Problems integrating PayPal

Recently, I’ve been trying to integrate PayPal subscriptions into a website of mine but I’ve hit a few problems which I’ve managed to resolve thanks to PayPal’s support. Hopefully this will help others. Here we go.

I followed this integration guide and I’ve managed to create a product and a plan and then subscription and then use the link from the subscription to redirect to PayPal. However, when I tried to pay for the subscription using my sandbox account I got this error:

I was baffled for a while but then I contacted PayPal’s support which told me that I don’t have balance in the same currency in which was the subscription (my case was euro) so I went on this page and I created a new sandbox account based in Germany which automatically filled the account with 5000 euro. However, when I tried to pay again for the subscription using the new account I hit another similar problem, here is the error:


So I contacted PayPal’s support again and after some back and forth they told me that the sandbox account wasn’t verified and that they’ve verified it and now it was working, which I tested immediately and yes it was working.

Problem is, why sandbox accounts with automatically generated email addresses, which look something like this: [email protected], have to be verified at all and how can you do that if you don’t own the email address? Baffling. Even worse, I have a sandbox account set up with one of my email addresses, which is not verified, and I tried to verify it but I never got a verification email!

So, generally, I am quite disappointed by PayPal even though I’ve managed to solved my problem. Lack of documentation is frustrating. I even found pieces of their documentation that simply don’t work.