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Branching Out

You probably use PayPal as a method of payment, but do you know what it can do to help grow your business?

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

has become an indispensable component of many successful businesses on . Whether a seller is just getting started or has already earned a shooting star, PayPal can help grow a on eBay. It's convenient and secure for customers. Low fees, high ease-of-use and tight integration with eBay make the service ideal for sellers.

But PayPal is for more than just --it offers a suite of merchant and eBay tools. Sellers can manage their payments, automatically include the PayPal option in their listings, send end-of-listing e-mails, handle refunds and deal with multiple currencies. We asked Bill Onderdonk, vice president of marketplaces for PayPal, to talk about what services are available and what PayPal can do for eBay sellers of all sizes.

Entrepreneur: How can PayPal help eBay sellers grow their businesses?
Bill Onderdonk: With PayPal, sellers can instantly accept credit cards alongside the largest merchants. PayPal truly levels the playing field by letting practically anyone accept multiple types of electronic payments. PayPal delivers payments in seconds vs. days. That increased efficiency in payments allows the eBay seller to ship goods at a much faster rate. It also allows sellers to begin accepting electronic payments instantly and cost-effectively, without applying for a merchant account.

Also, eBay sellers like the fact that PayPal stores buyers' financial information and guards it zealously. These small businesses don't usually have the sophisticated systems or expertise required to store their customers' personal financial information.

Entrepreneur: What PayPal services are available that are of special interest to eBay sellers?
Onderdonk: Shipping integration with the U.S. Postal Service and UPS allows sellers to easily and quickly print shipping labels directly from the PayPal site. PayPal now offers international shipping labels as well.

PayPal also offers seller protection: We will fight chargebacks on a seller's behalf. In addition, PayPal Buyer Protection increases buyer confidence, while PayPal and eBay's overall trust and safety efforts reduce overall fraud costs.

Entrepreneur: Is PayPal easier for eBay buyers to use than other payment methods?
Onderdonk: PayPal is the preferred way to pay on eBay. Currently, more than 90 percent of eBay listings offer PayPal as a form of payment. According to a recent survey of eBay buyers, 5 out of 6 eBay buyers prefer paying with PayPal vs. any other payment method on eBay. Research has also shown that eBay listings that offer PayPal receive higher average selling prices and are more likely to be successful transactions.

Entrepreneur: What advice do you have for eBay sellers who want to get the most out of PayPal?
Onderdonk: Be sure to offer PayPal on all your eBay listings! With more than 105 million users in 55 markets, PayPal is a great solution for sellers who want to start selling globally. PayPal accepts payments in six currencies, allowing sellers to quickly and easily open their businesses to millions of potential buyers around the world.

Also, if you have your own website off of eBay, consider offering PayPal for an integrated payment solution.

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