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Changes to the way we manage PayPal

by James

Pay Here

image: Podnox

We’re finalising our work on multiple payments and guest login. Part of this work was released yesterday and affects the information sellers receive in their PayPal email. There are a couple of significant changes that affect people selling through Folksy.

So what’s changed?

Whereas we used to send all the details of the order via simple integration, now we’re wrapping up all the items into one order and one payment. This is enabled by using the PayPal API (non-techie translation = bit of software) which offers a far more secure and robust way of integrating payment transactions. This new API is now being used. You will see differences in the communications you get from PayPal. There is no longer an address field and it says seller protection “not eligible”.

What does that mean to me?

This means two things:

  1. No Buyer Address. Some people use this web page / email as a packing receipt to send out with the purchase. Now it no longer has the address on it’s not much use as a packing receipt! Action: we are updating the email you receive from us when you get an order, This receipt will be able to be sent as a packing receipt and will contain address and postage details in a beautiful document.
  2. “Not Eligible”. Seller protection is something offered by PayPal to prevent customers issuing chargebacks when an item has not been delivered. The API integration does not currently allow seller protection as the address field is not included with the API. Action: to activate seller protection you always had to provide proof of postage to PayPal. Now, we’re pushing the responsibility back on to the carrier you decide to use. So, if you are issued with a chargeback from PayPal and if PayPal decides to honour the chargeback then you can recover the money through the carrier (Royal Mail, ParcelForce, UPS, etc.) if the item was not delivered. Carriers have always offered ways to recover costs if an item is not delivered (the Royal Mail compensation page) but we advise taking out insurance if the item is not covered to the value of the compensation available. Always ask when sending your parcel.

So, why do it?

  • The changes the way we integrate with PayPal are now far superior, allowing us to track issues more easily as well as reduce the number of PayPal related payment issues.
  • Approximately one in three orders involves multiple items being purchased. Using the ‘old’ method (which will be replaced very soon) the more items a buyer had in their basket the less likely that each one would be paid for, because each one required you to go back to PayPal to pay for it. The new multiple item payments system will mean that multiple orders will be more successful.

We’ll update you on the progress of the new email receipt soon and hope to release this at the same time as “payment for multiple items” and “guest login”.

UPDATE 14.03.12:

We’ve managed to get some definitive answers to our PayPal API questions and addresses are not supported and will not be for the foreseeable future. Whilst seller protection didn’t seem to be a particularly well used feature, it does provide some peace of mind. The more significant impact actually seems to be that PayPal postage is used by many people as part of their workflow for despatching items and as there are no addresses this feature was also not usable. So we’re looking at rolling back to the single payment process (albeit improved). We’ll update you again when we have confirmation of this work being done. The guest login work is unaffected.

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Sandra Taylor March 12, 2012 - 7:48 pm

my shop is Red Devil Crafts. Today I received two notifications re the same purchase. The buyer selected two items, of which I had only listed one of each. There are two orders showing in ‘my account’ both are the same. Sadly the buyer hasnt paid but I wondered if the duplicates are due to these changes?


jamesb March 12, 2012 - 9:09 pm

Hi Sandra,
Would you mind raising a support ticket and we’ll look into it? That way you can track the issue.

Rachel March 12, 2012 - 8:59 pm

You say this was only rolled out yesterday but I had a sale with the “new” style paypal email (ie no address, no seller protection) on March 8th. I think it is really poor form to make these changes without telling us first.

jamesb March 12, 2012 - 9:13 pm

We’ve released different aspects of the new work at different times (rolling release). The new email receipt will be released soon, but it was an oversight on our part not to have the email receipt ready at the same time. The changes to the way PayPal manage these issues wasn’t particularly well documented so it was only late on in the development process that this issue came to light. However, multiple payments in one transaction together with guest login should help sales significantly.

jodie March 13, 2012 - 1:08 pm

I have found these changes to be negative. I always refer to my Paypal screen to process all my orders and use the folksy email notification as a reminder that I have made a sale. I now have to keep referring back and forth to Folksy to get the buyers address. This is really frustrating and time consuming when you are trying to process 10-15 orders at a time. The new system also means you can no longer mark the order as ‘shipped’ on Paypal, this feature was really handy and has now disappeared :( I guess I will have to figure out a new system to manage these changes made by Folksy.

jamesb March 13, 2012 - 3:23 pm

Hi Jodie,

We’re looking at a workaround. We appreciate PayPal is used to manage transactions and transaction information (and when you’re dealing with a lot of sales like you are this matters). The Folksy confirmation email which we’re pushing out later today will at least clearly state the address of the buyer which should help a little.

jodie March 13, 2012 - 9:57 pm

Thanks for your reply. Its just very, very time consuming and extremely difficult to manage. If I receive 10 orders a day, I will receive 30 separate emails which will all have to be filed and non of which contain the information I need in one go. Only the first email tells me the buyers address but does not confirm payment- lots of customers put items into their cart and do not pay, so the second email is important.
The second email only confirms the payment has but has no address and the third one is a Paypal confirmation with a grand £ total. If I make a few sales within a small time frame, the emails are grouped together which makes it even more difficult to manage.

Having filled all these emails – I will still have to go back to Folksy and get all the details I need I one place and mange the order from Folksy.

Is there no simpler way to arrange a new sale so that all the details (items sold / paypal confirmation / buyers address) are in one email – the new system is really, really difficult to manage and extremely time consuming :(

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