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Re: [A.J.] paypal integration -- dropped

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Re: [A.J.] paypal integration -- dropped In reply to
My comments have to do with a number of personal, and reported problems. Things a "real" merchant account cannot, and would not do. If your business depends on having a reliable account, then paypal is simply not the option. Paypal's "guarantee" is nothing but lip service, they have removed money from my account AFTER I sent the item, and I had confirmed delivery. They NEVER replied, nor explained their action. There was no discussion. FWIW ... in over 9 years, we've never lost a chargeback claim with our MC/Visa processor. If you talk to merchants, most have found they weasle out of the "guarantee" almost every time.

There are other things I cannot discuss, but the problems with them are growing.

[[ Also, my point of view is from a TRUE BUSINESS view point, not an individual trying to pick up a few extra dollars. By that I mean at least 2-3 different families (employees) all needing to pay their bills on a regular basis from the income generated off the services and products offered, not a person looking to generate a second income or to cover the fees for their hosting. To pick a number, perhaps at least a $5,000 a month minimum transaction volume, but more likely $15-20,000 monthly transaction volume. For a "pure" Internet or non-brick-morter operation, maybe double that. So, I'm obviously not talking about the people who are getting 25 sign ups for $15 each a month. I guess I need to make that clear. This also applies to any PERSON who is really trying to develop a business, and sees their transaction volume growing from $1000/month to $5,000/month over the next year or so. Again, it's not aimed at the person looking for about $500/month to fund their Internet addiction. ]]

I agree, they are less than the 10% or 15% that was being charged by other companies. With "less" comes it's own problems. They find out they don't have any resources to add more, and start cutting services, or charging for services in any way they can. This means, services you were using, may now cost you more than you can really afford, or the new costs hurt your pricing system. But, they can only RAISE rates to add more services, while the other companies have room to LOWER rates on their existing services, or maintain rates while adding new ones.

If you look at what PayPal was originally -- a "free" service, to provide a means of moving money on the net, using the "float", you'll see how they got greedy. They decided that they weren't going to wait for the payoff, but started charging. Then, they decided to charge for everything. Then, they shut out MC/Visa payments for individuals -- which was their original marketing ploy. You now have to "upgrade" to a 3% fee account to take any amount of MC/Visa, and once you do, they charge the 3% on every transaction. Not even close to their original promises.

For a "new" customer, maybe they seem great. For one of the original customers, they have been a problem, and getting more expensive -- and problematic -- every day.

Our own payment processor, on the other hand, has gotten CHEAPER.

Most people take the easy way out, and use a service like Ibill, CCBill, etc. Each of these companies pays the 1.5% MC/Visa fee, then has to take an additional percentage to provide their services. Because of the amount of fraud in people who can't get their own MC/Visa account, these fees are often far above the UNDER 3% you could get for non-swipe sales from your own account -- on the order of an additional 10%.

Now, if you are paying eBay fees, and every one of your auctions sells the first time, you are still paying about 3% overall to them.

If you use an auction service, you are paying an additional approximately 3% over all to use that.

Add that up, and you have at the minimum a 3% paypal, 3% auction and 3% service fee. If you put an additional 10% on top of that for using a 3rd party payment processor, you are paying almost 20% BEFORE you see any profit. If your auctions don't sell, your costs go WAY up fast.

If you run a "services" site, and you get a lot of charge backs, or declined charges, often you don't see those for 30-90 days, you'll see a major rise in the "overhead" costs as well.

Where is this going?

Most people breathe a sigh of releif from joing PayPal, and getting it work, if they have been using another payment processor. If you have been using something like CCBill or iBill on your adult (or membership) site, you'll probably _NOT_ see any real increase in money, and you'll be doing a lot of work that has been done for you by the SOP of the ccBill/iBill system. Even Adult Check and their ilk work out better.

But, PayPal is nothing more than a glorified iBill, ccBill, or Adult Check Gold type service. They bill for you, and take a surcharge. They actually do LESS for you than any of the other services, and they do charge less.

(I have to be careful about disclosing the details of our problems as yet).

They are designed mainly for interfacing with eBay, and in forcing the customer to use their bank account, not their charge cards (the defaults keep resetting, and if not careful, you can bounce your rent payment, and not know it!)

