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osCommerce

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Paypal payment


bluesalamanders

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I've been searching the forums for a few days now, trying to figure out what all I need to do to accept payments via Paypal (since I can't afford to accept credit cards myself just yet) and make everything work right, and I'm totally confused.

 

Some people talk about a contribution, PayPal IPN v1.0, which I downloaded and would install if I could find the file I'm supposed to install it in (paypal_ipn.php). I looked in the forum topic specific to that contribution, but could find nothing of use to me (I saw one person ask where the file was, but I couldn't find a response to that question).

 

Could I please get some advice on what I should do about this?

 

Thank you.

 

Anna

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My Experience with osCommerce and Paypal:

When I first opened my shop, everything looked fine until Paypal started sending me e-mail confirmations of payments and my store wasn't sending any records of sales. Credit card purchases were working fine. Two e-mails came for each order;one from my shop and the other from the credit card payment processor. In my Admin panel, the credit card orders were listed but not the Paypal ones. I could see a new customer with the same name as the Paypal payment, but how would I know what to ship?

 

Here's the problem: When a customer is directed to Paypal by the store to complete a purchase, the dollar amount is sent with them. However, if that customer surfs away after making the payment instead of going back to your store, Paypal never sends the data back to your store. Payment has been made. The customer's cart remains full and they expect the products to be shipped. They surfed away because they thought they were finished and maybe they wanted to check their account balance or something.

 

If this has happened and you have lost orders already, you can fix it without too much trouble. The trick is to do it without looking like a fly-by-night operation. You don't want your new customers to know you're mucking around with their information. Here's what I'd suggest. 1)Install a simple little Contribution called Master Password. Find it in the Contributions section.

2)Get your customer's e-mail address from the Admin Panel in the customers section.

3)Log in as if you were them by using their e-mail and the master password.

4)Change the e-mail address to your own. This is important.

5)Complete the order using the option to pay by check/moneyorder.

6)Change the e-mail address back to theirs. Don't forget to do this!

Now, you should see the order in the admin panel, the customer's account is left just as it should be for next time they log in and they haven't received a strange e-mail about paying for their order by check (strange because they knew they paid by Paypal).

 

Now, how do we keep it from ever happening again? Probably the best solution is to install one of several Contributions with names like Paypal IPN and Order Logging. These Contributions will make your store record the order before the customer leaves. If you are good at installing Contributions or just enjoy it, take a good look at these options. I don't know much about them since I opted for a different solution.

I enabled a feature on my Paypal account called Auto-Return. It can be found in the section called Website Payments. Go to My Account, Profile and look under the Selling Preferences column at Website Payment Preferences (as of 6-16-2005). Turn auto-return on. Use the return URL of https://www.xxxxxxxx.com/checkout_process.php or https://www.xxxxxxxxx.com/checkout_success.php. Adjust the URL as needed. I use checkout_process.php but others have suggested checkout_success.php works for them. The options below on that page I leave turned off except to allow payments from customers who don't yet have Paypal accounts. Most customers who choose to pay by Paypal will already have accounts, but this option may help reduce cart abandonment slightly.

Now, when a customer completes the transaction at Paypal, they will see a button that directs them to return to your site and a message saying it will happen in 5 seconds anyway. For almost all customers, this is enough to get them back to your store and, thus, complete the order. Every once in a while, one gets away and you just have to follow the steps outlined above. Why didn't I just install one of those Contributions? It only took a couple of minutes to change my Paypal account and it has worked for all but two Paypal orders through a very busy spring shipping season. I have also heard of plenty of troubles with the Paypal IPN Contribution. I'm sure this is just new shop owners having difficulty installing and configuring a Contribution but, in my opinion, the simplicity and effectiveness of auto-return outweigh the possible benefits of the Contributions in this case. Don't get me wrong. I believe the Contributions are the Lifeblood of osCommerce. I have dozens installed in my store. Sometimes simpler is just better. Best of luck with your on-line business and I hope this has been helpful to you.

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Wow Dan, that's a lot of info for such a small fix. The poster was asking about the IPN v1.0 and seems confused as to how to install it.

 

If it's the PayPal IPN v1.0 officially supported by osCommerce Team Members then the files are all new files, plus one new folder, and all Anna has to do is to upload the files into the correct directories on her website, and then go to the osCommerce 'admin' control panel and enable it.

 

Vger

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Rhea,

Thanks for updating me on the progress of the IPN. The only details I ever see are posts about problems with it, so I'm a little out of touch.

