Setting up an account with PayPal

PayPal certified

Click here to create an account with PayPal.

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

Click here to create a business merchant account with PayPal.

Once you have created your account, you need to setup the instant payment notification. This is necessary so that sales are automatically validated. To do this log into your PayPal account and click on the "Profile" tab. Now click on the link instant payment notification preferences link. The URL that you want to enter is the one to the file ppconfirm.php in your vsadmin directory. So for instance it might be

After entering this URL, just click the checkbox to activate instant payment notification and you're all done.

You now just need to go to the Edit Payment Providers link on your store admin, chose Modify for PayPal and enter the email address that is associated with your PayPal account.

Testing with the PayPal sandbox

Version 4.9.0 saw the introduction of a demo mode for PayPal testing. To use this feature, check the demo mode box in the payment provider admin page for PayPal and then sign up for a developer account at so you can use their sandbox feature.


PayPal has introduced a new Merchant Tools feature called “Auto Return”. If you select this option in your account, PayPal has you add in the URL you would like your customers to return to on your website. What actually happens is that you are directed to the Thank You page that gives an error message “Sorry there has been an error”. You will also not receive order confirmation.

The Auto Return feature can be used though in conjunction with PDT - Payment Data Transfer (Version 5.1.0 minimum required). You will need to add your PDT key to the admin payment provider PayPal page. Implementing this will allow customers to return to your store without clicking on the "Return to Merchant" link from PayPal. Godaddy hosting customers only will require this addition to vsadmin/includes.php

If in your admin orders page your PayPal payments are showing with a status of "Pending: unilateral" then you wil need a verified Premier or Business account for PayPal IPN. The message of Pending: unilateral comes up when the account isn't verified. The solution is to check again that you have completed all the verification steps for your account and that it is a Premier or Business account.

If the shipping cost is not being passed on to PayPal even though this is showing correctly in the cart then go to this URL when logged in to your paypal account . . .
Then check the setting of . . .
Click here to allow transaction-based shipping values to override the profile shipping settings listed above (if profile settings are enabled).
You will also need to add this parameter to vsadmin/includes.php

Please do read our guide here on credit card fraud.

For more information, rates and support, please visit the PayPal website.