PayPal Help & Support

  • How to Get Started with Paypal
  • How to Use Multiple IPNs with PayPal
  • Common Problems with PayPal
  • Popular Things To Do With Paypal
  • PayPal Tips and Tricks

How to Get Started with Paypal

About PayPal's Integration

  • Admin/owner permissions: Admin
  • Paid/versioned account: Business
  • Custom field support: No
  • Partner’s documentation: N/A

Connecting with PayPal

After you've chosen which Paypal Trigger you want to use, you'll need to connect your Paypal Account to Zapier. This is done by saving a certain URL Zapier gives you into your Paypal settings.

Here is what the process looks like.

Step 2

First you will want to copy the URL shown on the screen into your clipboard. Then, navigate to your Paypal IPN Settings. The easiest way to get there is by clicking on the Paypal IPN Settings link inside Zapier and opening the link in a new tab or window.

Paypal Overview

After you log in to Paypal, click the "Choose IPN Settings" button. Then, paste the URL you copied earlier and enable notifications. Click save.

Paypal IPN Filled In

Your settings should now look like this, with your URL instead of the one shown in the screenshot.

Paypal IPN Saved

Now the connection is established! You can now continue setting up your Zap.

Note: Only sales made after your IPN Setting is enabled will be sent to Zapier. If you'd like to see real sample data inside the Zap editor, you'll want to send a fake $0.01 sale (or similar) to your Paypal email address.

How to Use Multiple IPNs with PayPal

Instant Payment Notifications or IPNs send instant notifications of new PayPal transactions to Zapier through Webhooks. You can think of a Webhook as a message sent from one web application to another delivering some kind of data. Zapier uses webhooks to capture new PayPal transactions through PayPal's IPN feature.

PayPal only allows you to set one IPN URL (aka “Webhook URL”). This works out fine if Zapier is the only service you need to send new orders to, but if you use an e-commerce plugin or other service that requires the use of IPN, you’ll find that the IPN URL is already set to that plugin/tool’s URL.

Before going this route, you should check the Zapbook to see if Zapier supports the e-commerce tool you're currently using. If it does, you may be able to skip this workaround.

If you’d like to use Zapier along with your existing tools, you need to send notifications to more than one URL. Thankfully, Zapier can help you get this done!

We don’t currently use the IPN authentication protocol to verify the webhook received from PayPal. If you wish to do that, you have to implement it in your Zap as a follow-up step.

Setting it Up

Using Zapier you can setup any number of PayPal to Webhook Zaps.

Zapier serves as an amplification mechanism for as many IPN URLs as you need as we can forward your IPNs.

To set this up, please follow these steps:

  1. To get started, create a Zap and choose PayPal as your trigger app. Select “Successful Sale” as the action.
  2. Copy the Zapier Webhook URL:
    Zapier URL
  3. Paste this into your PayPal IPN settings. You can access your PayPal IPN settings here.Make sure to save the old IPN URL that you are currently using at PayPal.
    Test the trigger in the Zap editor.
  4. Add a step to your Zap, set it up as follows:

App: Webhooks by Zapier

Action: Custom Request (click “show less common options” to reveal that action)

  • Set the Method to POST
  • Enter your old IPN URL in the URL field
  • Insert the "Raw IPN Body” in the Data field.
  • Add a header as shown in the screenshot below

Turn on your Zap. Now, your PayPal transactions will get sent to the URL you specified, but you can still set up as many other PayPal Zaps as you want to send that data to other apps as well.

Note: If the plugin/service overrides Zapier's IPN URL in your PayPal account, you'll need to disable it to allow Zapier's URL to persist as the default IPN URL.

If you get stuck setting this up or need any help, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Using notification URLs?

Also, a common problem is that your notification_url is set at the button level which overrides the IPN you set in your PayPal settings. This is a simple fix! Just choose one of the below:

  1. Remove the notification_url setting entirely from your button and let the PayPal settings be the default.
  2. Change the notification_url in your code to the Zapier IPN hook URL from Step 1 of your Zap.

