How to use PayPal: tips and tricks

PayPal is one of the biggest online payment platforms out there so we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide on the best tips and tricks on how to use PayPal…

man using paypal

by Tiffany Wallis |

PayPal is an online financial service that allows you to pay for items using a secure internet account.

You simply add your bank account, credit card or debit card details and whenever you pay using PayPal, you can choose which of your cards or accounts it pays with. Simple!

You can also receive money through PayPal and any money received sits in your PayPal account and can be used when paying for something.

There’s also the option to transfer the money from your PayPal account to one of your assigned bank accounts or cards.

When receiving money to your PayPal account, if you sell an item on eBay for example, you’ll incur a fee.

Is PayPal safe?

PayPal is renowned for being safe as it has a number of industry-standard security features and a bug program to weed out vulnerabilities.

Find out how you can use PayPal and make it work for you with minimal set-up with our handy PayPal tips.

Getting started with PayPal

First of all, you need to set up an account. There are three PayPal account types, all are subscription-free, but you pay for PayPal's services according to the transactions made.

There’s a personal account, a premier account for anyone involved in casual selling and a business account option to suit organisations that make regular online sales.

Vicky Etherington, the founder of The Website Mentor, is a website and digital marketing expert.

She has run a number of different businesses since 2002, and has a lot of knowledge on digital processes and Paypal.

She said: “Love it or hate it, PayPal has staked its claim in the world of online payments.

“And the data speaks for itself. With a choice of either paying via credit card or PayPal, over 50 per cent of payments which I take on my website are via PayPal.

“Does that mean that if I didn't offer PayPal, I'd lose 50 per cent of my sales? Possibly - I'm not about to put that to the test by removing that as an option for my visitors.

“So how can you make best use of PayPal as a consumer and an online retailer?”

Vicky explained the best and easiest ways of how to use PayPal and broke it down into a step-by-step guide.

How to use PayPal as a consumer

• PayPal has a credit option that enables you to buy something now and pay in instalments over 4 months with 0 per cent interest. As long as the purchase is over £99, you can apply.

• If you’re a consumer and learning how to use PayPal, Vicky said you can send money to friends using the transfer option. She said, “Simply log into your PayPal account, hit 'send money' and add their PayPal email address.”

How to use PayPal as a business

If you’re a business learning how to use PayPal, there’s a number of things you need to take note of, says Vicky.

She said, “Sending invoices - some of my suppliers find this the easiest way to request money. I click on the link that they send over, and the money leaves my PayPal account and hits theirs.” This is super simple and you can check in any time to check activity and transactions.

Businesses can also use PayPal to collect subscriptions - memberships are all the rage at the moment as entrepreneurs and businesses recognise how valuable they are for cashflow.

Vicky said, “check your direct debits - I'll guarantee that you have some, whether it's for an entertainment service such as Netflix, or your coffee delivery, your weekly veg box, a gym membership or something else - I'm confident you'll have one.”

But for a small business, the logistics of taking a monthly payment can seem complex to set up, but PayPal makes it really easy.

A final tip on how you can use PayPal is to offer it as a payment method on your website so buyers don't need to get their credit card out, says Vicky.

If you feel like you still need a bit of extra learning to get you up to scratch on how to use PayPal, we’ve rounded up a selection of helpful guides that will do the trick…

PayPal books to buy

If you feel like you still need a bit of extra learning to get you up to scratch on how to use PayPal, we’ve rounded up a selection of helpful guides that will do the trick…

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