PayPal - Accepting payments guide for new sellers

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How does PayPal work?

PayPal is a payment service which allows members to send & receive secure electronic payments through an email address using a Credit/Debit Card, Bank Account, existing funds in their PayPal account, or by using PayPal Buyer Credit.

How do I receive PayPal payments for my eBay auctions?

When listing an eBay auction using the Sell Your Item form (also called the SYI ) in "Decide how you'd like to be paid" section of the form you will see this:

It's very important that you spell the email address correctly & it is the email address that is registered with your PayPal account. Once a buyer has purchased your eBay item, they can use the Pay Now button to pay from:

  • A Closed auction or My eBay
  • An emailed invoice from My eBay
  • The PayPal website under Send Money/Pay for eBay items

If you have recently changed your PayPal email address, and your payments are Pending in your My eBay > Sold Items section, and payments are Unclaimed for your buyers, you may have an email address address issue where you did not properly change your email address for receiving PayPal payments, or your have a typo/wrong email address in the SYI.  Please see my Guide for changing your email address.

How do I withdraw money from my PayPal account balance?

There are several ways to withdraw money from your PayPal account balance. Log into your PayPal account & click on the 'Withdraw' subtab as shown here:

Once you click on the Withdraw subtab you are given the choice of withdrawing your money several different ways.

  • Transfer funds to your Bank Account - 3-4 Business Days to clear (Free)
  • Request a paper check from PayPal - 1-2 Weeks ($1.50USD)
  • Shop with the PayPal Debit Card - Instant once you get a card (Free)
  • Get cash of out an ATM with the PayPal Debit Card - Instant - ($1.00USD)
  • Shop online with a Virtual Debit Card - Instant - (Free)
  • Buy from over 42,000 PayPal Shops - Instant - (Free)

You can also keep the money in your PayPal balance to pay for future eBay, or other online purchases.

How do I protect myself against claims from buyers?

PayPal Seller Protection is available to members in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 

You can view the PayPal Seller Protection Policy by going to the PayPal website then clicking on the link at the bottom of the page titled Legal Agreements > User Agreements > Protection for Sellers.  I have also posted it in an  eBay Guide here.

'Trackable Online Proof of Delivery' for payments under $250 can be Delivery Confirmation from the USPS, it's 18¢ when you use PayPal Shipping to print your labels.

The USPS insurance over $200.00 is NOT a substitute for Signature Confirmation even though it requires a signature from the buyer.  The USPS is the ONLY one that can access the signature on their computers, it is not viewable online to the public, so you would need insurance AND Signature Confirmation for payments over $250.00.  DO NOT let the USPS worker tell you otherwise.

What is a Chargeback?

"Chargeback" means a request made by a buyer directly to his or her credit card company to invalidate a payment.

You can read about Chargebacks & how to prevent them by going to this eBay Help Page.  Click on the link that says 'Understanding Chargebacks' there is also a step by step guide when you follow the link.

What is a Reversal?

means a payment that you received has been removed from your Balance from any reason other than a Chargeback or Claim pursuant to a Buyer Protection Program.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about PayPal's Dispute Resolution Process.


Setting up your PayPal/eBay Account & Preferences

If your a new seller, the first thing you should do is make sure you have the right account with PayPal.  For selling on eBay this  PayPal Payments Policy applies.  You can start selling using a Personal Account and upgrade once you have received your first Credit/Debit Card payment; however, for those payments, before you upgrade you will not have Seller Protection unless you have a Verified Premier or Business Account.

How much does it cost to upgrade my Personal Account to a Premier or Business Account?

It's free to upgrade your account to a Premier or Business Account.  There is a fee for accepting payments to a Premier or Business Account (2.9% = .30¢ per transaction) & no monthly fee.  Here is the PayPal fee schedule .

How do I upgrade my PayPal Personal Account to a Business Account?   <--- Click there :)

Once you upgrade your Personal Account to a Premier or Business Account, if you are not Verified , you can become Verified to have Seller Protection by logging into your PayPal account & clicking on the Get Verified link as shown here:

You can become PayPal Verified by adding a bank account or by applying for the PayPal Plus Credit Card.  If you do not wish to add your household bank account, you can open a free checking bank account and add that. :)

Once you have upgraded to a Premier or Business Account you have a new section added to your Profile section called 'Payment Receiving Preferences', this section is very important to setup.

To get to this section of the PayPal site, follow these steps: > Log in > Profile subtab > Payment Receiving Preferences link in the right column

1. Block payments from U.S. users who do not provide a Confirmed Address

If you do not want to accept the risk of shipping to an Unconfirmed Address you need to block Unconfirmed Addresses from US Account holders by checking off 'No'. 

