PayPal can be a blessing and a curse, in more ways than one. Anyone who accepts PayPal payments for their business knows that, on the one hand, it’s fantastic to be able to use such a simple and widely accepted form of online payments without much hassle and without any setup fees. On the other hand, most PayPal vendors have to deal with nightmarish issues like frozen accounts, impossible customer support and bad complaint handling at some point or another.
Even at the best of times, one of the most grating things about PayPal is their impossibly sluggish website. It can take minutes (and feel like it’s taking hours) to get from the login page to the detailed view of one specific transaction. This is a problem that Putler, a desktop-based PayPal management app, attempts to solve. And it brings a few other perks along with it.
|Medium:||PayPal Desktop Management Tool|
|Price:||$97/year ($8/month) to $29/month, depending on plan|
Here’s a quick video overview over what Putler is and what it does:
Summary of the features:
- Easily and quickly find transactions.
- Detailed overview of sales trends.
- Sales trends by product.
- Sales trends by customer.
- Quickly and easily issue refunds.
- Support for multiple PayPal accounts.
- Support for multiple currencies.
- Easy performance comparison between accounts, products and more.
Putler is an Adobe Air based application, which means that it’s compatible with both Mac and PC. In order to use it, you need a PayPal business account, from which you can set up API access. Putler accesses and downloads PayPal data through the API. From a security standpoint, this is safer than remote access by adding username and password to an application, since only a limited number of actions can be done via API (e.g. it’s not possible to make payments or send money through the API).
The first time you run the program, you can tell it how far back it should go, when fetching historical data. Depending on how much data needs to be downloaded, it can take quite a long time, but you’ll only have to wait once. After that, Putler refreshed the data every five minutes (if you leave it running) or every time you start it up and when it fetches new data, this usually only takes a few seconds. Everything else in Putler is pretty much instant, whether you are checking sales-trends, searching for transactions or issuing a refund. This is a huge improvement over the crawlingly slow PayPal online interface.
For my current business, Putler is nice to have (and I will continue using it), but it’s not absolutely crucial. It saves me some time and it gives me a much better way of measuring and keeping the overview over my business’ success. And of course, it also makes refund processing a lot easier. In other words: it’s nice, but nothing mind blowing.
A few years ago, I was running an e-commerce store and more than half of all the payments were made using PayPal. For that particular business, I had to manually look up PayPal orders far more often than I do now and because of this, Putler would have been absolutely priceless. It would have literally saved me hours upon hours of time (time spent mostly staring at PayPal’s “loading” spinner) and I wish I had known about it, back then (assuming it already existed).
In conclusion: depending on your business model and on how much time you spend managing PayPal payments, Putler can either be a neat little management and tracking tool or a heaven-sent time saver.