Using Your PayPal Account Profile

Use your PayPal account profile settings to control how PayPal Payments Standard works for people who pay you and how it works to let you accept the payments that they make. Your PayPal account profile contains the account information, financial information, and selling preferences for your organization.

Many of the selling preferences that you can set in your account profile have equivalent HTML variables to let you control the behavior of individual transactions. After you enable settings in your account profile, you can include HTML variables with a transaction to take advantage of those settings.

Read the following topics to learn about special profile tasks that interact with developer-written code:

Note: For information about administrative tasks that you can perform from your PayPal account, such as adding users, setting up custom page styles, and managing multiple currency balances, see the Merchant Setup and Administration Guide.

Co-Branding the PayPal Checkout Pages

Custom payment pages let you tailor the PayPal checkout pages presented to payers to match the style of your website. Custom payment pages work with all PayPal Payments Standard buttons. You can add up to three custom page styles. You can add or edit custom payment pages in your PayPal account profile or use HTML variables to set the custom pages for individual transactions.

For step-by-step instructions on using your account profile to add or edit custom payment pages, see the Merchant Setup and Administration Guide.

For more information about the HTML variables, see HTML Variables for Displaying PayPal Checkout Pages.

Overriding Page Styles On Individual Payment Buttons

Your primary page style is applied to all your checkout pages unless you specify otherwise. You can override this behavior by specifying custom page style variables in the HTML code of your payment buttons.

To change the page style for a button that you created already, replace the value of the page_style variable with the page style name you want to use. The next time that someone clicks the payment button, the checkout pages appear in the new style.

Overriding Co-Branding Options on Individual Payment Buttons

You can specify variables in the HTML code of payment buttons to override specific co-branding options. These customizing of payment page variables override page styles set in your account profile or set with the page_style variable. The customizing of payment page variables takes precedence in the following order:

Table 1. Order of Page Style Variables
Custom Option Description
1 Customizing of Payment Page Variables on Individual Buttons See HTML Variables for Displaying PayPal Checkout Pages.
2 Page Style Variable on Individual Buttons With the page_style variable, you can specify a page style on individual payment buttons that overrides any page styles set in your account profile.
3 Primary Page Style in Account Profile You can create and set the primary style in your account profile.
4 Default PayPal Page Style in Account Profile The default page style used when an alternative is not selected and designated as primary.

Tailoring the Checkout Experience

Read the following topics to learn how to tailor the checkout experience for people who pay you with PayPal Payments Standard:

Auto Return

With Auto Return for PayPal Payments Standard, you can avoid making people click a button to return to your website after they complete their payments with PayPal. Auto Return applies to all PayPal Payments Standards payment buttons, including Buy Now, Shopping Cart, Subscription, Gift Certificate, and Donate buttons.

Auto Return shortens the checkout flow and immediately brings your buyers back to your website upon payment completion. To set up Auto Return, you need to turn it on and enter the return URL that will be used to redirect your buyers back to your site.

Note: If you have turned on Auto Return and have chosen to turn on PayPal Account Optional for new users, a new user will not be automatically directed back to your website, but will be given the option to return.

The Return URL will be applied to all of your Auto Return payments unless otherwise specified within the button or link for that Website Payment. You may specify a different Return URL by changing it in your profile settings; otherwise, you may add or edit the HTML (variable: return) associated with a button or link. In this case, the Return URL that is associated with the button or link will override what was specified in the profile settings.

As specified in the PayPal User Agreement, you must provide verbiage on the page displayed by the Return URL that

  • Helps the buyer understand that the payment has been made and that the transaction has been completed.
  • Explains that payment transaction details will be emailed to the buyer.

What Payers See with Auto Return On

With Auto Return on, instead of having to click a button on the payment confirmation page, payers see an alternative payment confirmation page for a few seconds before PayPal returns them automatically to your website.

Figure 1. Momentary Payment Confirmation with Auto Return On


Turning On Auto Return

Auto Return is turned off by default.

To turn on Auto Return:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
    The My Account Overview page appears.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. Under the Selling Preferences column, click the Website Payment Preferences link.
    The Website Payment Preferences page appears, as shown below.

  4. Under Auto Return for Website Payments, click the On radio button to enable Auto Return.
  5. In the Return URL field, enter the URL to which you want your payers redirected after they complete their payments.
    Note: PayPal checks the Return URL that you enter. If the URL is not properly formatted or cannot be validated, PayPal will not activate Auto Return.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the Save button.

