Time to forget Ebay?

----------------------------     21 December, 2007 | 12:10PM GMT
Following on from our announcement on 10th August 2007 we wanted to let you know that from mid-January we’ll be expanding our ongoing efforts to protect eBay buyers and sellers by only allowing PayPal to be offered as a payment option on certain listings.
We’ve looked at the results of the earlier payment restrictions that we put in place in August, and we’ve already seen a decrease in transactions where eBayers have been left dissatisfied. The safety of the eBay trading environment and prevention of fraud is very important to us, so we’ll continue to monitor and closely analyse the listings where we’ve restricted payment methods.
From around 10th January, PayPal will need to be the only payment method for sales in the following listings:
* those that are set for a one-day auction * those in the following categories: o Computing > Software o Consumer Electronics > MP3 Players o Wholesale & Job Lots > Mobile & Home Phones o Business, Office & Industrial > Industrial Supply / MRO
If you would like to sell in the categories, you’ll need to sign up for a PayPal account if you don’t already have one:
* Sign up for a PayPal account * Learn more about how PayPal protects the buyers/sellers
We appreciate your continuing support in helping to keep eBay a great place to buy and sell.
Regards,
The eBay Team
----------------------
Basically I can see that unless you have paypal, you won't be ABLE to use ebay shortly.
Isn't this in contravention of some monopoly legislation somewhere
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Hard to say from this whether it is a fraud reduction game (the categories listed may well be ones for scams and piracy) or whether it's simply an excuse for a gradual lockin to the inhouse payment vehicle so that they can make a turn on that component as well.

I don't think so. There are other big players with their own payment systems (Google, Amazon) and there are other trading sites.
More to the point will be whether people don't like Ebay's moves and go elsewhere.
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Mainly, yes. For a seller to accept PayPal they must have verified a bank account with them, so it adds a big chunk of traceability and scares away people who want to sell-and-run using disposable accounts. If the merchant wants to sell more than 500 a month through PayPal they *also* have to register a credit card.

Buyers find it convenient to pay by PayPal, as it gives any seller the ability to receive funds from a buyer's Credit card. At that point there's Credit Card commission and buyer protection involved (and quite likely cashback to the buyer as well) and that has to come from someone other than the tooth fairy.
--
Roland Perry

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I don't think the PayPal fees are going to put off sellers any more than the listing charges do, although I agree that it's slightly less convenient for people selling a one-off item in those categories. Then there's the other side of the coin - I won't buy off people who refuse to take PayPal, as it means a huge delay while I mail a cheque to them and they wait for it to clear. Very few sellers have direct Credit Card Merchant facilities, and not PayPal. Not accepting PayPal is a huge alarm bell.
You seem to be glossing over the main issue here - which is consumer protection. Too many people are being ripped off by rogue sellers, and the PayPal restriction is actually so that sellers are better monitored and refunds can be given to buyers more easily if there's a problem later on.
In any event I have yet to find a transaction (as either buyer or seller) where there has been any objection at all to paying by cash-on-collection [even if the sale was "PayPal only" in theory]. Although both parties have to realise that the transaction is final at that point (like buying at a car boot sale) and subsequent problems are most unlikely to be sorted out.
--
Roland Perry

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I'm not sure that's the main objection to PayPal. I get the impression that the main objection, and the reason I won't use it, is that it simply doesn't conduct itself to the standards we expect of a UK bank even in these benighted times.
--
Tim Ward - posting as an individual unless otherwise clear
Brett Ward Limited - www.brettward.co.uk
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Doesn't that depend on how it is used?
For example, one could just put enough funds into the account to cover a purchase and take out any balance after making a sale.
However, I don't really see the problem in this. Nobody *has* to use Ebay. The world did function perfectly well before they came on the scene and there are other choices.
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eBay is very good for both buying new items and recycling used items. To that extent it is a huge improvement. It has saved me lots of money by finding "hard to get" items without having to fruitlessly visit dozens of shops.
--
Roland Perry

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Yes I can understand that, but it's still not a "must have" - i.e. they are not the only route to buying food and medicines.
OTOH, I would argue that Microsoft isn't a "must have" either (in fact better if it were a shouldn't have, but that's not likely any time soon) but they have been chided for monopolistic practices.
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If that's your only criterion, then most of civilisation is unnecessary.
--
Roland Perry

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Stretch it further if you like, but Ebay is not a "must have".
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I really don't see what your point is. eBay is very high up my list of "very useful things I use the Internet for", and indeed many other people's. What's your problem with that?
--
Roland Perry

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That it isn't an *essential* trading facility and that therefore may well not attract the interest of the monopolies police.

