Help with Anonymous Amazon Shopping
February 9, 2006 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Help me do anonymous shopping at with funds from my paypal account.

I would like to do some anonymous shopping at I have a Paypal account that is essentially untrackable to me. However, does not accept Paypal. The items I want to buy I can't find at other online stores. Rather than deposit this $$$ in my bank account then spend from that account (which will render this transaction not anonymous), does anyone know of a way to convert Paypal funds into a currency that Amazon accepts while maintaining some anonymity on my end.
posted by IndigoSkye to Shopping (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Others may have more technical answers, but off the top of my head, I'm thinking that amazon is going to be a pretty tough nut to crack.

They want you and they want your information and they may even want your first born.

My short answer would be is to have someone you trust register for amazon and do the shopping and purchasing for you.
posted by willmize at 4:08 AM on February 9, 2006

Best answer: Log onto your Paypal account. Go to the My Account tab, hit the withdrawal tab. Choose the option "Shop Online with a Paypal virtual card".
You'll get a temporary credit card number and you can shop anywhere that takes credit cards with it. Only up to $300/day I think though.
If the names don't all match, send it to yourself as gift making sure all the purchaser details match up.

You could also have PayPal send you a debit/check card and shop locally/use the ATM anywhere too. No daily limit on that.
posted by whoda at 4:36 AM on February 9, 2006

Shipping may be the biggest hurdle, unless you've already got a dead drop sorted out. My guess is that amazon won't ship to a PO box.
posted by tiamat at 6:01 AM on February 9, 2006

Why the need for anonymity?
posted by elisabeth r at 6:18 AM on February 9, 2006

tiamat: I always have my Amazon stuff shipped to my PO Box.
posted by NewGear at 6:25 AM on February 9, 2006

Dude. When wife or parents have access to your bank accounts, the last thing you want them to see is a large purchase from on there. They might even think you're purchasing books!

You're definitely going to need to do the virtual card thing. Or perhaps set up a false bank account under a psuedonym with an Eisenhower-era social. Except that the USA PATRIOT Act has them checking those IDs pretty closely...

Good luck in your stealthy endeavors. (Oh how great this would have been if the question were asked anonymously!)
posted by disillusioned at 6:46 AM on February 9, 2006

Amazon sells a number of items that you may not want to announce that you're purchasing, if there was a divorce trial that got ugly or a government investigation.

There are books that I am interested in for educational reasons that I will not check out of my library or purchase with anything other than cash, given the current anti-liberty climate in the country. And I don't consider myself a libertarian or black helicopter fancier.
posted by craniac at 6:52 AM on February 9, 2006

Why the need for anonymity?

Uh, because they are doing things they don't necessarily want others to know about? And to ask why someone wants to be anonymous is a bit counter-intuitive.
posted by apple scruff at 9:26 AM on February 9, 2006

You can exchange cash for a scrip redeemable at Amazon from some Coinstar machines.
posted by hilker at 9:58 AM on February 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

The Alibi Network received a mild snarking in this FPP.
posted by ryanrs at 10:29 PM on February 9, 2006

Paypal has changed and made it harder to find what they are now calling the "Paypal Debit Bar".
To get to it now, log in to your account, then go to this link:
posted by whoda at 12:56 PM on June 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

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