General Question

Beastlicker's avatar

Can I do this with PayPal?

Asked by Beastlicker (145points) October 12th, 2010

I just recently signed up for PayPal, and have a simple question to ask you folks.

I did register my bank account with PayPal. Even though my balance in PayPal is $0.00, can I still purchase stuff? And if so, does the charge go straight to my bank account?

I’ve never really used PayPal, and would like to know this before I actually do use it.

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8 Answers

diavolobella's avatar

Yes. That’s how it works. The merchant will either redirect you to Paypal for you to complete the payment process or you will have to go there yourself after being sent an invoice. But yes, the money will come straight out of your bank account. You don’t have to transfer it to your Paypal account in advance.

lillycoyote's avatar

@diavolobella is right. If your Paypal account is tied directly to your bank account then as long as you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the purchase then you’re o.k. Paypal is just an intermediate step that serves at least a couple of purposes. 1. It allows you to draw on funds or credit from a bank account or credit card without revealing personal financial information to the seller and 2. it streamlines the process and provides a convenient method to buy and sell things on the internet. e.g. You had the winning bid on an old TV vaccuum tube that Joe was selling on eBay. Joe is just some guy who found the vaccuum tube in his dad’s attic and isn’t set up to accept credit card payments… If your Paypal account was tied to a credit card it would allow you to pay for the item that way and Joe to receive payment. I don’t believe Paypal ever actually holds funds. A Paypal account isn’t really an “account” in the usual sense of the word. It’s just kind of a broker, I think.

diavolobella's avatar

@lilycoyote. Paypal will hold funds in two situations. You can add funds to your Paypal account if you want to – either from your bank account or credit card – in advance of buying anything. I never saw the point in that myself. The other time it holds funds is if you sell something on Ebay or elsewhere and your buyer pays via Paypal. Unless you request that the money then be sent to your bank account, it will stay in your Paypal account.

lillycoyote's avatar

@diavolobella Oh. O.K. Thanks. Now that you mention it, I did just recently come across another instance where Paypal does hold funds. It just slipped my mind. It’s a website that provides a sort of “public square” for people looking to hire and to be hired for freelance writing and IT jobs, etc. They provide an option for people to pay for and be paid for work and services through Paypal. They also provide an option for funds not to be deposited into your Paypal account until those funds reach a certain amount, say $150 dollars or so. I guess some people might want that option just to streamline their own bookkeeping. Thanks for the clarification. While I don’t generally like being proved wrong, I do try to take it in stride when it happens. :-)

ETpro's avatar

If you fund a purchase with money currently in your bank account, PayPal will tell the merchant not to ship till funds are verified. That can take up to 4 business days but usually takes less. PayPal will email the vendor letting them know when actual funds are received from your bank and it is safe to ship.

shirleylopez's avatar

@diavolobella and @ETpro Yes Paypal is being used by some freelance writing and IT jobs as payment option, I have tried it and the system is great. The employer will pay through my Paypal account and I will transfer the money to my bank account or to my credit card account so it does not stay at Paypal. When I purchase online, Paypal does inform the vendor if my payment is available and it is safe for the vendor to ship the goods.

ETpro's avatar

@shirleylopez I use it or checks exclusively for my Web devewlopment work. I’ve been very happy with Paypal.

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