PayPal

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Overview

PayPal is company providing a number of services related to consumer electronic financial transations.

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Pages

Links

Official

  • main site
  • Online Merchant Network is a PayPal-run site for PayPal users to discuss online business. Its Mission Statement says (retrieved 2007-04-06): "PayPal has established the Online Merchant Network (OMN) to create a place where merchants can network with each other and share useful information and advice. The goal of the OMN is to build an objective, open, and welcoming environment for the exchange of ideas about business. Although the OMN is hosted by PayPal, we encourage and welcome any healthy discussion about all payment providers, both pros and cons. And from time to time PayPal, as well as third-party contributors, will provide content about topics concerning online businesses. In essence, we're building the OMN to help businesses grow - and thrive."

News

  • 2008-04-17 PayPal Plans to Ban Unsafe Browsers: 'PayPal says allowing customers to make financial transactions on unsafe browsers "is equal to a car manufacturer allowing drivers to buy one of their vehicles without seat belts."' However, as Charcoal Design points out, "Since phishing typically takes the form of a site pretending to be Paypal to get user's details, wouldn't they somehow need to persuade the phishing sites to block these browsers? Otherwise they'll end up with the ridiculous situation that the only Paypal branded sites that some users can visit on their browser will be phishing sites."

Shipping

PayPal now includes a quite sophisticated shipping service at no extra charge. The service supports USPS First Class as well as the mail types supported by the USPS's Click-n-Ship service (which does not support First Class).

There seems to be very little documentation anywhere on how this system works. It is mostly very intuitive, but there are some aspects of it which can trip you up (especially if you are trying to use it in a hurry after Endicia suddenly stopped working).

PayPal makes it a little difficult to ship to arbitrary addresses. It is set up with the idea that you will be shipping to addresses from which you have just received money, but if you didn't enter a shipping address at the time the charge was processed in the virtual terminal, no "ship" button appears next to the charge, and you have to use the Multiple-Order feature.

Multiple-Order shipping lets you import names and addresses from a CSV or TSV file. The file extension must be .csv or .tsv as appropriate, or you won't be able to import the file. The order of the fields doesn't matter, but should include the following:

  • ID (optional -- e.g. package number) (haven't tested this)
  • first name
  • last name
  • street address
  • city
  • state
  • zipcode
  • country (I think it supports non-US shipping, though there was some indication that it didn't under some circumstances...)

The first row must be a header; it will not be imported, but will be used to let you specify the order of the fields using a very nice drag-and-drop interface. Once you have specified the order, you can save this as a template so you don't have to do it again.