How to Make a PayPal Payment on eBay - dummies

By Marsha Collier

eBay sees to it that PayPal is incredibly easy to use because PayPal is the official payment service at eBay. After the auction is over, a link to pay appears. If you prefer, wait until you hear from the seller.

You may also send money directly from your bank account (either savings or checking) through instant transfer or eCheck.

  • Instant transfer: An instant transfer is immediately debited from your bank account and deposited into the seller’s account — so you’d best be sure you have the funds in your account to back up the purchase now (not tomorrow, not next week). PayPal requires you to back up an instant transfer with a credit card, just in case you’ve miscalculated your account balance.

  • eCheck: You may also write an eCheck, which is just like writing a check, only you don’t write it with a pen. Like regular, plain-vanilla paper checks, eChecks take three to four days to clear, and do not post to the seller’s account as paid until then.

    The seller will not ship your item until PayPal tells the seller that the eCheck has cleared your bank — so if you’re in a hurry, don’t use this option.

  • Credit card: You can use your American Express, Discover, Visa, or MasterCard to make your payment through PayPal. The cost of the item is charged to your card, and your statement reflects a PayPal payment with the seller’s ID.

If you have a balance in your PayPal account, you must use that money to make your payment; so withdraw your PayPal balance first if you want to pay with a credit card. Payment will then default to using your bank account, so be sure to select a credit card (if that’s the way you want to pay) when you’re finalizing an eBay transaction.