Yesterday was frustrating. Very frustrating.
I upgraded my site to premium so that I could use the simple payments option – something WordPress has been lauding as a way to use your site to make money. Great! That was my eventual goal here – to start selling my mandalas and stickers, but on my own site, so that I wasn’t paying Amazon and Etsy lots of money in fees.
I’ve read so many people who say that they drive their own traffic to Etsy – so if I’m gonna do all that work, I might as well drive people to my own site, right? Then I’m making the money off my hard work, instead of Etsy.
After upgrading to the Premium plan, I started researching how to use the Simple Payments buttons to sell my digital coloring mandalas. Turns out, the Simple Payments just lets you collect payments for your products – there is no way to add a link or anything to the payment button.
So, essentially, a person would pay, then have to wait for me to receive the notification from PayPal that I’d been paid, and then wait for me to send an email with the link or file for what they purchased. Which isn’t horrible, but isn’t at all what I was led to believe I could do with the simple payments.
After more research, I discovered a way to use Google Docs and PayPal to add things to my site for sale. That was an experience in itself, because what I wanted was for buyers to be taken directly to a download link for the item after they paid. Making a download link from a Google doc required even more research, because of course it’s not an option in Drive.
During the first test, I got to the document, but it didn’t appear that the file was downloading correctly. (My husband was testing for me on his iPad.) After getting the direct download link issue sorted, then I realized that for some reason (I’m assuming because he’s using his iPad and iOS never plays well with others), he isn’t being taken directly to the page with the download link from PayPal. He has to ‘return to merchant’ inside PayPal and then he gets taken to the correct place for the download.
Soooo frustrating. This is probably why so many people would rather just use Etsy or Amazon for this. In fact, I’m debating if this is all worth it myself, particularly since I apparently upgraded my WordPress plan for nothing. I could have inserted the PayPal buttons and configured it as it without upgrading, because all the payments take place on PayPal anyway. I guess I could upgrade to the next tier on WordPress, where there are some actual e-commerce options, but after feeling like I’ve already spent some money for nothing, that doesn’t seem appealing.