is a popular way to conduct business online, anywhere in the world. You can shop and pay online, send money, or accept online payments when you sell something online. Most importantly, all payments and transactions are secure. Here is how you can set up a Paypal account and use it to make online buying and selling a breeze.

Buy or sell online using Paypal

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Buy or sell online using Paypal

Sign up
Signing up is very simple. You register with your email address, and will use your email address later to verify your account or add it to other transaction sites online. Normally you need a bank account number to set up a Paypal account, which allows you to draw money out or deposit money into it. Look on a check for the number printed across the bottom. The first nine numbers are the bank's routing number. This is followed by another set of ten numbers. These ten numbers are the account number you need when signing up for a Paypal account. It's the number identifying your checking account. You'll notice it's the same on each check. If you have personal deposit slips, they usually have your account number also. If you're still not sure, go to your bank and they will print you out a card with your savings or checking account number.

Moneypak Option
You can now set up an account by depositing money onto a Moneypak card, which is similar to a debit card. That can be done at thousands of major retail stores. Check the website for the list of stores offering Moneypak and to find the closest one to you. What you do is bring cash to the retailer, buy a Moneypak card (they cost less than $5), and have the cash loaded onto the card, as you would with a debit card or gift card. You then log onto Paypal and upload money from the Moneypak card into your Paypal account. The Moneypak option allows you to have a Paypal account even if you don't have a bank account. Once you sign up and your bank or Moneypak connection is approved, you are ready to start shopping or selling online.

The basics of using Paypal online

Shopping online
Shopping online using your Paypal account is simple. You select the items you want to buy at thousands of online retailers, select 'Check out with Paypal', and follow the steps to pay and checkout.

Sending money
You can use Paypal to send money to others. All you need is their email address or mobile phone number. Go to, select 'Send Money' and email them the amount you want to send. To do it by mobile phone, just send a text to Paypal (729725) and say 'send 10.99 to 2125551818' or 'send 5 to'. The recipient gets a text or email and then logs into their Paypal account to claim the money you sent them. This works for international transfers too, but there is a small fee.

Getting paid
When you sell online, Paypal makes it simple. Ebay is set up for Paypal, you just sell your item and the buyer pays via Paypal. You will get an email confirmation that the payment has been made, then you ship. To sell on other websites, just request that payment be made using Paypal. The buyer provides her email address, and you send her an email from Paypal requesting payment (Paypal basically emails them a bill). When payment is received, Paypal notifies you with an email and you ship the item.

That's it. Anytime you need to check your balance, just log into your Paypal account online or text 729725 (Paypal) on your cell phone. You can also download a Paypal application for your mobile device. Enjoy the financial freedom of your online and mobile Paypal account.