You can follow the above directions to ensure that each URL gets its notifications.

And that's that! No code needed. Let us know if you need any help setting this up at all.

Common Problems with PayPal

How do I use line items with PayPal?

To use line items in Zapier, you'll usually want to ensure that both the trigger and the action you're using have line item support on Zapier:

In Zapier's PayPal integration, the “New Successful Sale” trigger offers line item support.

If you want to learn more about how line items work, read our Guide to Line Items here.

I can't find any sample data even though I sent a test sale!

If you are using a PayPal button or a PayPal shopping cart script then you might have trouble. These things override the default IPN URL you set on

The way to fix this is by following our "Multiple IPN" documentation here.

Check your notification URL via IPN History

Go to your IPN History Page (found here and click on a single record's message ID to view the details:

And you'll see a page like this:

You should notice a "Notification URL" listed above, it should point to Zapier. If it points somewhere else (like the screenshot above), you'll need to figure out what service or button is setting those URLs!

Enable UTF-8 Encoding

If you have international customers via PayPal, or have noticed some addresses not coming through from PayPal, you may need to turn on UTF-8 encoding in PayPal. Otherwise, you may have some customer data come into Zapier as blank text, especially if it’s written in Russian or Cyrillic.

To enable UTF-8 in PayPal, login to your PayPal account, then open the PayPal Language Encoding page (found here: and click the More Options button.

There, select UTF-8 from the Encoding options drop-down, and check the Yes toggle to have your PayPal data sent to Zapier using UTF-8 encoding.

Save the changes, and within a day your PayPal settings should update. Zapier will now receive sale data from your PayPal account in any language, including Cyrillic characters.

Can I Use Two Different PayPal Accounts in Zapier?

You can set up as many PayPal Zaps as you want, but they will always have the same URL found in the Set Up Webhook step, which means only 1 PayPal account can trigger them.

If you have another PayPal account you want to get transactions from, create a Zap with a Web Hook "Catch Hook" trigger. In the Set Up Webhook step, it will give a new URL, which you can use in your other PayPal account's IPN settings.

Webhook trigger
Webhook URL step

Cannot change the notification URL/Custom button issues

Sometimes, if you're using a website editor like Wix, you'll implement a PayPal button on your website with no way to change the notification URL. If the notification URL is pointing to anywhere else but Zapier, your Zap won't function correctly. If you need a workaround, you can create a custom button within your PayPal account. Here's what you'll need to do:

  • Login to your PayPal account
  • Create a button
  • Embed the button on your website
  • Follow the setup instructions, here.

The sample data format provided in the Zap Editor doesn’t match live data.

There are times when the sample data from your PayPal Trigger, in the Zap Editor, will not match the live data that comes through when your Zap runs. This can be especially relevant if you’re trying to add a Filter step to only continue if the item sold contains specific text.

In order to get more accurate data, you can use PayPal’s IPN Simulator tool.

NOTE: you will have to log in to your PayPal account in order to use the tool, but you do NOT need a developer account.

Copy the PayPal link from your Trigger step:

alt text

Access the tool here:

Paste your link here:

alt text

You should be able to select Express Checkout or Cart Checkout to simulate a PayPal sale. Change the sample data before submitting, if you’d like.

Back in the Zap Editor, test the Trigger step and you will now see what you sent from the IPN Simulator, instead of the default sample data we originally provide.

Now you’ll have a sample that matches how those fields will appear when your Zap has been turned on and runs live.

Popular Things To Do With Paypal

  • Add new rows on Google Sheets for new PayPal sales

    PayPal + Google Sheets

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  • Automatically Subscribe PayPal Customers to a MailChimp List

    PayPal + Mailchimp

  • Add new PayPal customers to ActiveCampaign as new contacts

    PayPal + ActiveCampaign

  • Add PayPal customers to a ConvertKit tag

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  • Share new PayPal sales in Slack

    PayPal + Slack

  • Send a webhook when you have a new PayPal sale

    PayPal + Webhooks by Zapier

PayPal Tips and Tricks

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