What's the alternative?

Do some homework.

Check out payment processors, transaction gateways, and getting your own merchant account.

Our local bank sold our merchant account years ago, to a company 10 states away, so you don't need to go through your bank any more. Merchant accounts are now a separate thing.

The larger companies offer more services too. You can add them, or not, to your account.

In short, PayPal was a good alternative, when it offered real benefits. The other companies have caught up, and PayPal now has to satisfy shareholders, so the "float" that was going back into the system, is now paying dividends. The other companies have been doing that for years, and have streamlined their system.

Many offer add-ons such as gift cards, ("stored value cards") and check processing. That means you can set up and accept checks by mail, or on-line.

I do realize that many people are an internet only business, but we are not. Even internet only businesses that sell tangible goods, benefit from a real Merchant account because of the ability to process fax, mail and phone orders as well as Internet, and there are a lot of people who still prefer to send a check for almost anything. Telecheck makes that as secure as, or even more so, than MC/Visa.

These _ARE_ my personal observations, and they are scrambled here after a long night, but they are based on 9 years of having a merchant account, and trying to find a way to get money from the Internet as well. I've used just about EVERY system out there, since 1984, and all of them showed promise from the start (even Adult Check had promise for those few webmasters who signed up early... - I had a 4 digit account number, or something equally short).

5 years ago the Internet was something no one understood.

Today, ALL the payment processors -- MC/Visa, AmEx, Discover, etc -- realize they will live and die by the Internet. The transaction processors, (the companies that provide these accounts to banks, businesses and individuals) also realize that they will live and die by what Internet services they can offer.

It's not "Internet Only" any more. Brick and Morter stores require the ability to process Internet payments the way they processed mail and in-store transactions. They want comparable rates.

Check around. You'll find that companies that wouldn't talk to you last year, will make you deals today. Many have dropped their "set up" fees, and lowered the costs of getting started. (As I said, I cannot, and will not, make recommendations, since I am not going to be in any way responsible for your actions ;))

You might have to do a bit more to "prove" you are legit to these companies, but PayPal has started to ask for the rights to clone the DNA of your First Born as well. <G>. You might find that the requirements of the major gateways are LESS INVASIVE than PayPal.

I'm not trashing PayPal. They have a niche. It's not the same niche they promised when they started, and I don't like what has been happening to us, and to others.

To that end, I cannot put my time into continuing to develop a system that I'm not going to use.

Look at it this way --- auction bidders love to see you take paypal. It means you take credit cards, checks, and they "think" they get protection. It's not a hassle. Everyone else pretty much only cares that you can take their credit card (and/or check) over a secure connection. They look for the MC/Visa/AmEx logo on your site, _NOT_ paypal. Actually, if you take PayPal on your site (website, ie: your BUSINESS STORE FRONT) you look sort of rinky dink. "Real" merchants have their own MC/Visa accounts.

Think about it. You go to your local specialty shop, chain store, or restaurant, you only see their MC/Visa stickers, you don't see a sign saying "We take payments through XYZ intermediary processor".

If you are a BUYER ---- having a paypal account helps, because there are so many people who have not set up merchant accounts, the only way I can use my charge cards with them is through pay pal.

We are SELLERS here. Site Owners. Membership Providers. Advertising Publishers. If you can take MC/Visa and AmEx, what do you need PayPal for? Or iBill? Or any of the others? The customer can still use their credit card, and often their check, direct to your account. It works out the same for them, except they have to type in their billing information.

(I'm actually talking myself into setting up an information site on this stuff.... but I just don't have the time right now.)

(I think I should have tried to get some sleep, rather than type ... but I was so excited playing with the new Internet connection... 1.5 DSL :) Two 75k downloads going at once! Anyway...)

On another issue.... (actually THE issue)

I am setting up PrintingMinis.com and MiniPrintables.com which will be the test/demo site for the upload/etc programs. I decided I'm not going to use my "live" sites as a testing bed, since they will be linked to our shop shortly, but I can set up this new site, and develop it, then integrate it into the network.

The idea:

Part of our business is miniature wood working ie: dollhouses, 1" scale mostly.

