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Cheat Sheet

PayPal For Dummies

From PayPal For Dummies by Victoria Rosenborg, Marsha Collier (Foreword by)

PayPal may be the world’s most recognized online payment service. Knowing what it costs to use the service (usually nothing if you’re a buyer; a small percentage if you’re a merchant) and the error messages you may encounter is handy information. And, because PayPal is so popular, you need to be aware of and beware of potential thieves who try to use the PayPal name to get money for themselves.

PayPal Fee Schedule

If you have a personal PayPal account you use to send or receive money online, you generally pay nothing to manage your account unless you’re converting foreign currency. If you’re a merchant who receives payments through PayPal or have a premier account, you pay a percentage of your receipts to cover the costs — nothing is totally free, right? The following table shows the PayPal fee schedule:

Activity Personal Account Premier or Merchant Account
Opening a PayPal account Free Free
Sending money Free Free
Withdrawing funds from your account Withdrawing to a US bank is free; the fee for withdrawing to an international bank account varies by country. Withdrawing to a US bank is free; the fee for withdrawing to an international bank account varies by country.
Adding funds to your account Free Free
Receiving funds Free $0.01 to $2,999.99: 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction
Merchant Discounts:
$10,000.01 to $100.000 — 2.2% plus $0.30 per transaction
Over $100,000: 1.9% plus $0.30 per transaction
Converting from one currency to another 2.5% fee 2.5% fee

How to Spot a Fake PayPal E-Mail

People around the world know that PayPal is a service that helps people transfer money online. And crooks try to make use of PayPal’s instantly recognizable name in an effort to scam money from unsuspecting customers. Pay attention to the following list so that you’re not taken in by these unscrupulous spammers.

A PayPal e-mail might be a fraud if

  • You get an e-mail addressed to “Dear PayPal Member” instead of to you by name.

  • The e-mail contains an attachment.

  • You’re asked for your username, password, or other personal information.

  • The e-mail contains a link that does not take you to the PayPal Web site.

  • The subject of the e-mail is “PayPal Random Account Verification,” or something similar.

  • The e-mail has not been sent to the e-mail account you use as your PayPal account.

  • The e-mail states that "PayPal" is offering to deposit funds into your account.

  • The PayPal logo image looks fuzzy, pixelated, or slightly different from the logo on the PayPal Web site.

  • The body of the e-mail has odd-looking formatting, like everything centered, multiple fonts used throughout, and strange paragraph spacing.

PayPal Error Codes You May Encounter

If you use PayPal just to pay for things online, you’ll probably never run into error codes. However, if you’re a merchant accepting payments through PayPal, you may want to familiarize yourself with the following error codes and their meanings — or at least know that the info in the following table can help explain things if you do encounter an error message.

Error String or Number Description
10001 Unexpected error
10002 Authentication error
10003 Missing Required Arguments
10004 Invalid Argument
10005 Unsupported feature
10006 Unsupported version
10007 Permission Denied
10009 Server refused request
11001 Invalid argument warning
11002 FYI warning
PA_Long_Error_ACH_Not_Verified Your ACH is not verified.
PA_Long_Error_Authentication Your username or password is incorrect.
PA_Long_Error_Authentication_Not_Authorized You don’t have the correct permission to call the API.
PA_Long_Error_Authentication_Invalid_Token Your token is invalid.
PA_Long_Error_Counterparty_Locked_Or_Inactive The account of the other person in the transaction is either locked or inactive.
PA_Long_Error_Currency_Invalid The payment currency is invalid.
PA_Long_Error_Currency_Not_Supported The currency of the payment is not supported.
PA_Long_Error_Memo_Invalid Invalid characters have been entered into the memo field.
PA_Long_Error_Soap_Header_Null Your SOAP header is null.
PA_Long_Error_Transaction_Could_Not_Load The transaction could not be loaded.
PA_Long_Error_Transaction_Id_Invalid The ID of the transaction is invalid.
PA_Long_Error_User_Locked_Or_Inactive Your account is either locked or inactive.
PA_Long_Error_User_Restricted Your account is restricted.
PA_Long_Error_Version_Not_Supported You are trying to make a call to an unsupported version.
PA_Long_Error_Version_Not_Valid The version is invalid.
PA_Long_Warning_Encryption_Failed A warning message letting you know the transaction ID may be incorrect.
PA_Long_Warning_Memo_Truncated The content of the memo was too long and had to be truncated.
PA_Long_Error_WS_Security The necessary WS security elements were not found.
PA_Long_Error_Security The security header is invalid.
PA_Long_Error_Invalid_Account_Number The account number is not valid.
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