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June 29, 2006

Google Checkout Launched

"By integrating the checkout process with search and advertising, we're helping our users complete the cycle of searching, finding and buying," said Salar Kamangar, Vice President of Product Management at Google, about Google Checkout, the online payment system launched today.

Easier for buyers

How to find products you can buy with Google Checkout?

Google a product you want to buy and look for ads similar to this one:

Or visit your favorite store and look for this sign (or a similar one):

Why should you use Google Checkout?
You don't have to remember the username and password for each account you create to buy products. You just enter your Google Accounts credentials.

What credit cards does Checkout accept?
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

Do you have to be in the US to use it?
The TOS says you must be:
* 18 years old or older;
* capable of entering into a legally binding agreement; and
* a resident of the United States

What stores accept Google Checkout for now?
You can find a list of stores here (link available only in the US): Timberland, Levi's, Starbucks Store, and more.

More cost-effective for sellers

How much merchants have to pay to Google?
If they are AdWords advertisers, for every $1 spent, they can process $10 in sales for free through Google Checkout. If advertisers exceed their free transaction processing for the month, they'll only be charged 2% plus $.20 per transaction.
If they don't advertise with AdWords, they'll pay 2% plus $.20 per transaction.

How difficult is to integrate Google Checkout into a site?
You can use a simple "Buy Now" button if you don't need a shopping cart or you can try Google Checkout API to integrate Google Checkout into your shopping cart.

Does Google Checkout allows customers' feedback?
After receiving a product, buyers can rate it from one star to five stars and make comments to describe the transaction, purchasing and delivery process.

I don't have a site. Can I sell products using Google Checkout?
You can sell your products on Google Base. It's really easy to use and your products can come up on top of the search results (in Google OneBox results).

Google Checkout is not a PayPal competitor, it's just the perfect complement for AdWords. Advertisers can now outsource transaction processing, pay for sells instead of clicks and give more information about shopping preferences to Google.

Google Checkout Screenshots
More answered questions.

Can anyone from the US confirm the system actually works?


  1. typo: "It's really BLANKto use"
    not sure if google were in a hurry to launch this or if thats your mistake.

  2. Thanks. It's my mistake.

    The post is still in beta :)

  3. Well, i immediately jumped in, got my CC added in, and went to one of the stores listed in their promotional coupons section. Found an item i wanted, but when i went to check out by clicking the Google Checkout button, nothing happened. It reloaded my shopping cart page and refused to go forward. And unless it was in a later page of the checkout, there was nowhere to enter the GC coupon code.

    Hopefully it's just birthing pains...

  4. Last comment now irrelevant. i had submitted the shipping cost estimator before the Google Checkout Button. i had to reload the cart without that in order for the GC button to work. Odd, and a small stumbling block, but i got past it and the actual Google checkout page is about as simple as it gets! Don't compare this to Passport. That system never worked this well (save the small oops).

  5. i did. i bought a Memory Stick for my Sony Cybershot. Transaction went smoothly, and i had my confirmation that same moment. A feature i particularly like is Google acting as an email proxy between seller and buyer if the buyer so chooses. i want the information on my purchase, but i also want to withhold my email address, so i'm glad that this feature was thought up.

  6. I tried to buy something but had an abysmal experience - definitely not going to use Google checkout again! It was very simple to use and seemed great (especially the promotional coupons) - but I placed my order on July 13 and waited. And waited. And waited. After about a week without seeing anything except "Your order is being processed" on my Google checkout status page, I contacted the store. They had no record of me or any order going to my address. So, I tried to contact Google checkout - they ignored me for about a week and a half. And then all they said was "we'll look into it". Haven't heard anything until today (3 weeks after my initial order) - when I got my confirmation from the store that an order had been placed today! And immediately following that, an email from Google checkout saying that my order had been cancelled because of "Customer Cancellation". I certainly did not cancel the order, but I'm pretty sure it was cancelled because the store is now out of stock of the items I ordered. Basically Google checkout screwed me out of a good deal - not the end of the world but I definitely wouldn't use them again or trust them with my info any more. If they can't handle a simple straight forward order, what makes me think they'll be better with more difficult security issues concerning my personal information?

