Paypal payment but no order

By | February 10, 2008

Dani asks;

I use oscmmerce to sell downloadable stuff like ebooks and software, i’m finding that i get lots of paypal payments without an order so I have to contact the person to find out what they ordered. Maybe half of all my paypal payments don’t have orders and i dont know how to fix this. Please help

Dani – this is a problem that is not just localised to you. The standard osCommerce Paypal payment method just sends your customer to paypal to pay. Once they’ve paid they are expected to click the “return to merchant” link. If they don’t click the link, then the order is NOT written to your database at all!

It’s easy to fix! Simply install Paypal IPN (Instant Payment Notification) – this is an “upgraded” version of the Paypal Payment method, which sends a signal back from Paypal to your store, which then writes the order to the database. So whether or not your customer presses “return to merchant”, you’ll receive the order.

If you are running a very old version of osCommerce, you might not be able to use the IPN version – in this case, probably the best you can do is to put a message on the “checkout confimation” screen saying something like “IMPORTANT: You have selected to pay via Paypal. Please make sure that after paying at paypal, you press the “Return To Merchant” Link. Thank You!”.

You can enwrap this in a PHP “if” to only show if the selected payment method is Paypal; if ($payment_modules->selected_module == “paypal”) – this small piece of code will onlyshow your message if the selected payment method is Paypal.

I hope this helps!

As an aside, I also sell lots of digital products, like scripts, ebooks, templates etc – I wanted to point you at – for selling digital goods, a good product image can easily increase the number of buyers by a good 10 to 20% in my experience. Even if you are selling products that you have sourced elsewhere that come with a pre-made graphic, it’s always wise to try and differentiate yourself from all the other people who are selling the same thing.

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