2. Block payments sent to me in a currency I do not hold

If you do not want to have a PayPal balance in multiple currencies then check off 'Yes'.

3.  Block accidental payments:
You may prevent accidental payments by blocking duplicate invoice IDs

This is a good idea to mark as 'Yes' to avoid duplicate payments from buyers.

4. Block payments from users who:
_ Have non-U.S. PayPal accounts
_ Initiate payments from the Pay Anyone subtab of the Send Money tab

The second box is a personal preference if you want to block it, I do not block mine, mainly because if the Pay Now button from eBay or an email invoice along with the Send Money > Pay for eBay items subtab is not working I want to be able to tell my buyer how to manually pay me using the Send Money > Pay Anyone subtab method.

5. Block payments from users who:
Pay with eCheck for website and Smart Logos payments, or German Bank Transfer for all website payments except eBay. NOTE: You may not block eCheck payments on eBay.

eBay sellers are not allowed to block eChecks, see the  PayPal Payments Policy on eBay.  If you have time sensitive auctions like event tickets you should list them on eBay with a Buy It Now price with  Immediate Payment Required , Immediate Payment Required does not allow eChecks.  If your auction is also setup to accept bids Immediate Payment Required will not work with the bids, just the Buy It Now price.

6. Display "Add Instructions to Seller" text input field:


This is a personal preference, I leave mine on.

This below section is very important, most claims of Unauthorized Use are because the buyer did not recognize the name on their billing statement.  I use the word 'eBay' in front of my eBay ID name, you can customize this section, so it's easily recognized by your buyers.

The Credit Card Statement Name is the name that will appear on your customers' credit card statements.

The name can be 11 alpha-numeric characters in length, including spaces.

For some payments, the name can be extended to 19 alpha-numeric characters in length, including spaces.

Credit Card Statement Name:  EBAYKATHIE
      (11 Character Maximum)
Extended Credit Card Statement Name:  EBAYKATHIESKLOWN197
      (19 Character Maximum)

Don't forget to click on the "Save'  button at the bottom of the screen.

Blocking Unconfirmed Addresses from the eBay site.

When you have your PayPal Preferences set up to block or ask you when you receive an Unconfirmed Address from a US Account holder, you also need to set up this eBay Preference so they don't get through if a buyer pays multiple sellers at once.

1) Log in to My eBay and click on “Site Preferences” under My Account.

2) Open the “Payment from buyers” section under the Selling Preferences heading and click 'Edit'

3) Uncheck the “Include my items when buyers pay all their sellers at once using PayPal” box in the PayPal Preferences area

4) Click 'Submit' at the bottom of the screen

You should also setup your eBay  Buyer Requirements Preferences.

This allows you to block buyers who:

  • Are buyers registered in countries you don't ship to
  • Have a negative feedback score
  • Have received Unpaid Item strikes
  • Have reportedly violated eBay Policies
  • Are currently winning or have bought '1-100' of your items in the last 10 days
  • Do not have a PayPal account
When you have selected the requirements, make sure you check off the box titled "Apply above settings to current and future listings" at the bottom of the page before submitting.

How do I protect myself against claims of Significantly Not As Described from buyers?

It's very important that sellers described their items as accurately as possible; there is no Seller Protection against of Significantly Not As Described (SNAD) claims.  Use good  photographs & detailed  titles/descriptions .   Here are some things that should be included in the description:

  • Color
  • Condition
  • Quantity
  • Weight (i.e. Net Wt 0.09 oz)
  • Height & Length


Custom Restrictions

If you decide that you want to sell your items outside of the US, you need to be aware of Custom Restrictions, and make sure the items your selling are allowed into countries your shipping to.

Please see my  eBay Guide on this subject.

How do I pay for PayPal Shipping Labels? (From the PayPal Help Pages)

When shipping with the U.S. Postal Service™, you can pay for shipping labels with your PayPal account balance, with an instant transfer from your bank account, or with your Credit Card.

With UPS shipping, your shipping costs can be debited from your PayPal account balance.

Click on the top right Priority Mail box photo in this  eBay link to watch a Pitney Bowes video on how to print PayPal labels.

When printing labels, make sure you turn off your computer's pop-up blocker(s).

You can use adhesive labels, or plain white paper. If you are using plain white paper, you can tape along the edges & over the address area. You should not tape over the bar code, but you can tape over the eDC number in case the bar code gets wet then the carrier can still hand type in the eDC number. You can also use a glue stick or spray adhesive like Super 77 from 3M.

