Category Archives: PayPal

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Setting up a Simple PayPal Shopping Cart

Here is how to set up a simple paypal shopping cart without any extra charges or additional shopping cart software to install.

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. in the right column, click on "My Business Setup".
  3. Under the first category called "Set up my payment solution", click the first "Start Now" button.
  4. Then, click the first option which reads "Create payment buttons for your website".
  5. On the next page, click on the blue "Create a Button" button in the middle of the page.
  6. On the next page, under step one, select "shopping cart" from the "Choose a button type" dropdown.
  7. You can enter an item number if you want to help keep track of your various items, but it's not required. The next required field is "Item Name", so enter a name that describes your item there.
  8. Next, enter the price of the item in the "Price" field.
  9. The rest of the fields on this page are not required, so unless you have special needs to track inventory or for IPN puposes, click the "Create Button" button at the bottom and retrieve your button code. If you have special needs, fill in those fields before pressing the "Create Button" button.

After that, you can simply skip to the website tab and copy and paste the button code into your webpage for a single simple shopping cart button. Then repeat this process for every item you are selling with your shopping cart and you will have a working PayPal shopping cart.

More advanced options and IPN, Instant Payment Notification:

Okay, if you didn't learn what you wanted to learn above, here is where I get into more advanced material about customizing shopping carts. Mainly I want to discuss the sending and returning of special variables to track items and customer information to process orders through IPN or the Instant Payment Notification feature.

In 2013 PayPal rolled out a new documentation site to assist developers with more advanced shopping cart and button creation. You can find this documentation at:


Setting up PayPal IPN

I had a hard time finding updated information from 2013 on how to set IPN or Instant Payment Notification settings in PayPal. All the info on the web was outdated and didn't apply to PayPal's new website layout. So if you are looking to activate IPN for your PayPal account, here is how to do it as of May 2013 forward:

  1. Login to your PayPal account.
  2. Go to the "merchant services" tab.
  3. Click on "process orders" in the right column of the resulting page.
  4. Look for the "Instant Payment Notification" heading under "Receiving orders" and click on "learn more".
  5. Then, towards the bottom left of that page, click the button that reads "Choose IPN Settings".
  6. On the next page, fill in the Notification URL with the URL of your IPN receiving data script, then check the "Receive IPN Messages (enabled)" radio button. Finally, click "save" to save your settings.

That's it, now you are ready to receive Instant Payment Notifications for your custom IPN script you have or will write. I do a lot of PayPal automation work,  if you need a custom IPN listener written that will enable auto-order fulfillment, get in touch with me, I write custom IPN listeners for as low as $100 that will make it so you have to do nothing when an order is made through your website or through eBay. If you have a product that you sell that is something that can be sent electronically, like eBooks, coupons or other info that can be sent through email, then this could be a huge time saver for you! Email me at to find out more.