FAQ: Add ecommerce to your site with Paypal.com

andreas.com FAQ: paypalFAQ: Add ecommerce to your site with Paypal.com

You can use Paypal.com to do credit card transactions. It’s the cheapest and easiest secure credit card transaction system I’ve found.

Other secured credit card systems require that you get an online merchant account ($600/yr), buy a shopping cart system (another $600,) and so on. To set up a simple credit card processing system, you’ll pay about $1,600 for the first year and about $1,200 each year afterwards. With Paypal.com, it’s free to set up, very easy to edit, and the costs are low.

Paypal fees…

  • No setup fees, no monthly fees, free software.
  • The only requirements you need is a US credit card and a US bank account.
  • Paypal transaction fees are 2.9% plus 30 cents. There are discounts if you get their ATM card or for volume transactions. They change their fees occassionally, so visit their site for the current fees.

Try it…

  • Here’s a live Paypal button. Just click the Paypal button and go through a transaction to see how it works.
  • It will charge you 50 cents to try this. The only way to learn how this works is to actually try it.
  • If you’re not registered at Paypal, it’ll walk you through a registration process where you add your credit card. Only Paypal can see the credit card. I won’t have that information. It’s a secure transaction.

    Here’s the HTML code behind the button:

    <FORM ACTION=”https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr” METHOD=”POST”><INPUT TYPE=”hidden” NAME=”cmd” VALUE=”_xclick”><INPUT TYPE=”hidden” NAME=”business” VALUE=”andreas@andreas.com”><!– This redirects the customer. Add a thankyou page, etc. –><INPUT TYPE=”hidden” NAME=”return” VALUE=”http://www.andreas.com/faq-paypalthanks.html”><!– Add a name for the transaction. –><INPUT TYPE=”hidden” NAME=”item_name” VALUE=”Testing paypal.com”><!– At value, you can edit this to any amount. –><INPUT TYPE=”hidden” NAME=”amount” VALUE=”1.00″><!– At image source (SRC), you can use Paypal’s button or you can make your own and direct this to your button. –><INPUT TYPE=”image” SRC=”http://images.paypal.com/images/x-click-but5.gif” NAME=”submit” ALT=”Make payments with PayPal!”></FORM>

    (Note: Don’t copy this code and use it at your website. Your money will be sent to me. You also can’t just insert your own email. That won’t work. Go to Paypal and create your own account. It will give you your own code.)

    To change prices, just edit the amount value. Change this to $1.27, $400.00, or whatever you like.

    This means that you can just copy your code, edit the prices and description, and create as many buttons as you like, each with a different price. You can create two buttons for a product, without sales tax and with sales tax.

    You can also design your own pay buttons.

    It’s very easy to set up the account and add the HTML. If you have just casual experience with HTML (you can create a simple page by hand,) then you can do this.

    When you finish the transaction, I get an email that a transaction has occurred. The money is added to my Paypal account. At any time, I can visit my Paypal account web page and click on a button to transfer the money into my bank account.

    Any problems?…

    Paypal is not perfect. There have been problems for some users. It is used widely at eBay and other auction sites, and that means abuse and fraud by a few users. If a customer complains, the account will be frozen until Paypal.com investigates. This means if you are doing transactions and someone complains (legitimately or not,) the account (and money) will be frozen. So don’t let too much money pile up in your Paypal account. However, to be fair, tens of millions of people use this, and there are always a few problems. The same thing will happen if you use a $1,600/year credit card transaction service; they too will freeze an account if there are reports of problems. It seems to me to be no worse than other credit card transaction systems.


    There’s many ways to use Paypal….

    • If you’re an author, artist, or musician, you can sell your items and keep 98% of the sale. You can sell books as pdf files, or collect the mailing address and send them the book. You can sell MP3s of your music. You’ll get an email confirmation of the transaction and then you can send out your product.
    • If you have a shop, you can set up a computer that customers can use to do a Paypal transaction. This means very low cost credit card billing at your shop or office.
    • You can sell services, such as computer support, legal services, accounting, body massage, and so on. Let someone pay via Paypal, you get an emailed confirmation, and set up an appointment.
    • Collect donations for projects, non-profits, and so on.
    • Sell tickets for events. You get an email confirmation of the transaction and you can use that to create a checklist of paid visitors.

    Visit Paypal’s list of stores and see how others are using Paypal.