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Google Checkout: Hard to Beat Free

By - December 06, 2006

Google Checkout-1

Remember back when Netscape was charging for its browser, and Microsoft came out and made Internet Explorer free?

Well check this out:

To celebrate the holidays, Google is processing your Checkout sales for free

As you may know, for every $1 you spend on AdWords, you can process $10 of Google Checkout sales for free. Just in time for the holidays, we’re giving you even more by processing your Google Checkout sales for free through the end of 2007! Here’s how it works:

* From November 8, 2006 through December 31, 2007, we’ll process your Checkout transactions for free, even if you aren’t an AdWords advertiser. If you’re already an AdWords advertiser, we’ll process your Checkout transactions for free regardless of what you spend on AdWords.*

* Valid Checkout orders you receive during the promotion will automatically qualify.

* You can take full advantage of this promotion by encouraging your buyers to use Google Checkout on your site.

* Other applicable fees (e.g. chargeback fees) may apply. This promotion is subject to the Google Checkout Terms of Service. Google may revoke the promotion for accounts that do not comply with these terms.

On January 1, 2008, the standard transaction fee will apply again. Also, if applicable, your regular free transaction processing (based on your December, 2007 AdWords spend) will resume.

Using Google Checkout to increase sales and lower costs during this busy holiday season has never been easier. If we can do anything else to help, feel free to drop us a line. Happy holidays from Google Checkout!

OK, a few things. No. 1, anyone who buys this has *anything* to do with “celebrating the holidays” ought to put down that mug of eggnog. This has everything to do with taking share from PayPal.

Next, I spent some time this week on the phone with Tom Oliveri, the fellow who manages Google Checkout. He very patiently explained how I managed to get myself into such a tangle when I first used the service, and promised to help me fix my account so that I could use it again. I’m looking forward to doing that, and continuing my explorations. He also addressed some of my privacy/use of info issues, but honestly, no company is addressing them the way I’d like to see them addressed. He did patiently listen to my rantings on the subject, which is more than anyone might expect.

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11 thoughts on “Google Checkout: Hard to Beat Free

  1. “On January 1, 2008, the standard transaction fee will apply…”

    Shouldn’t it be January 1, 2007.

    Martin

  2. john, any infos when checkout will be rolled out in europe?

  3. Dave says:

    Any idea how many people (end users, not merchants) currently have a Google Checkout account?

  4. Ankur Luthra says:

    John, it used to be until Dec 31, 2006, but it now looks like they have upped the ante to Dec 31, 2007. Wow. I use it all the time and it works great for receiving payment. And instead of having to click “withdraw” on Paypal every time to move funds into my bank account, it automatically goes that for you on Google Checkout. And the “Send Invoice” feature is exceptionnaly clean and easy. Hopefully, they dont screw users like PayPal did and end up with a class action lawsuit, too.

  5. Kamal Jain says:

    I am satisfied that for 13 months Google unbundled its adwords auction from checkout. This is a fairer way to promote checkout. I hope they do not go back to earlier method to promote checkout after 13 months.

  6. ryan byrd says:

    it is hard to beat free. there are important considerations other than price, however…

    http://www.ryanbyrd.net/rambleon/?p=466

  7. Kamal Jain says:

    John, it is not hard to beat free. Not in the business of checkout.

    Example: Credit cards give you money for using their credit card. There are credit cards with no annual fee which give you from 1% to 3% of your purchases back.

    Online services market is fully competitive when we see companies are beating free.

  8. Keith Cash says:

    Big business at it again, looks like the consumer wins here

  9. The immenent business philosopher Dolly Parton once said “that to be a success, you need to be first, best, or different”. So, what’s different about Google Checkout compared with PayPal?

    Well, for one thing they’re not PayPal for better or worse and they don’t have PP’s 60,000,000+ user base, not yet at least, and between the loyal haters of both Goog and PP it will boil down to the question of do you use the process you know and love and hate but are familiar with in PayPal or is Google’s trusted brand enough to overcome initial skepticism in trying out a new process?

    I’m getting ready to do a major overhaul of my personal-business website and will offer canned but personalized websites at a fixed-fee price among other things and will place PayPal “Buy It Now” for said services.

    This brings up the $64.03 question: is it worth cluttering up my new site design with the choice of both PP and Goog purchase buttons for each item/service, taking a chance on potentially confusing and/or pissing off a potential customer, or should I not totally kiss Goog’s rear (I do it enough as it is) and go with just PayPal purchase buttons?

  10. June I. says:

    I am most interested in your article about Google Checkout, not so much for its content, but for the fact tht you mentioned that you were on the phone with Tom Oliveri, head of Google Checkout. How in the world did you actually get to talk to a real person at Google Checkout? I used GC recently (one time only and no so-called freebies)to purchase a Nintendo Wii as a Christmas present. Within one day, I asked GC to cancel my order as I had information the company they were collecting for was a scam. I only received generic e-mails back telling me how to check my order status. I have been going back and forth with their e-mails for about 2 weeks now (except they don’t even reply to anything I send them anymore). I still have no order information, in spite of me telling them to cancel my order, they gave the money to the merchant anyway and I’m out $325.00 with no recourse and no way to even call GC as they do not have personal customer assistance, only e-mails and, as I said before, they are not even responding to those at this point. By the way, my order on Google says it is still “In progress” – nothing’s changed 2 weeks later. I would be very interested in finding out just how exactly to contact someone at Google that might help. I live outside of Chicago and have tried all of their local listings but the phones just ring and ring – no one answers.

    Also, I have done some checking on other blog sites (I am doing everything I can possibly think of to get someone, ANYONE at Google to talk to me) and this seems to be a pretty common problem with GC. Those that the system works for are happy because they get all kinds of cash back and goods, but if you need help, LOOK OUT!!!! They have absolutely none to offer. This really surprised me because I had always thought of Google as being synonymous with internet safety and security. I guess I was really mistaken.

    Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. I have copies of every piece of correspondence sent to and received from GC in case you want details.