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Common Problems with PayPal

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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 paypal.com.

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 https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-ipns-history) and click on a single record's message ID to view the details:

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/748b4ad70e151338e426d4a3c8e51d97.png

And you'll see a page like this:

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/ddb2363284bace3932af0b0a5db7c20f.png

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: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/customerprofileweb?cmd=_profile-language-encoding) and click the More Options button.

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/4f2c697e07b56c542babc8b47ad3c082.png

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.

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/980d8968a19037a81af4e927d8f7c96b.png

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: https://developer.paypal.com/developer/ipnSimulator/

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.


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