Paypal advice for setting up account w/country complications
May 14, 2016 11:49 PM   Subscribe

Is there any problem setting up a Paypal account when you live in one country, but the credit card you want to link is from another country? In my case, I live in [European Country] and my credit card is from my bank in the US, my native country. If you've done this in the last couple of years*, can you help advise me?

I ask because I've had trouble with previous accounts in many different, weird ways, and have never found answers to my questions via Paypal help or the forums. For example, I wasn't allowed to set up my account as a [European Country] account because I was using a debit card from a US account. So I set it up as a US account, but then Paypal wouldn't let me buy things to be sent to my EU address. Except for eBay. They didn't care if I used my US paypal to have eBay things delivered to me in the EU, but would deny other purchases.

I've had a variety of other problems, the last of which I solved by closing the account (the apparently ongoing-since-2009, weird and extremely common, "Sorry, you can't remove this bank account because of a pending transaction. Please try again later" problem, when there are definitely, absolutely no pending transactions).

So it's exasperating, and I would prefer not to bother, BUT I want to occasionally buy things from eBay, and Paypal is the only option, realistically.

I'd like to set up my Paypal account as being in my EU country of residence, but link to my US credit card, which has my EU address as the billing address. Will this work? OR I can set it up as a US account (and use my family address if they need a US address there), if they will allow purchases with deliveries to my EU address. I don't care which it is, I'd just rather not go through a bunch of hoop-jumping only to find it's not going to work for my needs (mostly eBay, game/ebook downloads, contributions to sites/open source software, occasional retail items from various countries (like shoes, for example), but all super normal stuff, nothing weird, no big-ticket stuff).

I'm not contacting PP, because they've never, ever either understood or given me useful help on any question I've ever asked.

* It seems that some things change, from what I can tell from online info, so I'd rather have relatively current experience, if possible – but thanks for any help!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You need to link Paypal to a card with the billing address in the same country as that PayPal account. I'm British living in France and have two PayPal accounts, I changed the billing address of my UK card last year to France and PayPal rejected it.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:58 PM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Same. I am an American living in Ireland and I have a US PP account tied to to my US bank account and billing address, and another tied to my Irish address.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:12 AM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've had better luck with this recently than I have in the past. I have a US bank card tied to a US billing address, but my shipping address is in another country entirely. Paypal used to give me a lot of trouble with this on Etsy, but the last few transactions I've attempted have not been a problem. Maybe it's getting better? Maybe it's that I moved from one country to a semi-neighboring one that Paypal might be friendlier with? I wish I knew WHY things were changing, but all I can say is that my level of trouble with this has gone from "horrendous" to "mild."

I've contacted Paypal about it numerous times and they've always just gone "well you're not supposed to be doing that [shipping to a different country than your billing address] in the first place, so stop it." So they're definitely not going to make it easy.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 1:55 AM on May 15, 2016

Forgive me if this is a dumb question / suggestion, but can't you just change the shipping address with the merchant after you go through the Paypal rigmarole? Paypal populates your address, but don't most merchants allow you to change it afterwards? What if you buy a gift for someone? (And, in that same vein, I've definitely bought a gift on Etsy and had it shipped directly to my friend.)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 1:44 PM on May 15, 2016

ClarissaWAM no. Many merchants will ship only to the verified PayPal shipping address because doing otherwise voids seller protection. It's a big deal.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:03 PM on May 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just to be contradictory... I have done exactly what ClarissaWAM suggests, but was hesitant to suggest it because it doesn't work out always. It works often because many sellers are cool about it and don't seem to mind risk, and the few that aren't just ship it to an address where I can get it eventually anyway. If the paypal address (in a different country from where you live) isn't in a position to receive packages and send them along to you, or hold onto them until you come visit, it's a riskier suggestion.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 8:55 PM on May 15, 2016

« Older When Judas repents: Forgive or tell her to f***...   |   Good beginner ukulele Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.