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General Forge Forums => Independent Publishing => Topic started by: David Berg on December 16, 2008, 03:25:07 PM



Title: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: David Berg on December 16, 2008, 03:25:07 PM
I need to sell a PDF. 

I am fluent in HTML and know a teeny bit of javascript.

How do I make it so that when you click on a link on my site, it:
1) takes you to PayPal and specifies my PayPal account as the recipient
2) gives you the PDF file after you're done with the PayPal stuff, but only if you paid the right amount?

Perhaps I should just be browsing the PayPal site, but I figured I'd first try to tap the experience of folks here who have undoubtedly done the exact thing I'm looking for.

Thanks,
-David


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on December 16, 2008, 05:58:08 PM
You need to get a "merchant account" with Paypal to get access to their buy buttons, I think. After that you just follow the instructions - getting those buttons set up is trivial, but hooking up your PDF basically requires you to do some little PHP programming, as you need to make the successful payment redirect to a php script that evaluates the Paypal confirmation and only offers the PDF if it succeeds. Paypal has documentation for what sort of input and output their system provides, so this is not impossible if you know what you're doing.

You could ask somebody to make the right code for you if that seems too difficult.


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: Nathan P. on December 17, 2008, 04:09:37 PM
Hey David,

Paypal makes it trivially easy to make your Buy Now button, and then you simply copy-and-paste the HTML they give you. It's pretty painless, in my experience.

Personally, I just email the PDF to customers (as opposed to having an automated system like Eero). Paypal sends you a notification of purchase, and when you hit Reply it replies-to the customers email. Again, trivially easy. I suppose it means that someone has had to wait some number of hours between buying the PDF and me replying, but hey, such is life.

I hope some of that helps!


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on December 17, 2008, 07:51:53 PM
Oh, I don't have an automatic PDF delivery system myself, either. I know in theory how to code it, but my time is sparse, and I much rather spend it on game writing than coding web pages. Hand-delivery also gives a modicum of personal contact.


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: David Berg on December 18, 2008, 01:14:59 AM
I'd like to learn how to do the server-side stuff (though I'd have to go with .asp, not .php) just to be able to do it, but if I don't have time, the email option is a good one.  I check my email religiously enough that I shouldn't keep many folks waiting, and yeah, that small degree of personal contact could be fun.

Thanks for filling me in on the options!


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: David Berg on December 29, 2008, 08:25:08 PM
Note to anyone looking for answers in this thread:

You can get the "Buy Now" button code from PayPal via a regular, personal PayPal account.  What you can't do is give your customers the option to pay with credit cards -- they have to use PayPal accounts to pay you.

In order to get the other payment options, you need to sell from a Premier or Business account.  (I started setting one up, then got a little flumoxed by all the "about your business" questions, which got me thinking about taxes and legalities.  Probably just paranoia on my part, but I like to be thorough and know what I'm getting into.)


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: David Berg on January 02, 2009, 12:39:47 AM
Sigh... in the interest of not spreading misinformation, I must amend my last post to add:

Some users with some browsers on some operating systems have found ways to pay me with credit cards.  However, PayPal only allows me 5 such transactions with a regular account.


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: Lance D. Allen on January 02, 2009, 01:26:41 AM
Being that person who did so, it was only through signing in with my paypal account. So your current method still requires the purchaser to have a paypal account, it just gives them the option to pay with debit/credit.


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: Zonetrooper1 on January 24, 2009, 09:11:56 AM
I'm not sure how much work you want to do to make this happen, but I use Joomla to design and maintain my site. Most of the time, if I want to add a function, I just find a free component or module to add the function to my site. I install it and configure and I'm done. I wanted to do the same thing you are wanting to do so I added a "pay to download" module to my site, which the developer had already configured to work with paypal, so all I needed was an account at paypal. It work perfect. I eventually went in a different direction because I wanted to make things even simpler for my customer. But joomla is really the way to go for someone who wants to spend more time working at being creative than maintaining a website. No, I'm not a joomla spokesmen. I just thought I would pass this on.


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: David Berg on January 25, 2009, 11:20:24 AM
Thanks for the info, ZT1.  I may check that out at some point.  For now, PayPal is working out fine -- I was able to upgrade for free to a Premier Account, which allows unlimited credit card payments.


Title: Re: adding a PayPal button to my website
Post by: Clay on March 09, 2009, 10:18:07 AM
I'll second what Zonetrooper1 said.  I do it using Drupal, but the end result is the same.  With Drupal at least, the customer gets an email and a new user ID and password.  They can log in to my web site with that and download their files from their My Files library.  That way, if they loose their file, they can always download it again.  Steve Jackson Games does something like this and it works really well for me as a customer there too.

Contact me via email if you want more detail on how I did it.  I don't check my PMs here very often, so that isn't a reliable method.