I have money on my paypal account. Now what?

I don’t much about paypal but I have used to buy things on ebay. Apparently, I have $87 in my paypal account. Can I get this in cash? If not, how do I spend it at a store? Does it have to be online?

You should be able to transfer it into your bank account, if you have one.

They will send you a check or transfer it to your bank account, whichever you prefer.

(and in all complete seriousness, if I can figure out how to use PayPal, anyone can figure out how to use PayPal; It really is that easy…)

Good Luck.

If you’re going to be selling stuff or otherwise taking Paypal payments on an ongoing basis you might also want to get a Paypal debit card so you can just spend the money directly from that account.

2 things:

  1. There may be a fee to “cash out” unless you withdraw more than a certain amount of money.
  2. There have been stories of Paypal doing bad things once they have your bank account.

#1. I don’t believe there’s a fee for electronically transferring funds to your bank account. However, if you want them to mail you a paper check, they’ll charge you $1.50.

#2. I’ve heard enough horror stories about PayPal that I don’t want to trust them fully. Given that there’s limited recourse once funds have been sucked out of your bank account by PayPal, I haven’t provided them with any info on my bank account. When I want to withdraw funds from my PayPal account, I request a paper check, and then manually deposit that at my bank when it arrives in the mail (I wait until I can withdraw a check from PayPal of about $1K, so that the $1.50 fee is relatively negligible). Per PayPal rules, yes, I had to link a credit card with my PayPal account. But if something goes absolutely haywire with PayPal, at least I have some recourse to dispute any charge they put on the credit card. PayPal may scuttle my account with them if I do so, but at least I can protect my own finances from whatever mischief they may attempt.

An alternative to #2 is to open another account at your bank with no overdraft protection (so it can’t be overdrawn) and use that account for nothing but linking with PayPal. When you want to withdraw funds from PayPal, you transfer them electronically to that bank account, and then immediately transfer the funds from that account to your primary bank account. Since that auxiliary bank account is always kept at a tiny balance, the only cash you have at risk of error or malfeasance on the part of PayPal is any money you keep in your PayPal account.

With the “Bad things” scenario - all of the people who’ve warned me about the dangers of PayPal were victims of phishing scams. They’ll go on and on for three hours about the lack of security, etc. as if it’s all PayPal’s fault, but the reality is that they responded to a fake e-mail that looked like it was from PayPal and entered their password onto a site that looked like (but was not) PayPal’s.

It’s a little like complaining that your car has lousy security because someone tricked you into giving them the keys.

But it is something for the unsophisticated user to consider. If you worry that you might fall for one of these scams, it would make sense to limit the number and type of accounts linked to PayPal. Bank accounts give you less recourse for fraud than a credit card, and cause more problems for the victim (in terms of not being able to pay rent, buy groceries, etc. while the problem is disputed).

I do this. I wouldn’t necessarily trust the “no overdraft” thing, because I don’t really trust the bank either. Banks have a way of “helpfully” enabling features like that that help you have other people take your money. I have a bank account that is kept at a completely separate financial institution from my normal account, and I keep it nearly empty. If Paypal wants to suck money out of it, they can go pound sand.

Even relatively sophisticated users can fall for sophisticated phishing schemes. Most phishing schemes are easy to spot now, but that will not always be the case.

Consider something like tabnabbing. That’s really hard to protect against when done well.

ETA: Note, that link is a demonstration of the sort of attack it describes, but it will not actually collect any login information or try to phish you.

I think PayPal can freeze your account or something similar if you get negative feedback on eBay.