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Transaction ID and locating payments

Posted: March 28, 2020 at 11:37 am


March 28, 2020 at 11:37 am

H there,

This is something that has bothered me for quite some time, but now that I have to process 100+ refunds due to changes required from the Covid situation, it is a bigger deal now.

My guests register and pay using the Paypal option. Your system gives me a “TXN ID / CHQ #” but that does not reflect any way to find their transaction in Paypal. When I search Paypal using that number, it often doesn’t work at all. And the transaction number Paypal gives me is different.

I typically just search by last name, but sometimes that fails. Then I use email address, and that fails too. Usually because someone else has enrolled the person – so, they use their info for the payment, by the attendee info for the registration (rightfully so)

Problem is, I cannot locate the transaction to process a refund in these situations. Is there anything you can suggest to help this? It becomes a huge waste of time trying to locate a transaction when the name and email don’t match. Why not just have the system report the actual Paypal transaction number.

The one I just spend 20 minutes locating showed my this number on yoru backend: PAYID-LZRD2IA8B6809076C460564J but did not match the Paypal Transaction ID at all. I had to locate it by going through every entry on that day until the time stamp matched.

This is very frustrating … please help!


  • Support Staff

March 28, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Hi Allen,

The Transaction ID in PayPal will match what’s shown in Event Espresso > Transactions. Here’s a screenshot that shows the location of the Transaction ID in the PayPal entry and in the Event Espresso > Transactions entry:

and a screenshot of an example of a Transaction ID search in PayPal:


March 30, 2020 at 10:27 am

Ok, well how come when I search it doesnt come up?
For example:

And if I try to search with “PAYID-” in the number, it makes Paypal return a blank screen, every time, no matter what comes after “PAYID-”

Like this:

Apparently the “PAYID-” makes Paypal “freeze” or something. I dont know, all very frustrating


March 30, 2020 at 10:28 am

btw, each image above is two screenshots in one… the foreground with the blue glow behind is is the response window.


March 30, 2020 at 11:04 am

Ok, here is another example – I just spent 20 minutes locating his entry by checking the time stamps on every Ticket sold on March 3rd. Real hassle.

The name and address of the person that made the payment do not match the Attendee name and address (not a requirement). The transaction numbers don’t match, so they are useless in searching. But, the time stamps and the amount paid do – so, I know it is the right transaction.

This is a real pain – and seems like something isn’t working properly. What good is a transaction number if it doesn’t link to anything? Can you advise?


  • Support Staff

March 30, 2020 at 3:43 pm


The screenshots are helpful because they show you’re actually using PayPal Express with Smart buttons gateways. That one works quite a bit differently than the bundled PayPal Express gateway in that it kind of buries the PayPal Transaction Sale ID in the response.

In a future version of the PayPal Smart buttons add-on, we can work in some changes to extract that part of the response so that part can be used on the Event Espresso Transactions page instead of the regular PayPal smart buttons transaction ID in the response. Quite frankly, it’s a bit disappointing that they don’t let you search for that transaction ID (the one they provide that starts with PAYID-).


March 31, 2020 at 8:30 am

Ok, so, basically – I just need to be patient and accept that it does’t really function efficiently? Getting a transaction number that is not searchable in any way is really just useless. What is the point of giving me that info?

And so maybe you can help me with another issue, as you have always been very helpful to me in the past. I am using the Wait List feature, and I want to be able to show those names on my site with the shortcode. Apparently I customized my .php files and disabled this functionality somehow. I am willing to pay you guys to help me figure this out.

I started a thread about this (and some other stuff) here:

I want to display the Wait List names in chronological order, so people can see ‘where’ they are on the list.

Can this be done? and how?



  • Support Staff

March 31, 2020 at 10:13 am

I just need to be patient and accept that it does’t really function efficiently?

If you’d prefer to do something now, you can switch to use the bundled PayPal Express gateway because that gateway provides a single ID that’s searchable within PayPal. The next release of PayPal Smart buttons will have some adjustments so can use an ID provided by PayPal that is searchable.

At that point, when there’s an update to the PayPal Express with Smart buttons add-on, you could switch back.

With regards to your other topic regarding the attendee list customizations, it is possible to make further customizations to your customizations, but generally speaking these are customizations we cannot support. I can advise working with a developer from, they can give you a quote on making customizations to your specifications.


  • Support Staff

April 6, 2020 at 1:34 pm


There’s an update available for the PayPal Express w/ Smart buttons add-on. This update includes a change to how the PayPal Transaction ID is taken from the payment response from PayPal. The result is, going forward with new transactions, the Transaction ID shown in Event Espresso > Transactions will match the Transaction ID shown in the Seller’s PayPal account.

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Updated by  Josh 1 month, 2 weeks ago ago

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