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Google Checkout Review

This Google Checkout Review will cover a bit of Google Checkout history and the costs, pricing, or fees associated with processing payments online via Google Checkout. Keep reading to get the pros and cons of using Google Checkout from a buyers and merchants perspective.

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Google Checkout launched in June, 2006, providing an alternative to PayPal checkout. Since PayPal is integrally connected with eBay, it wasn't clear how the competition would run. Both services have survived the initial tests of time and are available to merchants.

Google Checkout Costs

Google Checkout costs are based on the amount of your sales, computed on a monthly basis and determined by the prior calendar month. . If you sell less than $3,000 worth of merchandise in a month, the fees are 2.9% +$0.30 for each sale. For each incremental increase in sales, the percentage drops (but the thirty cent fee remains), with $3,000$9,999.99 in sales costing 2.5% per transaction, $10,000$99,999.99 costing 2.2% per transaction, and $100,000 and more costing 1.9% per transaction.

Other fees may apply as well, such as an added 1% fee when the merchant's and buyer's country are different, and higher processing fees if a merchant has excessive chargebacks or other potentially risky transactions. Chargeback fees are $10.

Some accounts with Google Checkout may have Payout limits. This means that you may not be able to receive your total earnings all at once, but may have to wait for the following month. Google Checkout does not allow you to choose the frequency of payouts for sales and payouts are not initiated on certain days, including banking holidays and weekends. After the payout is initiated, it is expected to take 5 business days.

The Google website does not make clear if or how your funds are secured prior to being deposited in your account. In this way, it differs from a merchant account, in which your funds are always in an FDIC-insured institution.

Google Checkout From the Buyer's Perspective

For the buyer, Google Checkout can streamline the checkout process across a range of merchants. Instead of dealing with a wide range of forms requiring a wealth of information and the creation of user names and passwords for each new merchant, and the need to keep track of all this security information, Google offers a simple form that a consumer fills in once. After that, signing in completes a purchase. Multiple credit cards and multiple delivery addresses can be stored in a single account.

Additionally, seller ratings and price comparisons are provided on the results page. And columns allow the customer to survey the condition (new or used), the tax and shipping costs calculated for his/her own ZIP code, and the total price. So for an item that the buyer knows he or she wishes to purchase, these features minimize the buyer's time spent shopping.

A purchase can be completed by simply:

  • going to the Google search page
  • typing in the name of the item desired and selecting the "shopping" search option
  • If a shopping cart appears in the search results, the merchant(s) accept Google checkout; click on one that does.
  • select a merchant
  • specify quantity (size, color, and any other choices) 
  • sign-in and buy

Customers may interpret this set up as more convenient and faster than spending time on a variety of sites to collect and compare prices themselves. They likely appreciate the fraud protection coverage that applies to unauthorized purchases on one's account, and it also means that only one place (Google Checkout), rather than a number of different merchants, have the customers complete credit card (and possibly even email) information.

Google Checkout From the Seller's Perspective

A merchant may have several different reactions to this. First, it may be a relief not to have the customer's secure data to store and credit card transactions to handle (and pay for). And customers who didn't know your establishment existed may suddenly find you at the top of their list of options. Google Checkout is tied to Google AdWords, targeted advertisements that appear alongside search results, and the Google Checkout icon is included, so customers who have already signed up have a streamlined process to a sale on your site. You can also place Google Checkout buttons on your site so that buyers who prefer to browse on websites in order to decide on a purchase can easily use Google Checkout to complete their purchase.

However, Google Checkout places a much larger number of alternatives to your establishment at the buyer's fingertip, and this means you may have to work harder to win the sale. In addition, not having access to the customer's email may make it problematic to advertise in ways you are accustomed to, let alone to offer sales, specials, and other typical merchant-buyer interactions.

Related Article: PayPal Review >>

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