Setting Return URL on Individual Transactions

With Auto Return turned on in your account profile, you can set the value of the return HTML variable on individual transactions, which overrides the value of the return URL that you stored on PayPal as part of the Auto Return feature. For example, you might want to redirect payers to a URL on your site that is specific to that person, perhaps with a session-id or other transaction-related data included in the URL.

To set the return URL for individual transactions, include the return variable in the HTML Form:

<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="return" value="URLspecificToThisTransaction">
Note: To receive transaction-related data from PayPal, you must turn Payment Data Transfer on. To learn more, see the Payment Data Transfer page on Developer Central.

Subscriptions Password Management and Auto Return

If you use or plan to use Subscriptions Password Management, you must make sure that Auto Return is turned off in order to display the PayPal-generated username and password to the subscriber.

Note: You can use Auto Return with Subscriptions, which is a separate feature from Subscriptions Password Management. For more information, see Recurring Payments – Subscribe Buttons.

Getting Contact Telephone Numbers

PayPal always collects contact telephone numbers from payers for each transaction that they complete with PayPal. PayPal collects telephone numbers to help confirm the identity of the payer and to contact the payer if necessary to complete the transaction.

Contact Telephone Number is a feature of PayPal Payments Standard that lets you obtain the contact telephone numbers that PayPal collects from people who pay you. Contact Telephone Number is off by default.

You can turn Contact Telephone Number on in one of two ways:

  • On (Optional Field) – During checkout PayPal gives people the option of sharing their contact telephones numbers with you.
    Figure 2. Merchants Allow People to Share Their Telephone Numbers During Checkout


  • On (Required Field) – During checkout PayPal informs people that their contact telephone numbers will be shared with you because you require it.
    Figure 3. Merchants Require People To Share Their Telephone Numbers During Checkout


When people share their contact telephone numbers with you, PayPal includes their shared numbers in the transaction details section of payment authorization notices sent by email. Also, PayPal displays the shared numbers in the Transaction Details page for transactions in which contact telephone numbers were shared. These actions inform you and payers that contact telephone numbers were shared as part of the transaction.

TipImportant: In accordance with the PayPal user agreement, you may use contact telephone numbers only to communicate with the payer about the related transaction. You may not use them for unsolicited communication.

Turning Contact Telephone Number On

To turn Contact Telephone Number on:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
    The My Account Overview page appears.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. In the Selling Preferences column, click the Website Payment Preferences link.
  4. Scroll down the page to the Contact Telephone Number section.
  5. Select one of the following options:
    • On (Optional Field) – PayPal lets payers share their telephone numbers with you, as an option.
    • On (Required Field) – PayPal informs payers that their telephone numbers will be shared with you because you require it.
    • Off (Recommended) – PayPal does not share payers' telephone numbers with you.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save button.

PayPal Account Optional

With PayPal Account Optional turned on, people can pay by credit card without signing up for PayPal accounts. They are offered the chance to sign up for a PayPal account by using the address and credit card from the completed transaction, but they are not required to. PayPal Account Optional is turned on by default for new PayPal Premiere and Business accounts.

With PayPal Account Optional turned off, people without PayPal accounts must sign up for a PayPal account. They can pay by credit card, but they must agree to sign up for a PayPal account before completing their transactions and making their payments.

Note: Only Premiere or Business accounts have PayPal Account Optional in their account profiles. With Personal accounts, the checkout experience is as if PayPal Account Optional were turned off.

The Checkout Experience With Account Optional Turned Off

This topic demonstrates the PayPal checkout experience for PayPal Payments Standard when PayPal Account Optional is turned off. The following diagram illustrates the steps.

Figure 4. Checkout Experience with PayPal Account Optional Turned Off


Read these topics to better understand the checkout experience when PayPal Account Optional is turned off:

Begin – Buyers are Ready to Purchase on Your Website

The checkout experience with PayPal Account Optional turned off begins when someone on your website is ready to purchase.

Figure 5. Buyers Begin on Your Website When They are Ready to Make a Purchase


In this example, Bob begins on the Designer Fotos website and decides to buy a photo of an orchid. He clicks the Buy Now button to pay.

1 – Buyers Enter Their Billing Information or They Log In to PayPal

PayPal displays a billing information/log-in page, which lets buyers enter their billing information and passwords for new PayPal accounts or log in to PayPal.

