Taking payments with PayPal.com
PayPal.com is one of the easiest ways to get started in E-commerce. It has no set-up or monthly fees. Instead you are charged a transaction fee based on your monthly sales. Using their Websites Payment Standard, you can collect one time payments, recurring payments for subscriptions or take online donations using credit cards, bank transfers or PayPal transfers. Even if you don't have a website, you can use PayPal to accept payments through email.
Sign-up is fairly easy and can take from 3 to 5 business days. You'll fill out a form with your name, address, email, business name & address and customer service information. When you submit the form, you'll be sent an email to confirm your address. A link here will take you back to a form where you enter the banking information you'd like to use. You'll need: the bank name, your account & routing numbers and the account holder's name. PayPal will then make two small deposits (under 10 cents) in your account. You verify these amounts with PayPal and you are ready to go.
You can now choose your payment options. There are upgrades and add-ons you can purchase here, but it's not necessary to pay anything to start accepting online payments (except of course the transaction fee when you actually sell something.)
Some things to keep in mind:
When planning your catalog, watch your online price points and base your fees on the bottom end of the schedule (0-$3000 per month).
Items with low prices can take a considerable beating from the transaction fees. The bottom end fee is 2.9% of the item price + 30 cents. If you're selling $100 items, it's not too bad. Your net after the fee is $96.80 (an actual 3.2% fee). But if you're selling small $5.00 items, you wind up only clearing $4.55 (a 9.1% fee). So be aware of this before setting your online prices. A good strategy for small item sellers is to package sets with a slight mark down, say 4 $5.00 items for $19.50. This gets your price point up and your PayPal fees down. To help in your planning, I've written some free PayPal calculators. Click here to try them out.
Never let a website design company sell you a PayPal
PayPal provides a free shopping cart that's integrated into their system. When you set-up items to sell, the PayPal site generates the code to use this cart. It's a simple matter of cutting and pasting this code into your pages, so never pay custom prices.
For more information or to sign-up for a PayPal account, visit their main site by clicking here