Friday, July 9, 2010

"Payment Options"

We are in the process of setting up a business on Etsy and one of the things we get to decide upon is how the customer pays for our products. PayPal seems to be the best option and it is one we will certainly use. But what about other options? What about the customer who wants to pay by check? or credit card? or just plain cash--always assuming there are people who still use the real thing.

We've chosen payment forms (or not chosen them) from the following list of options:

PayPal--This would seem to be an excellent option and I've used it in other places like Ebay. A nominal fee is charged but is does have a safety net built into it and it is remarkably easy to use. Most of the Etsy stores use this option as well as some others but it looks like PayPal is the popular way of paying for your purchases. We will certainly offer this one! But it is not the only method of payment we will offer.

Cash--Cash is such a mixed bag that we aren't going to use this method of payment. It is too easy to get lost in the mail or worse. There is no way to know what happens with a cash transaction if the cash doesn't reach its destination in the full amount. One bad experience and that's about all you'd want to handle before saying no to this method.

Credit cards--We aren't set up to take credit card purchases but a customer can use quite a number of different credit cards with PayPal. So if the customer must use a credit card then PayPal would be the answer for them and for us.

Money Orders & Cashier's Checks--These are pretty safe. If the Missouri Tax Office insists on either money orders or cashier's checks to fulfill their requirement for a cash bond (which each business has to have in some form), well, that is good enough for us.

Personal Checks--We will be delighted to accept personal checks on one condition and that is that the check must clear the bank before we mail out the item purchased. That is the only way we accept a personal check.

So in the final analysis a customer has several options to choose from to make a payment for the chosen product. Sometimes it is a fine balance to use enough different options so that the customer can find one that works for him. At the same time, as the seller, we have to have a secure enough method of payment that the payment actually reaches us. When deciding what payment options to use, be sure to keep all options in mind and then choose the best for your business.

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