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ARTICLES and FAQ: PayPal - The Grand Daddy of Online Transactions

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Articles & FAQ

PayPal - The Grand Daddy of Online Transactions

We love PayPal. They've been doing business online almost as long as we have, and they're constantly improving and adding new features to their service.

According to their website ( ), they have over 100 million accounts and more than 104,500 people who sign up for new access every day. They deal in transactions totaling over £158 million per day. In 2010, PayPal processed more than £57 billion in total payment volume and exceeded £2 billion in revenue.

PayPal makes it easy for anyone to take payments over the Net with no need for a merchant account. What that means to you is lower fees and a level playing field. If you've been hesitant to start your online business because you thought you couldn't afford your own merchant account, PayPal is all you really need.

There are three types of accounts:

Personal: For your personal shopping use. You cannot accept debit or credit card payments, but sending and receiving money is free.

Premier: For buying and selling under your own name. Send payments for free, with low fees for accepting money.

Business: This is perfect for your online business. Add your own name to be included on your customer's credit card statements. Sending money is free, but you are charged small fees to accept payments.

There are no set up fees and the fee you pay PayPal when accepting cash is based on your sales volume for the month.

Standard Rate: £0 to £1,500 - pay 3.4% and £0.20p per transaction
Merchant Rate: £1,501 to £6,000 - 2.9% and £0.20p per transaction,
£6,000.01 to £15,000.00 - 2.4% and £0.20 per transaction,
£15,000.01 to £55,000.00 - 1.9% and £0.20 per transaction,
£55,000 and up - 1.4% and £0.20p per transaction.

To apply for the merchant rate, you'll have to have one month of sales that meet the ranges above and fill out a short application to get approved.

Many of the options I'm going to point out to you are for "business accounts" only, so you'll want to go that route when registering or upgrade your current account to that level.

Paypal has added so many new features over the years, it's hard to keep up with just how powerful it is. I'm amazed every day at the variety of features that can make your life as an online entrepreneur run as smooth as silk.

Let's take a look at some of these options:

1) Shopping Carts: If you sell multiple items on your site, PayPal has a built in shopping cart. Just copy and paste their buttons for an immediate store front. No third party software needed.

2) Subscriptions/Recurring Payments: If you sell a service that needs to be paid for monthly, you can set up this type of payment option on your site. This is great for trial periods and membership sites.

3) Donations: Maybe you don't sell anything, but you have a very informative site or newsletter. A PayPal button suggesting your readers make a donation is one way to help defray your costs.

4) Optional PayPal Accounts: One of the drawbacks to using PayPal used to be your buyer had to register for their own PayPal account. This is no longer true and you can select in your control panel to make it optional, not mandatory.

5) Customized Payment Pages: You can add your website colours and logo to PayPal's payment pages. You can create and save up to three different page styles for a seamless checkout process.

6) Logo Centre: If you accept PayPal on your site you'll want to add logos to your website letting the world know. You'll find many shapes and sizes to use.

7) Invoicing: Send your customers detailed invoices via email. You can include detailed line items, descriptions, tax and more. You can save up to 10 customized invoices for later billing purposes.

8) Payment Request Wizard: Did you know you can add payment buttons to your Outlook and Outlook Express messages? This is a quick and easy way to get paid faster.

9) PayPal Debit Card: If you have a PayPal account you'll want to get a debit card to go with it so you can easily access your funds at at any ATM. The card has a Mastercard logo so you can go shopping and the money will come out of your PayPal balance. You can also use it to draw out cash from your account up to £250.00 per day. You'll also earn 1.5% cash back on your purchase.

10) Refunds: Anytime you receive a payment, you can easily refund it by clicking a button up to 60 days after the sale.

11) Mass Pay: Easily send payments to large groups of people. This would be an easy way to pay your affiliates if you run your own affiliate program.

12) Packing Slips: If you sell hard goods you can create packing slips for your shipments.

13) Shipping Calculator: Easily add shipping costs for your "buy it now" buttons or your PayPal shopping cart items.

14) Seller Protection Policy: If you meet their guidelines you can protect yourself from liability and PayPal will absorb the chargeback at no cost to you. Covers on any fraudulent transaction and is for tangible goods only.

15) Auto Return: You set the url for your buyers to come back to after they make their payments. Great for setting up your download page for what they purchased and makes for immediate delivery.

Since eBay also owns PayPal, they've also integrated some pretty cool tools for eBay Sellers:

1) End of Auction Emails: When your auction ends, wouldn't it be nice if you could send a customized email with all of the details included automatically? Now you can. This is great for putting nervous buyers at ease when they are waiting to hear from you.

2) Auction Logos: If you want to offer an option in your eBay listings so buyers can pay you directly you can manually add a PayPal logo to do so.

3) Post Sale Manager: If you sell many items on eBay it can be a full time job tracking it all. With PayPal Post Sale Manager you can easily manage invoices, shipments, and feedback on everything you sell.

4) Shipping Centre: USPS and UPS have teamed up with PayPal to offer you integrated service in one location. Calculate shipping costs, print shipping labels, track shipments and much more.

5) Buyer Financing: Add promotional financing to your "big ticket" items so your eBay buyers can more easily afford to purchase with monthly payments. Buyers are approved within 30 seconds and you get paid your full price immediately.

6) eBay Gift Certificates: Send eBay Gift certificates to your friends and family so they can buy anything on eBay as long as the seller accepts PayPal.

As you can see, PayPal is all you need to run your online business. If you thought all you could do was accept or send payments, you're missing out on the powerful features that makes PayPal the perfect business partner for any entrepreneur. And as partners go, that's one thing you can both agree on.

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