Buy through eBay or pay by PayPal

eBay is a good source of chips or parts to buy.

But some Arduino users from countries not as developed as USA, Canada, Great Britain, … find it more difficult to buy outside.

I have read opinions in this forum that If you do not have an international credit card, you can not buy through eBay.

I think I have good news for members of this countries, and I will try a brief explain, but I suggest to other members to add insertions to the topic to make them usefull for users of this “far” countries.

eBay has a child company called PayPal.

If you have an account in PayPal you can easily buy through eBay ALMOST any ITEM, almost in ANY EXTERNAL COUNTRY.

This is only a part of what you can do with PayPal, because you can also RECEIVE money from any payer of virtually any external country of the world.

Some years ago the only way to have an account in PayPal (AND TO BE ABLE TO PAY WITH IT) was through a credit card.

I never used this because I personally hate credit cards , because of the problems they can give you, so NEVER USED PAYPAL.

But recently an interesting innovation has arrived to PayPal: YOU CAN PASS MONEY FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT TO PAYPAL WITHOUT A CREDIT CARD, through a bank transfer.

Once the money is in your PayPal account you can buy at pleassure :).

I actually use this method and I can say only good things , with just 1 exception >:(:
From the day you order the bank transfer till the day the money is in PayPal, usually 3 weeks have to pass.


After just 3 day money dissapears from your bank account, but you can ask money back to your bank to break operation. So PayPal waits until break operation time expires to pass finally the money to your PayPal accout.

This rule depends on country and bank rules but is a good approach.

I suggest a good policy to have 20 or 30 dollar always in a PayPal acount, BUT NEVER BIG QUANTITIES.


Because you operate PayPal esentially with your eMail address, and hackers >:( risk is always there. Also any one :sunglasses: who can enter in your eMail can SEND your PayPal account money to OTHER destiny :’( .

20 or 30 dollar do not interest much hackers, but is a good quantity to buy electronic devices in eBay ;D. or kits to Arduino providers that allow you to pay them by PayPal and ship to your country.

PayPal has succeeded until the point that external companies not related with eBay, also allow you to pay them by PayPal.

There are more bennefits and problems, but more expertice opinions will be welcome to this topic.

FWIW I’ll never again deal with PayPal–if anything causes you to lose access you can kiss your money goodbye.


Lose access? Like what…falling victim to a phishing attempt? I’ve used PayPal for 9 years and put thousands of dollars through it with no problems. Use a strong password, don’t access PayPal on computers that aren’t yours or may have trojans or viruses, and don’t click on sketchy links.

Also, the ability to link to a bank account has been part of PayPal for as long as I can remember…

Use a strong password

That was the problem in my case–I was using a strong password. But my point was that it doesn’t matter in what circumstances you lose access–if you do, you’re going to be beating your head against a wall to get your money back.


Also, the ability to link to a bank account has been part of PayPal for as long as I can remember…

Linking to bank accounts only made it to paypal australia last year - I guess they probably roll out features to different countries at different times.

Before that, it kind of was a pain to set up a credit card, we don’t have the same system of verification - for example we don’t link credit cards to physical adresses, so paypal (before there was a kind of treated aussies like shady charachters (no convict jokes…)

Anyways in recently paypal have become more world-friendly, and a useful way to conduct business for hobbiests.

Posted experiences received are very usefull and show that every country is different buying by eBay.

Dear Mr. Follower. I think I have better news today for users with your last bad experience, because in PayPal’s first page there is an “forgot password” link, where they finally ask you your eMail address and send you the password to your eMail address.

A very different problem is if you used a very strong password for your eMail address and you loose it. But then you should have to arrange this problem with your eMail provider (but not with PayPal).

I highly suggest storing small quantities in your PayPal account , 20 or 30 dollar are much money to buy electronics by internet and problems with such quantities will not ruin anybody.

Items from chinesse sellers are attractive, and most of them although mainly publish in USA, they finally SHIP WORLDWIDE, so if you bid in USA (EBAY.COM) and win, paying by PayPal the chinesse seller will ship the item to your home WHATEVER YOUR COUNTRY IS .

But, warning, some countries as Brazil or Nigeria seem to have problems of losing items at their customhouses, or buyers have to pay extra taxes to the postman if they have the luck of receiving the package at home.

If you pay by PayPal sometimes money back is warranted if you never receive the item, but I can not say this as a personal experience because I have always received the items. This is good anyway, but I imagine you will loose much time explaining your circumstances before you finally receive the money back.

I suggest, start buying a 5 or 6 dollar item from China or any other far away country and judge by yourself with results. Usually you should have the item at home in 2 or 3 weeks.