Solutions. They look a bit expensive, until you start looking at other merchant account fees! Then, they don't look so bad! I did a search on google for complaints and found none. In fact, I found that quite a few "member associations" for speakers, life coaches, therapists, and writers recommend Practice Pay Solutions to their members. (See two such recommendations at: SpeakerNetNews and CoachesFederation.) The shopping cart solution is an additional expense (with the basic solution being $20/month.) You have to take CC numbers over the phone (or in person) without the shopping cart.

              I'm also just starting to look at the alternative options listed on the PaypayS*cks site. Part of my problem is that I'd like to be able to take CCs at POS as well as online - and with what I've found so far, Practice Pay Solutions looks like the best option for me. I will be calling them tomorrow for more info. I have no experience with them however and certainly don't have any affiliation with them (I only just discovered them today), so what I've written is solely my impressions from a few hours of surfing the web.

              Jeanie

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              • #8
                Margaret,

                The inclusion of the e-Commerce shopping cart with your son's webhost is a good deal. However, it is not the complete solution. You still have to get a merchant account with a $25 minimum monthly fee AND a Payment Gateway Service for $30 monthly fee (+ 10 cents per transaction.) Unless I'm misreading their website - which I could be, since I've been looking at this stuff all day!

                Jeanie

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                • #9
                  Probably ought to hire Margaret as a consultant. I made contact with my hosting company. They will take my requirements and see if they can offer me what I need.

                  The real advantage of Paypal was that there are no monthly fees of any kind. You only pay for what you use. I'd hate to add 35 to 40 dollars a month to operate my business. But you might just get what you pay for. I'll see what my host can do and let you know.

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                  • #10
                    Hi Jeanie, that does sound like a lot, but in my son's case, he already has a merchant account because of the type of business he's in and he's already paying the fees so for him it's not a problem.

                    Kevin, I'm not sure how good a consultant I would be - I'm usually only a half-step ahead of the need

                    Take care Margaret

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                    • #11
                      Margaret, sounds like the perfect solution for your son. Not sure it's the best for me since I don't have a merchant account (yet).

                      Kevin, if you do decide to go with Paypal, one of the suggestions on the PaypalS*cks site was to open a checking account specifically for Paypal transactions and keeping the account balance fairly low. Also, keep your Paypal account low as well. That way, if the worst does happen, you won't be out that much.

                      Jeanie

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                      • #12
                        Jeanie that sounds like sound advice. I think it might head off potential problems.

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                        • #13
                          I checked into one of the bigger Merchant Acount services "Cardservice International". Their rates are pretty high. Here is what I received from them:

                          2.42% keyed MasterCard / Visa rate with $.25 a transaction
                          American Express, Discover, Diners and VirtualCheck available
                          $20 Gateway monthly fee
                          $10 Customer Support monthly fee
                          $25 Minimum Processing monthly fee
                          LinkPoint Secure Gateway/Central Perpetual License - February Special $295.

                          I can see that if I had a high volume retail site I could justify this but for just starting out I'd rather not have anymore overhead than I have to.

                          I've already found that my variable pricing structure is going to be a problem to set up with anyones card service.

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                          • #14
                            I use Mals ( http://www.mals-e.com/) free cart to collect the credit card information, and www.pro-pay.com to process the cards.

                            Mals is free and ProPay has fees and limitations, but it was the best deal I could find for me.

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                            • #15
                              Welcome to RetouchPro Mary!! What a great contribution for your first post!

                              I've only had time to briefly scan the links you provided. The Mals one looks very promising. The Pro-pay link looks like it's only a payroll service. Are you sure that's the right link?

                              Thanks for the info. Any and all help/suggestions on this topic is welcome!

                              Jeanie

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