Figure 6. Buyers Enter Their Billing Information or Log In to PayPal


In this case, Bob does not have a PayPal account. He enters his billing information and a password for his new PayPal account. Then, he clicks the Agree and Create Account button.

2 – Buyers Confirm Their Transaction Details Before Paying

PayPal displays a transaction confirmation page to let buyers confirm the details before they complete their transactions and authorize their payments.

If the buyers signed up for PayPal accounts to pay for their orders, Paypal displays an account confirmation message at the top of the page. The confirmation message lets buyers know that they have successfully created their PayPal accounts.

Figure 7. Buyers Confirm Their Payment Details Before Paying


In this case, Bob sees a message confirming his new PayPal account. He reviews the transaction details and clicks the Pay Now button to complete the transaction and make his payment.

3 – Buyers View and Print Their PayPal Payment Confirmations

PayPal displays a payment confirmation page after buyers pay to let them know that they have completed their transactions and authorized their payments successfully.

Figure 8. Buyers View Their Payment Confirmation


From the payment confirmation page, buyers can:

  • View the PayPal transaction ID to reconcile their payments.
  • Click Go to PayPal account overview to see their account information.
  • Click the Print Receipt link to print receipts for their records.
    Figure 9. Buyers Print Their PayPal Payment Receipts


    In this case, Bob prints the PayPal payment receipt for his records.

End – PayPal Sends Email Notices to Buyers

PayPal sends buyers account signup notices by email to confirm the accoutnst they created.

PayPal also sends buyers a payment authorization notice by email to confirm the transaction that they made with the merchant.

Turning PayPal Account Optional Off

PayPal Account Optional is available on PayPal Premiere and Business accounts only. It is turned on by default.

To turn PayPal Account Optional off:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
    The My Account Overview page appears.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. Click the Website Payment Preferences link in the Selling Preferences column.
    The Website Payment Preferences page appears.
  4. Scroll down to the PayPal Account Optional section of the page.

  5. Select the Off radio button to turn PayPal Account optional off.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the Save button.

Automatic Calculation of Sales Tax

You can have PayPal calculate sales tax (also called value-added tax or VAT) automatically. PayPal calculates sales taxes based on rates that you specify in your account profile. You can set up tax rates as follows:

  • Domestic (U.S.-only) tax rates by state or zip code
  • Canadian tax rates by province
  • International sales tax rates by country or jurisdiction

Read these topics to learn more about automatic calculation of sales tax:

Displaying the Sales Tax that PayPal Calculates During Checkout

After you set up sales tax rates in your account profile, PayPal calculates the tax for purchase transactions automatically. Buyers see the tax as a separate item during checkout, based on the shipping addresses that they provide.

Figure 10. Buyers See Sales Taxes Before They Pay


If buyers change their shipping addresses, PayPal calculates the tax again and displays the new amount.

Accessing Your Sales Tax Rates in Your Account Profile

To view or modify your sales tax rates in your account profile:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
  2. Click the Profile subtab of the My Account tab.
  3. In the Selling Preferences column, click the Sales Tax link.
Figure 11. Sales Tax Rates in Your Account Profile


Setting Up Domestic Sales Tax Rates

You can create sales tax rates for a state, zip code, or zip code range. To add a new rate, click the Add New Sales Tax link in the Set Up Domestic Tax Rates box.

To create a rate for a state

  1. Click State for Configure Sales Tax by.
  2. Select one or more states for the rate you want to create. Hold down the Ctrl key to select more than one state.
  3. Enter the sales tax rate.
  4. Click the checkbox labeled Apply rate to shipping amount, if applicable.
  5. Click the Continue button to add the new rate and return to the Sales Tax page (Sales Tax Rates in Your Account Profile).
  6. Click the Create Another button to add the new rate and then add another domestic sales tax rate.

To create a rate for a specific zip code

  1. Click Zip Code for Configure Sales Tax by.
    Figure 12. Setting Up a Domestic Sales Tax Rate by Zip Code


  2. Click the Specific radio button.
  3. Enter the zip code for the rate you want to create.
  4. Enter the sales tax rate.
  5. Click the checkbox labeled Apply rate to shipping amount, if applicable.
  6. Click the Continue button to add the new rate and return to the Sales Tax page.
  7. Click the Create Another button to add the new rate and then add another domestic sales tax rate.

