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I want to pay for something through Paypal, but I don't want to sign up for an account. The seller gave just an email address (which I assume is associated with an account on Paypal).

Is there a way to pay to the seller's account without creating my own account? I looked at the Paypal help pages and I couldn't find any info about it. A web search suggests that I need to get an invoice email from the seller.

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    You need to have an account to use PayPal.
    – RonJohn
    Dec 28, 2019 at 18:04

3 Answers 3

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The answer is more complicated than "No, there is no way".

There is no guaranteed way. You may need to create a PayPal account, and it is recommended that you do so. All you need is an email address to sign up, and you will have more protections this way.

However, if you really want to try paying as a guest (not recommended), you can do so in various ways -- most directly with a link like this (which you will need to edit to suit the recipient, item, and purchase amount):

https://www.paypal.com/webscr?cmd=_xclick&[email protected]&item_name=WHAT_YOU_ARE_BUYING&amount=777.88&currency_code=USD

This simulates a "Buy Now"-style button. If the seller has an account in a country that allows payments from a guest, and you have an IP address in a country that allows paying as a guest, and many other anti-fraud criteria are met, you may be able to pay as a guest.

It is not recommended that you pay as a guest. Just sign up for a personal PayPal account, since having one is useful, painless, and gives more protections to you.

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  • It might not be an option to sign up. PayPal has banned a lot of people simply because they are in a higher-fraud-risk group (like having done business in multiple countries)
    – Aganju
    Dec 29, 2019 at 2:48
  • It is very rare for PayPal to not allow someone to sign up. Usually when something suspicious is detected, their recourse is to request documentation -- fax a government photo ID, proof of address, etc etc. This is much more common than a signup block. Dec 29, 2019 at 4:35
  • I got blocked from ebay and thereby Paypal for the unbelievable vileness of doing business in two countries. All my customer were happy, nobody complaint, and I was never asked or allowed to show documentation - and documentation for what? Talking to an ebay employee, I learned that for threath reduction, they simply block and ban everybody that sells in ebay in two countries, period, no discussions.
    – Aganju
    Dec 29, 2019 at 4:40
  • @Aganju unfortunately, I suspect you're not being told the whole truth. I deal with people on PayPal all the time who do business in multiple countries, it doesn't seem like that blanket policy is as strict as you were told.
    – dwizum
    Dec 31, 2019 at 14:06
  • It's an ebay policy, not a PayPal policy. They've been separate companies for several years Dec 31, 2019 at 18:58
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You can indeed pay someone without a paypal account, but the caveat is you need the seller to generate an invoice within their paypal account and send you a "pay now" email. The email will have a link in it, and when you click on the link, you will be presented with the option to pay with a credit or debit card, which does not require an account. Of course, you will be prompted with the option to create an account, but an account is not required in order to use paypal to make the payment, if you are paying with a debit or credit card.

Creating an invoice is a trivial effort for the seller (it takes all of about 10 seconds) and someone who is eagerly awaiting your money should be happy to do so.

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No, there is no way. You need to have a PayPal account to use PayPal to send money to someone who does not accept credit cards.

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  • That is not strictly true. If the seller creates an invoice in PayPal and sends a "pay now" email to the customer, they can pay with a debit or credit card without creating an account: paypal.com/li/smarthelp/article/…
    – dwizum
    Dec 31, 2019 at 13:59

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