Too Good To Be True: 1Shopping Cart and PayPal Collide

by Tiffany Johnson

This is one of those post where I’m going to put my techie hat on and translate my findings. I’m the first to admit there’s no way you can know everything until it’s time to know it.

Well today’s the day we find out why the heck members aren’t being invoice on a recurring basis.

We’ve got 1ShoppingCart setup, PayPal is in motion, and our recurring product for membership is ready to go. The members are showing up in the recurring list and we can see the dates they’ll be notified of an automatic payment.

So why isn’t it working?

This issue came up last week with a client. After checking the entire setup and verifying all of the pieces were in place, there was no obvious reason for it not to work. And many tests had been done on the client’s side and ours.


It was time to pick up the phone and speak to 1ShoppingCart. They charged us $10 for the call so I was going to make the most of it.

Turns out 1ShoppingCart and PayPal play really nice when a product is purchased one time. However a membership requires ongoing payments.

That’s where the disconnect occurs. Imagine 1ShoppingCart with its back turned and PayPal with its back turned, neither communicating at the 30 day mark.

1ShoppingCart says “we did our part. Our system is updated with the information”. PayPal says “I don’t know what your talking about. No one told me.”

And here we sit in the middle completely oblivious until at the 30 day mark nothing is processed.

Here’s what happens:

When your customer purchases from your website they are taken to the 1ShoppingCart page you’ve customized to checkout. If you take PayPal only payments, which is very convenient for most customers by the way, they’ll immediately receive an email from 1ShoppingCart with a link to download their purchase if it was something digital like an EBook or MP3.

However if you have a membership program the first payment is received, but any recurring payments will not be initiated.

Why is that? Because for some strange reason PayPal and 1ShoppingCart are not playing nice.

You can setup products with recurring charges in 1ShoppingCart. However if your merchant is PayPal it will not process after the initial payment. In fact, 1ShoppingCart will not even given you a warning to let you know once you’ve created a recurring product. Instead your recurring members will show on a list with the next payment due date, but nothing triggering the payment.

It’s important to note: you can setup recurring payments for your products in PayPal by creating a button. However, you’ll want to think about how you’ll handle the delivery of the digital products as well as any other communication following purchase. Hence the need for a shopping cart or email marketing system like AWeber.

After researching online about this issue it appears the only solution, if you’re going to stick with 1ShoppingCart, is to have a merchant account outside of PayPal. Many clients use and I used it for a minute and then went back to PayPal. I don’t have a recommendation when it comes to merchant accounts except do your research, understand the fee structure, and go from there.

The other option is to find a shopping cart system that will process recurring payments with PayPal. Have this question answered first if you plan to have a membership type program and use PayPal as your merchant. We’re currently testing AMember. I’ll keep you posted on our results.

The big takeaway here, forget using PayPal with 1ShoppingCart if you plan to use it with a membership program. And there isn’t a way to select PayPal for one type of product and another merchant for a membership type product.

It’s a big disappointment, however we’re testing another software system to see if it works. I’ll keep you posted as we learn all of the ends and outs.

I’m still all for PayPal. It makes it very easy for purchases to take place. You can read more on that by clicking here. And 1ShoppingCart is still a system I highly recommend especially if you’re looking to have an affiliate program at some point, have need to send autoresponder messages following purchase, do direct shipping, and plan to sell digital products.

Now it’s your turn. Please share if you use PayPal as your merchant account or something else.