Not Martha

an online shopping question for you

I’m helping somebody update their online shop and we’re wondering if adding another payment option along with Paypal would be beneficial. If you have a moment I’d love it if you could answer the poll below, it’s just the one question. If you have something longer to add, examples or experiences that you need to vent, please feel free to leave them with the comments for this post.

My great thanks!

· comments [26] · 11-21-2008 · categories:misc ·

26 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mary // Nov 21, 2008 at 11:21 am

    I had the worst experience with Paypal last year. First timer using Paypal. They emailed me a message stating they detected fradulent use of my account. Okay, I thought, they are vigilant although I was bummed this happened within a week of opening the account. I called. About twenty times! Finally got through to their NON toll free number. They told me about three charges which I had not made. I asked if these charges on my account could’ve been made by someone else in my household. I was told they only applied to my credit card number.

    Talked to my son a few days later who had made purchases using his card — with a different number. Obviously, I wanted to clear this up ASAP with Paypal but it took me four days! I’d call, be placed on hold — read; forever – and the line would go dead.

    When I finally made contact, they told me they couldn’t undo what they had set in motion. Sellers contacted my son and they were seriously pissed. Repeatedly making threatening calls. He refused to give out his credit card number because they sounded like real nut cases but agreed to send a money order. Ahem, I guess you could say there is no firewall between sellers and purchasers which is supposedly a benefit of using Paypal.

    It was a frustrating and scary experience.

    Paypal has zero customer service. What reputable company doesn’t have an 800 number or provide contact information that will connect you with with someone who knows what they are doing? Hate Paypal.

  • 2 wendy // Nov 21, 2008 at 11:50 am

    I’m an “other” and the comment section is too short, so I’ll put it here.

    I use paypal and I pay with a credit card. You don’t have to have an account with paypal to use it and you can pay with a credit card. I do this all the time to pay for things. I trust paypal to be secure. I’m not sure if you have to have a special account to be able to accept credit card payments rather than transfers from someone’s bank account, but it’s how I pay for everything from my car insurance to what I buy from ebay and etsy.

  • 3 Melissa // Nov 21, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I have many friends who refuse to use Paypal because of problems they personally have had or people they know got screwed by Paypal.
    So I think it’s important to have an option other than Paypal.
    I use Paypal for eBay if it’s my only option and Kiva since they don’t offer any other choice.

  • 4 megan // Nov 21, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Wendy – Thanks so much, I have to admit I put a trick question in the poll. Indeed you don’t need to create an account with Paypal to pay with a credit card, but not everybody knows that. They stopped requiring one create an account a few years ago but I’ve heard from people who still won’t use Paypal because they don’t realize this has changed. That is a concern of mine in this case.

  • 5 emira // Nov 21, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Hey there Megan. I can say that for our clients that we work with, when they get to the point of doing fairly high volume sales, they typically notice that their sales will spike significantly once they start accepting credit cards directly (and not just through PayPal). My personal theory is that this has to do with some folks who just aren’t super familiar with/comfortable with PayPal and in the past (when said site only accepted PayPal) may have abandoned their purchase thinking that PayPal was unfamiliar/required an account/etc. and so that percentage of traffic then converts into sales with the option for straight up credit card processing.

    That said, the cost of getting into straight up credit card processing can be pretty steep so it’s something to balance out. But you know that already ;)

  • 6 Seanna Lea // Nov 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I use paypal but I normally pay with a credit card that way. It’s awfully handy. The only problem I have is the same one I’ve had everywhere with changing my legal name. A combination of a pain in the keister and laziness, not really a problem with Paypal (and they have given me the information on how to make this change at least twice).

  • 7 Marsha // Nov 21, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I dislike PayPal’s business practices and find them extremely unethical, so I use that service (and then only their credit-card service) only when no other choice is present. My preferred method of payment is credit card. If PayPal’s non-credit-card version is the only option, then I take my business elsewhere.

  • 8 Laura // Nov 21, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I had my credit card numbers stolen off of PayPal so I no longer use it.

  • 9 heather // Nov 21, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I was using Paypal, but they wanted me to link my bank account. Without that, it kept on refusing to use my perfectly fine credit card. I was buying things online over two weeks, and maybe spent about 200 USD. Anyway! It was a gigantic hassle, because I had set to pay someone on Etsy, and nearly lost their trust while I tried to sort thing out.

    Thankfully someone recommended Google Checkout. Its very easy to use, you don’t have to use your bank account. After that, I just asked Etsy sellers if they wouldn’t mind setting up Google Checkout, and in each case they said OK!

    Bummer is, it only works in US and UK.

    Bonus is, it has a built in rating system for sellers. A week or so after my purchase, I got asked to rate the sellers- that was pretty cool.

    – Heather

  • 10 Making it Lovely // Nov 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I would offer both. Most (probably 85%) of the orders that come in through my shop are paid for with a credit card. I think a lot of people will use PayPal if it’s the only option, but given a choice my customers definitely skip it.

  • 11 julie // Nov 21, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    I had so many problems the one time I tried to use paypal that I just plain won’t use them at all.

  • 12 genia // Nov 21, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Our first website only accepted PayPal, what a nightmare. They do not have a separate billing and shipping address for customers to fill in so when people want to ship the item to someone else it comes back as Unconfirmed.

    So then for security purposes you then have to get in touch with that customer to find out if they really did make that purchase.

    We also found that people were getting the impression (because of the layout at the PayPal site)that you had to have a PayPal account to order so we were losing sales.

    I would definitely get a secondary payment system.

    I hope this helps.

  • 13 Clare // Nov 21, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    It depends!

