Ship Anything, Get Donations, and Transfer Cash with PayPal

Three PayPal tips to help you with life outside of eBay

PayPal can make the process of online fundraising painless and automatic. Image: Aron Hsiao / eBay

PayPal is the primary payment system used by eBay shoppers and sellers, but PayPal offers features that make it useful in other areas of day-to-day life as well.

Here are three tips to help PayPal users to get more mileage out of their accounts.

Ship Anything with PayPal

If you regularly ship via the United States Postal Service, you know that it can be a pain to go to the post office and stand in line to pay for shipping.

Unfortunately, many online shipping services charge monthly fees or require the purchase of specialized equipment, specialized paper, or other accessories.

Did you know that you can purchase and print USPS express, priority, first class, parcel post, and media mail postage using PayPal, at almost any USPS service level, even if the item you're shipping wasn't bought or sold on eBay? By doing this, you avoid the lines-instead, you simply affix the label and drop the package at your local post office, no further paperwork or purchase needed.

To ship anything with PayPal, visit https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now to pay for and print any shipping label you'd like right at home. If you use this service often, create a new bookmark in your web browser that points to this address and simply visit the bookmark whenever you have something to ship.

Accept Donations with PayPal

Whether you're affiliated with a charity or are simply hoping to earn a voluntaristic buck with your personal blog or hobby website, the ability to hold up a tin cup in cyberspace and ask for credit card donations can be a useful one.

Happily, PayPal makes it easy to put a "Donate" button on your website, whatever type of site it happens to be. By clicking it, visitors can quickly and easily send money to your PayPal account.

To automatically generate an easy-to-use code snippet for your website that creates such a button, visit https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?&cmd=_donate-intro-outside and follow the steps to automatically generate a donation button for your website that leads directly to your bank account.

Transfer Money with PayPal

Many banks' online account managements make electronic funds transfers easy these days, but many still do not. That's too bad, because moving money between accounts is actually something that most people find themselves wanting to do from time to time.

By adding bank accounts to your PayPal account or creating a secondary PayPal account (you're allowed to have up to two, one personal and one premier or business account, so long as you use a different email address for each), you can enable various kinds of funds movement through your PayPal account(s):

  • Between regular bank accounts. Just add multiple banking accounts to your PayPal account using the "Profile" link on your PayPal account's home page. You can then "add funds" to your PayPal account from one bank account, then "withdraw funds" from your PayPal account to your other bank account.
     
  • Between credit and cash accounts. PayPal accounts can simplify the process of getting cash advances against a line of credit and having them deposited into a cash account. Create two PayPal accounts, add the cash bank account to one of the PayPal accounts and the credit card to the other one. You can then send money to yourself from the credit card on one account to the PayPal balance on the other, which you can then "withdraw" to the connected cash account.
     
  • Between parent and child, husband and wife, other relatives. Rather than using the slow process of mailing checks or the hassle of using wire transfer services, you can use PayPal to send money to your dependents quickly and easily. Just be sure that both you and they are set up with individual PayPal accounts. Then, send them money.
     
  • For college or other "allowance" spending. Set your high school or college student up with a PayPal student account and associated debit card. Then, you can send them money via PayPal that will be instantly available to them wherever they are-in quantities that you control.

There's More Where These Came From

PayPal offers quite a number of services apart from the primary service of eBay payments processing. If you found these interesting, take time to browse the various areas of the PayPal website, including Merchant Services, the fundraising tips and ideas page, and the discussions at PayPal Community.