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Selling Digital Art as Digital Downloads


Selling your digital art as digital downloads can be confusing at first. There are several ways to sell digital downloads. It helps to consider all your options before making a final decision as to how you wish to proceed. The process can be broken down into three steps.

  1. A shopping cart or "Buy" button that lets the customer select a product for purchase.

  2. A method of processing the payment.

  3. A delivery process for instant downloads of purchases.

The first thing you need to decide is if you want to do it all yourself. Most brick and motor businesses have a Merchant Account which is a special type of bank account that lets you process credit card payments. The fees for this type of account can take a big chunk out of your profits. If you are a small startup business, you may not wish to have a merchant account.

In that case, you will need a way for someone else to process the payments such as PayPalTM, GoogleTM Checkout and Amazon PaymentsTM. Many small businesses use PapPal as a way to add "Buy" buttons or a shopping cart onto any webpage of their site and all the payment processing is done by PayPal. The PayPal buttons or cart will send the customer directly to PayPal. All the processing is done on their secure servers. You don't need to collect email addresses or other private info from your customers or process the payment yourself. You will get an email from PayPal to alert you that you have made a sale. Depending on the type of PayPal account that you have, you can accept credit card payments along with PayPal payments.

PayPal has many ways for you to collect payments including Online Invoicing, Virtual Terminal, "Buy" buttons and a shopping cart. The ones you will most likely use are "Buy" buttons or a shopping cart. The "Buy" buttons will let the customer purchase a single item during checkout. In order to allow your customers to purchase multiple products at checkout, you will need to use the PayPal shopping cart feature. Although the buttons are easy to use, setting up the PayPal shopping cart can be a bit daunting for the novice.

At this point, you have taken care of the payment process but you still need to get the product to the customer. This is usually done in one of several ways. First, once you are notified by PayPal that you have made a sale, you can email the digital files to your customer. This is very easy but does have the drawback that the customer doesn't get the product directly after payment. They have to wait for the email.

The second option is to allow your customers to download the digital files from your website. PayPal can send the customer back to your website but cannot handle the digital download process. This requires that you set up a download process on your site. The download area is usually a secure area on your website. Your hosting company will be able to give you more information about your options.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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