To create a rate for a zip code range

  1. Click Zip Code for Configure Sales Tax by.
  2. Click the Range radio button.
  3. Enter the starting and ending zip code for the rate you want to create.
  4. Enter a the sales tax rate.
  5. Click the checkbox labeled Apply rate to shipping amount, if applicable.
  6. Click the Continue button to add the new rate and return to the Sales Tax page.
  7. Click the Create Another button to add the new rate and then add another domestic sales tax rate.

Setting Up International Sales Tax Rates

You can create the following types of international sales tax rates:

  • For Canada, sales tax rates can be for one or more provinces.
  • For countries other than the U.S. and Canada, sales tax rates apply to the entire country.

To add a new rate, click Add New Sales Tax in the Set Up International Tax Rates box.

  1. Select the country for the rate you want to create.
  2. If you selected Canada for Country, select one or more provinces or select All Provinces. Hold down the Ctrl key to select more than one province.
  3. Enter the sales tax rate.
  4. Click the checkbox labeled Apply rate to shipping amount, if applicable.
  5. Click the Continue button to add the new rate and return to the Sales Tax page (Sales Tax Rates in Your Account Profile).
  6. Click the Create Another button to add the new rate and then add another international sales tax rate.

Resolving Overlapping Sales Tax Rates

It is possible that more than one sales tax rate will apply to a buyer. For example, in Three Domestic Sales Tax Rates, all three of the domestic sales tax rates apply to a buyer in zip code 94044.

Figure 13. Three Domestic Sales Tax Rates


When multiple rates apply, the most specific rate is used. For a buyer in zip code 94044, the most specific rate is the single zip code rate of 8.25%. For a buyer in zip code 94056, the most specific rate is the range of zip codes with a rate of 7.75%.

Editing or Deleting Sales Tax Rates

To edit a sales tax rate, click the checkbox to the left of the rate and then click the Edit button.

To delete a sales tax rate, click the checkbox to the left of the rate and then click the Delete button.

Overriding Sales Tax Calculations on Individual Transactions

Regardless of a buyer's location, you can override automatic tax calculation on an individual transaction or on individual items in a transaction. For more information, see Setting Tax on Individual Items and Setting the Tax for the Entire Cart.

Automatic Calculation of Shipping Charges (U.S. Merchants Only)

You can have PayPal calculate shipping charges automatically. PayPal calculates shipping charges based on rates that you specify in your account profile. You can set up shipping rates as follows:

  • Domestic (U.S.-only) shipping rates for regions defined by state or zip code
  • International shipping rates for regions define by country or jurisdiction

Within shipping regions, you can specify rates for different shipping methods, such as standard and express delivery.

Read these topics to learn more about automatic calculation of sales tax:

Displaying the Shipping Charges that PayPal Calculates During Checkout

After you set up shipping rates in your account profile, PayPal calculates the shipping charges for purchase transactions automatically. PayPal prompts buyers to enter their shipping destinations on the first checkout page.

Figure 14. PayPal Prompts Buyers for Shipping Destinations


Buyers click the calculate total order amount link to enter information about their shipping destinations.

Figure 15. Buyers Enter Shipping Destinations to Calculate Shipping Charges


Buyers enter information about their shipping destinations, and then they click the Update button.

Figure 16. Buyers See Shipping Charges Before They Pay


PayPal calculates the shipping charges using the least expensive shipping method that you set up for the destination.

Figure 17. Buyers Select Their Preferred Shipping Methods


PayPal lets buyers select their preferred shipping methods after they enter their billing information or log in to PayPal. If buyers change their shipping addresses or select a different shipping method, PayPal calculates the shipping charges again and displays the new amount.

Shipping Regions

Your organize your shipping rates primarily by the states and countries to which you ship your products. Some merchants make only domestic shipments. Other merchants make both domestic shipments and international shipments. Depending on territorial size, some merchants divide their domestic markets into smaller shipping regions, each with their own shipping rates.

Before you begin setting up the shipping rates that PayPal uses to calculate shipping charges, decide whether:

  • You ship only domestically or both domestically and internationally
  • You want one set of rates for all U.S. domestic shipments, or you want rates for different domestic regions, such as western and eastern states
  • You want one set of rates for all international shipments, or you want rates for different international regions, such as Europe and Asia

You can establish one set of shipping rates for all domestic and international destinations, but your shipping rates should reflect your costs of shipping, which generally vary between different domestic and international regions.

