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How to Open a PayPal Account

PayPal is a safe method of payment on eBay. No service can make a slow or lazy seller into the picture of efficiency. The advantage of PayPal, though, is that you don’t have to get your hands dirty.

The folks at eBay know a good thing when they see it, so they acquired PayPal late in 2002. Now PayPal payments are integrated into eBay’s checkout process.

Register at PayPal

When you register to use PayPal, you have to give your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. You also have to make up a password.

Make your password more than six characters, and use numbers and letters.

You have to select a security question. The safest is your first pet’s name, your city of birth, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. You have to click to put a check mark next to the paragraph that says you have read and agree to PayPal’s User Agreement and Privacy policy. When you understand what PayPal’s about and what it expects of you, click Sign Up.

PayPal sends you an e-mail confirming your registration. The e-mail arrives, almost instantaneously, at the e-mail address you used at registration, and the message contains a link. When you receive the e-mail, click the link to visit the PayPal site. Enter the password that was used to create your account. Bingo — you’re in.

Give PayPal credit card or checking account information

Of course, you also have to add a credit card number to your PayPal account if you want to pay for anything with a credit card (or plan to sell on eBay). If you don’t have a credit card — or would like to occasionally pay for things directly from your bank account — you have to register your checking account.

This may make you squirm; you’re not comfortable giving that type of information to anyone, much less putting it out on the Internet. Relax. PayPal uses military-strength encryption technology to keep your account information safe, so don’t be afraid to give up your data.

To register your credit card, you’ll have to input the name on the card, the expiration date, and the card verification number — the three-digit number on the back of the card, imprinted next to the last few digits of the card number in the area where you sign. PayPal also asks you to supply a billing address.

On an American Express card, the card verification number is the four-digit number on the right side of the face of the card.

When you enter all the information PayPal needs, click the Add button. PayPal submits your information to your credit card company for confirmation. This process may take a minute or so, but eventually your credit card company says you are who you say you are, and the card is added to your PayPal account. You can register four active credit cards.

Registering your checking account is just as easy. You supply the information from the bottom of one of your checks.

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Get PayPal-verified

For your account to get verified, PayPal must be able to confirm that your bank account is really yours. If you bank online, you can usually confirm your account in a few minutes. When PayPal has the information it needs, it makes two small deposits into that account. After a week or so, call your bank or check your account online and find out the amount of these two deposits.

When you have the amounts, sign on to the PayPal website with your password, and type the amounts in the appropriate place. Voilà! Your account is registered — and, not coincidentally, you’re verified! PayPal has confirmed that you hold an active account with your bank. All banks are required to screen their account holders, and verification authenticates your identity to anyone who does business with you.

Here are some benefits of being PayPal verified:

  • You can spend up to $10,000 through PayPal in a single transaction.

  • You gain a higher level of account security.

  • You present a confident image as a buyer or seller. Verified status shows other PayPal members that you have passed PayPal's security checks.

If you don’t want to give up your bank account number, you can become verified by applying for and being accepted for a PayPal Plus credit card or PayPal Buyer Credit.

When you first sign up, there are limits on the amount of money you can withdraw from PayPal, you may only be able to withdraw $500.00 per month.

Luckily, you can remedy this feature by confirming your bank account and linking your credit cards. After you complete the steps shown here, you’re in the clear. The only limit is that any one withdrawal transfer to a bank can't exceed $100,000.00 USD.

Here's how you can view and lift your withdrawal limit:

  1. Go to PayPal.com and sign in to your account.

  2. 2,In your Account Overview, click the link near your name that reads View Limits.

  3. On the resulting page, find the link that reads Lift Limit and click it.

    You are now ready to roll with the “big guys.”

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