How Do I Create a PayPal Sandbox Account?

When you are first getting started with accepting donations through PayPal, it is useful to be able to test that everything works correctly without using live payments.

Enter the PayPal sandbox. This is a tool designed to help developers and merchants test their integration with PayPal. We strongly recommend setting up an account and testing that everything works before launching your fundraising campaign.

Setting Up Your PayPal Developer Account

  1. Go to http://developer.paypal.com/ and create an account or sign in if you already have one. You can log in with your existing PayPal account.
  2. Once you have logged in, click on the Dashboard link in the page header.
  3. Next, click on the Accounts link in the sidebar menu (under the Sandbox header).

Now, you need to set up at least two accounts: one merchant account and one buyer account. This allows you to act as both the business and the customer/donor in sandbox mode.

We’ll set up the Merchant account first.

  1. Click on the Create Account button in the top right corner.
  2. On the next screen, select “Business” for the Account Type setting. Fill out the rest of the fields and click on the Create Account button. Make a note of the email address and password you used.

Now we’ll set up the Buyer account.

  1. Click on the Create Account button in the top right corner.
  2. On the next screen, select “Personal” for the Account Type setting. Fill out the rest of the fields and click on the Create Account button. Make a note of the email address and password you used.