I'm in the process of creating my first e-commerce site, which will sell costume jewelry and other relatively inexpensive fashion items. The basic site has been built, with all product catologue pages, info links and blow-up photos in place. The company has a bank account. All that needs to be done is to add the shopping cart apparatus.
The look of the checkout pages etc. isn't a big concern at this point, at least until the business becomes viable (which is likely to take some time). I've narrowed it down to PayPal and Mal's E-commerce because they are the only two I've found that allow you to simply add their buttons to a pre-existing site and therefore seem to be the easiest to implement, and my boss wants to launch this week.
PayPal seems to be a one-stop proposition, while Mal's requires that you have a separate merchant gateway.
My question: if I go with PayPal, which seems to be the simplest solution, how complicated is it to go with a different company at a later date? I've heard some unappealing stories about PayPal holding on to merchants' money longer than necessary that make me uneasy about them, but as I said, the boss wants to launch this week. Any opinions? Is the combination of Mal's and another gateway preferable? Any advice on who's most responsible about getting your money to you?
I'm also interested in anything I might have overlooked and general opinions about the two companies I mentioned in this post.
IMO, the PayPal shopping cart is very poor and I don't want to lose the trust of my customers if they see I am hosting a 3rd party shopping cart. How many products do you have? I suggest getting an open source shopping cart such as oscommerce and loading your products in there. It is compatible with PayPal, and many other merchant processors for when you get a merchant account.
If it were me, I'd tell my boss that this should not be rushed. It needs to be done right so you won't waste time, money, and energy later. The osc shopping cart is very easy to use and you can add dozens of products fairly quickly. Plus, you can tell him it's free and compares to many commercial programs.