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If you have a specific question about an order, we recommend contacting the seller directly. This is often the fastest way to obtain order information. View instructions.
Due to Covid-19, delivery times may be longer than normal in your area. Learn more
Many other questions can be answered by visiting our help center.
You can easily add or remove additional payment options through your Members Menu:
Buyers see your payment methods on the Listing Details page for each of your items, as well as when placing their order in the Shopping Basket.
What Payment Methods are Available to Choose From?
In addition to credit cards, you may choose to offer one or more ‘seller direct’ payment methods, such as check, bank/wire transfer and PayPal.
There are several benefits to offering seller direct payment methods:
We recommend offering as many seller direct methods as possible. You can select PayPal, bank draft, cash on delivery (C.O.D.), bank/wire transfer, check, money order, invoice, direct debit, and cash.
You will see the buyer’s selected payment method when notified of an order. Clear communication between you and the buyer is the key to a successful seller direct transaction. AbeBooks is not involved. You are responsible for collecting payment directly from the buyer prior to shipping the item. If a seller direct order is not processed within 96 hours, it will automatically be confirmed.
We are not affiliated with PayPal, Western Union, MoneyGram, or any financial institution. It is your responsibility to determine which, if any, seller direct payment methods are right for you.
PayPal is widely used around the world. It can be set up quickly. You will be asked to connect your PayPal account to your credit card and/or a bank account. PayPal allows you to shop online, send money and request money, as well as create and send customized business invoices. Your buyer is notified of a pending payment request and they pay via the method connected to their account. PayPal’s fees may vary regionally, and for international and domestic transactions.
It is possible for a buyer to send money to you through PayPal without having a PayPal account. They will be given the opportunity to open a PayPal account, but can instead select the credit or debit card option and enter the details for the card they wish to use.
Bank transfers and wire transfers are slightly different but both involve the electronic movement of funds. In order to receive funds, in both cases, you will need to provide the buyer with your bank details. Check with your bank about the exact information you should provide to customers, and the requirements for receiving funds from overseas buyers. Processing times may vary. Online banking will allow you to quickly see when funds have arrived.
Unlike a regular check, a bank draft is a payment that is guaranteed by the issuing bank. When issuing a bank draft, the bank reviews the requester’s funds to ensure sufficient money is available to make the payment, and then withdraws the funds immediately when creating the draft. Bank drafts can be drawn in a foreign currency. The requester will be charged a fee when requesting a bank draft. You simply need to inform the buyer of the amount, currency and where to send the draft.
A personal check is not guaranteed by an issuing bank. If you have a relationship with the buyer and you are both located in the same country, then a check may be suitable. The buyer simply needs to know who to make the check payable to and where to send it.
A money order is a payment order that is prepaid by the person supplying the funds. A large number of money order services exist, ranging from Western Union and MoneyGram to post offices and grocery stores. Money orders are obtained by providing the funds, paying the fee and defining the name of the person or business who needs to receive the funds. You receive the funds by taking the money order to a money order service, endorsing with it a signature, and providing valid identification. An international money order works in the same way except the currency is defined when it is requested.
Cash on delivery (C.O.D.)
Cash on Delivery, or C.O.D., is also known as Collect on Delivery. National postal services sometimes support cash on delivery. The recipient of the item pays the shipping service at the time of delivery. You supply the packaged item, pay the service fee, supply the delivery address and the amount to be paid. You will also need to arrange with the service provider how to receive the funds.
You provide a document to the buyer indicating your payment terms, such as your preferred methods of payment and the date by which you wish to be paid. If you have a relationship with the buyer, then an invoice may be suitable. Some institutional buyers prefer invoice.
In continental Europe, there is the SEPA direct debit system which allows merchants to collect Euro-denominated payments from accounts in EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The payer must authorize you to collect funds directly from their account. This mandate can be provided in paper or electronic format. The UK has its own direct debit system for transactions in pounds sterling. Again, the payer must complete an instruction to the merchant. In both cases, contact your bank for instructions.