When and How To Use PayPal 's New Invoicing System

Automate, automate, automate. It's darn good advice most of the time. But what about occasions where you simply need to collect a one-time payment for various and sundry items or services?

Paypal recently launched a very handy and convenient service called "PayPal Invoicing" that makes the job of requesting and collecting payment for products or services a snap. Here's the process in a nutshell...

(1) You log into your PayPal account.
(2) From the main screen, click the dark blue "Request Money" tab.
(3) The second paragraph (currently) says "To send a more detailed request, try out PayPal's new Invoicing tool". Click this link to go to the invoicing page.
(4) At the "Select Template" dropdown menu, select "New Invoice" and click continue.
(5) The next screen provides all of the fields that you'll need to build your invoice. You can apply tax, charge for shipping, specify the rates for each, and more. This won't take you more than about 10 or 20 seconds to complete. When you're satisfied with the information that you've entered, click the "Continue" button.
(6) The next screen shows you what the invoice will look like, and if you like what you see, click "Send Invoice" and your job is done.

The recipient of your invoice will receive an attractive html email invoice with your Paypal email as the "from" address. When they open it they'll see a "Pay Now" button to click, and this takes them directly to their PayPal login page. Upon logging in, they will have the option to either pay the invoice or cancel it. Hopefully, they'll pay.

When all is said and done, both you and they will have receipts and records of your transaction and it's very quick and easy to use. It's a great tool.

For common recurring transactions like the sale of digital products or services, Paypal invoicing probably doesn't make sense. You can automate billing and delivery far better by setting up web pages that do all of the work for you.

So, when might you want to use Paypal invoicing? Here are a few situations that might make sense...

- One time services (i.e. freelance work)
- Collecting money for an ad in a newsletter.
- Setting up co-operative advertising.
- Collecting payment for physical goods. For example, you just sold a vegetable that had an uncanny resemblance to Bill Clinton to your unsuspecting sister-in-law.
- It's April Fool's Day and you just want to invoice the next person to walk by your office door.

Automation is great, but there are times when you just need a quick and convenient work-around. Paypal invoicing might be just what the doctor ordered.

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