View Full Version : Paypal vs Google Checkout

02-27-2011, 09:49 AM
I have two different sites and I was looking for feedback on payment processing.
On one site, I sell an ebook, spreadsheet and program. On the other, I will be selling membership subscriptions.

I was wondering if anyone has an opinion on whether to utilize Paypal or Google Checkout, or should I offer both? I believe that these are two of the most popular ones. I utilize Paypal currently on the one that sells the ebook, however, it is through another site that hosts the files. Overall, Paypal has been easy to use, however with the launch of the new subscription membership site, I thought it was time to reevaluate to provider that I use to accept payments...

02-27-2011, 12:11 PM
I've only used PayPal so that's who I'd recommend. While Google Checkout isn't exactly unknown and it does have the Google brand attached, I think more people are familiar with PayPal and probably trust it more. There are advantages to Checkout. If you use AdWords your ad will show with the Checkout button which makes it stand out more even if your ad isn't in the top spot.

I'm not sure how the terms compare, though I imagine their similar. I'm not sure if Google offers subscription type payments, though again I'm not as familiar with their system.

Unless it gets too complex to offer both I don't see any reason why you shouldn't. You could try both and then track to see which one actually gets used and based on use decide if it's worth keeping both or whether it makes sense to go back to one and if so which one.

Duston McGroarty
02-27-2011, 10:35 PM
I would say PayPal is the better choice here too... I've used them
for some time now and they handle recurring membership transactions fairly well too.

02-28-2011, 10:08 AM
I'd agree and say go with paypal.

02-28-2011, 04:03 PM
Looks like paypal is the short term winner. Took vangoh's advice, though, and signed up for both. We'll see which one works better for the different sites. Thanks!

02-28-2011, 05:01 PM
has anyone actually used Google checkout?

I see it around a lot, but have never used it.

But another vote here for paypal, even though they can freeze your account for no reason.

Paper Shredder Clay
03-03-2011, 11:12 AM
I agree PayPal. It has been around a lot longer. Although as vangogh said Google Checkout does carry the Google brand and will be a formable foe soon.

03-03-2011, 11:15 AM
and signed up for both

Once you have a better feel for Checkout let us know what you think. Clearly most people here are using PayPal and likely don't know much about how Checkout works. It'll be interesting to see if one performs better for you than the other as well as your impressions of Checkout in general.

03-06-2011, 11:19 PM
I'm going to be the odd man out here, and suggest looking into Clickbank. They have their own payment processor (paydotcom), and an army of affiliates willing to help you sell your virtual product for a cut.

Couldn't hurt to try :)

03-07-2011, 10:59 AM
I wouldn't trust Clickbank as a general payment mechanism. Does Clickbank even have a general payment mechanism. I thought it was all affiliate products there. I didn't think they had something for you to collect money for your own products unless you added your products to their affiliate rotation.

03-12-2011, 02:40 AM
I have a friend that just went through all of this, and he went with paypal once he weighed in all the options on cost, and what people were saying. Personally I would go with paypal since I have used it in the past and I like it. I know a few small businesses that tried google checkout and were happy with it. So it just comes down to what you think will be the most cost effective in the long run.

03-12-2011, 08:41 AM
I like PayPal, especially from the security angle.When you are buying online through the merchant's own creditcard service, you rely on the merchants' securty, which is an unknown quantity in most cases. Paying through PayPal means the merchants' security level is of no matter to you, because the merchant doesn't have your carnumber. I do not know what the arrangements are with Google but I don't trust Google to not use my personal and security data for other purposes. However, there is one aspect that is open to question with PayPal.

On two occasions just recently, the merchant insisted on me using a credit card when buying through PayPal. I maintain a credit balance at PayPal so I can buy things most easily. I do not have a creditcard linked to my PayPal account (another security hurdle if anyone does hack into PayPal.) But I was not able to purchase from these two merchants because I had no linked credit card. They lost the sale, over something that seemed odd - if the merchant does not see the creditcard number, why would they restrict their sales to credit card only? Makes you wonder what information the merchants do receive regarding the buyers' credit cards.

03-14-2011, 01:03 PM
I've used Google Checkout as a buyer, but never as a seller. We use Paypal for everything with our e-commerce site and it has been great. Also works really well at trade shows as we can run credit cards right on the spot. We have never had any issues with Paypal either. I'd recommend it.

