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Easy E-Commerce &...

11 Jun 2003 by LukeW

Speaking of PayPal… I have recently used (hacked) their merchant tools to create a shopping cart. Why did I use PayPal? No monthly hosting fees and they take a much lower percentage of sales than other e-commerce options. Why am I not happy? Paypal Shopping Cart always opens in its own window (i tried hacking it with frames-no such luck), I can’t customize the look and feel (I can only add a logo at the top), I can’t set different shipping cost for different countries, and the list goes on. Does anyone know of an affordable, e-commerce solution? I need the functionality of PayPal (processing transactions) and some control over the UI. Oh and the cheaper the better (no monthly fees, please).

By the way: Swedish bands. Discuss.



16 comments so far (Post a Comment)

11 Jun 2003 | Joshua Kaufman said...

Woops, forgot to name a category, Luke. This post won't show up on the index if no category is named.

11 Jun 2003 | Joshua Kaufman said...

Uh, nevermind that part about posts not showing up on the index.

12 Jun 2003 | AnthonyBaker said...

At last someone else has written about this! I dig PayPal a lot for what it offers, but the inability to customize the shopping cart and some other UI woes is annoying.

They've done a pretty good job for their single item purchase screens -- I love the hidden form fields and being able to control pricing from the referring page itself -- but don't seem to have given similar thought to the shopping cart.

And, as one who really tries to use software that allows me to customize the UI entirely, this sucks.

Perhaps someone knows the dev team at PayPal? Would be great to contact them -- do a 37BetterPayPal perhaps -- and get them to put some effort this way.

Would hate to see them rest on their laurels just because they're the dominant player in the field. As I recall, QuarkXPress has been a great example of this type of thing until Adobe InDesign came along and lit some fire under their corporate butts.

Hmm... maybe this was a rant more than a comment.

12 Jun 2003 | Michael Ritchie said...

PlugNPay (http://www.plugnpay.com/)is an inexpensive service that lets you brand the UI to match your site and they support uploading you pricing list so that users can't "trick" the system. I used PlugNPay to create an small eCommerce site and it worked great. I think Wells Fargo has this feature also. On the Nerdy side you could always write custom code that opens a copy of Internet Explorer server side using the COM interface then communicate with PayPal's HTML UI with out the user ever knowing you used PayPal. This is relatively easy in .net.

12 Jun 2003 | LukeW said...

then communicate with PayPal's HTML UI with out the user ever knowing you used PayPal.

You mean submit/retrieve data to/from Paypal's server while using an entirely custom fornt-end? Chalk this up to my ignorance (haven't touched .net). But isn't that a significant effort? You'd have to maintain sessions and user info/cart contents on your site and maintain back-ups etc. Right? Or am I missing something? Any place this sort of thing is documented?

Thanks for the links.

12 Jun 2003 | Jesper said...

Oh man, I've seen that site. Ugly.

12 Jun 2003 | TL said...

Luke -


> opens a copy of Internet Explorer server side
> using the COM interface then communicate with
> PayPal's HTML UI with out the user ever
> knowing you used PayPal.


I'm pretty sure this would require you to ask the person for a paypal password (in order to make the remote requests required to do the purchase pipeline) which is probably against the PayPal terms and conditions... not to mention a serious privacy issue.

Although it is a good idea and is technically not that complicated.

Not sure about about .NET, but my old-school straight VBScript/ASP environment you could just make a remote HTTP requests on the server w/o the IE COM object and parse the return string.

Something like this...

Function GrabRemote()
Dim objRemote
Set objRemote = Server.CreateObject_
("MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP")
objRemote.Open "GET", YOURREMOTEURLHERE, true
Call objRemote.Send()
' INSERT RESPONSE TIME ERROR HANDING HERE...
' IF ERRORS
' GrabRemote = "Some Error Message"
' Exit Function
' IF NO ERRORS
GrabRemote = objRemote.ResponseText
Set objRemote = Nothing
End Function

TL

P.S. Luke, nice looking portfolio man.

12 Jun 2003 | Z said...

Is that Chris Farley in the middle?

12 Jun 2003 | kageki said...

You might also peep out Cool Cart (http://www.coolcart.com)

Not that different from paypal, but they offer a little more control over customizing the appearance of your cart and setting shipping prices.

13 Jun 2003 | Steve said...

I haven't used it myself but people seem to rave about Mal's e-commerce:

http://www.mals-e.com/

13 Jun 2003 | Eamon said...

If you've got any perl background, there's a module that lets you send and verify payments programmatically. Check your local CPAN archive for Business::PayPal.

13 Jun 2003 | Don Schenck said...

Was at the bank today and heard ABBA! It was all I could do to not laugh, after seeing this picture! Swedish bands, indeed.

16 Jun 2003 | hurley#1 said...

Function GrabRemote() Dim objRemote Set objRemote = Server.CreateObject_ ("MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP") objRemote.Open "GET", YOURREMOTEURLHERE, true Call objRemote.Send() ' INSERT RESPONSE TIME ERROR HANDING HERE... ' IF ERRORS ' GrabRemote = "Some Error Message" ' Exit Function ' IF NO ERRORS GrabRemote = objRemote.ResponseText Set objRemote = Nothing End Function

I translated this into Swedish (using InterTrans) and here is the result:

Funktion GrabRemote () Dunkel objRemote Sätta objRemote = Server.CreateObject_ ("MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP") objRemote.Open " få YOURREMOTEURLHERE , sann Kalla objRemote.Send() ' SÄTTA IN Svar tiden MISSTAG GIREN Här. ' OM Misstagen GrabRemote = " något Misstag Meddelande " ' Utgång Funktion ' OM NEJ Misstagen GrabRemote = objRemote.ResponseText Sätta objRemote = ingenting Slut Funktion

Now, believe it or not, this text almost exactly matches the lyrics of Misstag Giren Här, a top 40 hit in 1972 by InKultur, the great Swedish pop band. Cosmic.

17 Jun 2003 | LukeW said...

"sann Kalla objRemote.Send()"
"sann Kalla objRemote.Send()"

Man, now you got the chorus to that song running through my head.

"sann Kalla objRemote.Send()"

17 Jun 2003 | hurley #1 said...

Catchy, ain't it?

14 Oct 2004 | texas hold em said...

1736 http://www.e-texas-hold-em.com

texas hold em

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