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eBay Hacks, 2nd Edition by David A. Karp

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Hack #100. Accept PayPal Payments from Your Own Site

Integrate PayPal into your web site with a simple HTML form.

PayPal is more than a standalone auction payment service: it's an engine that you can use to power transactions on or off eBay. Any site that sells products can accept PayPal payments, and can do so without forcing customers to manually type the seller's email address and a dollar amount into their browsers.

Somewhat like an API, PayPal provides a simple HTTP interface to their payment system that works just like the Pay Now button at the top of completed eBay auctions. This allows you, as the seller, to streamline the payment process by specifying an amount, a product name, and any other bits of information you'd like to associate with the payment.

There are three ways to integrate PayPal into your site: URLs, Pay Now buttons, and Shopping Cart forms. Anyone with a PayPal account can use these links; you don't need to sign up for any special programs or install any special software. All you need is a basic working knowledge of URLs [Hack #13] and HTML [Hack #52] .

Tip

Once you've set up a PayPal payment link, you can use Instant Payment Notification [Hack #101] to have your server handle the payment automatically. For more tips relating to payment buttons and Instant Payment Notifications, check out PayPal Hacks by Shannon Sofield, Dave Nielsen, and Dave Burchell.

Just a Link

The simpler of the three methods involves nothing more than a link placed on your site. For instance, ...

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