The SEO Guy NZ
04-02-2011, 10:55 PM
Google vs PayPal in terms of merchant accounts is not an issue in 99% of the world. To keep up to date with what countries Checkout is available in, you can always refer to the Google About page at Google; search for:
"About Google Checkout : Google Checkout overview"

Personally, I've used PayPal for over 10 years without any issues at all. Not one dispute, not one stopped payment.

Moreover, if you're going to sell anything that might be regarded as a little raunchy, you should read their Acceptable Use policies, AND contact that department to request clarification BEFORE you start selling using PayPal.

I've recently done this for a biker T-Shirt site thats got some saucy slogans on it. A prompt email response from a PayPal support staff member stated he'd check with the supervisor. A couple of days later, the supervisor emailed me with a definitive statement that the t-shirt material was fine and did not contravene the rules.

However, if you sell first and think later - you've no cause for complaint if your account is locked!

04-03-2011, 01:23 PM
I use both Paypal and Google Checkout for my site - I think more options are better than fewer.

Paypal is great, but you still have to sign up for it and many people just don't want to (not everybody trusts Paypal,
there is quite a contingent out there that is still very wary) but many people do trust Google.

I don't believe you have to sign up for an account just to make a purchase via Google checkout and the fewer
obstacles you put in the path of a buyer easier it will be to make the sale.

Google checkout is quite secure and the merchant never sees the CCard info - in fact they don't even see the customer's real email if they choose to disguise it through a temporary Google address (probably put in place so you can't add them to any mailings without their permission).

Google Checkout works just like a merchant account (deposits go directly to your bank account in 2-3 days) but it provides you with the bookeeping and shipping alerts that you get with Paypal.

I say use both - maybe even offer three options (I actually have three - the 3rd being my own shopping cart payment system using my business merchant account).

05-10-2011, 02:56 PM
Google checkout is a good, they process the payment fast and deposit the funds into your bank fast. You do have to wait I think 60 days or a certain amount of payments before they automatically deposit into your bank account fast. Overall they are better than paypal for a simple merchant. If you want to get more technical, than choose paypal.

05-11-2011, 10:42 AM
The biggest drawback to using Google Checkout is probably that it's not as well known at the moment, though that can and likely will change in time. I think Google also doesn't let you see all the customer information (that's how it started at least), which business would naturally want. Of course customers are probably fine not handing over some of their details and I think it's one of the draws for customers who prefer to use Checkout.

05-29-2011, 06:17 PM
I use paypal as well and have had no complaints. I have never used Google Checkout, but I have not heard any bad things with it either.

Georgias Gifts
05-29-2011, 08:26 PM
I use Paypal and have been very happy with it. It's been especially good for sending invoices for international orders. Keeps things simple.

Only problem with not seeing any card numbers is if you have to add something to the total you have to contact the customer for their number.


05-31-2011, 02:19 PM
If you are trying to appeal to a broad base of customers, I'd suggest using them both. They don't really interfere with each other and some clients might prefer one payment method over the other. In my experience, they both charge about the same in transaction fees and transactions settle quickly. G Checkout offers the convenience of settling straight into your bank account instead of having to be withdrawn or transferred like Paypal.

05-31-2011, 03:37 PM
I'd suggest using them both.

Yep. There's no reason why shouldn't at least try both. It's the only way to know which one your customers prefer. If after using both you decide one isn't worth it then stop using it, but try both until you have enough information to make that decision.

07-20-2011, 11:09 PM
You should definitely offer both but be aware that there are differences. I've compared Paypal and Google Checkout fairly systematically. Be aware, Google Checkout cannot handle subscriptions the same way Paypal can. GC only has the service in beta and requires developer implementation. On the plus side, GC gets a little logo placed next to your site in Google search listings, boosting clickthrough rates (according to Google's own statistics). The way you retrieve your cash is different. Google does it automatically to your bank account. GC has no phone customer service, if something thats important to you. There isn't really a side to pick, there are successes and horror stories for both.

07-22-2011, 07:53 PM
I was wondering people's thought's on this as well. I have used paypal for quite some time now, but I would love to hear feedback from people who tried Google CheckOut or any other payment processors that you have tried.

08-29-2011, 01:04 AM
Just adding another vote for paypal. Never used google checkout. Paypal is pretty easy and I just export my payments to Excel and send them to my accountant at tax time.

