Need Host/Merch/Gateway Suggestions for Small eBusiness
Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
I am starting a small internet business, and have some questions.
I dont expect the business to be very big, so i probably dont need
anything too outrageous.. I plan to take maybe 2-5 orders per day,
and want my customers to be able to add the items they want to a
shopping cart, and then check-out using their credit card when they
submit their order.
From what i understand, in order to accept credit cards on my website
i will need to register a merchant account, and a payment processor..
is that correct? Here are some questions..
1).. Am I able to get a merchant account and payment processor from the same place? And if so, what are some good suggestions?
If not, what are some suggestions otherwise?
2).. What would be a good web host to register my site with? I know certain companies have business hosting, but they seem a bit outrageous, and i think all i need is a middle-priced plan.. I was considering the "Unlimited" plan on MidPhase dot com, but i havent seen many reviews about them on any of the websites i found on google searching for "Top Hosts", so im not sure where i should register my site.. Any suggestions?
Ive gotten so many mixed reviews about what the best hosts are... The names i seem to see alot are: Hostmonster, Hostgator, Inmotion, WebHostingHub, Bluehost, iPage, Fatcow, and Godaddy.. But every website i look at has them in a different order, and different ratings, so its nearly impossible to figure out... Although these seem to be the hosts that are listed most. What do you all think?
3).. Are there any companies that offer EVERYTHING in one? like web hosting + payment processor/merchant, all-in-one?
I really just need to get pointed in the right direction so i can get everything going... I would really appreciate some advice!
1) Have a look at Paypal or Google Checkout because you won't need a merchant number to use these.
2) Where are you based? Have a look round this forum for offers. You can also look at some of the self hosted ecommerce solutions if you are just starting out... these can be fine if you are just offering a service and don't see the business growing much. The ones I've used of the hosts you mentioned vary greatly in performance - generally if they can afford the huge advertising and promotional budget then they tend to be bad in my experience!!
3) As mentioned above companies like shopify or ekm do this kind of thing - search for "hosted ecommerce".
Hey guys thanks for your replies...
As far as googlecheckout and paypal goes, im somewhat hesitant because i want my website to have a professional look and appearance during checkout, and using these companies would require my customers to sign-up or login to paypal or google before they could submit their order, which just makes everything more complicated and less-professional in my opinion.. Am i correct about this?
I want the customer to simply be able to click checkout, and go directly to the page where they can enter their address and credit card info, and click "submit order".. Nice and clean, professional, and straight-forward... Without my customer having to register/login with paypal/google before submitting their order, you know? ...Or am i misinformed?
ya...but they are reliable and everybody online nowadays have a paypal account.
For being looked as unprofessional....Paypal is supported by every other store online...where ever u look onto the web.
I myself as a buyer prefer using Paypal as i find it secure nd reliable and something i am aware of.
And for the registration...the people who don't have a paypal account don't have to register..either they can pay through there debit/credit card directly through paypal gateway.
Making it summarized....Paypal is definite recommendation from my side.
Let me first say i agree that having paypal supported is a good idea - in fact, i want to have paypal supported on my website... I just dont want my customers to be required to log-in or register for anything when they submit their order..
I simply want my customers to be able to add items to their shopping cart, click checkout, enter their shipping info and credit card, and click "submit order"... So with that said, what are my options?
I am going to be selling HID headlight conversions, parts and accessories (for automobiles). So my product base is going to be fairly small - mostly just different for each type of car. Ive actually ran this website business before, but i was using my fathers merchant and gateway info through authorize.net, and simply entered his info into my cart. It worked perfectly, but he has since gone out of business and no longer has his merchant account or anything. So i have no idea what to do from scratch, and he had help too so hes practically no help either haha..
Im trying to keep it as cheap as possible, while still retaining a professional look and feel during checkout as i described in my last post.. As far as paypal goes, from what i remember, its far more expensive than most others, correct? And as far as Authorize.net goes it sounds like they are expensive too from the way you made it sound in your last reply...
Ive been looking around and ive found a few different companies, and would love to get some of you guys opinions if possible... Heres a few examples of what ive found..
FRONTSTREAM PAYMENTS, and CHASE PAYMENTECH, which are both affiliates of godaddy... and PROCESSINGPOINT which is what midphase uses... E-ONLINEDATA which was reccomended by anhosting, and a couple others i cant remember where i found are FIRSTDATA, and INTUIT... What do you guys think of all of these?
Again, im trying to find the cheapest solution possible, while still being able to keep a professional look.
I still dont 100% understand what all i need though - From what i understand, i need a MERCHANT ACCOUNT, and a PAYMENT GATEWAY, which are two different things.. I know some companies offer both, while others only offer one... But what if i were to go to one of my local banks and sign up for a business account that allows that type of activity? does that qualify as the merchant account i would need, or not? Like, when you get a merchant account from one of the online companies, is that a bank account that money goes into that im able to access? or is it something else? and would i still need my own bank account too? Im really trying to understand..
Not wanting to ruin the conversation but by NOT accepting paypal, you might be losing potential customers because many people prefer not to give their credit card information everywhere, instead they just pay through paypal funds to be on safe side. So you might also want to take this into consideration.
AGAIN - ILL REPEAT MYSELF.. i DO want to accept PayPal!!
I DO want my customer to have the option to use PayPal!!
I just DONT want it to be REQUIRED!!
lol hopefully that was clear enough this time.. i just dont want my customer to HAVE to register with PayPal or GoogleCheckout or anything if they dont want to.. I want them to be able to simply enter their credit card info and whatnot, and click "Submit Order" and be done. However, i DO want to offer PayPal and/or GoogleCheckout as an OPTION during checkout...
So with that said ^^^^ what do you guys think?
If you don't want it to be required by the customer, then you need your own shopping cart with a merchant account. (Just for those customers that don't have a paypal or Google account). Then for those who do, have the Paypal and Google checkouts available for them to log in their own account for payment.
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Last edited by writespeak; 06-02-2011 at 10:57 AM.