As you can see, PayPal is an exceptionally quick and easy way to expedite online commerce. There are a number of benefits to using PayPal for your auction payments (both sending and receiving) as opposed to other methods:
- Flexibility for sellers. With a PayPal membership, even very small volume sellers can quickly and easily accept payments that originate from buyers' credit or debit cards.
- Quickness. PayPal transfers between sellers are instant, and transfers from PayPal accounts to bank accounts only take a few days. This makes PayPal a much faster method for money exchange than paper methods such as checks or money orders, which take days to arrive and days more still to "go through" once deposited.
- Ease of shopping. Because a majority of eBay sellers accept PayPal payments, eBay buyers can simply look for the PayPal logo on any auction and instantly know that PayPal is an accepted method of payment—meaning none of the hassle of trying to follow the many and varied payment directions that non-PayPal sellers often provide in item descriptions.
- Enhanced buyer safety. Because PayPal offers buyer guarantees at a surcharge and also provides a means for buyers to dispute purchases (if they money they use originates in their Mastercard or VISA account), PayPal adds a layer of buying safety that many eBayers appreciate.
- Account privacy. Thanks to the way that PayPal works—providing a separate "PayPal" account between which all inter-member transfers occur—no seller who receives a payment need ever see the buyer's credit card or bank account information. For buyers this means a level of account protection not offered by brick-and-mortar stores, where retailers commonly have buyers' account information in-hand after purchases.
- PayPal makes record keeping easy. Because all of the sales and purchases you have ever transacted through PayPal are recorded in your PayPal account, records of your PayPal transactions are easy to obtain: just log into your account and specify dates or date ranges.
- PayPal can be used elsewhere, too. As eBay and PayPal have grown, the number of uses for PayPal has also grown. Many online vendors outside of eBay now accept payments via PayPal, and many charitable organizations also accept tax-deductible PayPal donations online.
Because of these advantages, eBay members who aren't willing to join PayPal often trade at a distinct disadvantage: buyers will find themselves often unable to bid on auctions by sellers who specify "PayPal only" payment terms, and sellers may find themselves receiving fewer bids because buyers who buy "PayPal only" for convenience tend to stay away from non-PayPal auctions in droves.