08-29-2011, 10:56 AM
I like how PayPal lets you export everything. It makes tax time easier. :)

08-29-2011, 01:23 PM
Our company has used Paypal for several years now and, although I've heard the horror stories everyone has heard, we've never had any issues. I think Google Checkout is more of an add on option. I know a lot of businesses that use both options. Paypal, however, offers the entire set up, merchant gateway and all. I'm not sure, but I don't think Google Checkout does that, although I could be mistaken.

08-29-2011, 01:59 PM
I've never had any issues either, though I've also read my fair share of horror stories. Hopefully those are mostly a thing of the past. I think they arise because in disputes PayPal tends to favor the customer over the seller, at least initially until both sides are given opportunities to tell their side of the story.

08-29-2011, 02:24 PM
I've heard more stories about Paypal freezing business funds and holding them for an extended period and stuff like that. Of course you can avoid a lot of that by moving money from your Paypal account to your regular business bank account on a regular basis.

08-29-2011, 03:47 PM
That's what I meant by them siding with the customer. They assume the business is at fault at first and freeze their funds. Seems like overkill to me. I can understand freezing funds equal to the specific claim, but nothing beyond that.

08-29-2011, 09:17 PM
Paypal makes money by interest on money in their account. They act first by freezing merchant funds because they make more money that way.

08-29-2011, 09:59 PM
I think that would be a minor consideration. If there is a dispute over money, it is obvious that Paypal (or credit card banks) would attempt to freeze the money over which there is a dispute - and that money, in every case, will be in the vendor's account. Freezing the customer's accounts would be pointless, and who else's account could they freeze, when there are only two parties to the transaction?

08-30-2011, 12:49 AM
But, Frederick, they do freeze accounts for 6 months if you violate their t's and c's. It shows up primarily in the adult trade, but freezing funds is freezing funds.Mind you its their option to consider what is adult or violates their terms.

They are a really good option for businesses that fit their model and horrible for those that don't

I didn't fit their model selling construction equipment; I assume because of the high dollar amount per transaction. If you fit their profile they are great.

Oh, customer service is as bad as you can get:

Why was this transaction declined?
can you find out why
we don't have access to that information

.For your business, Vangogh's and similar Pay Pal is a good option. But DON'T use them if you aren't part of their business model.

08-30-2011, 09:22 AM
But, Frederick, they do freeze accounts for 6 months if you violate their t's and c's...Certainly, Bill - and your points are valid. My post was simply to counter the general idea that freezing the vendor's account was somehow unfair or unreasonable, when there really isn't any viable alternative.

For larger sums, I would think a service like Escrow.com would be more suitable than PayPal. I love Paypal and recommend them hghly but, even so, I'm not sure I would want to pay or receive $100,000 through them. But I would feel comfortable sending or receiving $100,000 through escrow.com.

Horses for courses, don't y'know?!

08-30-2011, 11:02 AM
No one said that when PayPal freezes a vendor account it was unfair or unreasonable. The horror stories are things like them freeze $1,000 in your account over a $20 dispute or keep your account frozen for months on end without any explanation of why.

08-30-2011, 11:50 AM
I suppose, like anything else, the horror stories are what make the headlines. When I was researching Paypal as a viable option for our business, I read all the stories of things like Vangogh mentioned, an entire account being frozen over a relatively minor amount of money that was disputed, things like that. If the money is in dispute, I don't think anyone would object to it being held until an outcome is decided, but the whole account doesn't need to be frozen. To me, that just seems like overkill.

SEO Service Finder
09-08-2011, 11:19 PM
I have not used Google Checkout, but after using others Iím not going to back to just PayPal. Main reason, ease of use and trusted. With that said, I believe it adds to the customer experience when they have different options. But someone can easily argue that you might over complicate your life by having more than one. As I mentioned, Iím going with PayPal.

11-09-2011, 11:40 PM
People Keep Asking Me This: Why don't I take Paypal instead of Google Checkout?

* Easier to use. i.e I send an invoice for $10, the customer changes their mind on one item, I can click partial charge and then enter the amount I want to charge or they want a refund, I have the option to fully refund or partial refund.

* I can use Google checkout with my website. My website allows "Add To Cart" and the purchases will be automatically be directed to Google checkout.

* I can do promotions and create coupon codes, Paypal does not have that option. I get to choose the name, start/end date, percentage off the total or amount of $$ off the total, and I could track how many people use the coupons.

* It takes Google Checkout 2 business days for the funds to automatically be transferred into my bank account instead of Paypal's 3-4 days and it has to be done manually.

* Fraud protection. PayPal only offers fraud protection for sales of more than $50. Google offers 100% refund, but you must report within 60 days.

