How to make PayPal discount codes

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How to make PayPal discount codes
(New key shopping image by robootb from

When creating an online store, many merchants opt to use PayPal as their checkout of choice. Offering your buyers a PayPal checkout will likely increase your chance of sales since it is a well-known and trusted gateway. While having a buyer enter a specific code to receive a discount is a popular practice, as of 2010 it is still not supported by PayPal. But not to worry, there are ways around this.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Ensure you are not using a hosted "Add to Cart" button. In order to use a discount code, you must have a non-hosted button. To create one of these through PayPal, log into your PayPal account and click the "Merchant Services" tab.

  2. 2

    Select "Merchant Tools." In the "Website Payment Standard" section, choose the button you want to make.

  3. 3

    Click "Create your button now" and fill out all fields. Then go to "Step 2: Track inventory" and uncheck the "Save button at PayPal" box.

  4. 4

    Click "Create Button" and follow the "Remove code protection" link. At this point you will be able to see the unencrypted HTML code of the new button. Merely click "Select Code" and copy it to your website.

  1. 1

    Use JavaScript to add a discount code field to your check out now that you have a clear text button. You can do this through PayPal premier or business accounts.

  2. 2

    Write the custom JavaScript (numerous examples of which can be seen on Paypal's X Developer Network) on the website you are trying to add the button to.

  3. 3

    Ensure the script is capable of retrieving the discount code from the buyer, and then passing the new amount on to PayPal for payment.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also download a third party e commerce system that is capable of tying in with PayPal, such as CartManager or Mals-Ecommerce, both of whom support a discount code field. These will also allow you to make PayPal Discount Codes. Mals-E offers a free version of their software with limited functions, and both offer full pay versions.

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