How to Set Up a PayPal Buy Now Button

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A “Buy Now” button is a button that you can place on your website where if the user clicks on it, the user will be directed to a PayPal hosted page where the user can submit their payment via credit card or funds from their PayPal account.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up a “Buy Now” button.

1.  Log into your PayPal account at

2.  Click on the blue tab “Merchant Services”.

3.  Click on the link “Buy Now Buttons”.

4.  You should arrive at the “Create PayPal payment button” page (also known as the “Button Wizard” or “Button Designer”) which consists of three steps.  But you really only need to perform step 1.

create Paypal button

create Paypal button

5. In step 1 of the Create PayPal button wizard, select the drop list and choose what you are accepting payments for. The available choices are “Shopping Cart”, “Buy Now”, “Donation”, “Gift Certificates”, “Subscriptions”, “Automatic Billing”, and “Installation Plan”.   The simplest option is to pick “Buy Now”.  This is ideal if you are selling a single product and want to take the customer directly to checkout right away.

6.  Then type in the name of your product in the “Item name” field.

7.  Enter the price of the item.

8.  Under shipping, you can select “Use specific amount” to set a flat rate dollar amount that will be charged to the customer for shipping this particular product.  By specifying this, you are overwriting any shipping rules saved in your profile.

9.  To properly charge tax on your product, please consult your tax adviser as the tax rules change all the time and differs from state to state.  In most case, would not be able to specify a fixed tax rate here.  Instead, you will have to configure more complex tax rules in your profile setting.  See tutorial on how to configure tax in profile setting.   Remember that you do not keep any tax that you charge your customers.  You send that money back to your home state.

10.  For the Merchant account ID, it is recommended that you select “Use my secure merchant account ID”.  This will not expose your email address in the code that you would be placing on your website.

11.  Steps 2 and 3 of the PayPal button wizard are optional.

12.  Click “Create Button”

13.  After clicking this button, you come to a page titled “You are viewing your button code”.  Here you will get the website code that you are to copy and paste into your webpage.  If your web designer or developer is managing your website, this is the code that you should provide him or her.

The PayPal button code looks something like this …

paypal button code

paypal button code

14. On this same page at the bottom, you will see a link “Go to My saved buttons”.   If you click that link, you will see that you newly created button is saved in PayPal here.

Paypal saved buttons

Paypal saved buttons

15. If you need to update the button (such as you decide to change the price).  Come here and select “Edit button” from the “Action” menu.  This enables you to change certain things such as price, shipping rate, and product name.   Remember to click “Save Changes”.   When you make such changes, you do not need to update the code on your website since the website code does not change.

16. If you need to obtain the website code for a button, you can also come back to your saved buttons and select “View Code” from the “Actions” menu.

17.  After pasting the button code on your website, you should always test the code by clicking on the button as if a customer.  You can even make a purchase. But use a credit card that is not associated with your PayPal account.  Because PayPal does not allow you to “pay yourself”.

As you go through the checkout process, you should get a PayPal-hosted page where you can see the total and the shipping (and tax if any)…

test button paypal

test button paypal