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ArticlesHow to Create a Simple PayPal Checkout Shopping Cart
custom software design

With the amount of new e-commerce shopping cart websites going up these days, there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to an online solution. For a website with hundreds or thousands of products a standard shopping cart will be necessary. This includes paying merchant account fees, credit card fees and processing fees. But for a website that is selling a few products a good way to get off the ground is to use a simple paypal checkout. This is by far the least risky way to go in my opinion in terms of monetary investment. You don't have any of these recurring fees and you only get charged a small percentage after the sale has been made. It is also a very safe way to go in order to gain the trust of the consumer. Also, it is a lot less costly involving website development fees.

In fact, all that needs to happen is the consumer goes to your website, sees the price, description and buy now button and clicks it. The user will be taken off of your website and then taken to a PayPal screen to complete the transaction.
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First let me quickly explain exactly what PayPal is if you are not familiar with it. PayPal is an e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to traditional paper methods such as checks and money orders. A PayPal account can be funded with an electronic debit from a bank account or by a credit card. The recipient of a PayPal transfer can request a check from PayPal, establish their own PayPal deposit account or request a transfer to their bank account.

PayPal performs payment processing for online vendors, auction sites, and other commercial users, for which it charges a fee. It may also charge a fee for receiving money, proportional to the amount received. The fees depend on the currency used, the payment option used, the country of the sender, the country of the recipient, the amount sent and the recipient's account type. In addition, eBay purchases made by credit card through PayPal may incur extra fees if the buyer and seller use different currencies.

It is very easy to set up a PayPal account. Simply go to their website, sign up, enter your bank information (don't worry it is trustworthy and safe) and then verify your account. Once this is done you can now add money to it or remove money from it after a sale is made.

Now in order to create a simple PayPal checkout on your eCommerce website some HTML coding will be required. First you will need something to sell. Let's say you want to sell a "Test Widget Component for Gadget" for "$50.00". You will need to make up a product code like "WIDTEST" to identify the item. Then you will use the following HTML code for your PayPal checkout. You will also need your paypal email "" sign in address handy. For this demo I will add an html table around the button checkout so it fits nicely.

Sample Code:

As you can see there are a number of hidden text fields that contain the information but the ones that we will concern our self with that changed based on the item are "item_name", "item_number", "quantity", "amount". The "business" textbox has the email address pointing to the PayPal email that you use to log on. (You are not providing the password so don't worry). The text above it is to simply explain what product is being sold at and where to click the "Buy Now" button.

You can see how this works for real below:
To Purchase "Test Widget Component for Gadget" - $50.00 Click Here --->
Anyway, with this in mind you can add multiple buy now buttons with different products on a page. If you are clever with JavaScript you can also make the qty field "quantity" dynamic.

Hope this helps!

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