If you sell a product or service, you’d be crazy not to at least consider selling online. For some businesses, this is as simple as using a PayPal button to accept deposits or fees online; for others it means implementing a comprehensive e-commerce platform complete with shopping cart, tax, shipping, and inventory management features.
There are numerous options for processing online payments. Here I’m going to talk about PayPal, Square, and Weebly since these are some of the platforms I have worked with personally, but keep in mind that there are other options as well. Below is a brief overview, and I will cover each platform in more detail in upcoming posts.
All fees quoted here are as of January 2017 and are subject to change according to the vendor.
But first, consider the following questions. Your answers will help determine the best solution for you.
- Are you selling a physical good, or would you like to accept payments for a service, fee, or deposit?
- How many different types of items will you be offering?
- Are you already using a payment platform?
- Do you need to manage inventory?
- Do you need to charge tax?
- What about shipping?
Here is a brief overview of my experience so far with some of the different online payment processors.
PayPal – Offers “Purchase” buttons to place on your website and free online invoicing tools. Tax and shipping are determined for each individual item (button). Paypal is great when you have a small number of items for sale or for accepting deposits and fees online. Optional point-of-sale card reader for in-person transactions. Fee: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
Square – Does not utilize “Purchase” buttons, but does offer free online store which we link to your website. Online store accommodates multiple items easily. Optional point-of-sale card reader. 2.7% + $0.30 per transaction.
Weebly – Robust e-Commerce solution appropriate for selling many items, shopping cart, and inventory management. Not only does Weebly offer the e-commerce end of your website, but it also includes complete website and blogging capabilities. Weebly allows you to run promotions such as coupons or free shipping over a certain amount. It is very powerful; it is also more expensive. Weebly must be used in conjunction with payment processing such as PayPal, Square, Stripe, or Authorize.net. One-year contract with Weebly is $300 ($25 monthly) + payment processing fees of $2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.