Friday, June 4, 2010

EB Friday Hotlist:PayPal

This week's Hotlist post is about PayPal, an eBay company and one of the most popular online payment services around.  If you sell on Etsy or eBay you're almost certain to be using PayPal to accept payments.  It's also integrated with ArtFire and Zibbet.  There are tons of problems with PayPal, including difficulties with Canadian buyers being able to use the service, glitches causing payments not to go through, etc. but it is still almost always necessary to offer if you want to sell products on major online venues.  While I'm not going to walk you through a tutorial on how to set up a PayPal account, I will let you know some of the cool features I found out about recently that you may not be using.

Timothy Adams shares a way to ask buyers via PayPal how they found your shop:

PayPal has a feature in the Custom Payment Pages section for you to add a poll.  This poll can be about anything you want, but an effective way to use it is to ask your customers where they found you.  You have up to five spaces to put answers for them to choose from.  To find this feature, go to your profile, choose custom payment pages, and options.  Then select the check box that says Add a Customer Service Survey.  Underneath, the option to set up your mini questionnaire will become available.

Think of anything else you might use the question field for?  Share it with us in the comments!

Secret Safe Books offers some information on how to add your branding to your PayPal checkout page:

If you go back to your Custom Payment Pages and select the option to add a new page, you'll be given some options to upload an image, as well as change the background and other colors on your payment page.  This way you can customize your page to reinforce your branding with your customers and give them an extra touch when completing their purchase.  Just don't forget to set your new custom page as the default after you've created it!

Click on the image above to get an idea what your custom page might look like with branding.  (Be aware that the blank spaces are just where I've erased my private information.)  It's pretty cool to be able to add your graphic and choice of color to remind the customer that they're purchasing from your business and not from the venue you sell on.

I can't seem to locate the blog post that was mentioned in the last few weeks about offering gift certificates (I'll be thrilled when Etsy allows the ability to search just the threads you've posted in and marked).  However, if you didn't already know, PayPal allows you to set up gift certificates that can be redeemed when someone makes a purchase.  You set this up by going to Merchant Services and Gift Certificate.  You can customize the button, set the amount, and even add HTML coding to the checkout page.  The catch is that you'll need to embed the code on a site in order for the purchase button to work - so you won't be able to use this seller feature to sell gift certificates on Etsy.  However, if you have a blog, Zibbet shop, ArtFire studio, or any other website that allows you to make changes to the code or add widgets, you'll be able to put in this button and sell gift certificates redeemable when someone buys with you.  Oh, and if you're international (i.e. not from my country, the United States), be aware that many more currencies than just USD are available for the gift certificate amounts.

Well those are the most recent fun features I've discovered with PayPal.  Have you seen anything with PayPal you really like?  Dislike?  Feel free to voice your opinions and share your finds in the comments!

Until next time,