Guide for Setting Up a PayPal Account

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How Do You Get PayPal?

There are many ways to pay for purchases and receive payments online, but one of the easiest and most secure methods is with PayPal. Below is everything buyers and sellers need to know to set up a PayPal account, including how PayPal works, how to choose the right type of account, PayPal payment methods, possible PayPal fees, and how to protect yourself from fraud and scams common to online financial transactions.
 

History of Paypal

PayPal started out as little more than encrypted information stored on a PDA device in fall/winter 1998. Originally founded under the name Confinity, it wasn’t until a year later that payments via e-mail were enabled. Confinity gained 1 million customers by March 2000, mostly from users of eBay. In June 2001, Confinity officially became PayPal. and was acquired by eBay in 2002. PayPal has expanded greatly in its 12-year history, establishing itself in nations all over the world and becoming a leader in securing online financial accounts.
 

Learn About PayPal

PayPal provides you with an easy way to buy and sell online. As a buyer or seller, the first thing you need to do when setting up a PayPal account is to learn how PayPal works. Doing so can save you headaches and money down the road.

Steps to Getting a PayPal Account

Signing up for a PayPal account is fast and easy. You should first go to www.paypal.com. After entering your country and language, determine which type of PayPal account best fits your needs.

How to Determine the Best PayPal Account Type for You

PayPal accounts are divided into three different types according to the needs of the buyer or seller: Personal, Premier, and Business accounts. These three account types are detailed in the table below. It is important to know which account best satisfies your needs before signing up.
 

Type of Account

Description

Personal Account

For individuals who shop online for personal items. Allows users to send or receive money.

Premier Account

For online buyers and sellers who might need merchant services or to accept credit or debit cards.

Business Account

For those businesses that use a group or company name. Allows for merchant services, acceptance of credit or debit cards, and multi-user access.

 

Benefits of Each Type of PayPal Account

Below are the benefits of each type of PayPal account, broken out by account type of benefits offered. Account benefits for all accounts include 24-hour fraud surveillance, customer service availability, and access to eBay tools. The plus sign indicates that the benefit is available for the account type indicated at the type of each column, while the minus sign means that those benefits are not available.
 

Account Benefits

Personal

Premier

Business

Send/Receive Money

+

+

+

24-Hour Fraud Surveillance

+

+

+

Customer Service Availability

+

+

+

eBay Tools

+

+

+

Merchant Services

Limited

+

+

Accept Credit or

Debit Cards

-

+

+

PayPal Debit Card

Limited

+

+

Multi-User Access

-

-

+

 

Fill In Personal Information

Once the correct account type is chosen, fill in all pertinent personal information, including e-mail address, password, name, billing address, and phone number. Make sure to review your information before submitting, though you can update it later in the "profile" area.

Agree to Various Policies

Once you have entered your personal information, read all PayPal user policies, including:

  • User Agreement
  • Privacy Policy
  • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Electronic Communications Delivery Policy

Once you understand your rights and duties with regard to PayPal use, check the "yes" box and click the "Agree and Create Account" button. For more information about setting up a PayPal account, click here.

How PayPal Works

PayPal can be used to pay or receive payments at thousands of online stores, and can be accessed instantly at bricks-and-mortar stores using the PayPal Extras MasterCard (see information about the PayPal Extras MasterCard in the "Methods of Payment Using PayPal" section below). There are more than 150 million PayPal accounts worldwide, and the system is available in more than 190 markets and 24 currencies worldwide. To read the "Top 10 Things to Know About PayPal," click here.

The following table illustrates the three-step PayPal process.
 

Step

Description

One

Shop at sites that accept PayPal, such as eBay.

Two

At checkout, click the PayPal button.

Three

Log in using your account e-mail and password. PayPal then processes the payment without sharing your financial details.

 

Methods of Payment Using PayPal

The table below provides various methods for paying through PayPal. Options include using a bank account, a debit or credit card, cash via MoneyPak, a PayPal Extras MasterCard, or the PayPal credit service called Bill Me Later.
 

Method

Description

Bank Account

The money for the PayPal payment comes out of a linked bank account.

PayPal Debit Card

Pay for purchases with a PayPal debit card, which accesses the cash in your PayPal account.

PayPal Balance

Transfer money from your bank account into your PayPal account by adding money through the use of MoneyPak or receiving money from outside sources, such as family and friends.

Cash via MoneyPak

Allows you to add money to your PayPal account without having to use a credit card or bank account, operating akin to a reloadable credit card.

