Robbie Brandrick | 6/30/2013 12:13:30 PM
I have recently been attempting to come up with a solution for calculating shipping costs for customers. My original goal was to leverage PayPal’s buttons (e.g. View Cart, Add To Cart, etcetera) in an attempt to create an ecommerce solution with them. Unfortunately, there are a few limitations with this approach. Specifically, I was misled by their website to think PayPal provides “Flexible shipping rates”, which apparently allows merchants to “Set rates by order amount, weight, or quantity” (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/shipping/EasyCalculateShipAndTax-outside). However, it turns out that this service is only provided to US residents, which I am currently not.
The problem I am trying to solve is to create a secure, reliable and affordable ecommerce solution, however, the shipping issue has jump into play. I read and read about work arounds until I thought I found the Holy Grail “Log In With PayPal”.
“Log In With PayPal” allows users/customers to login to your website through PayPal. When a user does that, I can gather their shipping information and use it to calculate the cost of their shipping using the UPS API or Canada Posts API.
This seemed like a good work around to PayPal not releasing their “Flexible shipping rates” tools to Non US Residents. However after I got the basic “Log In With PayPal” code completed, I noticed that “Log In With PayPal” does not get along nicely with the PayPal Buttons I.E. I can “Log In With PayPal” then use the “Add To Cart” button only to be prompted to Log In with PayPal again. I wrote into PayPal with this technical issue and asked if this type of user experience is supported and was responded with: “Log In with PayPal is designed to work with Express Checkout API”, which they could have simply and clearly stated in their documentation.
So there you go, PayPal Buttons and “Log In With PayPal” are currently incompatible, leaving me with the task of creating a full e-commerce solution, when simply having access to PayPal’s US resident’s “Flexible shipping rates” tools would suffice as a minimalistic e-commerce solution.
As my own devil’s advocate, this Non-Solution could be counter beneficial as it might be too unique of a user experience sense the user would be prompted with their estimated shipping rates rather than the typical choosing their own rate from a set of rates.
Sense I wrote the OAuth2 “Log In With PayPal” integration code in C#, I will be posting it in an upcoming blog.