One of the first things you’ll want to set up if your selling a product on online, is a method of accepting money from your customer. Probably the easiest way especially at first is to have a PayPal
account. You can start with a personal account, but you’ll want to convert that to a business account. This is an easy process, it just involves giving your banking information to PayPal, they deposit a few cents into the account with a code for the transaction, then you go back to PayPal with the code. As the money builds up in your PayPal account, you can do a transfer to your bank. There are many features with PayPal to consider.
PayPal is a easy way of payment for customers especially for those who don’t like to give their credit/debit card information online over and over again. I personally prefer it when I’m making an online purchase, and if the website doesn’t accept PayPal, I tend to look for another business selling the same product who does accept PayPal.
Any shopping cart that you decide on will have an option for accepting PayPal. If it didn’t, I would pass on it. And you can even set up PayPal buttons on a blog or free website. You just go to PayPal and scroll through the options under merchant services.
Google Checkout is another option for accepting payments. To me, Google Checkout hasn’t caught on like PayPal, but we have several customers who use it. But our PayPal payments outnumber it probably 20:1 Google Checkout works very similar to PayPal. You go through the same process with banking information. Google Checkout payments make their way into your bank account in about 48 hours.
With PayPal or Google Checkout you have the ability to issue refunds and send invoices. One the primary differences between them is with PayPal the customer completes the order and pays. With Google Checkout, you go to the merchant center and “charge” the amount. You receive a notice from Google Checkout that your customer has chosen Google Checkout and then you have to wait for credit card approval which is just a matter of minutes in most cases, sometimes it can take 24 hours if there is a problem with the card or anything.
To accept credit/debit cards you will need a merchant account. There are many, many companies offering merchant accounts. Pay attention to the merchant providers that your shopping cart already has partnered with. By choosing one of those companies you can process credit cards online as you’re processing your orders. Read all the fine print when choosing a merchant account. The lowest percentage fee might have higher built in extra fees. Talk to business people you know and trust, get their opinion of a merchant account provider. And you’ll have to be PCI compliant…..that’s a topic for another day)))
Checks – money orders- cashier’s checks…..all are more way to accept payment. I think less and less paper payment is being accepted online. We don’t necessarily advertise that we accept checks or money orders, but we do occasionally. Just depends on the individual situation. But, it does delay shipping the product. You have to wait for the check to clear, and keep abreast of potential fraud with fake money orders etc.
Check your bank account every day and compare your credit card transactions to the bank deposits. Typically merchant account providers deduct their fees straight from your account so stay on top of the day of the month this occurs.
Review your PayPal account daily.
Review your Google Checkout account.
When choosing a merchant account, ask for a trial account so you can play with processing a transaction before making a decision. Some companies have sample accounts just for this.