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Fyi: Bizarre Work-Around To Create Paypal Sandbox Button

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I thought I would post this in case it benefited others.

 

Problem: I tried several times to create a PayPal button in the sandbox. Each time, the generated code did not contain any reference to the sandbox; it always generated code for a "live" site.  This was even the case when I walked through the process on the phone with PayPal tech support.  Naturally, then, there way no way to test the PayPal payment functionality and I got all sorts of errors. 

 

Root Cause: Not entirely sure, but it's something on the PayPal side when you go to create the button in the sandbox.  

 

Solution: I worked with a different tech support person for this strange work-around that did work.  In short, you have to NOT go to the "Merchant Services" tab, but get to the button creation a different way.

 

Steps:

  1. Log into Developer website (using your "official" account, not any sandbox accounts you created)

  2. Create a new Business Type account in sandbox (This actually failed for me the first time. I got an "We're sorry but something went wrong.Please delete this account and try again" error. It worked the second time.)

  3. Click on "Enter Sandbox Site" and login as the Business Type user you just created.

  4. Hover over Profile Link.  Click on My Selling Tools.  (The tech said I might see something in this drop down menu referring to "PayPal buttons" but I didn't.) 

  5. Click on PayPal butons -> Update

  6. Click on "Sample Subscription Button" -> Action -> Create new button

  7. Create the button in line with Ullman's instructions in Chapter Six.

  8. The resulting code should have "..www.sandbox.paypal..." in it.

Good luck!

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Don't try this with Firefox.  When using Firefox and attempting to access the www.sandbox.paypal.com website to log in as a test user, I was always redirected to the main Paypal login screen where my test user was not valid.  I had to switch to Safari (I'm developing on OSX) in order to gain access to the Sandbox web site.

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