Post a new topic
    9 Replies Latest reply on Aug 29, 2011 1:07 PM by bryce15

    Advice on ecommerce merchant services

    tricon Newbie
      I'll try to keep this short. We are just starting our online store and looking for advice. We are using an open source shopping cart that redirects our customers over to PayPal for SSL purchases. We just found out that PayPal wants $0.30 cents per transaction and then 2.9% of the purchase price after tax.

      My question is: Is that normal? This seems a little outrageous to me. In my example we have purchases for $0.99 cents online ($1.07 after tax) and PayPal charges us $0.33 for that transaction/purchase.

      What I'm wondering is if BOA has a merchant interface that we can directly link to from our website or API calls to enable secure online purchases. Does anyone have any experience in this area or know of anyone that may be able to help? We are willing to hire outside developers if necessary.

      Also, we'd like to integrate this into our accounting software. I agree with the post I read about QB software. Since we are just starting, I believe we are going to the Peachtree method vs. QB as there are quirks in QB that doesn't seem to fit the business model we're used to. We've used QB in other businesses in the past.

      Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks in advance!, Tricon
        • Re: Advice on ecommerce merchant services
          amspcs Ranger
          Hi Tricon. You cover several topics in your post. Let deal with them one-at-a-time.

          Is 2.90% plus $.30 normal? Well, a traditional (i.e. non Paypal) merchant account MAY be able to cut you some slack in the $.30 per item area depending on a number of factors. Understand that with such small tickets, the percentage rate is
          inconsequential, your problem area is the $.30 flat. And, no, the 2.90% is not at all unreasonable for an e-store.

          Moreover, I think you miss the point about the primary difference between a Paypal-type processing solution and a more traditional processing solution. The real issue for you should not necessarily be
          the fee structure, it should be the fact that you're going to lose tons of good business because there are many people who do not trust Paypal with their CC info and therefore refuse to divulge their personal data to them. We have long preached that, for any SERIOUS business,there is no reason for Paypal not to be a part of their payment solution, but never never the ONLY one.

          B of A (or any reputable processor) can probably be of great service to you. But BOA or any processor itself does not link to your website, that's the job of your gateway provider, which is an entirely different service. And I can give you some excellent advise in that regard---NEVER make the mistake of signing on with an integrated one-price solution that combines both merchant account and gateway in one proprietary package. Many people I've run into over the years have lived to regret that mistake.

          If you want to integrate with your accounting solution, QB is the way to go. Don't get me wrong, I"m not a great fan of QuickBooks. It's just that, for better or worse, QB is much more widely used and supported in the business world. Plus, there are some EXCELLENT third party applications on the market now that integrate wonderfully with QB software, several that even QB direct themselves don't offer, such as the ability to email QB invoices to your customer that contain an easy click and pay link that allows customers to pay via credit card or e-check right on the screen.

          Hope I've provided some info and insights you can use. Good luck.


          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Advice on ecommerce merchant services
              tricon Newbie
              Thank you amspcs. The information you provided is a great help. You mention several things that are of interest to us.

              First, we are new to this community and forum (and online ecommerce) so we ask everyone's patience for asking questions that possibly have been asked and answered several times over. The main issue you mention about PP is most definitely a new one on us and had no idea. We've used them for years and never had any issues / problems there. Maybe we were just 'lucky'.

              I would be interested in learning more from you about specific implementation strategies as you mention about not combining the merchant account and the gateway provider. I truly believe in dissecting the two as I've seen many times in the past that a 'canned' solution or one provider in other business instances can be a significant problem.

              So, let's say I chose BOA as my merchant account. I understand that the $0.30 flat is going to be hard to get away from. I'm assuming any merchant would work with a business on this fee if there were significant volume. But when you look at the %'s, as in my original post, $0.33 is pretty significant on $1.07 (33%+) but on a $107.00 purchase <0.003% and I understand that math. So my challenge is to find a merchant that will give us a break initially as we get this ecommerce store rolling....any suggestions? I have filled out a form and supposedly a BOA rep is going to call me. Since our accounts are there I thought they would be the best bet so that everything could be in one place. But, that might be the sames situation as you mentioned about combining the merchant and the gateway provider, right?

              Ok. Gateway provider. Any suggestions here. I'm not exactly sure who/what they are or what services they provide. Would this be the same as our web hosting account? In this case we use GoDaddy since they are 'user friendy' but in our ultimate goal they may not be as flexible as we need them to be for our business and the creative things we need to provide from our site. This area is where I get a little confused and really need the advice of a programmer or ecommerce specialist. I only know enough to be dangerous (to myself).

              Lastly, I kinda thought that I would get the answer you gave on QB. As much as I hate to admit it QB, from what I've seen, seems to be the logical answer from the standpoint of integration of applications, support, and 3rd part 'add-on' applicaitons. It proably has improved from our last 'bout with it but the Pro version of 2004 had a lot left to be desired. However our experiences were tainted since we all come from corporate backgrounds using ORACLE and SAP.

              Thanks again for your feedback and suggested solutions. I hope you don't mind if we contact you directly through your email address you provided on your reply. I don't feel that this forum/post is the most appropriate place to discuss details. Maybe I'm wrong. My experiences like this are usually handled over the phone or in a face-to-face setting.

            • Re: Advice on ecommerce merchant services
              Achilles Newbie
              Contact Doyle Allen, BoA Merchant Specialist, 704-728-5402
              • Re: Advice on ecommerce merchant services
                Vaughan27 Newbie
                This is the best for promoting ecommerce business for business development.we too have an organisation for futher details plz findout the following
                • Re: Advice on ecommerce merchant services
                  Ydeveloper Wayfarer
                  Hi Tricon

                  I was thinking same "amspcs". I found best advice on this topic. Organizing ecommerce related feature are truly difficult especially when it comes for payment option. Paypal is one option, there are many other options as well on which we may think. I know one resource where you can find 37 best ecommerce shopping cart solutions at, "".
                  • Re: Advice on ecommerce merchant services

                    Rather than reinventing the wheel, PayPal offers a 'micropayment' solution for business that regularly sell items less than 10.00. It uses a different fee structure that would reduce your costs on a 1.00 purchase to 0.15 from the more than 0.35 cents that you would pay the other way. I don't think it's true that people don't 'trust' PayPal, it's an established part of our culture.

                    I know many people who like using Peachtree although I haven't myself. While you have the PayPal folks on the phone, ask how you can import your statements into Peachtree. It probably takes an extra step or two, because QuickBooks is the industry stardard for linking to just about everything. You would have to decide which inconvenience you like best!

                    You're already using PayPal anyway, so just switch to the micropayment plan. You're already using Peachtree and you like it, so find out how much of a problem it is to use it with PayPal. No matter what merchant service you use, it is probably not going to incorporate Peachtree without a fight anyway.




                    • Re: Advice on ecommerce merchant services
                      bryce15 Newbie

                      Clearly, people can prosper in spite of these fees, but for someone new to ecommerce they are somewhat deflating. As a fledgling business, each percentage of cost, whether going towards transaction fees, shipping fees, payroll, or marketing is scrutinized to the last detail.


                      Thankfully, in this thread I have learned a lot about the different options out there regarding merchant services and accounting solutions. I'm still not sure which one is right for me, however, I hope through research I can find a comfortable fit. Hopefully, all you other merchants, big and small, are able to do the same and protect your bottom line without passing costs off to your loyal customers.