My final goal

I have a website where people can order via Paypal.

When someone pays, the only notification I receive is an email from Paypal. This email contains the email address of the customer as its first "mailto:" link.

My goal is to quasi-immediately send the customer an email saying "We have received your payment and will process it within 72 hours". Paypal does not have this feature.

My idea of a solution that would fit

Usage scenario of the webapp ("TheWebapp.com" below):

  1. I register at TheWebapp.com with username "nicolas"
  2. I write the message I would like customers to receive.
  3. I set up my Gmail to forward Paypal notifications to [email protected]
  4. When TheWebapp.com receives such an email, it extracts the first "mailto:" address and send my message to it

Any other solution to achieve the final goal is OK.

  • Gmail has filters you can use to auto-respond to messages, but why are you trying to use email instead of using one of the API's provided by Paypal for this sort of thing?
    – Caleb
    Jul 2, 2014 at 8:16
  • @Caleb: Auto-respond would reply to Paypal, right? I want to contact the person whose email is written in the body of Paypal's email.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jul 2, 2014 at 8:20
  • @Caleb: I would prefer to limit custom development (static website) but indeed paypal.com/ie/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=p/mer/… looks like it could be a solution.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jul 2, 2014 at 8:28
  • I'm pretty sure you won't get out of this one without doing some custom development, and as far as development goes it would be a lot better to use the API callback provided for this purpose than to parse email data and shuffle messages around between services (even if you do find something that will accept a rule like that it will always be a brittle solution).
    – Caleb
    Jul 2, 2014 at 8:35
  • You convinced me! Do you want to write the answer, or can I write it?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jul 2, 2014 at 8:39

1 Answer 1


Email confirmation would be too brittle, and susceptible to forged emails.

Rather than email confirmation, use web confirmation: Paypal can redirect customers to an URL of your choice.
The details for setting this up are here:

This is a free feature, and doable even with a static HTML website.

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