    If it’s a small organisation, then I would prefer paypal if they are handling the credit cards themselves (given that I lack confidence in the ability of a lot of organisations to securely process card details), but prefer credit card if they back the processing off to somebody like WorldPay.

    If they choose to accept and process credit card payments directly, it’s well worth looking into what level of PCI DSS compliance they would need to achieve, which depends on the number of transactions and amount of money that they are processing.

    In the interests of full disclosure, I do IT security for a living, and so am probably more paranoid than average!

  • 14 g. // Nov 21, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    I use PayPal b/c I trust it more than credit card processors I’ve never heard of but it doesn’t mean I fully trust PayPal. I definitely prefer Google Checkout over any other payment option.

  • 15 Carissa // Nov 22, 2008 at 6:25 am

    My husband and I have each had our PayPal accounts hacked on 2 separate occasions, so I avoid it like the plague. We were able to get all the charges reversed, but PayPal’s customer service is not all that helpful or easy to deal with. Having only PayPal as payment option has actually deterred me from buying from certain places. If you are able to offer credit card then I say do it, but Google Checkout also sounds like a good option.

  • 16 BethR // Nov 22, 2008 at 7:24 am

    i love paypal and have been using it for years, but my husband refuses to use it because he tried it about a year ago and had something happen where something like $800 was removed from his bank acount by paypal for charges he hadn’t authorized. it was a huge effort to get in contact with them and get it corrected. and then it happened again right after that!

  • 17 Kelly // Nov 22, 2008 at 7:59 am

    I too had my paypal accout hacked by someone. I can’t believe the horrible customer service they had. I never did get through on the phone (they expect us to sit there for hours on long distance? i don’t think so). I was lucky enough to catch the hacking as it was happening. I went into my account and was able to change the password. But that was after being kicked out numerous times because there was someone else in it, and having to figure out how to change it from chinese back to english.
    Two days later they sent me an email saying that my account had been compromised (no really?) and it was put on hold. I had to verify my account by mail because they wouldn’t accept a cell phone as a real phone (i don’t have a landline). I eventually did get my money back but it left a real sour taste in my mouth. They sent me a survey after it was over asking me how their service was during my ‘unfortunate incident’. I certainly had a lot of things to say.
    Long story short, I’m never using paypal again.

  • 18 megan // Nov 22, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Thank you to everybody who left a comment, these are really helpful and we’re definitely going to offer something in addition to Paypal. Extra big thanks to Emira and Making It Lovely for sharing their expertise!

  • 19 kelley // Nov 22, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    there are a lot of phishing e-mails out there that look like they’re from paypal. like #1, i’ve gotten “fraudulent activity” e-mails, but they were fraudulent themselves. be careful out there!

  • 20 Meagan Mountford // Nov 23, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Looks like you already made your decision, but just to add emphasis…I had the same question when I opened my shop as I felt offering more than paypal puts the shop in a different league (or at least, to appear so.) I set up my shopping cart to take CC numbers/info, then I got the Virtual Terminal through paypal ($30 a month). So I ring all transactions manually, but it’s manageable and allows me to accept credit cards at craft fairs as well and gives customers an option. Eventually, I will better investigate Merchant Services through my business checking account. They should be able to match or better paypal’s offer (at least according to PNC, my biz bank). Good luck!

  • 21 Erin // Nov 24, 2008 at 3:59 am

    I’m in the same boat as Wendy — I don’t have an account, I just click the Paypal button and enter my credit card info.

    I guess I’ll go click the “other” radio button and submit now.

  • 22 Ln // Nov 24, 2008 at 6:49 am

    It looks like you’ve already decided, but I thought I’d add my opinion. I prefer using a credit card directly over paypal, not because of security so much as the hassle factor– I forget my paypal password, they have some credit card on file as default that was replaced by the credit card company 6 months ago… So for me to go through the trouble of sending a paypal payment I need to REALLY want what they’re selling, and it needs to not be available on a website that takes credit cards directly. I like google checkout a lot more than paypal, if you don’t want to pay for a merchant services account to take credit cards directly. I’d recommend having a physical address on the website too, it just makes me feel more comfortable with who I’m dealing with.

  • 23 Marcie // Nov 24, 2008 at 7:40 am

    I had a bad experience with paypal as well. They claimed there was fraudulent activity on my account and put my account on hold indefinitely. Nevermind the fact that there was $125 in credit that they would not give me. I will never use them again.

  • 24 darleen // Nov 24, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Very interesting reading the comments made here. I assumed (and yes I know what happens when you assume, LOL) that buyers preferred PayPal. It’s got me to thinking that maybe I should eliminate them from my website. I do offer Google Checkout as well, but very interesting comments.

  • 25 a Cagey Bee // Nov 25, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Wow! Very interesting comments. I like using Paypal funded by my credit card because I have 2 layers of fraud protection should there be a problem. After being burned on an eBay purchase years ago, I was happy that I could dispute the transaction through Paypal first & if they couldn’t resolve it, then talk to my credit card company.

    I’ve never tried Google checkout (& am honestly surprised that so many people have even heard of it!), but I’ll definitely be adding it for my shop.


  • 26 cat // Nov 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I am sure I am late on this but, must say that PayPal ought to be a “no-go”. I have had my PayPal account hacked into twice, leaving me to deal with unauthorized charges. I have removed my credit card from my PayPal account all together. It is serious! I have a merchant account-it’s so much easier, I can take credit cards for sales and call them in at my leisure on my cell phone, it’s simple and easy. Low fees if you decide to take only visa and mastercard. I repeat, stay away from PayPal. Thanks for asking.

Leave a Comment