Monday, April 14, 2008

Pay Pal vs. Google Checkout

If you have placed an order from our website before, you know that we use PayPal for our shopping cart. In other words, when you buy yarn from The Unique Sheep, PayPal handles the transaction. That way we never actually have your credit card information and things are nice and secure. This is a pretty good system, but its not perfect. Lately I've had a couple of "frustrations" with PayPal. I've had to remove the gift card button from the website because the PayPal gift certificates can be difficult/complicated to redeem and I can't figure out a way to do "code" coupons using PayPal. Plus their customer service is awful, so calling them to figure out solutions to these problems isn't an option. At the same time as I'm grumbling about these problems, I have been hearing good things about Google Checkout, mainly that the fees are lower than PayPal. I'm tempted to switch.

This is where I need your opinions. Many of you already have PayPal accounts and so it is easy to make online purchases using PayPal. Everything is already set up and all you have to do is enter your password. If we switched to Google Checkout you would either have to set up a new account with them or manually enter your credit card information for each purchase. Their accounts are fee and easy to set up (very similar to PayPal) so it really wouldn't take you much time/effort to set one up but I know that not everyone wants to do that, especially if you already have a PayPal account. So what do you think? If we switched to Google Checkout would it stop you from placing orders? Is having PayPal a big draw for you? Also, if you have experience using Google Checkout I'd love to hear what you think. It might have some big problems that I'm not aware of and I'd love to hear about it now, before I've made any changes.


p.s. I am also thinking about changing to the ZenCart shopping cart. Any opinions? I don't think this would affect you as customers as much as it would make it easier for me to make web updates and keep track of sales, things like that, but if you have experience using ZenCart I'd love your feedback

p.p.s. Thanks to Dao for making these suggestions :)


Lesley said...

I am comfortable with Paypal and I like that I don't have to use my credit card to use it, I can use my checking account which financially for me that's better (credit cards are incredibly easy to run up, whereas with my checking account I can only spend what I actually have). If google checkout can do the same thing, then I don't mind a switch. If not, then, well, I would prefer to stay with paypal.

EmDao said...

if you switch to zen cart, you can still use pay pal as your check out system. Zen cart will allow you multiple check out methods.

I think its an option to set up a store account(with zencart), so you can keep track of all the thing you buy or come back to the store and download your pdfs.

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

As a shop owner, my husband wrote the interface for PayPal. Using their interface and trying to get them to help you is (like you said) not an option. They seem to think that once you're using their product, that's the end of their interaction with you. On Opening Day, PayPal problems were the biggest things that plagued us. I don't know how many customers we lost because of all the trouble, but it boiled down to my having to manually invoice customers.

I've used Google checkout as a customer and have found it easy to use. I didn't mind setting up an account - it was fast and simple. I don't know about it as a shop owner, though.

As for ZenCart, stay FAR AWAY from it. I've heard nothing but horrible things about it from other shop owners. They used it initially because it was free; you truly get what you pay for. There are bugs galore, bad customer support, and multiple failures.

I think if you really want to switch, Google is probably the best option. I'd be curious myself to know what your experience with it is if you do switch. Mark has since fixed all the bugs we were having occur with PayPal, but then again, I'm using a custom-written interface. Is it an option for you to have someone do that for you? That's really the best option - then you have someone who can take care of any problems which might occur since it's their code and they understand it.

Turtle said...

I am not set up with google but have been comfortable as well with paypal. not sure the differences though!

Diana Lin said...

This is my site:

when i first started i had the same question/problem as you. my site is very simple, i only have a few products as of now. so i didn't want to get into anything complicated. at the end, I decided to use both paypal and google checkout. to give my customers both options.

however, i have found that most still prefer paypal. maybe just because more people have paypal accounts.

hope this helps you. as i'm still searching for the best answer. please let me know if you do find one.