Update: unfortunately the “Use PayPal on Amazon” solution below came to an abrupt end. I wasn’t able to contact the owner (Brandon) for proper clarification but I suspect Paypal did not like anyone using their registered brand in their domain name. Also, Paypal is very notorious against unexplained money, fearing any money laundry. Money for pizza just didn’t cut it. Still, I’m leaving this post for people / entrepreneurs thinking of doing a similar venture / project / solution / website. Beware, the vulture are on the look!
It happened one day that I was answering questions on Shopify forums, I came to know about the services of a new online store. This store started out as an answer to the famous question: how to use PayPal on Amazon (without applying for a Paypal debit card). Then it branched out to allow PayPal members to use their balances to buy stuff from outlets that don’t accept payments from PayPal. The following interview tells us more.
Q: Who’s behind WeUsePayPal.com? How did you get this idea? Did you personally need to use Paypal on Amazon? Why did you choose Shopify as your online store software?
A: Hi there, my name is Brandon and I am the owner and founder of WeUsePayPal.com. I’m 18 years old, a college freshman in St. Louis, Missouri. The idea for WeUsePayPal began when I had to purchase books for all of my college classes.
Instead of spending a fortune on books at the campus store, I looked on Amazon and found the required books for a much lower price.
Everyone knows that Amazon doesn’t accept PayPal payments, but I was disappointed to find that there were no workarounds or indirect solutions that would enable users to use PayPal on Amazon.
It was then that I came up with my answer to the question: how to use PayPal on Amazon? WeUsePayPal.com online store; there was real demand for a solution that I felt I could provide.
Before all of this began, I used to devote lots of time to selling on eBay and found that it was rewarding (and quite fun also!). I no longer sell on eBay, but hope to return to it in the future.
Choosing an e-commerce platform was a make or break decision, and I chose Shopify services because I felt that all of my needs would be met there. I also picked Shopify’s Unlimited Plan.
A few options that caught my eye was the 24/7 customer support, a wide variety of applications to be easily added to any online store, and the easy user interface that anyone can pickup and understand.
Q: How did you find your vendors for this idea? Did you email / phone call / ask for favors to have those tie-ups with those Pizza shops? And is it based on revenue-sharing or fixed amount every month?
A: My original idea relied solely on Amazon Gift Cards. It took me several phone calls and emails to multiple Amazon’s customer service departments in order to finally receive their approval of the idea.
During the month that I spent creating and developing my website, I decided that offering more than just Amazon gift cards would be best. Food is something not easily obtainable with a PayPal account, so that was the direction that I went into ever since.
You can use PayPal for Pizza
I wanted to be absolutely sure that the franchises and restaurants would allow me to do this, so I sent out a lot of emails, made a few phone calls, and read a lot of terms and conditions.
The vendors offered on WeUsePayPal are in no way actively involved in the process, nor do they provide me with any form of payment or compensation (for now at least).
In order to pay for PayPal’s seller fees and generate a profit, an up-charge is applied to the value of each gift card.
Q: Every online store has —among many- one big problem: how to bring buyers who actually buy. How did you solve this problem? How do you market for your store?
A: This was definitely a large concern when just starting out: how are people going to find WeUsePayPal? Solving this problem is achieved largely by advertising on Google Ads, and also by providing best customer support possible to make my clients happy and hopefully spreading the word and coming back for more.
There is always a lot to be done in online marketing, and I am constantly looking for new ways to get WeUsePayPal out there in the light.
Q: What are you best selling products? Do you plan to expand outside food coupons? What are your future plans?
A: The best selling gift cards at the moment are those for Domino’s Pizza, followed by Papa John’s and Pizza Hut.
The main obstacle stopping me from further expansion is being limited only to venues and outlets that offer e-gift cards and do not accept PayPal. Also, there needs to be some sort of demand; normal people in real need to use PayPal at whatever place it may be.
It seems that a good core group of gift cards have been established on WeUsePayPal, and moving beyond that will depend mostly on customer requests or new retailers / restaurants offering e-gift cards.
Future plans include improving the efficiency of WeUsePayPal in terms of processing orders, and also building a large, loyal customer base. I pride myself on providing top notch customer service, based on the very positive response I receive from customers who needed assistance.
Q: Every online store has heart-touching customer stories and testimonials, tell us some of yours.
A: A couple days ago I received an email from a grandmother whose Christmas gift for her grandson was back-ordered at the last moment. She quickly canceled that order, found the same item on Amazon and then she used WeUsePayPal to purchase an Amazon gift card for her grandson. She was extremely thankful and her kind words really meant a lot to me.
There have been multiple instances of men and women in the U.S. armed forces contacting me for further assistance. It is a great feeling knowing that I helped in getting some delicious food to those serving my country.
The situation that comes up most frequently involves either not having enough money in a bank account or somehow misplacing a debit or credit card. Oddly enough, it seems that dogs really enjoy the taste of credit cards!
Q: PayPal-based businesses are always plagued with fraud and hacked accounts. Did you face any of those fraud cases? And how do you deal with fraud in general?
A: This was a huge concern when first starting out. There were many cases of people paying fraudulently or with fake PayPal accounts and this resulted in the loss of quite a bit of money.
I have since worked closely with PayPal to mitigate the risk of receiving fraudulent payments, and now rarely run into issues.
I cannot disclose all my counter-fraud measures. Yet any Shopify online store can use a third party fraud detection software to help in rejecting fraudulent payments.
Subuno, a Fraud Prevention app for Shopify, is famous for its reliability and ease of use, and its easy-integration with other fraud detection systems such as minFraud from MaxMind.
RIP WeUsePayPal.com. May readers learn from your mistakes. One simply can not use PayPal on Amazon or for Pizza.