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Paypal Standard: kludging it

oxygensmithoxygensmith Member
in General edited August 2008
As I would implement FoxyCart tomorrow on our website if we could somehow offer PayPal standard as a possibility (we are unfortunately in Canada and can't use PayPal Pro), I am wondering if anyone's ever implemented a kludge?

If anyone has explored doing this I'd love to hear about how it went.

This seems like it would be possible through one means or another. In our system, the "store" is driven by the Expression Engine CMS, which has a built-in plug-in called Simple Commerce, which is simply a way of calling up the Paypal cart.

Possibilities for implementing an alternate PayPal checkout might include while you are still using Foxy could thus include:

- getting to the checkout process, and a message says "if you must pay with PayPal, please pay here." The user is sent to a page where they can paste the contents of the FoxyCart cart into a single form field, fill in an amount, and press a PayPal donate button.

- the first time a user adds an item to a FoxyCart cart, the cart window itself could have a link which would say, "Do you need to use Paypal to pay us? Please click here," and upon doing so, a cookie would be set on their browser, and they would be sent to our current set of templates which has deploys the PayPal cart.

- possibly two add-to-cart buttons on the same screen? the normal buttons and "use these buttons if you need to pay with Paypal."

We seriously don't need an advanced way of dealing with PayPal standard - just offering the ability to pay us through that method.

Yeah, so again, if anyone has explored somehow deploying Foxycart but having or keeping a means for some customers to go through PayPal standard, I'd love to hear it. Thanks!

Cheers, Rob
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Sorry for the late response.

    You could likely pull this off by parsing the JSON cart object on checkout and adding a PayPal link (or possibly form) to the cart HTML via jQuery (or other javascript). I'd handle it on the cart, but without any sort of cookie. Just use the JSON to create a new link/form and a button to post to PayPal instead of going to FoxyCart's checkout.

    The trick is that you'd have to pass in _everything_ in your cart, and PayPal Standard doesn't really allow much flexibility in terms of what you can pass it. If you have simple products without many options it'd probably be much easier than if you have a lot of complicated product options. But if you're handy with javascript it shouldn't be impossible.

    I wouldn't mind helping you figure it out, but it is a growing priority for us to sort out "properly" on our end, just fyi. If you could, please vote for it:
  • Hey Brett, thanks for responding. I already have voted for it, and I understand the limitations which make PayPal a difficult thing to include.

    By kludging it, I am talking about doing something really basic. It wouldn't have to submit individual "items" to Paypal, or even deduct from stock automatically or anything like that. If somehow... at minimum... the Foxycart cart could even be copied and pasted (in its entirety) into a textarea field (to describe what has been ordered), and the total placed into another field, and then the whole thing sent off as a PayPal donation, that would be fine -- we could sort all that stuff out, manually deduct stock, etc.

    I'm not trying to give PayPal users a nice experience (I've sort of given up on that), just a way to order. Presently, they have up to two options (colour and size) for products.

    While I understand what JSON is, I definitely might need (and would appreciate) some help. Thanks!
  • Did anyone ever try this JSON solution, is there anyone in the community that is a programmer and would like to give me an estimate on doing this? I have the cart set up and ready to go... just need it to work with PayPal Standard

    What would it cost to have this done on this site:
    (cards and prints use the cart)
  • oxygensmithoxygensmith Member
    edited November 2008
    Hey folks, very sorry with the very late reply, I got distracted with building other things on our ExpressionEngine site. Brett, I appreciate the feedback and your offer to walk me through how to do this with JSON.

    I had another idea for a kludge, which is to have conditionals in my CMS pages that display the cart links. The first time you click an "add to cart" link, a popup panel would ask you whether you want to use a PayPal Standard cart (EE Simple Commerce) or a cart for any another payment method (FoxyCart). Then the page reloads, the conditionals read the cookie and create either PayPal cart links or Foxy cart links based on the choice you just made. The preference would be set with a cookie and, optionally, in the user's membership if they login.

    But the easiest way — all around, absolutely — would still be the option of just transferring the cart contents to a form with a single text field and a Paypal Standard "checkout" button when you go to checkout.

    There are more robust "related database entries" with ExpressionEngine (our CMS of choice) now, so I'm getting around the complexities of setting and passing product options to carts by having every "variant" of a tshirt be its own item in a separate table. These variants are "collected" under each store item and what are actually connected to the store. It may be more data entry trouble but option-setting in PayPal standard is a total hassle.

    I'll probably look into following through on this in late December / early January, because I'm in the middle of final papers now, and I want to have more time to hear about others' experiences with HCC's FoxEE extension.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    The issue with handling it on EE's end is that PayPal and FC require the data to be passed in in very different ways, and PayPal doesn't support a LOT that FC does, like coupons, quantity discounts, and etc. And PayPal Standard limits options to only 4 fields (unless I'm mistaken or they've changed that).

    I think taking the JSON on the cart and generating a PayPal Standard form with a button on the cart would be the best way to do it at this point, to be honest. The JSON is pretty solid at this point and should be easy to manipulate.

    That said...
    The best way would be for us to build support for it, which we need to do, and it's the most requested gateway we have on our request system:
    (That's new, so please re-vote for it there.)

    We definitely plan on getting to it as soon as possible, so if you can wait a bit we definitely will support it at some point.
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