  7. My situation sounds alot like August 2nd's situation. I placed the order hoping to get it before Xmas. When 4 days went by and I still didn't receive any information about the status of my order I sent e-mails to Google Checkout, e-mails & did live chat & even called the toll free number of the company I was suppose to buy from. All inquiries lead nowhere. No one at the company I was dealing with could find my google order. They kept saying that my order had to be inputted manually. The last information I had was that maybe 10 days after I placed the order they might start processing it and then ship it out. I was starting to believe I wouldn't get the order until sometime in January; if at all. Guess what I found, 5 days after placing my first order through Google checkout. It was the exact items I was looking for for $2.50 more than I was going to pay through Google checkout. I ordered the items from this other company on the Saturday and they were already getting shipped out because I got a tracking number on the Sunday. Now that is a good response. Can you imagine $2.50 more than my order through google and that is with the wonderful deal I thought I was getting through Google for $20 off my order of $50. My only problem now is trying to get Google to change the status of my order from "in progress" to "cancelled". Everytime I send a message it seems to send me back an auto-reply that leads me to believe that the company I ordered from through Google has to cancel my order. Heck they can't even find my original order never mind cancel it. The interesting part was when I sent another reply to one of this, I think, auto-replies it asked me to type out some letters and numbers to prove that they weren't dealing with an automated response. A simple straight forward order through Google Checkout - I don't think so. As soon as I know my order has been cancelled I can't wait to close my Google Checkout account.

  8. Further to my comments on December 17th. Guess what I received an e-mail today (Dec. 21st) from Ritz Camera saying that my google checkout order has been shipped the day before on the 20th. They wanted to inform me that they did receive my cancellation messages of December 16th, 17th & 18th but they received them too late. They got them after my order already went out the day before. Pretty convenient, eh. Yes, I am a Canadian, therefore, when the order is received I have to send it back. Who knows how long it will take to process a return to my credit card. Especially given the fact that nothing goes very fast when you order through Google checkout. I also asked Google & Ritz as to who is going to step up to the plate and pay the difference in the exchange rate purchase vs. return. What do you think their response is going to be.

  9. Nothing but problems!!! I placed an order through Google Checkout with the Sports Authority. After the order was processed, one of the items was then out of stock. Google Checkout has charged me for the entire order while Sports Authority shows me only being charged for the one item!!! Trying to find where my $40.00 is has (so far) taken almost two weeks with no response. Can't wait to cancel my Google checkout account!!

  10. similarly, i placed an order and have received terrible customer service. i sent this letter to Google (and i never do this kind of thing):

    Hi Google,

    Additionally, I want to speak - via phone - to a real live person. I did some research, looking for a phone number in which to contact you, and found countless blogs and consumer forums saying that this system has obscene delays during the "processing" stage of your order - one man said it took Checkout 13 days to give the go-ahead to to process his order.

    I am totally blown away. You already have all of my information, otherwise I would just flat out cancel my order. I cannot believe this. I want to speak to a person on the phone about my concerns. I did not spend eighty bucks for this kind of service. \

    I am also CCing so that they understand the scope of this problem -as their website is often cited in conjunction with complaints about Google Checkout and they should know about the level of customer dissatisfaction related to this service.

  11. I am a merchant for google and I have no problems using google to process my orders and telling my software the order has been places, charge and I should ship. Since I sell online goods when it is paid the item is marked as shipped.

    Here is my problem and I think every cusomter that uses google checkout should be very aware of this.


    Google does not use Risk Scores to protect you from someone using a stolen credit card on their checkout website. What they use instead is AVS (Address Verication System) It matches the billing address of the credit card that is being used.

