Just in time for the holiday shopping season, eBay, one of the world’s largest internet stores, makes changes to their payment policies. What are these changes and what do they mean to you and how you shop? Will they make you safer or are they simply a method for eBay to make more money. You decide and share your thoughts!
eBay announces big changes. Are you safer?
eBay recently announced that checks and money orders would no longer be allowed as payment methods on eBay. Under the new policy all items sold on eBay must be paid for through PayPal, credit or debit card payment to a seller through a merchant account, ProPay or payment upon pick up. PayPal account users can use not only existing PayPal account balances but also credit cards, debit cards or bank account withdrawals. The credit or debit card payments to sellers must be done through an internet merchant account. There are a few exceptions, to the payment rules, including vehicles, business and industrial equipment, real estate and “mature audience” items. Further eBay promises that in January in 2009, all of the approved eBay payment methods will be integrated into eBay check out.
Some buyers and sellers are saying Ouch! eBay insist that these changes benefit buyers and sellers. They claim that buyers can expect a more consistent and secure check out experience, therefore increasing buyer confidence and ultimately sales. EBay also suggests that the change will benefit sellers by providing them with more reliable and faster payments. In turn eBay argues that when payment is received faster, items are shipped faster and buyers are happier too.
The Facts Presented by eBay
eBay points out that of US transactions paid with PayPal, 25 % are paid within 5 minutes and 73% are paid within 24 hours.
eBay argues that listings that don’t accept PayPal or credit cards are more than twice as likely to experience an unpaid item as listings that only accept these payment methods.
eBay further states than buyers today who pay with a check or money order on eBay are 80% more likely to file an “item not received” dispute and 50% more likely to leave a negative feedback than buyers who pay with PayPal or credit cards.
eBay also shares that 1 out of 5 current eBay transactions send buyers off eBay to complete their purchase and buyers’ experiences vary greatly depending on the payment provider and seller. By using an integrated payment system, buyers will be able to remain on eBay to pay.
And therein may be part of the problem. Some people feel that the motivation behind this change benefits eBay when users use PayPal more than sellers and buyers. Some feel that eBay’s new plan keeps all payments running through eBay and encourages eBay profitable payments.
Many consumers are complaining that they don’t want to use these new accepted only eBay payment methods because they are uncomfortable providing credit card or debit card information on line for fear of identity theft or fraud. Some eBay buyers argue that they have been buying comfortably on eBay for years with money orders and never had or reported a problem. Others argue that there is still a cash economy in the U.S. that eBay is ignoring. With the recent banking crisis, many argue that they are unable to use credit cards or are untrusting of banks and unwilling to shop at eBay under these new rules. Some sellers are unhappy too. Sellers, who have not wanted to pay for the extra fees to be “merchant” allowed to accept credit cards aren’t happy either. Others argue that Google Check Out is good alternative not included in eBay’s new check out plans.
One unhappy eBay seller has said, “If the check doesn’t clear—you don’t ship. Simple as that. PayPal only benefits only one place EBAY AND EBAY alone–more money in their pocket since they own PayPal.”
PayPal itself has been found to be a safe way to make financial transactions on line, whether with eBay or other popular on line sellers. Readers will remember, though, and keep in mind for their own safety, the identity theft phishing scam that sent out e-mails claiming to be a form of PayPal redirected readers to an unsafe site in an attempt to get their personal information.
Was eBay’s decision motivated by profits or by increasing happy buyers and sellers? Are eBay users safer from identity theft and fraud or more at risk? Do you feel safer using PayPal? And how do you pay for items on eBay? Leave us your comments and let us know what you think.