Web development tutorial

PayPal Sandbox for testing

Tutorial created by Team WebAssist

Categories: eCart, PowerStore

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The PayPal sandbox allows you to process transactions on your website, without the official exchange of money. This is one way for PayPal users to test purchases on their online store, prior to going live.

However, we suggest not using PayPal Sandbox at all. WebAsisst code has been throughly tested over the years. The reality is that the sandbox APIs are spread through multiple pages and can be cumbersome to update. It is often much better to just use live PayPal transactions.

Create a $1 item in your store for testing purposes and then simply refund test transactions. PayPal refunds all fees with refunded transactions, so there is no real drawback to this technique and there are some clear advantages since you can be testing with the live code without having to make updates after.

arrow downCreating the Test Accounts

To effectively test your shopping system, you need to create a test buyer and a test seller account.

  1. In your browser, navigate to https://developer.paypal.com.
  2. Click Sign Up Now
  3. Enter the requested details and choose Yes to agree to the User Agreement and Privacy Policy.
    Do not use the same email address you used for your PayPal merchant account.

  4. Click Sign Up.


You will receive a confirmation email that will require you to click a link to log in.

  1. Click the link in your confirmation email.
  2. Enter the email address you specified for use with the PayPal Sandbox.
  3. Enter your Password.
  4. Click Log In.

arrow downCreating a Test Buyer

When using the PayPal Sandbox you can create test accounts for buyers and sellers. These accounts provide the information such as credit card numbers, etc. for you to easily test the checkout process.

  1. Go the PayPal Sandbox website and sign in.
  2. Under Test Accounts, choose Create a preconfigured account.
  3. Select the Buyer radio button.
  4. Create a First and Last name for your buyer.
  5. Enter a Login Email.
  6. Enter a password.
  7. Enter 100 for Account Balance.
  8. Click Create Account.

arrow downCreating a Test Seller

  1. Return to the PayPal Create Sandbox Test Account page.
  2. Select the Seller radio button.
  3. Create a First and Last name for your seller.
  4. Enter a Login Email.
  5. Enter a password.
  6. Enter 100 for Account Balace
  7. Click Create Account.
  8. Back on the Test Accounts page, click the Disabled link under Payment Review for each account. This will then change to Enabled.
    You will want to do this to enable both the Seller and Buyer accounts.

arrow downObtaining the Sandbox API

When using the PayPal sandbox you need to obtain PayPal testing API credentials from their developer website.

  1. Select the radio button beside your Business Account.
  2. Choose Enter Sandbox Test Site.
  3. Enter your PayPal password for your test account.
  4. Click Login.
    If a billing agreement is asked to be accepted at this point, accept the billing agreement.
  5. Choose the API Credentials link.
  6. In the Sandbox Test Accounts with API Signatures window, take note of the API Username, API Password, and Signature.
These API credentials will be asked of you in different locations depending on the WebAssist product you are using. For PowerStore 3 users, you will have the opportunity to enter this information from within the Installation Wizard or Settings panel. eCart users can enter these details from within the Checkout Wizard.
If you are using PowerStore, you will need to select the Use Sandbox checkbox under the Settings panel. This will change the PowerStore checkout functionality to reference the Sandbox API server instead of the real server.

arrow downMaking test purchases

On your site, you can now make test purchases using the Buyer account you just created. The following details how to obtain fake credit card details that you can test with associated with your buyer account.

  1. Choose Test Accounts.
  2. Click the View Details link under the Personal account you created.
  3. The credit card details are listed below.
  4. Use those details listed to perform test transactions of your checkout functionality.
    You are not provided with a CVV code. Instead, enter any 3-digit code in the appropriate field.

arrow downWhat to do next...

Once you have completed testing your transactions, you will want to update your payment gateway settings in your particular product to the live settings instead of the Sandbox settings.

PowerStore Users: Enter the PowerStore 3 Admin panel, choose Settings > Payment Information. Uncheck the Use Sandbox checkbox and enter your PayPal account details instead of the Sandbox test accounts details.

eCart 5 users: After running the Checkout Wizard, open the Local Checkout option from the Server Behaviors panel and enter your live PayPal account details instead of your Sandbox test account details.

arrow downReviews and comments

Comments will be sent to the author of this tutorial and may not be answered immediately. For general help from WebAssist, please visit technical support.

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