Changing Your PayPal email Address to Receive Payments

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* Updated Jun-2010 *

'A PayPal payment was sent to my old email address and I am being asked to claim the payment - what do I do' is a question that regularly is asked on the Community Discussion Boards.

If you've had a PayPal payment made to the wrong payment email address, or if you are going to change the email address you want to accept PayPal payments to, here's what to do:

Adding a New PayPal Payment email Address

Your PayPal Profile

Log into your PayPal account.
Go to the Profile Tab.
Under the 'Account Information' heading, click the 'Email' hyperlink.
Click the add button

and add your new email address (you can have up to 8 email addresses in a single PayPal account), not forgetting to press the save button.

You will then see this screen telling you that the email has been added.

Next click on the confirmation link in the email that is sent to your newly added email address, to confirm that you are the holder of that email address. The email address will then be confirmed in your PayPal account. If you don't receive the email in your inbox, check your spam folder.

I would advise you to not delete the 'old' email address, even if you no longer have control of it, unless you have to to add another email address and your quota of 8 is already full. You will not be able to confirm a defunct email address in the future because you no longer control it. Just leave it in your PayPal account, it won't do any harm and could save you a lot of grief.

When You Next List an Item

You must change the PayPal email payment address on the listing form. This tells the buyer which payment email address to send the payment to at the end of the auction (assuming they pay by PayPal).

Quick Sell SYI

Advanced Sell SYI

Turbo Lister

Once you have changed the email payment address on the SYI forms, it should be remembered thereafter, but it's advisable to double check when you list an item.

If you are re-listing, or using a listing template, again, don't forget to check the email payment address.

In Turbo Lister, don't forget to change the email address in any files / templates you have already created.
In addition, you can alter the default payment email address via:
  • Tools
  • Options
  • Auction Defaults / Fixed Price Defaults / Classifies Ad Defaults / Shop Inventory Defaults
  • Payment Methods
  • PayPal Account Email

What to do if you did not change the payment email address on the listing form

What happens here depends on whether you deleted the old email address from your PayPal account. If you left it there, the payment will go to your PayPal account as normal.

If you deleted the old address, then the payment will be 'unclaimed' in the buyer's PayPal transaction status and 'Pending' in your my eBay status.

You will receive a payment notification from PayPal asking you to sign up to a new account to claim the payment.

You can see what email payment address the payment was made to by a couple of methods.

1. Open the transaction details in your my eBay. Across the top of the page, it will display the payment email address the payment was made to.


2. Open the transaction details in your my eBay. Click the 'Sell Similar' or 'Relist' button (don't worry, you are not going to send the item live).

Then scroll down to the 'Decide how you'd like to be paid' section (as pictured above) and check the payment email address there. Close the window, or press page back on the browser when you've taken a note of the address to check against your PayPal payment email address.

If it was your old email address and if you control the old email address, simply re-add it to your PayPal Profile (as described above).

If you no longer control that address (such as if you've changed ISP) you will not be able to re-add that you your PayPal Profile if you have deleted it.

What you need to do is ask the buyer to cancel the transaction in their PayPal transaction details. Because the old email address is no longer associated with a PayPal account, it will remain 'Unclaimed' for 30 days. The buyer needs to open the PayPal transaction and press the 'Cancel' button. The payment will be returned to their funding source. If the buyer does nothing, the payment will be automatically returned in 30 days.

Once the buyer has canceled the transaction, you can ask the buyer to pay manually from their PayPal account. If they do it correctly, the purchase will still be covered by PayPal Buyer Protection:

PayPal Buyer Protection

13.5 What are the eligibility requirements for PayPal Buyer Protection?

You must meet all of these requirements to be eligible for a payment under PayPal Buyer Protection:

   1. Use PayPal to purchase an eligible item on eBay or use PayPal to purchase an eligible item on or off eBay which is funded by PayPal Credit.
2. Pay the full amount of the eligible item in one payment. Items purchased with multiple payments – like a deposit followed by a final payment – are not eligible.
3.  Send the payment to the seller through:
*  The eBay “Pay Now” button or the eBay invoice, or
*  The “Send Money” button of your PayPal account by selecting “eBay Item” and entering your eBay User ID and the eBay item number

The buyer goes to
  • Send Money tab
  • 'Purchase'
  • 'eBay Items'
  • Fill in the sellers correct email address
  • Enter 'eBay User ID' and 'eBay Item Number'
  • Press the 'Continue' button

What to Do if You Entered an Incorrect Payment email Address (a Typo)

If you made a typo in your email address, but got the domain name correct, you could try signing up to that email provider with the typo email address.

So for example if your PayPal email payment address is but you entered the email address, see if you can sign up to the email address and then add that to your PayPal Profile (as described above).

If not, or you made a typo in the domain name, see the section above for canceling the payment.