Shipping Methods

Within each shipping region that you define, you specify specific shipping rates for the different shipping methods you want to offer buyers. A shipping method specifies a mode of shipment and the general time frame for delivery. For example, you might offer your domestic buyers two shipping methods: "Standard Shipping," "Priority."

For each region in which you offer a specified shipping method, you generally select different delivery time frames and different rates. Otherwise, you should not set up separate shipping regions.

For example, your "Standard Shipping" method for the region where your shipments originate might specify a time frame of "2-3 Days." A more distant domestic shipping region might specify a time frame of "3-7 Days." You set the same rates for "Standard Shipping" in all regions, but delivery times are longer for more distant ones.

As an alternative to differentiating on delivery time, you might differentiate on rates. For example, your "Standard Shipping" method for all domestic regions might specify the same time frame of "2-3 Days." You set more expensive rates for "Standard Shipping" in more distant regions, but delivery times are the same for all regions.

Shipping Rate Bases

For each shipping method in each shipping region that you define, you specify the basis upon which your shipping rates are used to calculate the shipping charges for specific purchases. You can choose from the following shipping rate bases:

  • Total order amount
  • Total order weight
  • Total item quantity

Generally, you specify the same shipping rate basis for all shipping regions and shipping methods that you define. Before you begin setting up the shipping rates that PayPal uses to calculate shipping charges, decide which basis is most suitable for the kinds of products you sell and the typical orders that your buyers place.

For more information, see Examples of Rate Bases and Shipping Calculations

Shipping Rate Tables

For each shipping method you define, fill in a rate table to specify the rates that PayPal uses to calculate shipping charges. Rate tables let you specify tiered rates.

Figure 18. Shipping Rate Table With a Basis of Total Order Amount


Each row in a rate table represents a different tier. Each successive tier encompasses a successively increasing range within the rate basis. You specify a separate rate for each tier.

In the preceding example rate table, each successive tier encompasses an increasing range of order amounts. The first tier encompasses orders that total from $0.01 USD through and including $10.00 USD. The shipping rate for orders that fall within the first tier is 5% of the total order amount. The shipping charge for an order amount of $6.75 USD is $0.34 USD.

Shipping Rates and Currencies

When you set up shipping methods, specify the same currency for the shipping rates that you used to price the products on your website. Specify shipping rates for both domestic shipments and international shipments in your domestic currency, provided that you priced your products for international buyers in your domestic currency.

If you price your products in multiple currencies, specify international shipping rates in the same currencies that you priced your products for international buyers. For example, a merchant in London might price products in Pounds Sterling for British buyers, while also pricing the same products in Euros for Euro-zone buyers and U.S. Dollars for U.S. buyers.

Adding Shipping Rates for the First Time

The first time you set up shipping rates, the page sequence is tailored for creating your initial shipping regions, methods, and rates.

To begin adding shipping regions, methods, and rates for the first time:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
    The My Account Overview page appears.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. In the Selling Preferences column, click the Set Up Shipping Calculations link.
    This Shipping Calculations page appears, as shown below.
    Figure 19. Shipping Calculations Setup Page


From the Shipping Calculations setup page, you can start a domestic or an international shipping wizard.

Adding Shipping Methods by Using a Wizard

Whenever you add a shipping method, you use one of two wizards to step you through the process. The domestic shipping wizard lets you configure shipping regions within the U.S., and the international shipping wizard lets configure foreign shipping regions. Shipping wizards let you configure a shipping region and all the shipping methods for it at one time.

You can start a shipping wizard in one of two ways:

The steps in domestic and international shipping wizards are the same.

Figure 20. Page Sequence in a Shipping Wizard


  1. Setting Up the Shipping Region for a Shipping Wizard. Select the U.S. states or the foreign countries for the shipping region, and select the currency in which you want to price the shipping rates for the shipping region.
  2. Configuring the Shipping Methods Within the Region of a Shipping Wizard. Select a name and delivery time frame, specify a rate basis, and fill in the rate table. Repeat this step to configure all of the shipping methods you want for the shipping region.
  3. Saving the Shipping Methods Configured With a Shipping Wizard. Review the shipping region and the shipping methods, and change them if you like before you save them.

The following sections describe each step in more detail.

Setting Up the Shipping Region for a Shipping Wizard

The first step of a shipping wizard lets you select the U.S. states or foreign countries for one of your shipping regions. In addition, you select the currency in which you want to price the shipping rates within the region.

