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PayPal error, "The link you have used to enter the PayPal system contains an incorrectly formatted item amount."


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I am working on getting my osCommerece site up and running and I have hit a snag. I am using 2.3.1, and the only contribution or edit I have made to a payment module is One Page Checkout for 2.3.1 (http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/7993) I have checked and double checked and I have installed it correctly. However, when I try to complete a purchase (sandbox or live) I get an error after I get redirected to paypal. "The link you have used to enter the PayPal system contains an incorrectly formatted item amount." However, when I disable one page checkout (in the admin panel, all the edits still intact) it works fine and redirects to paypal with the correct item info.


So my question is how do I go about debugging this? I would consider myself a proficient programmer, not so much in PHP, but enough I can get most of what I want done, but I have spent a solid 10 hours trying to solve this problem, and I am ready to through in the towel. I feel what I need to do is compare the data sent to paypal when OPC is enabled and disabled and see where the differences lie, but I am struggling to do so. Any help is greatly appreciated.



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What is the actual PayPal payment module you are using? As you may know OsCommerce comes with 4 or 5 like PayPal Express, IPN, Payment Standard, then UK and US versions...

Anyway, what I would do is find out which module is being called.

Try and find the array that gets sent to PayPal and EMAIL it to yourself. Here's a command that will work on most pages:


tep_mail('Your Name', '[email protected]', 'PayPal submission', print_r($params, true), 'Your website name', '[email protected]');

Just replace $params with whatever variable it is using -- in my case it was $params but it might be $parameters or something else.


If you get this right, it will email you the stuff it's sending PayPal.

You might see an obvious error, but if not you'll need to check the API requirements for that particular API call - it may require a particular format.

For example, in PayPal Express Checkout, it calls SetExpressCheckout and that API is documented here:



Good luck

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I recommend you to collect the form that being posted to paypal.

Analyze that form or post that form here for further comments.



Ask/Skype for Free osCommerce value addon/SEO suggestion tips for your site.


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