PayPal Credit:

PayPal Extras MasterCard

Also use a PayPal Extras MasterCard to purchase items online, or even in local retail stores.

PayPal Credit:

Bill Me Later

Provides financing of up to six months on items purchased online.

 

PayPal Fees

While there is no fee to open a PayPal account, fees are assessed on purchases or money received, depending on whether the account holder is buying or selling. The table below details the various fees assessed by account activity, rate, and sales/donation volume. (Note: PayPal retains the right to change these fees at any time.)
 

Activity

Rate

Monthly Sales/

Donation Volume

Fee

Buying

-

-

Free

Selling

Standard Rate

-

2.9% + $0.30 USD

 

Merchant Rates

$0.01-$3,000.00

$3,001.00-$10,00.00

$10,001.00-$100,000.00

Over $100,000.00

2.9% + $0.30 USD

2.5% + $0.30 USD

2.2% + $0.30 USD

1.9% + $0.30 USD

 

Nonprofit Rates

$0.01-$100,000.00

Over $100,000.00

2.2% + $0.30 USD

1.9% + $0.30 USD

 

Protecting Against Common Online Financial Scams and Frauds

PayPal offers protection for both buyers and sellers. Below are the protection plans provided by PayPal, including PayPal Purchase Protection, PayPal Seller Protection, and Overall PayPal Protection.

PayPal Purchase Protection

With PayPal Purchase Protection, buyers have a $0 liability for unauthorized purchases that meet eligibility requirements detailed here. Buyers also receive refunds for incorrect orders or items that never arrive. There is also an easy and convenient process for resolving problems.

PayPal Seller Protection

PayPal Seller Protection protects sellers from buyer chargebacks and claims. Paypal also provides a convenient process for responding to a buyer dispute. Paypal verifies sellers and confirms a buyer’s address.

Overall PayPal Protection

PayPal Protection lets buyers and sellers do business without sharing personal or business information. It also offers the latest in anti-fraud protection and 24/7 account monitoring. And when a problem does occur, PayPal offers a clear and easy-to-use reporting process and provides tools and tips to prevent identity theft and fight phishing or other online scams.

Using PayPal on eBay

PayPal allows eBay buyers and sellers to send and receive payments securely online using a credit card or bank account. When a payment is sent using PayPal, the seller never sees a buyer’s credit card or bank account information.

Paying for Single and Multiple Items Using PayPal

The table below details the purchase process on eBay using PayPal. It includes the process for purchasing both single items and multiple items. To ensure a smooth purchase process, become familiar with each of these steps.
 

Step

Description

One

Link your PayPal and eBay accounts if you have not already done so.

Two

After you win a bid, click the "Pay Now" button, which is located in the item listing in the Purchase History of a buyer’s My eBay or in the confirmation e-mail received from eBay upon completion of a successful bid. You can also click the Pay For All PayPal Items button when purchasing items from multiple sellers who accept PayPal as a payment method.

Three

Check the shipping address for accuracy and update if necessary. Keep in mind that the seller might also require a credit card billing address, also referred to as a confirmed address.

Four

After confirming the order details (including shipping and taxes), click the "Continue" button.

Five

Next, select PayPal as the payment method.

Six

Next, enter your PayPal login information.

Seven

Check your shipping details, payment method, and order details for accuracy before finalizing the purchase.

Eight

Click the "Confirm Your Payment" button, which completes your purchase.

Criteria for Paying for Multiple Items Using PayPal

Multiple items can be purchased following the steps outlined above. For buyers looking to purchase multiple items on eBay using PayPal, this can be done with one easy payment as long as the sellers use eBay checkout in addition to the following criteria:

  • All sellers involved allow multiple seller payments.
  • All items must be in the same currency (e.g. U.S. dollars).
  • All sellers accept PayPal as a payment method.
  • All items were purchased or won within the past 30 days.
  • The buyer hasn’t paid for the items with PayPal or completed checkout.
  • If the items purchased are being shipped to separate addresses, then the buyer must purchase them individually.
 

Conclusion

Paying or receiving payments for items online through such sites as eBay is made easier through PayPal. Once the buyer or seller has made a PayPal account, it is just a matter of clicking the "Pay Now" for individual items or "Pay All For PayPal Items" for multiple purchases and then confirming the payment once all the details, such as shipping and billing address, have been checked for accuracy. But before making purchases using PayPal on eBay, make sure you set up a PayPal account, know how to use PayPal, and become familiar with PayPal payment methods, possible PayPal fees, and how to protect yourself from online fraud and scams.

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