PayPal comes to circuit board purchasing

The Internet continues to transform business practices. One is that there are more ways than ever to pay for products, even printed circuit boards.

Sunstone Circuits added PayPal to its payment plans late last month, providing yet another way for engineers to pay for prototype solutions made by the Mulino, Ore.-based company. PayPal isn’t going to see the same levels of usage in this industry as in E-Bay and other areas where buyers don’t know sellers, but it adds another layer of flexibility for business transactions.

Sunstone is one of a handful of circuit board assemblers that offer the third party payment plan. Using PayPal can make it easier for buyers to streamline their payments and provide another layer of protection.

Offering PayPal isn’t likely to bring in huge numbers of customers. But even if the novelty of using PayPal attracts a few buyers, adding the payment option will be worthwhile. Someone who turns to Sunstone because they truly need to use PayPal, or simply because they’re amused by the novelty of using it, may turn out to be a long-term customer.

Adding new twists is one of the keys for success when suppliers try to differentiate themselves on line. Experiments like using PayPal don’t cost much, so it’s fairly easy to justify a few man hours needed to set up a new program. When a few novel projects each bring in a few new customers, the results can quickly add up to something substantial.

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