Monday, December 15, 2008

Buying SkypeIn

The process of buying SkypeIn works much the same way as buying SkypeOut credit:
  1. Go to and click the Sign In link. You should see this link at the top of the page.
  2. In the text input field, enter your Skype Name and password and click Secure Sign In. The My Skype Account Overview page opens, which allows you to buy all the different Skype services: SkypeIn, SkypeOut, and Skype Voicemail. This page also provides account information settings that you may have, including details on your SkypeOut calls.
  3. Directly under the topic SkypeIn, within the Skype and Ordinary Phones section, click the Buy Now button. There are several Buy Now buttons. Make sure that you click the correct one immediately underneath SkypeIn! In the Payments section of your My Skype Account Overview page, you can choose a form of currency. If the currency is set to euros and your currency should be U.S. dollars, you can change it by clicking the Change link, choosing the currency type, selecting the appropriate radio button, and then clicking the Change Currency button. You can buy SkypeIn credit with any of about 15 different currencies. The My Skype Account Overview page is divided into various sections: Call Phones within the U.S. and Canada for Free; Skype and Ordinary Phones; Account Settings; and Payments. Within the Payments section, you can set your preferred currency. Make this choice before you buy SkypeIn credit or any other Skype credit, because if you change your currency, you will incur an exchange fee on your available Skype credit. You set the currency by clicking the Change link in the Payments section.
  4. Select the country from which your Skype phone originates. You can pick from at least 14 countries: Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong S.A.R. China, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Clicking the country flag or name takes you to a new page.
  5. Select the area code and choose a local phone number from a list of available numbers within the area code. Depending on the country you choose, you may or may not be prompted to select an area code (some countries have only one area code for the whole country). Skype generates a list of available numbers for you to pick from. Although Skype provides you with a computer-generated list of numbers, you can pick a pattern, and Skype sees whether it is available. The pattern can include letters and the asterisk (*) wildcard character. As a pattern, you can enter ***Mary and you might get numbers like 367-6279, 123-679, or 333-6279. When you buy SkypeIn, Voicemail is included at no extra charge with your SkypeIn subscription.
  6. Click Buy Selected Number. An invoicing page appears, and you can choose between a 3- or 12-month subscription. You’re also prompted to provide billing information, including your name and address.
  7. Select your payment method. Payment options include PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, regular bank transfer, Moneybookers, and JCB.
  8. Verify the accuracy of your order, complete your payment information, and click Submit. If you are charging your SkypeIn credit to a credit card, you need to enter your credit card number and expiration date. Some countries may require you to pay a Value Added Tax, or VAT. When payment is complete, you see a confirmation page with your order number and order details. It’s always a good idea to print this confirmation page.
For each SkypeIn phone number you get, you pay a set fee for either a threemonth period or a full year. You can have multiple SkypeIn numbers but you’re currently limited to 10 such numbers. Suppose you work for an aerospace firm with offices in San Jose, California, and Denver, Colorado. You may be doing a lot of work in Washington, D.C. You can get SkypeIn numbers for the area codes 408, 303, and 202. This way, your associates in those same area codes can reach you without incurring charges no matter where you are.You might be attending a conference in Toronto, Canada, or visiting family in North Carolina.

SkypeIn is a practical service to have. If you have a small business and want to establish an international presence, SkypeIn is a great way to leverage your resources.
When you list your SkypeIn number on your business card or company letterhead, you can identify it as a tie-line number (that is, a phone number that you set up through Skype), but be sure to indicate the time zone people are calling into. Otherwise, you may be getting calls many hours earlier or later than you are prepared to receive them!

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