I own a website called oinksbtq.com and I sell contact lens that I get from the manufacturer so customers would place orders with me and then I would place the order with the company and it takes about 2-3 weeks for them to arrive since they are coming from South Korea. Paypal did not see that my business was legitimate because I was a new business and at the moment I could not provide a tracking number since the items haven't gotten to me for me to send them to the customers. The customers know about how long it takes for the items to get to me and they are fine. And also since large orders were coming in and I couldn't show proof, they limited my account and I couldn't use them. They have websites bashing on Paypal and how bad their service is and after all this, I agree with them. I called and explained but they said they couldn't do anything about it. No cases were ever filed by my customers so I did not think it was necessary to limit my account.

11-14-2011, 03:29 PM
I dont know how many sales you make a day/month/year, but usually when I set up an ecommerce website for a client, I recommend highly that they stay away from PayPal. I have a lot of clients that have had terrible experiences with PayPal holding their money for 21 days for unfair reasons.

If you have enough sales to make it worth while I would recommend signing up for a real merchant account with a real processor, not a middle man like PayPal.

11-15-2011, 11:44 AM
What kind of problems? What are the unfair reasons? I've been using PayPal for years now and have never had even the slightest issue with them. That's not to say no one has problems. I'm simply curious about what they might be.

I also have a merchant account. Early on I preferred to use it, but over the years I've found PayPal ultimately costs me less and gets money to my bank account quicker. It offers more ways for people to pay and is generally easier to deal with.

11-15-2011, 12:57 PM
VG - have you ever done business with very large company's and if so did they have PayPal accounts? I'm curious because I've never had a Proctor and Gamble size company (or any customer for that matter) suggest PayPal.

One thing I might also note. I can set my card processor to approve the card even if the zip or address don't match. I can also set it as a requirement that they do match. The reason this is important to me is field people rarely know what the billing address is on the credit card. Its some corporate PO box in most cases. Half my orders would be declined if these had to match. I've only had one chargback and I contested it and won. If most of my orders were to consumers, I wouldn't set it up that way. I doubt PayPal would allow you to process a card when the wrong address is entered.

11-15-2011, 03:43 PM
Not the size of Proctor and Gamble, but I've dealt with some larger companies and most of them have preferred to pay by check. It's not my favorite method of getting paid, but I certainly understand that's how some companies do things. At the same time Proctor and Gamble as a company probably isn't buying things from an ecommerce site. The individual employees of the company more likely are and my guess is most would be fine using PayPal.

I'm not suggesting people drop everything and use PayPal exclusively. I've said on a number of occasions you should have as many ways as possible set up to allow customers/clients to pay you. I don't think a recommendation for PayPal is also a recommendation to drop other forms of accepting payment.

I hear people basically saying PayPal sucks and I'm trying to understand why they think that. I don't think PayPal sucks. In my experience they've been a good service and I haven't had any issues with them. They've been good for my business and I also find myself paying more with PayPal. Again I'm not suggesting everyone drop everything else and run to PayPal. I haven't. I still have a merchant account that I use for things I can't currently do with PayPal. At the same time I'm not going to drop PayPal and only stick with the merchant account.

10-27-2012, 11:48 AM
I've been using Paypal for the past year and it works great, but is definitely better for Americans, because it takes 5-7 business days to transfer client payments to your bank account. Also, I find that the 3% that they charge a little steep for not doing much in the process, though I believe Google Checkout charges the same amount. I'm going to "check out" Google Checkout ;) Will let you know what I find. btw, I use Freshbooks for my time-tracking and invoicing and they are good, just that I find their prices a little steep ($20/month) for new freelancers who are just building up their clientele. Anyhow, that's another topic.

10-29-2012, 03:48 PM
I find that the 3% that they charge a little steep for not doing much in the process

The 3% is inline with most any merchant processor. It might not be the best rate, but it's inline with them.

10-31-2012, 04:56 PM
Not my merchant account processor www.merchantinc.com ....they charge 1.99% and .25 cents and they actually give me my money in 48 hours as promised. The problem with Paypal and Google checkout alike is that they tend to hold your money for no reason at anytime and there is nothing you can do about it. I rather save myself the headache.

11-05-2012, 05:57 PM
That's a pretty good deal. My merchant recently switched to getting the money to me in about 48 hours too, though the % they take is a little more. PayPal usually gets me money pretty quickly. It usually takes about 3 business days. I;ve never used Google Checkout.