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  1. #1

    e-commerce difficulties

    First, I've never understood while my posts on e-commerce questions are placed in this forum, since I'm not a reseller and don't own a web hosting biz. But since everytime I post on e-commerce topics in the main forum they're moved here, I thought i'd save the mods some work. So..

    I'm just a lowly webmaster (and not too much of a master, either) for a small non profit. We want to process class and conference registrations, donations and publication and t shirt sales on-line. The guy who is doing the actual programming (which is partly paid work, but at a low rate since it's subsidized by his non profit) has tried to use a one size fits all solution, using a php shopping cart. This is an inelegant solution for us, especially since we're dealing with people who are not technically savvy and may not have ever bought anything on-line. Not only that, the project has also taken way too long; consequently we are looking for someone else to complete it. I had a referral to a PHP programmer, who I called and described my situation to. This guy started talking about needing two different systems for handling purchases and registrations, stating that some merchant accounts can process one system, while others are needed for the other. Now this is counterintuitive to me, since the only info the card processor should get is the purchase amount, name and address. The only reason it would have a bearing is if a shipping address was required, but as it's not (at least by my card processor), then I don't see the type of purchase coming into play.

    Does anyone out there know what this guy could be possibly talking about? I can see how the front end might--no, should, be--different depending upon the type of transaction. He insisted the issue was card processing back end systems.

    Sorry, I put this into the wrong forum. Should've been "Running a web-hosting biz."
    Last edited by Ptrash; 08-20-2002 at 03:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    ... in my mind ...
    Ptrash... how many products do you have, and how many sales do you expect to make?

    If your inventory is not that large, you have your own merchant account and can manage sales manually, you don't really need anything "fancy" to be elegant.

    PayPal offers a way to accept donations on your site. Read this from their site:
    Seller Tools - Small Business

    How can I use PayPal to collect donations?

    PayPal offers the most convenient and cost-effective solution for collecting donations online. Our suite of products and services helps you easily accept donations, list donation options and manage payments. You don't need to apply for a merchant account, set up a secure payment gateway or pay set-up fees. Simply open an account to begin using these great features:

    Donations Buttons: Accept donations instantly from your web page with these buttons. They're easy to place on your site (no programming required!)

    Subscriptions: A low-cost way to collect recurring donations online

    Instant Payment Notification: Receive instant notification when a donation is completed, so you can give donors a quick response or thank-you

    PayPal Shops: Get your website listed for free in the Non-Profit section of PayPal Shops, our directory of websites that accept PayPal. This introduces donation opportunities from more than 15 million PayPal members worldwide

    And more! Our features are easy to integrate with your website (no programming required). For complete details on PayPal's features and benefits, see our Small Business Resource Center.
    Finally, depending on your expected traffic and order fullfillment, you might do just fine with a few html pages showing your products with a secure online form for placing orders.
    Mothers of the world unite! Spank your sons and make them quit fighting...

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