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Setting up an online payment system AND hosting advice

darleysamdarleysam On my way toUKRegistered User regular
edited March 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Right, H/A has been really good to me in the past, and I could do with some more of your worldly wisdom. The band that I'm in has clubbed together to buy some recording time in a studio this coming weekend, and we'll be aiming to get about 6 songs done in that time. After this, we're looking to get a bunch printed up to sell on to friends and fans, and at any upcoming shows we'll be playing. I've done a little looking around online, and there's somewhere that seems decent enough (although I'll want to find out more about them, and if there's any suggestions that are good for the UK I'll be ready to listen) that would work out to around £1 per cd.

We're taking pre-orders at the moment at £2 (will go up to £3 afterwards), and for the people that we know from around the area, that's no hassle at all because we can get the cd to them without any hassle. It's the people who don't live locally that are the problem, as there is the issue of both collecting payment and postage fees. What we're looking at, is firstly setting up an official site (just using myspace at the moment), then using something like PayPal or Google Checkout to handle the transaction. What I want to know is, firstly, is this actually a decent solution (what experiences have you had with any systems like this), and are there any alternatives?
Also, if we wanted to try and offer a download service instead, are there any available systems for something like that?

edit: Rather than make a second thread, I'll add my other query to this. Does anyone know who's good for hosting? I'm based in the UK, so that probably factors into things. Also, where's best for domain registry? I use One.com for my own site, but would rather go with someone else for this instead.

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    CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    You can do it through paypal, but you'll get charged 3ish% per transaction if someone uses a credit card to pay for it, but I guess if the cd's are only 2 or 3 pounds each it's not really that much anyway.

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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah, that's where I looked at Google Checkout, and they seemed to have a lower rate (I think PayPal was something like 20p and 3%, and Google was 15p and 1.5%).

    darleysam on
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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Are you doing the coding? If so, what language are you doing it in?

    I can tell you that, if you want to do direct transactions, Authorize.NET (http://www.authorize.net) provides a good SDK for secure transactions if you're using a .NET language with ASP.NET. However, they also charge ~3%... I don't think there's a way to get away from that. Even if you connected directly to a bank's interface, they'd charge you the transaction cost. =(

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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah but I'm pretty sure with Authorize.NET you have to have some credentials to prove your data/site is secure.

    Even with PayPal's advanced payment gateway your company/web server has to meet certain standards.

    I recently finished a PayPal integration, PayPal has a pretty good system for small-inventory web businesses. Depending on how much piracy prevention you want to build into your code, you can make it as simple as sticking a "Buy Now" button straight from PayPal on your site and sending them a link to the file in the confirmation e-mail.

    Or you can go as far as doing something called PDT (Payment Data Transfer) where PayPal redirects the buyer back to your site where you can collect/store purchase data and implement some sort of download system to prevent people from just sharing the link to the file.

    I'm 95% sure that PayPal pretty much gives you the code to use PDT in every major web language, you just have to know what to do with it.

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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Ah, good point. Aye, if your server doesn't meet those security standards, go with Paypal as Jasconius said.

    And if you need to implement a download system (if you don't already know about this), look into the IHttpHandler interface (I think that's what it was) in the .NET Framework. You can use an HttpHandler to check credentials before you stream a download to them.

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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Ah, yeah I'd be making it myself, and I know nothing about making things secure. These suggestions are just for downloads, right? For actually just taking payment and getting an address to post out a cd, is that a lot easier to set up?

    darleysam on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    darleysam wrote: »
    Ah, yeah I'd be making it myself, and I know nothing about making things secure. These suggestions are just for downloads, right? For actually just taking payment and getting an address to post out a cd, is that a lot easier to set up?

    Yeah, it's immensely easier if you are just shipping it out.

    If you use PayPal you just make a button, and go through a few basic configuration options and then just paste it on your web site HTML, no special knowledge required.

    Then when a payment goes through you get an e-mail and you can go into paypal and print out the shipping label (at least in the US).

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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Since I've never done this before, can you set it to add postage fees on, or do you just do that yourself when you set the price? And can you restrict things by location too, so if someone from the States placed an order, they'd pay more for postage/shipping?

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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm not sure how it handles international shipping but you can specify shipping rates by either weight, or a flat rate amount.

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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Jasconius wrote: »
    Yeah, it's immensely easier if you are just shipping it out.

    I need to add a bit "BUT" to this statement.

    Indeed, the online component will be (marginally) easier by not providing the product through electronic download. (though basically the only thing you're saving yourself from doing is creating the Http handler that would provide secure download capability)

    The delivery of your products, however, will be significantly harder. This is because you will have to manage shipping and the headaches that come with that (i.e. handling customer complaints when they don't receive the product, making sure all requested orders are fulfilled, paying for shipping, etc...).

    Now, if you have a way to arrange shipping of the product through another company (and can provide them with shipping information from what's collected at the website), you're set. But if you don't, you'll want to think about these issues before they become big problems.

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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah, I'm starting to wonder if it might be easier handling the first few as best as we can (since it'll largely be local people, and that's no hassle), then trying to find some kind of seller who can handle it all for us.

    darleysam on
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    CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    One thing I just thought about with paypal is that anyone wanting to buy your cd will have to set up a paypal account, and that could deter some people from buying. If I were doing it I would try to handle as many as possible on your own while you can, and if it's going well and growing then set up some sort of online store down the road.

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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I've bought stuff through PayPal before without registering an account, that I know of.. would it be different?
    I've also just had a look into iTunes, and the possibility of being listed on there. That'd help solve digital distribution worries, although would raise a whole lot of other questions. There's some other places offering downloads too, who I might try asking. Just brings up issues of rights ownership and stuff, which I know nothing about.

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    an_altan_alt Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    So will PayPal and Google checkout let clients just type in a credit card number without having to set up an account first?

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