Note: You can select the currency at the time you add shipping methods and rates. You cannot change the currency later when you edit shipping methods. For more information, see Shipping Rates and Currencies.

After you select the U.S. states or foreign countries you want for the shipping region, click the Continue button to proceed to the second step of the shipping wizard.

Configuring the Shipping Methods Within the Region of a Shipping Wizard

As the second step of a shipping wizard, you configure the shipping methods that you want for the shipping region. A shipping wizard lets you configure the name, delivery time frame, rate basis, and rate table of shipping methods.

Repeat the second step of a shipping wizard to create additional shipping methods for the same shipping region. Click the Create Another button after completing the configuration of the current method to begin the configuration of the next one.

After you configure all the shipping methods for the shipping region, click the Continue button to proceed to the third and final step of the shipping wizard.

Saving the Shipping Methods Configured With a Shipping Wizard

As the final step of a shipping wizard, you review the configuration of the shipping region and the configuration of the shipping methods for the shipping region. You can change the shipping region, and you can change and add shipping methods.

In addition, the final step of a shipping wizard lets you enable individual purchase transactions to override the rates for the shipping methods you defined within the shipping region. Select the Use the shipping fee... checkbox to permit individual transactions to override automatic calculation of shipping charges. For more information, see Overriding Sales Tax Calculations on Individual Transactions.

After you review the shipping region and its shipping methods, click the Save Shipping Methods button to preserve the shipping methods that you set up with the shipping wizard. The shipping methods become available to buyers as soon as you save them.

Viewing, Editing, and Adding Shipping Rates

After you set up some shipping regions, methods, and rates, PayPal tailors the page sequence for viewing and editing existing shipping methods, as well as for creating additional regions, methods, and rates.

To begin viewing, editing, or creating additional shipping regions, methods, and rates:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. In the Selling Preferences column, click the Shipping Calculations link.
    The Shipping Calculations review page appears, as shown below.
    Figure 21. Shipping Calculations Review Page (U.S. Merchants Only)


  4. From the Shipping Calculations review page, perform one of the following actions:

Viewing the Configuration of an Existing Shipping Method

To view the configuration of a shipping method:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. In the Selling Preferences column, click the Shipping Calculations link.
    The Shipping Calculations review page appears.
  4. Click the View button.
    The View Domestic Shipping Method page or the View International Shipping Method page appears.
  5. From the review page, perform one of the following actions:
    • To change the shipping method, click the Edit Settings button.
    • When you are finished viewing the shipping method, click the Back to Shipping Methods button.

Editing the Configuration Settings of an Existing Shipping Method

To edit the configuration settings of an existing shipping method:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. In the Selling Preferences column, click the Shipping Calculations link.
    The Shipping Calculations review page appears.
  4. Click the Edit button.
    The Edit Domestic Shipping Method page or the Edit International Shipping Method page appears.
  5. Change any of the following settings:
    Table 2. Shipping Method Settings
    Setting Action
    Status Select whether the shipping method is actively used to calculate shipping charges. Allowable values:
    • Active – the shipping method is available for buyers to choose
    • Inactive – the shipping method is hidden from buyers
    Currency and Region Displays the domestic regions or foreign countries currently selected for the shipping region. To select different regions or countries, click the Change link.
    Use the shipping fee in the transaction instead of my claculator's settings Select whether the shipping rates can be overridden by individual transactions if the information is passed to PayPal with HTML variables in the transaction. Allowable values:
    • Yes
    • No
    TipImportant: Changing the setting of a specific shipping method changes the setting for all U.S. domestic and international shipping methods that use the same currency.
    Shipping Method Name From the dropdown menu, select a name for the shipping method.
    Select Delivery Time (Optional) From the dropdown menu, select a delivery time.
    Based On Select the rate basis for the shipping method. Allowable values:
    • By Amount – based on the total amount of the order
    • By Weight – based on the total weight of items in the order
    • By Quantity – based on total quantity of items in the order

    For more information, see Examples of Rate Bases and Shipping Calculations

    Shipping Rates Reconfigure the rows in the rate table to change the shipping rates that PayPal uses to calculate shipping charges when buyers select the shipping method. You can set shipping rates as fixed amounts or as percentages.
    Note: Changes that you make to active shipping methods become effective after a momentary delay.
  6. Click the Save Changes button.

