Using PayPal on Your Website

by Marg McAlister


Hundreds of thousands of businesses all over the world use PayPal on their websites. They use it to:

  • Sell single products (using a PayPal 'buy now' button)
  • Sell multiple products (using a shopping cart), and
  • Invoice clients for a service (e.g. web design services, copywriting services, ghostwriting services, art work, etc)

You can also use PayPal to pay others, or to accept credit cards on your website. If you sign up with PayPal, then your visitors have a choice of whether to use a credit card or their PayPal account to pay you for your goods/services. Many people prefer to use PayPal to pay for the things they buy, because it involves just a few simple mouse-clicks rather than filling in long forms.

It can be quite costly to set up a merchant facility on your site, but by using PayPal, you can avoid this.

How Can You Find Out More About PayPal?

There are many ways to find out what to do... as you might expect, since so many people use it all over the world!

First, there's the PayPal site itself. Spend a bit of time on this, clicking your way around. PayPal lets you experiment with making a 'buy now' button for your goods before you actually sign up.

On the screen capture below, you can see a section of the 'PayPal Solutions' screen on the PayPal site. You can watch a demo to see how it works (1) and then, by clicking on the 'Payment Buttons' tab, you can give it a try yourself. As you can see, you can create buttons to sell single items, or to sell multiple items with the free PayPal cart, or even to sell gift certificates for products or services!

PayPal Solutions Page

Second, use Google or another search engine to find more information. Just type in 'How to Use PayPal' and you'll find plenty of help. As you can see on the example below, some of these pages are on the PayPal site itself, and some are on other sites like eHow. I use an anti-virus program that indicates whether they have found sites to be safe - this is useful. (Of course, you should never give out sensitive information to other sites... use them for information, but fill in your details ONLY on the PayPal site itself, and ONLY when you see the golden padlock indicating that it is secure.

Google PayPal

Third, look for videos. For example, here's one on YouTube, from PayPal Australia, presented by well-known ABC announcer Angela Catterns.  You can find it at this link:

(There are plenty more... just be careful none of them are scams: don't give out private information via a YouTube link!)

Take your time to read about PayPal and explore the options before you sign up. Best of all, talk to friends who are already using it on their websites. There's nothing like first-hand information!



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