    Not the name, Not the phone number just the address. I have caught and talked to a guy doing some of the fraud on my website. In this case he told me he knows Google Checkout only uses the AVS just like other several processors out there. This person told me he has 15000 stolen credit cards with the owners information down to the mothers maiden name. That tells me he got these cards from some sort of Bank Credit card manufacture. He told me he buys them from a employee of a US Banking Website for $2.00 each. Then he charges as much as he can on each card in digital goods that he can reuse or sell over the internet. By the time he gets his money it is from Western Union from a major company that he has sold the digital products to.

    There is no way to use MaxMind with google or any third party software so I have to manually pick up every phone order and confirm every order everyday.

    I have a lot of return customers that I call once a week and we talk like we are old fishing buddies now.

    Over all Google being free was worth the risk and having to pick up a phone to verify an order. Now they are going to start charging fees of 2.00% to 3.00% to use their service. All I can say is Bye Bye Google your anti-fraud system SUCKS for customers and businesses.

    I would rather pay an extra 0.20 to a REAL credit card processor with a real merchant account with real fraud risk scores so I can once again AUTO approve my new customers.

    With the money I will be saving on phone calls it balances out in the long run.

    So everyone until Google can protect EVERYONE from fraud to some degree I suggest you RUN RUN RUN too.

  12. It is a pile of crap I had my cnew creit card stolen through google checkout. I never used it anywhere befor google checkout.

    I went to my credit union and had my card replaced right infront of me.

    I then went home and bought something for my son and paid through google checkout. Two days later when I was trying to pull money out of my account it said I was over drawn. I checked and someone had used my google checkout account all over the internet. I sent email to google to have account closed.

    They never replied so I filed a police report and my bank reversed the charges and cancelled my brand new card.

    Two weeks later this is what I got from Google:


    On 10/11/2007 we received a chargeback notification for your order #
    XXXXXXXXXXXXX for the amount of $2400, which means the order is being
    disputed by your credit card issuer. As part of our Chargeback
    Resolution Policy, Google will work to resolve this chargeback.
    However, we require some information from you to help us in our
    efforts. If you have already received a refund this order in full, please disregard
    this communication.

    This particular order is NOT refundable in our system. Please do not attempt
    to chargeback this order, and please do not your bank in regards to this order if you have not
    already done so. If a refund is appropriate, please let us know in a reply to this
    email, and we will request the refund on your behalf.

    The merchant is requesting the details of the order.
    Passed all googlecheckout risk checks.

    Please reply directly to this email with the information requested above.
    This information may be sent as an attachment.

    For more information about our Chargeback Resolution Policy, please visit

    If you have any questions unrelated to evidence submission, please email
    them to We appreciate your


    The Google Checkout Team

    Hey Robert prove that I made the purchase, I do not have to prove I did not make the purchase! Dont contact my bank???? Are you crazy I already did that is why you have a chargeback!

    Some SECURE network you have!

  13. Poor Service

    Even getting feedback to them is frustrating and nearly impossible. Paypal has been reliable. This is not!

    I sent an order through them. They are very skilled at charging my credit card. However, the vertification of order that was supposed to come to me...has not arrived in nearly a day. Nothing on their site allows one to contact a human directly. All email options narrowly restrict the topic about which you send to them ... they don't have option for what I need or an option for topics other than those already listed.

    The seller also is mysteriously unavailable. Is not answering their numerous answering lines even during the middle of a business day.

    Regard this method of purchase with a HIGH Degree of suspicion

  14. I think we've all been scammed

  15. I've experienced some of the same stuff as some others here. I placed a $700 computer order, only to have it canceled inexplicably by Google Checkout. My issue now is that GCO has not returned the funds to my account. As others have found, trying to get in touch with a live person is like trying to stack bowling balls on a cruise ship. I'm incredibly ticked about this...screw with my order, send me spam, BUT DON'T SCREW WITH MY MONEY!!! BUYERS, BEWARE!!!

  16. I am sure they will get the bugs out. It is a good option for merchants and competition for paypal is always a good thing.

