Shopping Online with PayPal

How to Go Shopping Online with PayPal, which is another way to shop online with, or without credit cards;

  • Open a personal, or a Business account with PayPal. It is free.
  • Simply select the PayPal button when shopping online with PayPal.
  • Pay directly from your PayPal balance or linked bank account.
  • Or, just as easily, charge it to your credit card, via the PayPal system.
  • Security - the recipient does not see sensitive financial details like your credit card or bank account numbers.
  • PayPal keeps track of all your transactions; you can check the records any time online.
  • Or use PayPal to send money gifts to friends across town or on another continent.
  • Use the debit card (a branded MasterCard) PayPal offers for free to shop offline too.
  • Someone owes you? Send them an email bill, via PayPal. They click a link and pay you.
  • Selling from your website? Set up the PayPal "Buy now" buttons or shopping cart - free.
  • Mass paying affiliates or employees? Do it by PayPal.
  • Need to ask for donations to your non-profit organization? Use PayPal.

How PayPal Works

You can sign up for a PayPal account for free. There are fees per transaction, but they are reasonable.

PayPal works like a third-party payment processor. It is not a bank, but when you apply for an account, it connects to your bank account and confirms that it exists and that it can withdraw and place money into your bank account by your permission. In this way, the online stores never see your bank account, but PayPal handles the transfers for you. Shopping online with PayPal is really convenient!

eBay, the largest auction site on the internet saw the value of bidding or shopping online with PayPal and bought it. This explains why many, if not most of the products for auction there offer PayPal as the payment option when you win an auction. If you are going to shop at eBay or many other smaller websites, you will find the PayPal option is often the only one. Usually that is all that is needed.

Don't let that frighten you! If you have a credit card or a debit card, you can still pay via PayPal too, but they will process your card payment as you would through any other merchant system. Nor does the customer have to sign up with PayPal any more, to do so. They are able to accept payment through any one of five or six kinds of credit cards.

Stuck? No Plastic Card?

If you are in the USA, you can get a free Mastercard debit card (branded as a PayPal card) through them, so that you can use it to shop at any other store, both online and off-line. Naturally, since it is a debit card, you need to have the funds in your account, or PayPal will withdraw them from your bank account. If you have no money there, the sale won't go through. I had one, but they are now limiting it only to American residents.

Obey the PayPal Rules

Some people have tried to make shady deals when shopping online with PayPal. When PayPal suspects underhanded dealings they freeze your account until the matter is cleared up. To use a cliche, it pays to "keep your nose clean" as you do your shopping online with PayPal.

Some people have run into the "hard hand of PayPal" and become bitter. This has resulted in other companies online that offer similiar services. However, so far PayPal is way ahead. Again, if you can show that you are obeying the law, and the Terms of service at PayPal, you will find them fair and easy to use for your online shopping purposes. I think PayPal would not be so big and successful if it did not run a tight ship, concerning discipline of missuse of it's services.

It's Easy to Sell Via PayPal

If you are considering selling some items from your site, as in a small store site, you will find that you can set up a PayPal shopping cart for free, and if you can follow the instructions, it is quite easy.

For that matter, I have recently learned of a few more options. But I haven't tried them, and so hesitate to recommend them.

Sending Gifts Overseas

If you wish to send money to another country, you can send it at much less cost via PayPal than by Western Union or MoneyGram, or such services. PayPal has no problem exchanging currency - where it is set up with the other country. It's important, however, to check whether PayPal is set up in that country. The fee of a few dollars at PayPal is a lot easier to bear than the $10 at MoneyGram ($4.99 online now!), or the $14 fee at Western Union.

Just discovered! PayPal has a new feature under Home -> How PayPal Works (though I found it by clicking on "more" by the small font list of countries at the bottom of a page). Here you can use a drop-down menu to find out if a country is accessible by PayPal, and what services they offer there. I see that some countries now are that were NOT accessible last time I looked.

PayPal's Track Record

PayPal was started up in 1998 in San Jose, California. (I can remember first hearing about it online when it was brand new!) It caught on very quickly, and grew by leaps and bounds. People who were afraid of exposing themselves to financial rip-offs began to trust PayPal to send money online, and buy and charge for things. They gave e-commerce a huge boost on the internet.

There are other similar companies now, but PayPal has developed a reputation for a safe, easier way to pay and get paid online, and that through bank accounts, credit cards, buyer credit and account balances - all without giving out their bank account number. Shopping online with PayPal is commonplace in North America and in an increasing number of other countries too.

eBay saw the potential and bought up PayPal in 2002. That boosted auction buying and now (2010) PayPal can boast of 153 million accounts worldwide. Its services are available in 190 markets and 24 currencies, and a number of languages.

More than 20 awards for excellence have come to them in the internet and business communities, including the 2006 Webby Award for Best Financial Services site, and the People's Voice Award that same year.

Let's say, it's safe to go shopping online with PayPal then!

More recently I've discovered and started using WorldRemit especially for sending gifts of charity to countries where PayPal does not allow the citizens to receive money. Only to send or buy abroad. It appears on their phone in just moments, and they can go into their nearest marketplace and collect the funds into their hands immediately. During the Pandemic of 2020 they have been charging just .99 Cdn per transaction. I can recommend them highly!

If you feel you are ready for a charge card you may want to see how I shop for credit cards If you are resolved to do without, I'll show you an overview of how to do your shopping online without credit cards. We can do that with gift cards, as as through PayPal as you've just seen.