What is PayPal MultiOrder Shipping ?

From the link:

PayPal MultiOrder Shipping is a powerful new tool that will help you save time and let you focus in building your eBay business. MultiOrder Shipping allows you to print up to 50 domestic U.S. Postal Service shipping labels at a time, right from your PayPal account.

Here is a link to my Guide on how to use  MultiOrder Shipping.  I included a lot of screenshots to make it easier to learn.

Need USPS Priority Mail boxes & supplies?

You can order supplies to come right to your door at no charge from the eBay Shipping Zone .  You can order eBay co-branded Priority Mail boxes here:

How do I print a packing slip?

PayPal site > Log in > Details link for the payment > Click the Print Packing Slip link > Review the receipt for accuracy. If information is correct, click Print and then click Done.

If you are using PayPal MultiOrder Shipping you can print a packing slip by clicking on the File link at the top then click on Print Packing Slips from the drop down menu.

Can I print labels for non-eBay transactions from the PayPal site?

Yes, using MultiOrder Shipping.  Here is a link to my Guide on how to use  MultiOrder Shipping including how to print a label for a non-transaction shipment. MOS is for USPS Domestic labels only.

PayPal Security Center

Staying safe online is very important, I highly recommend all users visiting the eBay & PayPal Security Centers & taking the tutorials.

I have used my  Security Key since day one, and I love it.  You can use it for eBay and/or PayPal.   In this Discussion Board  thread, I have posted screenshots of how the Key works & how to activate it. Make sure you go to the link in that thread for Iconix, PayPal & Iconix have teamed up together on a program to help members spot spoof emails for eBay & PayPal.  Iconix also has other large clients like: Disney, Craigslist, Citibank, Target etc...

There is also My Messages with eBay, you can read about it here: My Messages .

PayPal has a new feature called PayPal Plug-In, this is from the PayPal site:

The PayPal Plug-In lets you shop anywhere online, securely. In fact, because the plug-in sits on your web browser, it allows you to pay with PayPal even if a store doesn’t currently offer PayPal at checkout. Plus, the plug-in is designed to help protect you against fraud and identity theft. It generates a unique, one-use card number every time you pay, so your information stays secure. 

Mac does not support the PayPal Plug-In at this time. However, Mac users can still pay with PayPal using the Secure Cards feature.

You can find out more information from the PayPal website.  Go to your PayPal account > Login > Security Center link > Online Safety Essentials > Security Tools

Check out the Global Law Enforcement Operations Team  Police Blotter to see who got busted!

Never ever let an eBay member email you saying that they cannot bid, and can you end the listing early.  This is a red flag that the member is a scammer! Also, PayPal will never ask you for the tracking number to verify the shipment for security reasons, you will always see the payment in your PayPal account.  If someone emails you saying they are from PayPal, and you need to provide a tracking number before funds will be released and there is no record of the payment in your PayPal account, this is a scam, report the buyer to PayPal like this:

Email PayPal Customer Support using this eBay Help Page .  Click on the Contact PayPal Customer Support link on the next page -

1. Report Fraud  2. Spam/Suspicious Email

3. I received an email for fake funds.

For the window titled ' Copy and paste here the email you received' you need to include the email headers, if you don't know how to include them, you can read about email headers on this eBay Help Page .

For the window titled ' Your message' you only have 1000 characters and about 10 minutes , if you run out of time you will have to log back in and your information will be lost so if you need more time you should type up what happened with the transaction in a word document on your computer then copy & paste it into the box.  Make sure you include information such as names, eBay ID names, auction numbers etc...

If you need instructions on how to copy & paste, see here:

You should also report it to eBay like this:

eBay Home Page > Help at the top > Contact Us >

Select: Selling and Managing Your Item > Continue button

Step 1.  Fraud and transaction problems
Step 2. Buyer paid or attempted to pay with fake/stolen funds

Click on the 'Email Us' link on the next page & fill in the webform


PayPal Help Center

There are alot of ways to receive help with PayPal questions.

If you need help with your account, you can contact PayPal by calling them, the numbers are posted in the Answer Center on the PayPal board .

You can email PayPal Customer Support using this eBay Help Page .

You can also ask your questions on the PayPal Member to Member boards.

Answer Center PayPal Board

Discussion threads are limited to 10 replies, please give as much information as you can in the Original Post (OP), but no personal information such as names, email address & phone numbers etc.... if you live outside of the US, please tell us that too. :)

PayPal also has the Online Merchant Network (OMN)