Archive | June 2006

Buying Horton Hears a Who from Buy.com with Google Checkout

I bought another copy of my son’s favorite book (he keeps tearing out pages) with Google Checkout this morning.

As a buyer, I might prefer Google Checkout over Paypal. Both services keep my cc# away from the seller AND give the seller no way to get money from me without my express permission. With Paypal, however, the seller gets my email address. With Google Checkout, I can keep that information private.

Unfortunately, Google Checkout doesn’t have a subscription payment option. I have 4 subscription payments with Paypal and it’s very handy. The merchant doesn’t have my cc#, but I don’t have to explicitly send the funds every month – Paypal handles that for me. Techcrunch writer Marshall Kirkpatrick raises that same concern.

For merchants, the decision to add Google Checkout is a no brainer. As with Paypal, there are customers who will prefer it over entering a credit card and the cost of integrating is probably worth picking up those extra customers. I don’t see any reason that either service will replace the need to accept credit cards, though. This line of thinking is the focus of the second half of the NYTimes article.

Thai points out that Google Merchant is not a Paypal killer. Yet. It does not include person-to-person transfers – it is not a bank. Because of that, it’s probably also not a great solution for micro payments.  [Update: Ars notes on 6/30/06 that Google never intended to compete with Paypal, so it intentionally left out person-to-person.  Interesting.]

I really like the “Review this Seller” concept. You can only submit a review 2 weeks after a purchase. I’m assuming that during the checkout process, buyers will see reviews for the merchant they are currently doing business with. That’s a pretty great idea!

Process:

  • Went to checkout.google.com.
  • Signed in with my gmail/google account username and password.
  • Added my credit card number and address (don’t they HAVE this information already?).
  • Went to buy.com.
  • Added Horton Hears a Who to my shopping cart.
  • Clicked the checout button on buy.com. [NOTE: I did not need to create a buy.com account.]
  • Clicked the google checkout button on the buy.com checkout page.
  • Was redirected to the google checkout system ‘review and place order’ page. [NOTE: Clicked the checkbox entitled ”Keep my email address confidential”.]
  • Clicked the ‘place order’ button.
  • Got a receipt page. [NOTE: No link to get back to buy.com.]

BloggerCon IV – Tuning In is EASY!

If you aren’t going to be at BloggerCon today and tomorrow (I was planning to be there, but had to take my name off the list this morning so I can help out around the house), consider participating over the web!  There’s an IRC channel and a WebCast.