  17. Be very careful using Google Checkout. I placed an order for an item with Now, 24 hours later, has no record of the order. There is no way to cancel an order with Google Checkout, according to their web site. All orders have to be canceled with the vendor, which does not have a record of the order. There is a question whether a rebate on an item will be honored if the order is placed through Google Checkout. There are lots of restrictions on GC orders, such as coupons, but I cannot find a conclusive statement with regard to rebates. (If the rebate is valid, there is not a problem. Try finding someone to answer the question.) I will NOT be using Google Checkout again. Using the "service" is a sleight convenience, but it is not worth adding the intermediary that is not accountable to the customer.

  18. I've experienced some of the same stuff as some others here. I recieved a $700., only to have it canceled inexplicably by Google Checkout. My client was billed $1400. So he canceled $700. Spoke with my client and bank of america. provided proof from BOA. They shut down my account and DISAPPEARED! My issue now is that GCO has not returned the funds to my account. As others have found, trying to get in touch with a live person is like trying to stack bowling balls on a cruise ship. FUCK GOOGLE CHECKOUT! A nightmare with no responses!

  19. I purchased a Roomba from iRobot on the 22nd. It seems my card was over limit, and the first auth attempt failed. I added funds to the card right away, and had Google Checkout retry, which it did with success. I verified the charge was in authorization stage on my credit card.

    To my surprise, an hour later I get an email from iRobot saying my order has been canceled, with no explanation as to the motives. They simply say my card will NOT be charged if they don't ship out the goods, but Google Checkout replied via email that my charge was good and it would go ahead (i.e. my money would be taken).

    I am now at a crossroads, waiting until the 30th, which is the limit the bank has told me Google has to turn an authorization into a payment capture. In any case, the amount is 'frozen' and not available to me until the 30th, which will be when I know what happens. This sucks!!! Google Checkout, you need to clear up your flows.

    DO NOT send an order to a merchant until you have pre-authorized the card (i.e. you KNOW you can take the money from it). In this case, if there is a failure in payment, the vendor doesn't even get an order followed by a cancellation.

  20. I would just like to cancel my account. There doesn't seem to be any info anywhere instructing how to do this. If I've missed it, my apologies. I just can't seem to find it. I've removed my shipping and credit card info but I know that this doesn't actually cancel the account.

  21. i used google checkout and it was the biggest mistake ever. i repeating contracted seller and never recieved a tracking number or my items purchased. i dont even know how to get a refund from google or the seller. i cant find any information on how to get a refund now i lost money do to this transaction. would never ever ever buy anything with google at all again. they cant protect the customer.

  22. Orders 722787020442346 and 206824958769404. Won two auctions and was charged a total of $75.00. Seller received funds, but never shipped items. Seller stated items have been shipped, offered no tracking information. I have waited over two weeks. Seller has multiple complaints against him now from other bidders experiencing the same problem. Seller will not respond to emails or phone calls.
    Now when trying to dispute with google checkout, their site give the following error message when submitting the form: We're sorry, but the information you've requested cannot be found. Please try searching or browsing the Help Center.


  24. we've stopped using the google checkout on 2 website, they have problems with the subscription system. no recurrent orders were processed in August with no reason.
    they are hard to contact, etc
    it is so disappointing!!!!

  25. Google Checkout charged the wrong credit card, and then they stole it! What a joke. I've been buying online for nearly 20 years now and I have one piece of advice:
    If the merchant uses Google Check Out, do without. No item on the face of this planet is worth the trouble you will have to fix as a result of using Google Check Out.

    Again, Google Check Out staff WILL steal your credit card information and your identity and will use it against you.

  26. I have been trying to close my GCO account but can not find any way to do that. Can not talk to a live person and they don't respond to emails. My credit card was compromised and the bank canceled it and are sending me a new one that the new number will not be added to the GCO account.

  27. Anything that competes with paypal for merchant processing is a good thing.

  28. Does anybody know how much of the market google has taken away form paypal? Also, which one is cheaper to process credit cards with?

  29. All I know is that paypal is a joke and has cost me a lot of money. As much as I hate teh google evil empire, I would love to see them throw paypal some competition and make paypal actually try and provide a better service to their customers.