Get on with it

Monday February 7, 2005

Stickford Feb 7,'05
My brain hurts

“My brain hurts,” I announced, walking into the kitchen where Graham was pondering over what he could constructively do before disappearing for a few days to visit his mother in Wales later this week.

“So, what’s unusual about that?”

“Don’t be cruel,” I said. “This ecommerce thing isn’t easy.”

“No. I know it isn’t. Take consolation in the fact that if you can’t do it, it’s unlikely that any old fool like you can do it.”

“Thank you. I needed that. Coffee?”

“You’re welcome. Yes, please. Strong.”

“It’s good to know you have your problems, too.”

So, then. It appears that PayPal isn’t quite geared up to respond to my query. I’m at least one or two steps beyond where their development is currently positioned. They sent me a lovely, fully detailed answer to my problem. You know, the first answer. The one they send you before they actually read your question. I fired off a really nice response, restating my problem, and there’s been a stolid silence since. They’ll get round to answering me, of course. Reluctantly, they’ll find a way of saving face while admitting that they’re not quite up to where I want them to be.

Now, I’m not, repeat not, knocking PayPal. Their first consideration has to be the security of their system and of their customers. I appreciate that, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. PayPal will catch up with me, but not until they are confident they can do so while still maintaining the ironclad security of their system.

Meantime, I’m left with sorting out a way through the maze of offerings available to me today. It’s quite clear that, without spending more money than is sensible, I shall have to compromise. Trouble is, selecting a solution is real, brain-hurting stuff.

“I’ll get there,” I announced. “But it’ll take me a bit of time and a lot of thinking.”

“Good,” Graham said. “In the meantime, how’s about lunch?”

“Oh, that I can do. How does a bagel lunch grab you?”

“Sounds delicious.”

And that’s what I set to producing. Lunch I can do. Ecommerce is something I need sleep time to achieve.

After lunch, I toddled off to consult my pillow. Strange dreams, including walking down Oxford Street in a brilliant white, perfectly cut suit. Like some kind of aging angel. And a stream of people I half-knew kept coming up to tell me how daft I looked. Hmmm.

Walking through from the bedroom to the kitchen where Graham was already putting the kettle on for my wake-up mug of coffee, I announced: “I’ve solved it.”

“Knew you would. Wonderful what a bit of sleep will do.”

So now, in the absence of a PayPal solution, having rejected several PHP solutions on grounds of complexity and security, I’m going for a combined website/eBay/PayPal approach, keeping the shop on my own website as I’d planned but instead of providing a PayPal shopping cart, sending customers off to mirror pages on eBay to actually buy the prints. It’s the only sensible way I can do the job without investing time in programming or spending large amounts of cash, and time, to buy an eshop software package. There’s also the bonus of accessing a wider customer base from eBay than I’d reach from my website alone.

All that’s left now is to get on with it.



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