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Title: Paypal Hacks

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Paypal Hacks


Books about Web sites


Shannon Sofield
Dave Nielsen
Dave Burchell


O'Reilly & Associates

Release date

September 7, 2004

Sales ranking

Week: Not ranked All time: 108


March 22, 2006
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Picture of Manuel Lemos
Manuel Lemos
Paypal is undoubtedly one of most well-known Internet based payment systems. It became very popular among individual users of eBay and other auction sites because it provided a fast solution of sending payments from individual buyers to sellers.

However, the most interesting capability that it provides for Web site developers is to accept e-commerce payments with credit cards without needing a merchant account.

This way, Paypal and other similar Internet based payment systems opened a world of opportunities for individuals and small business companies, that used to be restricted to established businesses.

Today, the range of services and payment options that Paypal provides is huge. It is not unusual that experienced users and Web site developers may not be aware of all the details about how Paypal works that could benefit their businesses.

Paypal Hacks is yet another great book of O'Reilly Hacks book series. It was written by experts that are well aware of all the details that matter and can make a difference to different kinds of Paypal users.

It consists of 100 tips grouped in 8 chapters covering: account management, making payments, selling with Paypal, payment buttons, storefronts and shopping carts, managing subscriptions, instant payment notification and payment data transfer, Web services API.

The tips that I considered most useful are those about reducing the fees that Paypal charges, avoiding the problems of payment fraud, and Web site payment integration using the Web services API.

Reducing the fees is great because we always want to receive more paying less for operational costs, as it obviously helps improving the profit margins.

Anybody that worked credit card payments before knows about the headaches of dealing with charge-backs from clients that claim they did not make the purchases. The tips about these matters are precious.

The Web services API is very useful to communicate directly with Paypal. It helps making the payment process less complicated for the clients, reducing the chances that they give up purchasing the goods or services during the payment process.

On the down side, this book does not contain examples in PHP. Some are in ASP, ASP.NET (C#) and Perl. On the other hand, the code examples are not really the important part of the book. This "deficiency" is well compensated by Paypal SDK provided in the Paypal Developers Network site.

Paypal provides good documentation and examples in many languages, including PHP. This book focus on a series of selected tips that clarify many important details that interest both beginners and experienced users of Paypal. If you are looking for a single book that covers the most important details about Paypal, this book may be a good choice.
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