I hope my problem is not too specific and that somebody will be able to help me.
I have been looking at out-of-the-box e-commerce solutions such as EBay Prostores, Amazon webstores, Yahoo merchant solutions, etc. They all look really wonderful for people such as myself with no developing skills or even knowledge (and with too small a budget to have it professionally designed to my needs).
However, I am located in South Africa and have not been able to figure out whether these stores are available to people outside of the US. With Amazon, it seems, there is no possibility (or so it would appear).
With Yahoo you can select your country so it appears it must be possible. They specify that you can apply for a merchant aacount through their partner, Chase Paymentech or if you already have a merchant account, it must be compatible with First Data Merchant service`s Nashville platform (formerly Envoy).
Would this service be available to people outside of the US? The only way of contacting Yahoo to enquire is via a toll free number (which I can`t use.) They don`t even supply a dialling code for calling from overseas. Nor an e-mail enquiry possibility. I don`t want to sign up, pay, and then find out I can not have a merchant account. Paypal alone will not suit my needs.
Prostores say they are fully integrated with payment gateways such as Authorize.net, Cybersource, Innovative Gateway, Linkpoint, Paypal Payflow Pro etc. Are these payment gateways separate entities from banks? Does it cost more to use them?
Have any of you used any of these services before, and what can you recommend?
Thank you kindly
The problem you have in South Africa is that the South African Revenue Services (SARS) wants to oversee all forms of
income transactions including online sales revenues so as to ensure
proper taxation. This scares off a lot of paymnet processors. For example, my understanding is people in South Africa can purchase items online using PayPal, but can`t receive any funds into a South African bank account. Best advice would be to get in touch with the people operating these sites/payment gateways, and ask them what their policy on users in South Africa is.
Hope this helps.
Thank you videoguy
Yes, things are not looking very favourable at the moment. I have been in contact with Chase Paymentech as well as Authorize.net, both of which need you to have a US bank account and/or be a US citizen. I am still waiting to hear from Paypal and Yahoo.
It seems such a shame that all of these exciting e-commerce platforms (such as ProStores and Yahoo Merchant and Microsoft Office Live etc.) are out there, but only just not available to us.
We do have local versions of the above, but it seems they are really taking advantage of this artificially isolated situation by asking exorbitant prices (twice or three times more than Yahoo or Prostores) for questionable products and then even getting more ridiculous by capping the amount of products you are allowed to sell to 5, 20 or 100 (unless you pay much, much more).
Even our banks are in on this by charging outright criminal per month and per transaction charges if you hold a merchant account with them.
No wonder so fee South African small businesses are selling on the web!
Well, anyway - I haven`t given up hope yet. Please anybody let me know if there are any alternatives!