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Web page, ssl? e-commerce? helpmplease

I have set up a site recently hosted from my server (apache http server). The site has a shopping page where I post the items that my company refurbishes and resells.(its a Computer based site). I currently have a really cheap but not confortiing way for ordering. The clients email me the item/items they want and i send them a confermation letter with a confermation code and the address to send the check or money order to and to have it made out under the presidents name of Kevin Balchunas, I was hoping to find a beter way of setting this up, maybe e-commerce but i want everything on my computer, not some one elses e-commerc server that charges be.
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cyberearth
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cyberearth
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coreybryantCommented:
What country are you in?

-Corey
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cyberearthAuthor Commented:
Im in the USA
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coreybryantCommented:
Being in the US - you have a lot of options available to you.  

You have what is called an electronic payment gateway (LinkPoint, Verisign's Payflow, and Authorizenet.com).  This is basically your virtual connectivity between your website & the platform to verify the transaction.  The monthly payments range usually from about $15-$60.00  a month with the transaction fees being from about $.00 to $.15 per transaction.

And then you have the merchant account.  The discount rate varies but the average is about 2.4% with the transaction rate being about $.30 total.  

To get a merchant account though - the gateway will be responsible for the processing and you do not need to store the credit card information.  This would not be a good idea anyway - in case of hacking, etc.  And you will never want to store the CVV number.

If you are not processing over $1000 a month - you might consider Paypal a viable option

-Corey
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cyberearthAuthor Commented:
well corey thanks for that bit of advice but it is not what i wanted to know, so my question still stands. I need to know where i could find a program that would put me in complete control. I heard microsoft money has functions that allow you do use a direct trasfer via the internet, along the same lines as paypal. I guy at work is wanting to set his up like that, he is recieving help from a paid Microsoft technition. I know there are programs that do such a thing. I feel my server is alright in the case of a hack anyway, not that its fort knox but no information is stored on my server. everything is stored on flash cards. LOl dont ask me to explain that, I might get wondering eyes.
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coreybryantCommented:
Well are you wanting a merchant account to accept credit cards or still accept credit cards?  

Paypal is a third party processor which means that you use their merchant account to credit cards.  Microsoft Money might do it via ACH and then Quickbooks offers a merchant account as well - but if you do want to accept credit cards - why not get a merchant account and let the gateway handle it?

-Corey
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cyberearthAuthor Commented:
Well, then if you put it that way, I want complete and total control, I want a buisness, i dont want another person handeling my transactions, if something goes wrong I want it to be my fault, Try fighting that in court. If paypal messis up I have to still prove it anyway. Atleast if i have anyproblems im already keeping records, see. Its just along the same linse as a website host, why pay $ a month to have some fool with a free apache server and a cracked version of windows server when you can ownload apache for free and install free unix wich is better than windows. Free, free, free, free, those who say nothing is free are duluted with govenmental noise. It is easy to get everything free and legal withough living off the governemnt  or stealing.:) LOL SEE I STRAYED OFF TOPIC! thank you ill accept your answer! Thank you corey!
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coreybryantCommented:
No worries - but if you do want a merchant account - you have to register with Visa / Mastercard & get one thru a merchant account provider (MAP) who has a deal with an acquiring bank.  There would always be someone in control of something - no matter what

-Corey
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cyberearthAuthor Commented:
Ok thank you corey, ill look into that. Gotta print this out.
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