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  1. #1
    Internet Cowboy
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    Merchants...Why do you use Google Checkout?
    Why would a merchant subject their customers to such an intrusion of their privacy by using Google Checkout? You have to know that customers will not always read the 5 page disclaimer that includes such things as giving Google the right to pull their credit file, share their information with third parties and other such breeches of the American Consumers reasonable expectation of privacy?
    Why would you subject your customers to such in intrusion? Why would you share the identity of your customers with a company that will use this information to their advantage (against you) somewhere down the road? Do you not realize that this totally completes the loop and G now has the information it needs to leverage a way to charge you to get your own customers back?

    I am having a hard time finding reasons that merchants use this other than pure greed. Thoughts and comments from merchants regarding this post would be much appreciated. Were you not profitable before? Are processing fees that expensive that you would risk your customers being guided away from future purchases with you?

    Are all of these risks worth it to save a buck? Do you not see the perils of this down the road?

    Maybe I am all wrong. I hope I am, but I don't think so.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    I honestly believe that most merchants are just clueless, in the sense that they didn't take the time to understand what it is GCO can do. This worries me a lot.

    Education is the key here, and if we possibly bombard (our own campaign) all known merchants with information on why Google Check Out isn't any good at all, it may be that first step that opens a lot of eyes, and eventually slows Google's efforts down greatly, if not completely.

    Those that don't care about business privacy, or even worse, their consumer's privacy, then there really won't be much we can do for them.

  3. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    How in the world would ANY customer who looks at the Terms of Service EVER agree to use this?

    Not only do they give Google the right to their credit reports, but to UNLIMITED INVESTIGATION!!!


    Google Checkout Terms of Service:

    2. Requirements for Registration

    "...
    ...You also authorize us to obtain from time to time a credit report and/or to otherwise make credit or other background inquiries as we deem appropriate to evaluate your registration for or continued use of the Service ..."

  4. #4
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    After thinking about this a little more, it dawned on me why Google is requiring these authorizations and what they are going to do with the information:

    GOOGLE IS GOING INTO THE CREDIT BUSINESS

    Once they have a base of a couple of million customers and their credit and background info, Google is planning to extend credit directly to them, and bypass MC, Visa, AmEx, etc.

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Resistance is futile.
    Michael Coley
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     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
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  6. #6
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    I think merchants do it because they like to be able to say they're partnering with Google. More of an ego thing, they like having the Google logo on their sites. If they're doing PPC, based on some links I posted yesterday, they're probably getting a lot more curiosity clicks not necessarily conversions, so their ROI is probably going down. There is just no need to have them at checkout. I've never heard anybody out there saying "I was going to buy from this merchant but there wasn't Google Checkout" or "I'm only going to be shopping with Google Checkout merchants." I just think they're getting mined to death and it's free now but later you're going to have to pay. You just don't need it.

  7. #7
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    Ebags care to comment? I see you reading this thread. Ecomcity the parasite killer using GCO on your suspenders site? Comments?

    I promise not to flame any merchants here and encourage others not to as well. I am really trying to find the mindset that motivates a merchant to use this service.

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Google is the largest and most viewed publisher in the world. They have absolutely no direct to consumer marketing operation in place to utilize any data mined stats. Google Checkout refuses to allow it's approved and monitored merchant's access to any privacy or Credit Card info beyond the ship to address. Merchants only get e-mail address of GC shoppers IF the customer checks off the Opt-In e-mail notification box. Adwords and GC staffing are competely seperated, on purpose, to assure no GC merchant can spam GC users with insider data.

    GC guarantees millions of dollars for direct deposit to GC merchants bank accounts weekly without refund recourse. I'm sure they therefore police both GC user accounts for fraud to cover their risks, as well as bring felony charges for GC merchants who turn out to be frauds and non-delivery criminals. Your bank can pull a credit and background report on you ( They have SS# & DL# ... Google Checkout doesn't) so I'll assume that privacy clause was put in place to pre-grant permission to their Citi Banking partner, who'd take the other necessary steps to put a GC perp in hot legal water.

    Damn... GC is just a fancy secure escrow agent guaranteeing merchant payments. Some one gaming their GC merchant's with stolen credit cards will face some real heat! I'm confident no DMA or IAB member has enough money to bribe Google into a list and privacy peddling deal. Merchants who have cross marketing deals would hate the GC privacy barrier wall. Just ask Buy.com and some of those Adwhore run operations listed at http://www.google.com/checkout/m.html

    They're willing to fore-go the normal Adwhore datamining profits to get free clicks from that page.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  9. #9
    Internet Cowboy
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    And are they FDIC insured since they act as an escrow agent?

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    "They have absolutely no direct to consumer marketing operation in place to utilize any data mined stats."

