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rayaldridge

Credit Card Gateways For Online Store

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Okay, so I want to turn my blog into a store.  My blog is currently running Wordpress, and there is a comprehensive plugin for ecommerce called Woocommerce.  The decision I need help with is choosing a credit card gateway.  I could use Paypal, but I've read all manner of unpleasant stuff about using Paypal.  The default is a Mastercard service called Simplify ecommerce.  There are other gateways available, like Stripe.  Other options include setting up a Shopify store and linking it to the blog.

 

Does anyone have experience or opinions on this matter?

 

 

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I would look for alternative ways not may stream paypal or master card-with traditional banks.They take a large commission.

check out weebly website and see what they over or merchants like square for processing.

I'm not selling online so these are just suggestions to save you money.

Mark

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I don't do much online selling, but I use Paypal to process the payments. I've never had any problems, but like I said I'm not a frequent user. They keep 3% which is the same roughly as everyone else.

 

What are you using with your Etsy store? I would try to make the same processor work for your blog, just to keep things simple.

 

EDITED to add: My brother, who is an electrical engineer and very savvy about the tech industry, warned me that PayPal will treat you badly during security matters, such as freezing your checking account until their investigation is done, whether you're guilty or not. He advised me to make a separate checking account for my PayPal use, which I did. This way, PayPal has no access into my main checking accounts. I don't keep much money in my dedicated PayPal checking account.

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This is true

 

(What are you using with your Etsy store? I would try to make the same processor work for your blog, just to keep things simple.)

The thing about pay pal is they charge you to transfer $ into your bank.

Mark

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"The thing about pay pal is they charge you to transfer $ into your bank."

 

No, they only take a cut when the payment is made. Transferring to my checking account is free.

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I may have that confused but when I sold 5k worth of camera stuff on e-bay they wanted more money to transfer that money to my bank. I spent the funds thru pay pal with no fee. E-bay took the cut when the funds came in.Since this was an e-bay deal it must be different with them just as a processer.

Mark

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Mark, Etsy uses their own proprietary system to take cards.  I'd have been fine using them exclusively, but they decided I shouldn't be selling porcelain water pipes, so they suspended my shop until I removed them.  I can still sell certain kinds of pipes, but I really like making the one-piece water pipes.

 

I'd intended to start a blog anyway, but Etsy's decision accelerated the process.  Also, I got an offer to review the pipes, from a major trendsetting site, so I need to be able to take advantage.

 

I have to say, it's been an interesting process so far.  For example, if you Google Image Search for "effigy water pipes" lots of my stuff is at the top.

 

Well, live and learn, I guess.

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Wow. Etsy lets sickos make necklaces out of guinea pig legs (not kidding) but had a tizzy over water pipes?? I guess I don't feel bad about closing my store after all. Eh, we don't need them skimping off our money, anyhow. Blog is a mucho superior option for you, I think. :) I might try that!

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You definitely should, Guinea.  Your work is so good (and so time-consuming) that you need a direct outlet.  Plus I'd like to learn more about your processes and techniques, as would many of us, I'm sure.

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Hey there are about 200 pot supply shops in Humboldt County maybe you need to make a sales call/vacation next year and scoop up a few dozen while sale connections.The FBI/feds closed up most of the glass pipe manuafctures about 5-7 years ago in this county on a large raid day.

Gotta love the dope business-always a new challenge. Think I'll keep making pots not growing them.

Matk

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I've been using PayPal on my website for about 10 years and for a skate school that I used to run without any problems or extra fees other than their regular sales commission. I also use their card reader and find the whole process carefree and easy. Currently, my etsy shop is set up for direct etsy payments and PayPal.

 

Ray, sorry to here that etsy suspended your shop. If you only use PayPal and not their payment system will they allow you to re-open?

 

Paul

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Paul, they've already let me re-open.  I just had to remove the offending items, which included pipes with carburetors and water pipes.  I can still sell pipes that don't have those characteristics.

 

I don't really understand it, but Etsy doesn't belong to me so I have to play by their rules.  My Etsy shop has been very helpful to me, all things considered, because it allowed me to make contact with folks who can help me publicize the porcelain pipes.

 

This is not allowed:

 

post-65900-0-34076000-1441580688_thumb.jpg

post-65900-0-34076000-1441580688_thumb.jpg

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One is a water pipe, and one is not.  The little skunk pipe would not be allowed if it had a carburetor.  I guess it has to do with the pot culture, and things that bring that to mind. I listed the pieces under "collectible tobacciana," but that didn't help.

 

It seems a bit arbitrary to me too, but that's life.

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As far as the processors, I would go with stripe. They have a really easy system to use and wonderful support. Also their fees are very good.

 

Another option is shopify, but I am not sure what their policies are with the pipes either. You could email them to find out, they also have absurdly good support. 

 

I have built client's websites using shopify, its very simple and very robust. I have a friend who uses stripe, he had nothing but good things to say about it.

 

I am not sure if stripe has a plugin for wordpress. If your going the wordpress route, woo commerce is good, but again you should check to make sure it isn't against their policies.

 

Congrats on finding your niche! 

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Thanks, Joseph.

 

As far as I know, woocommerce is just a wordpress plugin; they have no input into what you sell with it.  Shopify is being used by blatant headshop vendors, so apparently they don't care.

 

I'll look into Stripe more deeply.  My assumption is that it might be more complicated to set up, since it's a merchant account in the usual sense.

