And for once, I am not speaking of the humidity. Although that too 🙂
I am speaking of the wide range of choices for accepting any type of payments online. It seems almost endless. PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce, Braintree, Square, Shopify or eBay? When to choose which. And why. It seems that being involved in the tech and online world is a constant state of consolidation and simplification and managing expenses. (These mentioned are my favorites and I would work with any of them for a client. But there are roughly 70+ others to choose from.)
I have a Stripe account. I have a Square account. I have a PayPal account. I can send invoices a minimum of three different ways. And there is probably at least one account I have that I forgot about, in spite of my best efforts to avoid that.
I tend to be extremely careful with trial accounts that need to be cancelled and returns of things I decided not to keep, or ordered by mistake. And I sell my old tech on eBay. Because all this managing leaves me with a budget for trying new things, to see what works and what doesn’t so I can inform you. I have my previous computer up on eBay now. Have a look see. If by any chance a reader wants it, I will give you a deal, assuming it has not been bid upon yet. It is a truly amazing computer. But alas, I am back to Windows.
In this case, eBay is much better than me setting up a website for the sale of this unit because eBay has TRAFFIC already. I am getting OK action. Over the past decade or so, I have sold almost $50,000 worth of items on eBay. That is money back in my pocket that I would not normally have had. So when I say eBay works, I am not making that up. Try it!
OK, eBay kind of stands alone compared to the other services I mentioned. EBay is not a payment processor, at least not since they sold off PayPal. But the others mentioned above are large and serious players in the business of online commerce, and there is overlap to the extreme. Starting a small brick and mortar retail business? Square may be best. But Shopify would work also. Setting up an ecommerce website? Shopify may be best, except Square may work also.
There are plenty of reviews and comparisons on Google for these ecommerce players. It takes time and dedication to research them. I will not even begin to try and mimic those sites. This post is meant simply to be a broad overview and let you know that the time to research is before you setup your store, online or otherwise.
This site you are on now is using Braintree for payment processing. It offers a very simple checkout and allows for PayPal payments, and is easy enough to setup.
But it is not really setup for offline payments, so my cat Happy (remember, we have dueling ecommerce websites) has decided to go with Square. I ordered and received a portable card scanner. I may sell some of her items (cat toys) from my car. So a handy card scanner will be valuable. The scanner was $49. And it looks like as much as I was trying to avoid it, the $79 expense for the WordPress/WooCommerce plugin (which will synchronize inventory) will be necessary. I was trying to avoid this, but since it is highly likely that this will be come a business niche of mine, I consider it an investment in my education.
One possible side benefit of her using Square is that Square also does online invoicing. So there is a 75% chance that I will be able to cancel my service for sending invoices. Thereby saving $15 per month. This is a good example of why comparing the services is rarely apples to apples. Uncovering unexpected savings and bonuses is one of my favorite things about the Internet 🙂
This past week was research, this coming week will be action. Who will be the first to buy a Cat Tunnel of Happiness? See the image on this post. And stay tuned for actual photos of my cat Happy using the tunnel. I just grabbed this photo off the web.
What are you up to this weekend? Will it ever rain? Will we melt?
Product of the week:
You have never seen a monitor like this. Warning, your computer needs to be able to handle it. So check that first. If there was ever a reason to get a new computer, this monitor is it. Finally, the sharpness and clarity we deserve. Also check out the 24 inch. Just as sharp. And cheaper.
The Cape Cod Curmudgeon report: Thanks alot Orleans for the two foot deep pothole right where the exit ramp hits 6A. Like do we have any respect at all for our guests? We greet them with a two foot pothole as their first experience with Orleans. Also, pretty much every road on Cape Cod sucks hard. Always being inconveniently fixed and yet never fixed.