When there is a confluence of links — when not one, but two sites I visit every day features links to the very same interesting new thing — I can’t resist. And so I learned of Lollyphile, and their Maple-Bacon Lollypop.

With the exception of Maple-Bacon Cupcakes (with Maple Frosting) this is perhaps the most wonderful food-related thing I’ve yet learned of. And since my lobbying efforts with my local professional cupcake-baker have heretofore fallen on deaf ears (c’mon Sharon… you know you really want to make them!) it might seem that placing an order for some Maple-Bacon Lollypops would be just the thing to sample the presumed salty, savory, sweet goodness that is a Maple-Bacon Lollypop. There’s just one problem… Lollyphile uses PayPal for their shopping cart.

I had a PayPal account for years. I paid for eBay actions with PayPal, I purchased coffee, I made donations of various sorts to one non-profit group or another. Then one day PayPal inexplicably forgot who I was. My account — poof! — disappeared. My attempts to login, and to try to verify or reactivate my account failed. So far as PayPal is concerned, I no longer exist… I suspect the small sum of money that was in my PayPal account similarly evaporated.

To cut to the chase, I no longer do business with PayPal. Consequently, I can’t complete a purchase with businesses who offer only PayPal as a payment method. I suspect — actually, I’m certain — that I’m not alone. There’s lots of folks who’ve been burned by PayPal. Lots. (Note to any company that does business on the Internet: when there are numerous sites on the web dedicated to nothing more than collecting customer horror stories about doing business with you, maybe you have a problem worth looking into. Just sayin’.)

My point — and I do have one — is not that PayPal is evil (and to be honest, I don’t think they are; I think they’ve made some stupid mistakes and pissed off a lot of their customers, but stupid does not equal evil.) My point is this: if you’re a new company just getting your feet wet and selling online, and you’ve hitched your wagon to a payment system that doesn’t serve 100% of your potential customers, then that’s a percentage of sales you can write off, straight off the top. Can you afford that percentage? If you can, then you’ve either got really deep pockets (in which case, why would you limit yourself to PayPal?) or maybe this is just a hobby (in which case, knock yourself out, and have a great time!)

Sorry, Lollyphile. Let me know when you’ve got a safe, trustworthy merchant service and I’ll be happy to buy some Maple-Bacon Lollypops. Meanwhile, best of luck.

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