One of the best systems to sell over the internet is without any doubts PayPal. What many people don't know is that you can fully automate your PayPal sales with a very simple PHP script. You can for example send a customized message back to the customer with info about its purchase, create and send invoices, log the transactions to create the reports you really need, redirect the customer to any place so he can get the digital goods he has purchased from you or even generate software user licenses and send them inside an outstanding e-mail template. It is really amazing, you don't need to handle all those annoying PayPal notifications anymore.
You can create a PayPal Business account here:
That automatization is called IPN which stands for Instant Payment Notification. It is a feature you have to activate in your PayPal account, from the 'Profile | Instant Payment Notification' Preferences. Once done, each time a payment is done PayPal will run the PHP script hosted on your site. Due to the nature of the PHP language almost everything can be done with it.
We have ourselves automated our PayPal sales that way very successfully, actually PayPal IPN works better and gives us much more control than any other systems available on the internet. And best of all, PayPal processing fees are quite low comparing to others and get even lower depending on your sales volume so you can save 8% or more in fees per year.
At the very beginning, this is a very simple PHP script you just need to upload to your server. You can start handling payments from your customers in seconds, however you need to make some customizations to make it do exactly what you need. That means you will need to learn a bit of PHP, it is not that hard.
It is called 'ipn_process.php'. Look at the readme file in order to know how it works. This script is really simple and easy to modify in order to include more features. Currently it includes all the required checking so you can branch your code in a very straightforward manner. It also:
generates and sends receipts by e-mail to the customers with a copy to you.
formats and sends the customer data as XML to you by e-mail.
saves the sales to Excel sheets, one per month and currency.
handles all kind of errors including sending e-mails.
The script comes in two versions, Lite and Pro. The Lite version is free for personal, non-profit and academic users as long as all copyright notices, and headers remain intact and unmodified in the source. The Pro version is $10 only! It includes several exclusive features like refunded/reversed payments handling, shopping cart support and it is the script which is being updated regularly. The Lite version can be downloaded clicking on the 'Download' button below. Commercial users must register the script purchasing the Pro version. Click on the buttons below to download the free Lite version or to purchase the Pro version:
We use this script to handle our own PayPal sales right now and we are enhancing it every single day. Once you purchase it you will be sent a link to get the very last version if available. The Pro fee includes setup support and basic advising. It doesn't include custom development, you will have to customize the script yourself.