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Someone will need to login to your PayPal account and create the buy now/add to cart buttons for your shopping cart pages.

These are only generated through the PayPal interface once logged in. If you don't feel comfortable giving out that information to your developer, you can create the necessary buttons yourself and send him the resulting HTML code (or hire a developer you can trust :))

With PayPal as the ONLY shopping option, you will find customers that don't mind it at all and are happy that you accept paypal and you will find customers that specifcally won't shop at your site because they don't like PayPal for their own reasons that may have nothing at all to do with your company.

I don't like the functionality of the PayPal cart (how it pops open a separate window when you add a product to the shopping cart), but it wouldn't stop me from buying a t-shirt I like when I see one. That's probably because I'm a t-shirt junkie though, I don't know if all customers will have the same patience.

You can accept PayPal and still use a free shopping cart option like oscommerce, zen-cart, cubecart. That way you'll still have a better shopping cart functionality (no popups) and be able to upgrade to other payment options easily later down the road.

Also, If you use a shopping cart option like the ones I mentioned, you also wouldn't have to give your developer access to your PayPal account. Then all they would need is your paypal email address to plugin to the shopping cart application and the shopping cart would handle the rest.
 

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tribecat said:
Hi Rodney, I have to tell you that I am not a fan of paypal. Whenever I have sold items on ebay I simply won't accept paypal, only check or money order. They are a bit to avaricious and difficult to work with.
I haven't had the same experience, but what you just wrote is exactly what I was talking about :) Some people just don't like PayPal, so if they see that as your *only* option, they may just choose not to buy. I don't think this is a "large" portion of buyers though.

Sadly, I am pretty much at the mercy of otheres when it comes to being conversant with programming and having a fluid understanding of what is involved.
You never have to be at the mercy of programmers. You always have a choice. And educating yourself (in places like this) as to what those choices are is a good way to take back some of that control :)

Having a programmer do the work is not a bad thing, but being able to explain to them what you need and knowing what you don't need will help to make sure you aren't getting taken advantage of by the developer. Hopefully we can help you out with that :)

This is my first foray into ecommerce and I know I'm going to make mistakes but I'm sure hoping to keep that to a minimum in terms of time and expense.
I've made quite a few in my years doing this. I *try* to remind myself to think of them as "learning experiences" :)

Can you give me a bit of direction insofar as exploring some of the other options you mentioned... or is it as simple as going on the appropriate web sites?
The basics of it is: if you have a domain name and a web host, then that webhost most likely offers you to ability to use php/mysql scripts on your account.

Free shopping carts like zen-cart, oscommerce, cubecart, etc can just be installed on your web hosting account and then you can manage your products and orders through their online interface. Most t-shirt sites use a shopping cart of some type. I've seen many that use oscommerce, but the others can be equally as good.

To figure out which one you think will work best for you, you could just visit the different shopping cart product websites:

zen-cart: http://www.zen-cart.com
oscommerce: http://www.oscommerce.com/ (or http://creloaded.com/ is a nicely bundled version of oscommerce)
cubecart: http://www.cubecart.com/site/home/

I am happily pleased to have discovered this site and its wealth of friendly and helpful kindred souls... it's really great.
Thanks,
Tribecat
Happy to have you and be able to help.

:welcome:
 

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identityburn said:
Doesn't standard paypal accept credit cards even without having a paypal account? I thought I read that on their site. You do still have the new window thing, but I didn't think they had to sign up for an account anymore.
Yes, that's true. But that's not what I was referencing above :)

Some people just don't like PayPal (regardless of whether they have signup for an account or not when checking out). So if they see PayPal as their only option, they just won't buy.

The converse is sometimes true as well. Some people are more likely to buy if they see PayPal as an option during checkout. That means they don't have to pull out their credit card number or worry about a merchant that they don't know getting their cc details.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
Rodney, are you saying that it's possible to use the standard Paypal as a payment option, but use a shopping cart such as oscommerce, and not have a new window pop up?:confused:
That's correct :)

Shopping carts like oscommerce,zen-cart, etc allow you to specify which payment methods you will accept (check, credit cards, paypal, 2checkout, etc)

You can turn each payment method on or off.

So you can set it up so that your only payment method is PayPal.

How it works then is that users would shop around your site using the oscommerce shopping cart with no popup windows, and when they are ready to checkout, they enter their billing/shipping address and then select a method of payment (PayPal). Then they are transferred to the PayPal website to complete their payment and after they pay via PayPal, they are then transferred back to your shopping cart and you get notification from your shopping cart and from PayPal of the order and payment.

Hope this helps :) Any other questions, just let me know.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
Thanks, Rodney.

What about when they are transferred to the Paypal site...are you able to put your logo and site colors there so it at least "looks" somewhat like they are connected to your site?
Yep, you can add your logo to the top header of the PayPal site when they are transferred to make their payment. You used to be able to edit the colors a bit, but I don't know if you still can.

That's one of the benefits of having a real merchant account though. The shopper never has to leave your site because the transaction is handled by your secure server and the payment gateway.

PayPal offers a "real" merchant account now (called PayPal Payments Pro), but there are some weird usage restrictions with it (like you can't use other payment options and you have to have their logo somewhere near or something like that).
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
What I would like is maybe use Paypal payments pro, if my customers don't know that paypal is processing the payment, then also have the option to just use paypal standard for customers that WANT to use paypal.
If you're going to be paying the $20 monthly fee for PayPal Pro, you may as well get a "regular" merchant account instead of the PayPal pro (the monthly fees will be about the same).

Then you will be able to have 2 separate payment options and no requirement to let regular credit card customers know how you are processing their payment.
 

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If I have paypal, don't I automatically have shopping cart or is that something separate I need to get?
Yes, but it is very limited.

Do I also need a shopping cart?
If you want to be able to manage products, orders, shipping, customers ,j product options, more effectively and have a more user friendly shopping process, yes.

There are free shopping carts that you can install like zencart, oscommerce, cubecart that can integrate with PayPal for the payment processing.
 

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On the PayPal shopping cart page, instead of clicking the Create Button Now button, you click the Add More Options button and you'll see a page where you get to choose your own options.

My suggestion would be to NOT use the PayPal shopping cart though. You should use a dedicated cart that will allow you more flexibility and a better shopping experience for your customers.
 

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Also... since my products are on their own pages... and not included in a shopping cart program... my site is very search engine friendly.
Having your products in a shopping program doesn't stop them from being search engine friendly. A new page is created for all of your products just like if you did it manually.

If you are not that website savvy... a self-contained shopping cart program that let's you add products easily may be the way to go.

Since I have been doing this web stuff since 1998... my ways are really easy for me... but don't always translate to other people's websites.
I think even if you are web savvy, having a shopping cart is a smart move.

It lets you manage products much more easily, it doesn't give you the popup windows that paypal does, it gives shopper a standard shopping process that they are used to, it can help you manage customers and orders. Also, it will help you manage payment options as you grow. Some customers won't want to pay with paypal (for whatever reasons), so when you can add more payment options, you can reach more customers.

I've been selling t-shirts online since 1996 and it's definitely something I would recommend for anybody that is wanting to sell t-shirts.

I think a paypal shopping cart is good if you are just starting out and you only have 1-2 products to manage.

But once you start processing your own transactions through your own merchant account and you get several t-shirt designs to sell, you will really appreciate how much time a shopping cart program will save you.

It makes it very easy to add a product, and add attributes like +$2 for XXL or different shipping options or coupon codes for marketing purposes or additional checkout fields.
 
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