Deleting Shipping Methods

You can delete one or more domestic or international shipping methods at one time. Follow the procedure below in either the Domestic Shipping Methods section or the International Shipping Methods section of the Shipping Calculations review page.

TipImportant: After you delete a shipping method, it cannot be recovered for use in future shipping calculations.

To delete one or more shipping methods:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. In the Selling Preferences column, click the Shipping Calculations link.
    The Shipping Calculations review page appears.
  4. Click the Delete button.
  5. Click the Yes button in the Delete Confirmation message box.

Examples of Rate Bases and Shipping Calculations

The following examples demonstrate how the different kinds of shipping rates are applied when calculating shipping charges:

Calculating Shipping Charges Based on Amount of Purchase

When you choose Total Order Amount or By Amount as the basis for shipping rates, tiers in the rate table represent increasing ranges of order amounts. Generally, you select By Amount as the rate basis if you want to encourage your buyers to buy more with increasing discounts on shipping charges.

You can choose between specifying a flat rate for each tier or specifying a percentage of the order amount. Click the Flat Rate or the Percent links in the Shipping Rate section to make your choice.

Flat Rate Shipping Calculations

Assume the following shipping rate table with a basis of By Order and fixed amount pricing selected:

From(EUR)      To(EUR)       Rate(EUR)
0.01           49.99         3.00
50.00          and up        2.00

The shipping charge for an order amount of €36.50 EUR is €3.00 EUR. The shipping charge for an order amount of €66.50 EUR is €2.00 EUR This rate structure encourages buyers to purchase more with discounted shipping on larger orders.

Percentage Rate Shipping Calculation

Assume the following shipping rate table with a basis of By Order and percentage rate pricing selected:

From(JPY)      To(JPY)       Rate(%)
0.01           49.99         5
50.00          and up        4

The shipping charge for an order amount of ¥36.50 JYP is ¥1.38 JYP (36.50 x 5%). The shipping charge for an order amount of ¥66.50 JYP is ¥2.66 JYP (66.50 x 4%).

Calculating Shipping Charges Based on Weight of Shipment

When you choose Total Order Weight or By Weight as the basis for shipping rates, tiers in the rate table represent increasing ranges of order weights. Generally, you select By Weight as the rate basis if you want to recover your shipping costs.

You can choose between specifying order weights in pounds or kilograms. Click the Lbs or the Kgs links in the Shipping Rate section to make your choice.

Weight-Based Shipping Calculations

Assume the following shipping rate table with a basis of By Weight:

From(Kgs)      To(Kgs)       Rate(GBP)
0.01           49.99         3.00
50.00          and up        6.00

The shipping charge for an order that weights 36.50 kg is £3.00 GBP. The shipping charge for an order that weights 66.50 kg is £6.00 GBP.

Calculating Shipping Charges Based on Quantity of Items Shipped

When you choose Total Order Quantity or By Quantity as the basis for shipping rates, tiers in the rate table represent increasing ranges of order item counts. Generally, select By Quantity as the rate basis if all your products have a generally uniform size and weight, such as shoes.

Quantity-Based Shipping Calculations

Assume the following shipping rate table with a basis of By Quantity:

From           To            Rate(USD)
1              49            3.00
50             and up        6.00

The shipping charge for an order with 36 items is $3.00 USD. The shipping charge for an order with 66 items is $6.00 USD.

Overriding Shipping Calculations on Individual Transactions

Sometimes you want to set special shipping rates for certain items, such as especially heavy ones that cost more to ship, or services and digital downloads that do not require shipping.

Prerequisites for Overriding Shipping Rates on Individual Transactions

To override your profile-based shipping rates:

  • Enable overrides of your shipping rates; overrides are enabled for new shipping methods by default.
  • Set special shipping rates for individual items with special HTML variables of Buy Now, Donation, Add to Cart, and View Cart buttons.

Disabling the Override of Shipping Rates on Individual Transactions

By default, shipping methods enable the override of shipping rates on individual transactions. You can disable overrides by:

  • Editing any shipping method and changing the Override shipping methods per transaction.setting.
  • Adding a new shipping method and changing the default value of the Override shipping methods per transaction setting

Regardless of how you disable overrides, the override setting you specify for a specific shipping methods applies to the setting for all shipping methods of the same currency.