 

I'm still making lots of other kinds of pots, but the pipes are very interesting to me.  It's weird to find myself in a field where there is little or no competition.  The world is full of potters, but very few are making pipes.  That used to be different, but for some reason clay pipe making became culturally radioactive.  I can certainly understand why academic potters are not willing to create work in that tradition (and most of the best potters are academics.)  But I'm not an academic, so I don't have those constraints.

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Mark, Etsy uses their own proprietary system to take cards.  I'd have been fine using them exclusively, but they decided I shouldn't be selling porcelain water pipes, so they suspended my shop until I removed them.  I can still sell certain kinds of pipes, but I really like making the one-piece water pipes.

 

I'd intended to start a blog anyway, but Etsy's decision accelerated the process.  Also, I got an offer to review the pipes, from a major trendsetting site, so I need to be able to take advantage.

 

I have to say, it's been an interesting process so far.  For example, if you Google Image Search for "effigy water pipes" lots of my stuff is at the top.

 

Well, live and learn, I guess.

Don't call them water pipes. Call them "historical reproductions". Sign your name as Prof. Aldrige.

TJR. :lol:

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It's just because right now in America we have this social taboo on pot. Most people don't really understand the drug and blindly follow the media's beliefs. People take what they hear and consider it without ever researching into the truths of things, and right now people are doing everything they can to try to keep pot off the market and back in the dark recesses of the world. Even though most of the smartest people and well off people I know use it for their nerves and stomach problems regularly. I don't have any issues where I would need that type of drug at the moment, but in general if you mention something like that at a social place the room goes quiet and people turn away uncomfortable.

 

In 10 years it will be legal in the majority of states, because lets face it, governments want money and Colorado and other states are raking in the mula from the pot taxes. Whether or not that means policies change for pipes, who knows. There are always really backwards laws that make 0 sense.

 

I am an avid poker player and used to make a living playing cards until Black Friday shut me down and locked up tens thousands of dollars for years on Full Tilt and Poker Stars. Gambling is illegal, except the state ran gambling called the..... "Lottery". 

 

I think your doing the right thing, opening your own shop where you have no restrictions or hoops to jump through. I would go with the easiest solution you can find that doesn't have a policy about it. One of the most important things I have learned building websites and starting business is the MVP model. Get a minimal viable product up and add things as you go, otherwise you will drown yourself in preparation. In your case you already have a great product, so now just get something up, start selling pipes, get money coming in, if it ends up being a hassle or not working right, you have money to change to what you want and hire someone to do it for you. 

 

Good luck and keep us in the loop.

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The local brick and mortar headshop (radio spots advertise 3 locations to serve you better!!) sell their "novelty item" glass pipes, bongs and hookahs perfectly legally, as long as they sell the screens separately. Square (U.S. Based) has specific prohibitions against selling drug paraphanalia, as well as escort services and guns, so that would eliminate a weebly plug in. (Btw, I am not likening your business at all to gun running or prostitution: it's their category, not mine.) Shopify (Canadian based) says no illegal things, as defined by your locality, but they also say they can pull things at their discretion. Woo commerce (South Africa based) has the least specific set of rules, and it prohibits anyone's rights being violated.

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rayaldridge,

 

I'm not an expert about the legal issues involved here, but I think you should consult a lawyer before you proceed. The number of places in the US where pot is legal is growing all the time, but it is still illegal according to the federal government. If you sell something across state lines, then you are in federal territory. I'm not against pot personally, but I understand why Etsy needs to forbid this, for now. Please be careful!

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Callie, thanks much for the very specific info!

 

I'm leaning toward woocommerce with a Simplify gateway.  That's the default setup, and while I've read some critical reviews of Simplify, there are always going to be folks who feel misused.

 

I really wish this could not be a political issue.  Nowhere in my Etsy copy or tags did I mention any cannabis related stuff, nor does my blog mention cannabis or make any reference to it.  Most of the time I live in Florida, where that substance is really really illegal.  I'm pushing 70, and it's been at least a million years in subjective time since I had anything to do with that culture, but it would appear that you can't make pipes without being perceived as Timothy Leary's less-intelligent brother, at least by some folks.  Still, I'd hate to have the SWAT team arrive and shoot our dogs before failing to find any contraband.

 

In Florida, at least I'm somewhat protected by the state's pro-business political establishment.  Manufacturers of pipes (Job Creators... Peace Be Upon Them) are okay, but those who resell are liable to prosecution, if anyone wants to bother.

 

Well, maybe I'll just have to move the studio to Colorado or Washington, but that seems like a fairly drastic step just to make a few porcelain pipes.

 

Mea, I appreciate the concern.  I hope the feds have moved beyond Operation Pipe Dream, which resulted in Tommy Chong going away for a few months.  It also dismantled the glass pipe industry, but that has recovered and surged well beyond the economic niche it once occupied.  Of course, the feds don't have to be fair in who they single out for persecution, but the industry has grown so much since those early days that I think it would be a PR disaster to try another general pogrom.  In any case, Etsy is okay with me selling pipes as long as they aren't water pipes or pipes with carburetors.  I can still do interesting work within those constraints.  I do like to make water pipes, however, because making them in one piece is a way to show off skills.  Sort of like making a good teapot.

 

Well, we're off to NY next week, so a lot of these decisions can be put off for a while.

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