None at all. It's your choice. However, if you do choose to use it then it comes with its own set of rules and risks. If you are OK with that, then fine.
At the other end of the spectrum, you can buy goods from a bricks and mortar shop and pay by credit card, whereupon you have protection in UK consumer law or under the card company's purchase protection if you need it. You can also initiate a small claims action inexpensively if required.
In the end, it's a cost/time/risk equation.
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A non-sequitur. The competition authorities don't restrict themselves to these mythical "essential" facilities - although you might argue that Universal Service Obligations come fairly close. But no-one claimed that there should be a USO placed on eBay. There isn't even one on Broadband Internet Access (yet).

Just the same with items bought from traders online, even many of the item bought from eBay (via "buy it now", "second chance" and if the auction starting price is almost as much as you'd have expected to pay anyway).

Indeed. Don't buy off non-traders in online auctions unless you are aware that it's pretty much just a car boot sale online (with the potential for some payment protection thrown in if you don't pay cash).
--
Roland Perry

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Indeed. Or if you prefer to do it via a credit card get one solely for use with Paypal.

True.
I'd just add the one major loss I've had with Ebay - and really the only loss - was buying something and paying cash on delivery by the seller. It was an secondhand engine and not in the condition as described. But I'm not sure paying by any other method would have helped in this circumstance. I've not had any problems with Paypal despite using it for about 400 transactions. Certainly the *obvious* scammers don't use it - they usually insist on Western Union.
--
*It IS as bad as you think, and they ARE out to get you.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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What is the risk you are trying to avert? That Paypal makes an unauthorised withdrawal from a credit card, and that the CC company refuses to chargeback the transaction? Both seem very unlikely.

It's just like buying at a car boot sale. Why would you expect anything different buying in cash from a stranger?

And there's a reason for that!
As for "transactions gone bad" [1], the only one I had was for one of these new categories (ie Software). It did end up being a failure of eBay's processes because the item was not as described (but not extremely so, it wasn't a counterfeit for example) and yet as a result of I assume someone else complaining, the trader was evicted from eBay at which point it's impossible to view the item listing any more, so off-eBay dispute resolution is tricky [2]. That *is* an area I think they should improve upon.
[1] Other than things turning up late, damaged, or not as described [3], none of which is PayPal/eBay's fault, and for which the remedies will often lie in the physical rather than online world if the seller is intransigent.
[2] Moral: Print off a hard copy of any listing that really matters to you.
[3] One of the things I've learnt is that "untested" is often code for "we have tested it, and it definitely isn't working". But that's back to car boot sale politics again.
--
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Well in this case ebay are the publisher and responsible for the ads they carry. I went through their disputes procedure but after a few standard responses from them it fizzled out. And of course the whole idea of the feedback system is you're not buying from an unknown stranger - as at say a car boot sale.
--
*Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Why do you think that? Ever tried getting the Cambridge Evening News or MTV to intervene in a dispute with an advertiser?

In what sense did it fizzle out? Were you unable to get money back from a rogue trader that was covered by a PayPal guarantee? Or what?

The feedback system works fairly well, but it's a bit one-shot. If you leave negative feedback it's quite likely they'll trump up some negative feedback for you, and there's no right of reply. Although I could see that developing into flamewars quite quickly.
People's standards vary and it seems good feedback can be left even for people I'd regard as a bit frayed at the edges. I sold something recently to a lady who spent almost two weeks stalling over paying (it was only a tenner). Is that enough to get a negative? Some folks would say it's a good result you were paid at all.
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festive: oh yes there is
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Si

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Sorry, that was badly put. Yes, you can add a note to any negative feedback, but you can't get it removed even if you are entirely innocent.
--
Roland Perry

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Roland Perry wrote:

Happened to me 7 times last summer during one transaction.
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