PayPal Hacks
100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2004
Pages: 370

If you've bought or sold items through eBay, or through hundreds of other online sites, then you're familiar with PayPal, the online payment service. With PayPal, a valid email address, and a credit card or bank account, you can easily send and receive payments online. Not a bank or financial institution itself, PayPal describes its service as one that builds on the financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards, and using advanced propriety fraud prevention systems, creates a safe, global, real-time payment solution. Put simply, PayPal provides the means for people to conduct financial transactions online, instantly and securely.But there's more to PayPal than meets the eye. PayPal Hacks shows you how to make the most of PayPal to get the most out of your online business or transactions. Authors Shannon Sofield of and PayPal evangelist David Nielsen guide you through the rigors of using and developing with PayPal. Whether you're building an ecommerce site using PayPal as a transaction provider, or simply trying to pay for an eBay auction without getting burned, PayPal Hacks will give you the skinny on this leading global online payment service.The collection of tips and tricks in PayPal Hacks shows you how to find or even build the right tools for using PayPal to buy and sell on eBay or as a transaction provider for ecommerce on your own site. Written for all PayPal users, from those just starting out to those developing sophisticated ecommerce sites, this book begins with the basics such as setting up your account, then moves quickly into specific tips and tools for buyers, sellers, and developers.With PayPal Hacks, you can:

  • Learn extra steps to help protect yourself while buying or selling on eBay
  • Save time and money with advanced tips and undocumented features
  • Learn dozens of easy-to-follow procedures to help you request and receive payments and fill orders
  • Use PayPal to handle subscriptions, affiliate systems, and donations
  • Create and customize your customers' checkout process
  • Effortlessly integrate PayPal's shopping cart system into your own website
  • Implement digital fulfillment with Instant Payment Notification (IPN) and Payment Data Transfer (PDT)
  • Develop and distribute ecommerce applications with the PayPal API
Each hack consists of a task to be accomplished or a creative solution to a problem, presented in a clear, logical, and task-oriented format. PayPal Hacks provides the tools and details necessary to make PayPal more profitable, more flexible, and more convenient.
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oreillyPayPal Hacks

(based on 3 reviews)

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Great format and information, but .NET?

By Westbaystars

from Yokohama, Japan

About Me Developer


  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Well-written


  • Examples in odd language

Best Uses

  • Intermediate
  • Novice

Comments about oreilly PayPal Hacks:

The information in this book is very well organized and well explained. I'd read a number of the programming documents on the PayPal site, but reading this seemed to bring everything together as to WHY I would want to use one technique over another.

The only real drawback to the book is that all of the examples are made with Microsoft .NET languages. I haven't worked on a Microsoft system for over 10 years, and even then I was working in Java. I get the algorithm for most of the examples, but some examples seemed to have more irrelevant overhead than others.


Love the book..BUT....AND the website here has apparently dead links..

By Dan Hess

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly PayPal Hacks:

Great stuff in the book and if I was an ASP guru, I would be on easy street. As a entry level (self taught) PERL monger, I'm frustrated. My pulse went up and I got excited at the More on the examples link when you talked about auctioning off hacks on ebay for initial inclusion at the website. The ebay link is currently DEAD. The www.paypalhacks url is also a dead link. (By the way, the actual "examples" link seemed not to be working also on this visit to the page). So anyways, as Arnie said best in one of his movies: I'll Be Back ! (looking for some PERL examples of hacks, especially ALL OF THEM in the PDT/IPN section of hacks !!

Great Book...just looking for the addendum or supplement that comes in: "my flavor".

- Dan


Good, but...

By Paul

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly PayPal Hacks:

I like the format of the Hacks series, and I had high hopes for this one. It presents quite a bit of information in an easy to find manner, along the way detailing posibilities one might not have otherwise thought of. It does have some flaws though, in my mind deserving just under 4-stars.

There are two small issues I have with this book. First, some of these hacks feel like filler, many of these would be obvious if one were to read PayPals online documentation. The counter to this though is that Oreilly does post the table of contents online, so one can make that judgement for themselves.

The second reason is purely subjective, but an annoying one for me. Every single Hack I've looked at so far, for any server side code, it uses a .NET language, mostly ASP. I was somewhat surprised that neither PHP or JSP/Servlets were mentioned. As they stuck to just one language, some of the code samples seemed pretty heavy and unnecessary.

The book does present some useful information though and does deserve a serious look.

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