    They have all kinds of stuff going on and coming up. They have coupons for merchants now, partnered with Valpak for print at home coupons for merchants, getting into all sorts of offline advertising, print, radio etc.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Why would a merchant subject their customers to such an intrusion of their privacy by using Google Checkout? Are processing fees that expensive that you would risk your customers being guided away from future purchases with you?
    B4 I comment on Scooters excellent observation above, I'd like to comment about the clueless issue. I'm honestly not offended by the remark as I have seen it before, and I don't think that any offense was intended. I think that it was more of a comment made at the moment. But I don't go along with the categorization that "most" merchants are "clueless." Certainly in "some" cases this is probably true, and educating us, as opposed to being negatively critical or adversarial is the positive solution. Speaking for myself and my team, what I don't know, (a lot) I WANT to learn, and I welcome positive / contructive input.

    Now, on to Scooters comments.

    I myself do not see us using G checkout now or in the future and it is directly and solely because I do not want my customers information or credit records being even remotely touched or used by google in ANY fashion, whether it takes sales away from my affiates and I in the future, or any other use they may come up with. As great as they are as an SE, this kind of thing is beyond words the height of arrogance.

    I became more educated about this in January when a couple of ABW buds drove over from the Orlando area to go fishing with me. At one point we were wading the flats sight fishing and I walked over to one of them to bring him more live shrimp. While we stood there fishing, I mentioned the G checkout offer to merchants and asked him what he thought about it. He said the exact same thing YOU say here Scooter!! At the time he said it, I just logged it into the memory bank for later thought. After all, we were fishing fer cri-sakes!!

    But over the past month I looked further into it and then considered my fellow fishing buddy's opinions some more. After all, with their offer, my processing costs would be reduced by over 80%. That sounded great on the surface, but instinct had given me cause to learn more. It just made sense that when the "Numero Uno God of the internet universe" offers something that sounds so good, the fine print and a hard look at the "rest of the story" should always be a concern. Sure enough, after digging in and actually seeing past the savings that made me drool, I would NEVER subject my customers to such invasions, nor would I facilitate anyone who would.

    As for the comment referring to margins as they relate to processing fees, there are variables that can indeed make an offer like G's attractive. For instance, most processors charge a 3% or higher merchant discount for online processing, which is added to a flat fee per transaction. On top of that, they add a monthly account service charge, gateway fee, statement fee and whatever other charges they can pirate from a merchant. Another real kicker is chargebacks. If a consumer orders a widget, and then they get their statement and don't recognize the charge (as in: they forget! this happens), they file a chargeback. Most processors charge the merchant $25 - $30 for a chargeback, whether it was a legitimate CB or not. So the cost of sales and the thought of saving the costs associated with dealing with typical processors can be tempting.

    I sure thought it was wonderful idea when G first started soliciting it on my PPC campaign notices. But after seeing the whole picture, my primary thought was: "who the - - do they think they are?" Hence, no G checkout!!

    BTW Scoot - thank you for the added education that day on the flats!

    Alan
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  12. #12
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Merchants are doing it for one reason. It's free.

  13. #13
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    Free now. They're a business. Businesses don't give away free things so they can lose money. http://blogs.zdnet.com/micro-markets/?p=927

    "Is Google spending $20 million this quarter to spread holiday cheer to merchants and consumers? NO. Google is investing big-time in the hopes of “locking-in” merchants long-term, as AdWords customers."

    Right now they're losing money with it, sooner or later it's recoup time. Put their site maps on your site, put the free analytics on your site, put their checkout on your site hoping to lock merchants into Adwords long term. They want you to use them as much as possible so when it comes time to pay, it's harder to leave.

    But are merchants getting any new customers with this? I just don't see it, I think the people who are trying it out would have just used what you had before. But I don't know, I'm not on the merchant end.

  14. #14
    Newbie bizzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Resistance is futile.
    lol! Almost died laughing. All serious discussion, then suddenly this.

    But it's true. Resistance IS futile! Google checkout promises more sales, no chargebacks, additional free adwords advertising, and it's just so dam* easy to get started.

    I fear it's the end of 3rd party advertising networks or affiliate networks down the road.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    It's the end of CPA networks. They're coming after you.

    "But it's true. Resistance IS futile!"

    Weak.

  16. #16
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I'm with Trust. The only way G would keep this free is if they monetized the checkout process with AdSense... And the Merchants would just LOVE that....

    They'll probably end up taking a percentage like Paypal does, once they have the merchants hooked and as much customer data as they can stand to have.
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  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    I'm with Trust. once they have the merchants hooked and as much customer data as they can stand to have.
    "as much data as they can "STAND" to have??? There is no such thing as enough to the G machine.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  18. #18
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Drink the punch, then walk into the light. Of course they can't do it for free forever. They are buying market share. Big chunks of it.

    If you think about it, they are doing what we do. Get them in the door, dangle the bait in front of them, then get them to bite. Only difference is we fish catch-and-release. Google is going to skin, gut, fillet, and fry them before long.

    I think this would make a great movie about the empire that took over the world one click at a time while promising to not be evil.

  19. #19
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Resistance is futile.
    LOL LOL classic!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mack
    I think this would make a great movie about the empire that took over the world one click at a time while promising to not be evil.
    "GoogZilla"
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  21. #21
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    they have volume.. and if you do PPC, you get some pref treatment. i.e. next to your listing.

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