To enable or disable overrides of a shipping method:

  1. From the Shipping Calculations review page, select the checkbox next to any of the shipping methods for a specific currency.
  2. Click the Edit button.
    The Edit Domestic Shipping Method or the Edit International Shipping Method page appears.
  3. For the Override shipping methods per transaction setting, select one of the following radio buttons:
    • Yes – enables transaction-specific shipping charges to override the shipping rates
    • No – prohibits transaction-specific shipping charges
    TipImportant: Changing the Override shipping methods per transaction setting of a specific shipping method changes the setting for all U.S. domestic and international shipping methods that use the same currency.
  4. Click the Save Changes button.

Automatic Calculation of Shipping Charges (non-U.S. Merchants Only)

You can set up shipping rates in your account profile and let PayPal calculate shipping charges automatically.

To view or modify your shipping rates:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
    The My Account Overview page appears.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. In the Selling Preferences column, click the Postage Calculations link.
    The Postage Calculations page appears, as shown below.
    Figure 22. Shipping Calculations Page (non-U.S. Merchants Only)


Examples of Cost Methods and Shipping Calculations

The following examples demonstrate how different cost methods are applied when calculating shipping charges.

Calculating Shipping Charges with the Flat Amount Cost Method

When you choose Flat Amount as the cost method for shipping rates, PayPal expresses the costs for each price range as fixed amounts.

Flat Amount Cost Method and Shipping Calculations

Assume the following shipping rates with a cost method of Flat Amount:

Cost                Price Ranges
€3,00 EUR     €0,00 EUR   -  €49,99 EUR
€6,00 EUR     €50,00 EUR  -  and up

The shipping charge for an order price of €36,50 is €3,00. The shipping charge for an order price of €66,50 is €6,00. This rate structure helps you recover your shipping costs from buyers.

Calculating Shipping Charges with the Percentage Cost Method

When you choose Percentage as the cost method for shipping rates, costs for each price range are expressed as percentages of the actual order price.

Percentage Cost Method and Shipping Calculations

Assume the following shipping rates with a cost method of Percentage:

Cost               Price Ranges
5.00 GBP %     £0.00 GBP   -  £49.99 GBP
4.00 GBP %     £50.00 GBP  -  and up

The shipping charge for an order price of £36.50 is £1.83. The shipping charge for an order price of £66.50 is £2.66. This rate structure encourages buyers to purchase more with discounted shipping rates on larger orders.

Overriding Shipping Calculation on Individual Transactions

Sometimes you want to set special shipping rates for certain items, such as especially heavy ones that cost more to ship, or services and digital downloads that do not require shipping.

Prerequisites for Overriding Shipping Rates on Individual Transactions

To override your profile-based shipping rates:

  • Enable overrides of your shipping rates for individual transactions; overrides are disabled by default.
  • Set the special shipping rates for individual items or entire transactions with special HTML variables of Buy Now, Add to Cart, and View Cart buttons.
    For more information, see HTML Variables for PayPal Payments Standard.

Enabling the Override of Shipping Rates on Individual Transactions

To enable overrides of shipping rates:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com.
  2. Click the Profile subtab.
    The Profile Summary page appears.
  3. In the Selling Preferences column, click the Postage Calculations link.
    The Postage Calculations page appears
  4. Click the checkbox labeled Click here to allow transaction-based postage values to override the profile postage settings listed above (if profile settings are enabled).
  5. Click the Save button.

Language Encoding Your Data

Websites that use PayPal in different parts of the world work with different languages and different character encoding schemes. PayPal refers collectively to these differences as language encoding. You can set the default language encoding that your website uses to exchange data with PayPal.

When you sign up for a PayPal account, the system determines your default language and encoding based on your country of origin. For example, if you sign up with a French postal address, your language and encoding are set for Western European languages. The default settings are used for all transactions sent from your website to PayPal and all automated notifications sent from PayPal to your website. You can override the default settings on individual transactions with the charset HTML Form variable.

TipImportant: If your language encoding preferences do not match the language and encoding that your website uses, your data cannot be exchanged with PayPal. In some cases, particularly in Asian countries or with certain operating systems, the default language and/or encoding chosen by PayPal may not match those used by your website.

Use your PayPal account profile to set:

  • Your website's language – Set the character set used on your website, such as Western European, Japanese, or Russian.
  • Encoding – Set the character encoding used on your website, such as UTF-8, EUC-JP, or KOI8?R.
    Note: For a complete list of supported character encodings, see "Setting the Character Set – charset.

For step-by-step instructions on changing these settings in your account profile, see the Merchant Setup and Administration Guide.