One of the things we discuss in my e-commerce class is how easy and fast it is to start doing some basic e-commerce with PayPal. Instead of having to investigate an online merchant account (to allow you to accept credit cards into your account) and a separate gateway (to handle the online transactions), PayPal combines that into one solution. And, there is no setup fee, and no monthly charge (unlike most other, standard merchant accounts).

If you go to PayPal and set up a BUSINESS account, you can start selling items from almost any web page in about a week. PayPal will ask you for some personal information, including your bank account information. (Money you collect from onlines sales can be deposited into your bank account for free.) They will then verify with you that that is your account by deposting two small amounts; for example $.62 and $.39. It’s the delay of your bank getting those deposits into the account that actually takes about a week — at least for banks like First Hawaiian Bank. Once you see those deposit amounts, you log back into PayPal, tell them what they sent you, and the account is now active.

Within PayPal Business is a Merchant page that gives you the codes you’ll need to do things like:

  • one time sales
  • re-occuring sales (like a monthly or yearly subscription)
  • donations (where the person puts in the amount they want to give)
  • and (limited) shopping cart buttons.

They supply the code, you just have to edit your HTML code to paste it in. Then, like magic, you’ve added a way for people to pay for the product on that page. It’s a very simple and fast solution. And, with their shopping cart buttons, people can add multiple items from your site (PayPal keeps track of the items on their site), and then those customers can check out when finished on the PayPal site.

In addition to using their buttons, you can use your PayPal account with many other solutions as a payment method. For example Yahoo Small Business plans that include hosting and an e-commerce solution, now have PayPal as a way for your customers to pay you. So, your PayPal account can “grow” with your business.

Related Resources:

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

PayPal For Dummies (For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance)) | PayPal Hacks

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