What I read was Anna saying: " trying to figure out what all I need to do to accept payments via Paypal" and it reminded me that I had written a general note about my experiences to copy and paste. I did it because it seems to be a very frequent problem for new osC shop owners. I think it addresses, explains and offers a valid solution that is especially easy for newcomers to use. It even addresses what to do about lost orders if the shop is already open and this has happened.

I stand by the post.

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Didn't mean to offend Dan, please don't take it that way. I think that what you have put here would make a very good hands-on guide to PayPal and lost orders etc. I think you should shorten it, making it a little more concise, with bullet points etc and then add it to either Common Problems or Tips & Tricks in the Knowledge Base.

 

My concern here was that it might be too much info at one go for a completely new user.

 

Vger

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Dan -

 

Thank you! Your post is exactly what I wanted to know, and with the options and steps explained succinctly.

 

No offense intended towars other contributors to this forum, but the posts I read often have half-explained directions that are basically meaningless to me because there is some prior step (or steps) that other people must already know and I don't. Part of the problem is that I'm rather new to OsCommerce and am having to learn things what seems like the hard way, since there isn't any central place that has the information I need (I've checked out the knowledge base, and found it lacking...but perhaps I have unusual problems).

 

I haven't installed any contributions so far and have only the the most vague of ideas on even how to do it. My store isn't available to the public yet, so I thankfully don't have any messed-up orders to fix, but I will most likely use all of your suggestions, which do seem much simpler than anything else.

 

Once again, thank you very much for your reply!

 

Also - Vger, I appreciate your concern. I guess I didn't clearly state that I was interesting in any possible solutions, including the contribution or not, but Dan did understand my question and answered in a way understandable to me (a fairly new user to OsCommerce, though not to the web).

 

Anna

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The options below on that page I leave turned off except to allow payments from customers who don't yet have Paypal accounts. Most customers who choose to pay by Paypal will already have accounts, but this option may help reduce cart abandonment slightly.

 

I have auto-return turned on and also allow payments from customers who don't have paypal accounts. With the latter option - does it still look like the customer has to create an account? Because it still looks like it when you get to that point from my site.

 

Don't get me wrong. I believe the Contributions are the Lifeblood of osCommerce. I have dozens installed in my store. Sometimes simpler is just better. Best of luck with your on-line business and I hope this has been helpful to you.

 

I don't really understand how to install contributions. Are they just extra code that is inserted into or overwriting existing code? Or am I missing something?

 

I'm trying to install the Master Password contribution, but something isn't working right. I thought I followed the (minimal) directions correctly, but it says that something should be showing up in Admin / Config about Master Password, so I can change it, but nothing is there. I wasn't able to find anything helpful in the contributions section of the forums.

 

Other "updated" docs say to use myphpadmin for - something, I don't understand exactly what - but I can't even figure out how to install that. Once again, the instructions assume an amount of knowledge that I just don't have.

 

I'm usually pretty quick with understand how to do things, particularly with computers, but I just can't understand this stuff for some reason. I thought getting OsCommerce was going to make it easier to set up my store, and in some ways it has (presuming I can ever get it to actually work), but in other ways it's just gotten a hundred times more frustrating and confusing.

 

Anna

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Anna,

I'm glad my post helped! You're right. One of the serious shortcomings of OSC is it's documentation. We answer many of the same questions over and over again. Sometimes a complete answer is found in the Knowledge Base, but often it isn't. I think there's a move underway to improve the documentation.

Yes, Contributions are essentially "hacks" in that someone has changed bits of code, whole files and/or the database itself. Some are easy, like Master Password. Others are very complex but will do more for you.

As far as master Password is concerned, it's been a while. If you need to access your database to complete it, you may find that your control panel at your web host already has phpmyadmin or something else to view/edit your database. Take a look. You can install it yourself, too. It's free and easy.

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I'm usually pretty quick with understand how to do things, particularly with computers, but I just can't understand this stuff for some reason. I thought getting OsCommerce was going to make it easier to set up my store, and in some ways it has (presuming I can ever get it to actually work), but in other ways it's just gotten a hundred times more frustrating and confusing.

 

Anna

True, OSC isn't a quickie store. What you will have in the end, however, will be a very nice, stable and distinctive shop tailored to your look and needs. I took something like 6 weeks before I moved from my old active platform to OSC and then I made changes until, well I was still tweaking last week because I'm always finding something new that makes it even better for me or my customers.