Many things in a doll house can be printed on the higher end printers now -- books, magazines, photos, pictures, etc. If you are not building a "quality" house, you can even print your rugs, wall paper and such. Even furniture (maybe even place-holder furniture until you can find the "real" mccoy)

There are several sites out there, many go up and down, since the owners can't afford to keep them.

The project:

We'll provide a links-based system for designers to upload their actual printables, and serve them off our system. They can link back to their site, but we'll provide both a free, and charge-per-download system for distribution.

We'll also provide a directory of sites that provide their own printables, and have a charge-for-position logo links set up.

This _should_ take into account all the features people are looking for -- multiple uploads, multiple attachments, auto-resize/info for pictures, multiple media modules (pdf, doc, etc), logo/paid positioning, and payment gateway integration. It will also include the updated, revised, and reworked ratings/review system.

Time Frame:

I should have the site up this weekend, in "generic" form. I'll start adding in the features, and running a forum there to discuss the features and such, specifically. (Because of that, I might re-direct the PUGDOCS forum to that one). PUGDOCS.com will again start to be updated with the tidbits and such that comes from developing this site.

The site probably won't have any "new" features until the end of the month, or early next month, as I need to get the network smoothed out, and finish putting the necessary features on the sites I still have to reanimate.

By putting the development into ONE site, one location, it will make my life easier, and will make it easier for people to comment, find bugs, and get a feel for what the "final" product will look like. It will be based on the GT default template set, and I will try to NOT modify the set beyond what is necessary for operations of each of the new features. Not every site is going to want everything, but everything should work together.

I'll yank any "beta" features from my other sites, so if you are following any "test" links, you'll find those probably not working after this weekend, but the "features" will be available for testing on the PrintingMinis.com site.

If anyone has suggestions, I'm open. I'm 99% back to pre-crash (in more than one...two...five? ways) status.

My mail has been _really_ screwed up. One windows machine was literally "eating" stuff with no discernable pattern, and the other machine was "hiding" it. My Windows ME machine is about useless (I'll have to back it up and reinstall it, or switch it down to 98), and my two Windows 98 machines are past due for their 6 month windows reinstall (Have I ever said I HATE WINDOWS!). So, best way to contact me still is a PM here.

I have a Unix server on the network now, and maybe I'll switch the ME machine to Unix, since the only thing I really use it for is Mail, Web Browsing, and script development -- all perfectly doable in Unix.

Anyway, lot's of changes, but I think this is the final, final, final, last revision -- for this week :)

(BTW, my Verizion DSL was installed in 3 business days, 2 business days early, and worked immediately with only the splitter being added to filter the line to the fax machine. No rewiring, no pole climbing, no making custom cables.... I'm impressed. --- the problems I had with ISDN pre and post install, and the install for my first DSL line are a thing of the past! Plug and play -- literally!)

PUGDOG´┐Ż Enterprises, Inc.

The best way to contact me is to NOT use Email.
Please leave a PM here.
Subject Author Views Date
Thread paypal integration -- dropped pugdog 5684 Apr 9, 2002, 10:20 PM
Thread Re: [pugdog] paypal integration -- dropped
Paul 5582 Apr 10, 2002, 2:23 AM
Thread Re: [Paul] paypal integration -- dropped
Andy 5608 Apr 10, 2002, 4:04 AM
Thread Re: [A.J.] paypal integration -- dropped
Ian 5585 Apr 10, 2002, 9:28 AM
Thread Re: [sooke] paypal integration -- dropped
Paul 5569 Apr 10, 2002, 11:29 AM
Thread Re: [Paul] paypal integration -- dropped
Andy 5573 Apr 10, 2002, 12:12 PM
Thread Re: [A.J.] paypal integration -- dropped
pugdog 5536 Apr 11, 2002, 4:38 AM
Thread Re: [pugdog] paypal integration -- dropped
Paul 5554 Apr 11, 2002, 4:51 AM
Post Re: [Paul] paypal integration -- dropped
pugdog 5527 Apr 11, 2002, 5:25 AM
Thread Re: [A.J.] paypal integration -- dropped
Ian 5507 Apr 11, 2002, 11:00 AM
Post Re: [sooke] paypal integration -- dropped
pugdog 5464 Apr 11, 2002, 6:51 PM