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I've had a Premier account for years but haven't used PayPal in a long time so was surprised when I logged into see all the merchant tools disappeared. I'm a small, self owned business and want to add a "buy now" button on my website, but I don't find the tools to create it anywhere on my account page. I also don't see any way to sandbox / test "buy now" buttons any more. What happened? Are these only available to business accounts now?
Not really sure if you did get the correct answer. (Note, what's stated here is assuming you do have a US PayPal Account.)
Both Premier Accounts and Business Accounts are intended to allow you to accept credit card transactions without requiring the buyer to have a PayPal Account - it's been this way since PayPal started. Unless something has really changed recently - if that's the case then there's really no need for Premier Accounts all together - just Personal and Business.
Premier Accounts allow the occasional seller to sell through eBay and on their own - people who own these accounts are not registered businesses but, want to be able to accept credit card transactions. With a Premier Account, the buyers will see the seller's email address on the PayPal Checkout Screens.
Business Accounts are as the name implies - for registered businesses or registered non-profits. When the buyer checks out on the PayPal Screens, the business or organization's name is displayed. With a Business Account, you also have the option to display a business or organization logo graphic instead of the name. Business Accounts also some addtional features like MultiUser Access and some basic Fraud Protection Filters.
As far as you not being able to find where to go to create item buttons - the new user interface takes some getting used to when it comes to navigating through the site. Try this shortcut URL, it should get you to the right section:
Assuming you're not logged into your account, copy and paste the URL into your web browser, then press "enter". You should get a PayPal Login Screen. After you login, you should be redirected.