If you need a quickie shop and don't mind the limitations, You could look at something like Mambo with their Component configured php-shop. It installs by the push of a button and there are dozens of templates that install just as fast. I have 3 Mambo sites on-line for friends and they're so easy to use. You'll never approach what can be done with OSC, but sometimes simpler is better. I hope I don't get verbally spanked for mentioning another platform. :blush:

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True, OSC isn't a quickie store. What you will have in the end, however, will be a very nice, stable and distinctive shop tailored to your look and needs.

 

I admit I didn't know that when I started. I assumed it would be easier than this. The main reason I started using OsCommerce as opposed to finding something else is because it actually comes with my web host. Perhaps if I had realized in the beginning just incredibly frustrated I would become, I might have switched to something simpler, but at this point, I've invested so much time and energy into this that I want it to work.

 

Plus, I would hate not to be able to customize practically everything. Nothing is ever good enough just leaving it with someone else's default, you know? But I've always been like that.

 

I figure that if I can get the store up and running (and all I have to do is figure out this paypal thing to make it ready for the public - I think), I can do any cosmetic or otherwise nonessential alterations while it's up and running. There are enough people who have my card or address that I really just want it to start working so I'll have something besides "we apologize for any inconvienece" visible to the public.

 

Again, thank you for your help.

 

Anna

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My pleasure!

Yes, you can open up and still make changes. Just be sure to have a backup ready for any file you do decide to change when your store is open. Really, it would be better to set up a parallel store and do the work there, then change your live store to match. I don't know if your host can give you that option.

Just before you open your "doors" to the public, be sure to drive your store hard. Do everything you think your worst and best customers might do. Send a few friends there and ask them to do it, too. When you're satisfied it won't be broken, go for it and start bringing in some $$ for all of your hard work! :D

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  • 1 month later...

Dan,

 

:thumbsup: Thank you so much for your wonderful answer, I had been living on edge for months not understanding why some orders came through fine while others dissapeared into dimension x. I was questioning my hosting, my installation, my very will to be alive online in fact..!

 

Thank you so much for your comprehensive answer, it's lovely to see an explanation not written in shorthand, it makes it so much easier to understand and follow.

 

You da man!

 

Danielle x

There are 3 types of people - those who can count, and those who can't.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dan! Thank you so much for the paypal info! I sort of blunder about in the dark and somehow manage to find what I'm looking for eventually and you've pointed me on the road to sort the newest trial that's keeping me from my bed lately.

 

I too have been having the 'lost order' issue but as I'm not particularly 'up' on programming, I was struggling to make sense of the posts I managed to find that might help.

 

I wonder if I could trouble you for a bit more assistance Dan? Your answers are full and complete and cater to the utter idiots like myself so I come to you first :)

 

I've changed my paypal setting (so simple, I can't think why no-one's mentioned it before. Thank you for mentioning it :) ) and I downloaded the master password contrib. I'm at a stand still though and at the risk of sounding insane, I'll tell you why........

 

I modified the php files = /catalog/includes/functions/password_funcs.php

 

but the other bit in the install text makes no sense to me.......could you explain what I need to do (and where) so that I can change it please?

 

The instructions are -

 

INSERT INTO configuration (configuration_id, configuration_title, configuration_key, configuration_value, configuration_description, configuration_group_id, sort_order, last_modified, date_added, use_function, set_function) VALUES ('188', 'Master Password', 'MASTER_PASS', 'yourpassword', 'This password will allow you to login to any customers account.', 1, 23, '2004-06-15 07:10:52', '2004-06-15 07:10:52', NULL, NULL);

 

I'm soooo close to getting my shop perfect. I'm mostly a lurker and only surface when I'm struggling but without the help of people like yourself Dan, I'd have thrown in the towel a long time ago.

 

OS is a very steep learning curve for me but I'm still here........and almost there :D

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To complete this installation you need to access the database via phpMyAdmin (probably from your web hosting control panel). Once there just click on the SQL tab at the top of the page, and you'll come to a page with a text box in it. You copy and paste the code you've quoted in your post into that box and then click the 'Go' button - and this will insert the extra data needed for the contribution into your database.

 

Please take a backup of your database before you do this (just in case).

 

Vger

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Many, many thanks! Firstly for the speedy reply and most importantly for helping!

 

I got in a bit of a muddle and had about 16 windows open at the same time at one stage, but I've finally found where I needed to be and changed what I needed to change :D ::insert BIG, BIG grin here:: Hee!

 

Had a bit of bother to begin with as I don't normally use my CP for anything, I do everything I need to do via ftp sp that's the first time I've seen/used phpmyadmin, but I did what you said and it worked like a charm!

 

Thank you Vger! :D

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  • 2 years later...

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