No cash allowed?!?

Plastic preferred.

My heart is heavy. Beginning in late October, eBay will no longer allow payments by check, money order, or “well-concealed cash.”

stack-of-credit-cards.jpgThe only acceptable forms of payment will be:

    * Direct credit or debit card payment via a merchant credit card account
    * PayPal
    * ProPay
    * Payment on pick-up

I’ve never sent cash through the mail, and I don’t advise it, but I’ve paid for my eBay purchases via check and money order countless times.

I don’t have a PayPal account, and in the past, I’ve never even bid on items where the only acceptable form of payment was PayPal. I’ve never even considered it. I guess I’m just not comfortable giving anyone the fast track directly into my savings or checking account.

Supposedly, this new system will be better for buyers and sellers.  (You can click here to read the reasons, which are listed here on the eBay site.) Buyers, eBay says, will experience more consistent, safer, and faster transactions. Sellers will experience faster, more reliable, and increased sales.

EBay says, “These payment changes should also increase buyer confidence in shopping on eBay, which should result in increased sales for you and other sellers.”

Perhaps it is a change for the better; I guess time will tell. Maybe I’m just a bit old-fashioned and maybe a touch paranoid. But I’m going to have to decide: Do I give up buying on eBay? Or do I relent and maybe get a specific credit card — with an intentionally low credit limit – that I will use solely for my eBay purchases. Or maybe I’ll get a pre-loaded debit card just for my eBay purchases.

Do I have any other alternatives?

To my knowledge, no matter what, sellers are going to have to pay to process electronic transactions. Also, keep in mind that eBay owns PayPal, which adds another layer of icing, if you will, to the fees cake that is placed before sellers.

Does anyone else out there have any feelings or opinions — good, bad, or otherwise — about eBay’s paperless payment policy? Will it have an effect on your eBay buying or selling?

Am I over-reacting? If you think so, post a reply to set my mind at ease.

Post a reply here or e-mail and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

— Karen          

Added 9-11-08:

Thank you to Brandon Crotts for this link to information about ProPay: