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Experience with payloadz.com or alternatives to an automated, secure download system to distribute software

Hi Experts,

I have a site where I am trying to implement an automated, secure download system to distribute Excel Add-In application software I have developed - I have been reviewing and guess I am intending to use the services of www.payloadz.com in this regard but I would be interested in anyone's experience with payloadz.com or alternatives ... I would like to have an un-attended delivery mechanism here that provides access to a secure download page for customers whose payment has been approved by PayPal, either immediately after they leave the PayPal processing page with payment approved or with an email notification of how to access the file(s) they paid for.  Thanks for any input.

Jeff
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Jeffrey Smith
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Jeffrey Smith
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coreybryantCommented:
Hi Jeff - it all depends.  Do you want to use a third party processor or have a true merchant account?  If you are going to be selling over $1,000 a month, it would be a good idea to get a merchant account & most merchant accounts (both third party & a true) offer some type fof shopping to ensure secure delivery.  The main differences with a third party merchant account & a true one..  a third party's discount rate is usually higher & they hold on to the money for a week or two or until you tell them you want it.  A merchant account will deposit the money into your bank on a daily basis.  

Basically the gateway that you would use - would send over a code.  That code would be checked to see if it is correct & then the person would be verified to enter your download page.

-Corey
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Jeffrey SmithAuthor Commented:
Hi Corey,

Thanks for your response.  I guess I have stayed away from true merchant accounts thus far because some early inquiries (this is probably a couple of years ago ...) indicated it would be more expensive or perhaps difficult to implement than a third party approach.  I don't know how much I will be selling per month as this part of the business is in a start-up mode so the services of www.payloadz.com appealed to me as their pricing structure is on a decreasing sliding scale that allows me to access what seems to be a turn-key solution for a fairly minimal cost. Since I am not (outside of Excel) a "real" programmer, a low-cost solution for enabling e-commerce on my site appeals to me as the revenure potential is unknown.  Of course, I could be wrong about merchant accounts - I am a real novice in this area and there may be merchant accounts with the same sort of turn-key solutions that payloadz provides.  I guess I am looking for any input anyone may have that speaks to their experience with payloadz or other alternatives (including merchant accounts) that meet this criteria (i.e., that deliver the functionality described in my original post in a turn-key solution and at a low-cost). Beyond those basics, & in the "whistle & bells" area, I would also be interested in any input on some sort of (low-cost) licensing mechanism &/or Registration Key system that provides some basic level of anti-piracy protection.  I appreciate anyone's thoughts here.

Jeff
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coreybryantCommented:
Well with the third party merchant account seemingly booming, merchant accounts are somewhat easier.  Startup costs are usually less than $200.  The disccount rate ranges from 2.20-2.75% usually depending on volume.  Some third party processsors:
PaySystems Package One
Discount Rate 3.95%
Transaction Rate: $1.00
Set-Up Fee: $49.00

PaySystems Package Two
Discount Rate 5.50%
Transaction Rate: $.55
Set-Up Fee: $49.00

2Checkout.com
Discount Rate 5.50%
Transaction Rate: $.55
Set-Up Fee: $49.00

Paypal USD
Discount Rate 2.90%
Transaction Rate: $.35
Set-Up Fee: $0.00

WorldPay
Discount Rate 2.95%
Transaction Rate: $.35
Set-Up Fee: $299.00
Monthly Fee: $35.00

If the business if just starting out - I tell them - go sign up for Paypal.  It is quick & easy.  I also tell them to get another bank account set up for Paypal.  If Paypal suspects fraud or you have excessive chargebacks, Paypal will freeze that bank account.  That is the biggest problem as well with most thrid party processors: chargeback.  Sometimes it only takes one charge back & I have seen it where Paysystems drops them.  Third party processors cannot afford them.   And Visa/Mastercard are trying to put them out of business.  They do not like them because they do not know where the money is going.

Payloadz looks pretty easy.  If it does not cost anything to set up - I would say go for it.  Use it a couple of months until you are ready for a true merchant account.  And just like most third party processors - they offer shopping carts & the whole works.  

-Corey
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Jeffrey SmithAuthor Commented:
I guess I had already made the decision to go with PayPal as I have already implemented a custom PayPal mechanism on my site, but what I am looking for now is a mechanism to achieve the online delivery of my products after payment is made - which took me to payloadz.com - and while they look like they will meet my requirements, before I committed with them, I wanted to see if anyone had experience with them or other recommended alternatives that met my criteria.  Thanks, Corey - I will leave this question open til end of the day to see if anyone else has input but otherwise, I will give payloadz a try and award you the points.

Jeff
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coreybryantCommented:
No worries.   Glad that I could offer some advice.  Check out this link:
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=payloadz+forum

It might be able to offer you some more help & some pros/cons on using payloadz

-Corey
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duzCommented:
Jeff -

If your business model provides for PayPal only you are going to find when you review the server logs that the 'drop off' rate will be highest on the page were you tell them it's the only way to pay. Lost customers who simply find they can't pay the way they wanted to pay or a way they understand.

I have lost count of the number of times that I have seen sites with a good product and a few customers but limited payment options really start to move when they implement every possible payment option. Not easy to do when you are starting out I know but make that your objective and short term goal even if you don't implement it right away.

How about one of the third party deliverers like Digital River or element 5 as an alternative?

- duz

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Jeffrey SmithAuthor Commented:
Thanks Corey & duz - both your answers provided me with links to other alternatives:

Corey's took me to a google search that listed, amongst other links, this one which I found valuable: http://profits.cc/forum/viewtopic.php?t=183&highlight=

There is some commentary about payloadz.com there as well as discussion & links to a free alternative

duz - I found Digital River to be on the expensive side for my start-up e-commerce efforts.  element 5 looks like a teriffic solution to a lot of the issues I have been wondering about - although the fact that the comprehensiveness of their services apparently precludes them being able to post any pricing models/info makes me wonder how expensive they are, I am in the process of making inquiries here.

Not sure where I will end up at this point as time to deploy, costs to develop/maintain will all come together here in the next few days but you guys have given me some leads to solutions at both ends of the spectrum.  Thanks a lot.

Jeff
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coreybryantCommented:
That was one that I found interesting as well.  I was just afraid to point you to that forum due to some of the rules here on this board - but I thought you would find it :)  I am working on some coding right now to do secured transmissions, but it will take some time because once I do market it - I want it to be complete.

-Corey
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Jeffrey SmithAuthor Commented:
Thanks, Corey - let me know when you finish your code - I'd be interested in what you come up with.

Jeff
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duzCommented:
Jeff -

You're welcome and good luck with the project.

- duz


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