Payloadz just announced that they are rolling out a service to sell downloads through Google Checkout. That might be of interest to some uISVers, particularly those who are just starting out and have maximum flexibility with choosing a payment provider. If anyone ends up using it, please, tell us how it went down.
I, for one, will be sticking with e-junkie/Paypal. I’ve used Payloadz in the past and, while I’m sure they are an excellent service for some people, they aren’t quite right for me. Their payment structure is tiered based on sales, and the tiers compare very disfavorably to e-junkie’s flat $5 a month payment. (Example: $15 if you sell $100 to $499.99, $29 if you sell $500 to $999.99). Thats a bit more money, and potentially quite a bit more money, for a service which does not justify the price differential to my point of view. In any given month, I’m right around that $500 level, and getting whalloped for $29 for what I can get for $5 doesn’t strike me as a great deal. Even if you count the $1.02 I’d save per Paypal transaction (my current spending on AdWords means Checkout would be free for me until $900 in sales a month) I’d still be a bit behind.
Additionally, Payloadz does not have the great, responsive customer service that e-junkie has. This isn’t to say that its noticeably bad or anything (they didn’t respond to my one email inquiry, but hey, I understand how that can happen), its just that, well, e-junkie made an API change for me within 48 hours just because I asked for it. That sets a pretty darn high bar for me in terms of what you would have to provide as a competitor. I mean, if you said “Abandon e-junkie and I’d give you a next-generation console”… well, make it a Wii and I’ll entertain the notion. Briefly. Before rejecting it. They made an API change which saved me hours of Perl coding. Seth Godin, feel free to put that in your next book about making your customer feel special, because it sure as heck worked.
Now how would my customers look at me changing over? Well, the messages Payloadz sends on my behalf were, well, less “on brand” than I wanted my messages to be. They included the payloadz URL (sidenote: neither Payloadz nor e-junkie is a name which says “I am an upstanding businessman, wouldn’t you agree Mrs. Middle School Teacher”) and text which was irrelevent to my customers but which I couldn’t customize. e-junkie gives me total flexibility (double-plus important once I finally roll out the Japanese version) and I can hide their URLs from the vast majority of my customers.
Additionally, Paypal is, believe it or not, a trusted name in my market. 70% of my customers have verified addresses on Paypal — i.e. they’ve got a Paypal account (not just a credit card) and they’ve done business with them before or went through an extended process just to give little old me $24.95. Google has a market penetration of, and this is just a round number estimate, 0%. While they’ve got a good name and good image, I don’t know that either says “You can trust me with your money, Mrs. Doesn’t Really Use The Computer Much Mother Of Two” yet.
I’ll re-evaluate this decision in the fullness of time. In particular, I’d re-evaluate it a lot faster if I only had to change one service, not two, to take advantage of that free 5% boost to my profit margins. (Hint hint, e-junkie.)