AT Inbox: What effect will eBay’s paperless payment policy have on you? (Part 2)

As an ebay buyer and seller of close to 8 years, I too am very upset about this change.  I have customers that have been buying from me for several years and have always paid by money order and they too do not have a paypal account.  I will continue accepting their money orders with the ongoing possibility of being suspended from ebay.  I believe that this change is going to send many buyers away from ebay.  I have had a paypal account since I started on ebay and have never had any problems with them, but this is not always the case.  I have several friends that are collectors who buy on ebay and have had many problems with paypal.  They refuse to use it anymore.  What gives ebay the right to tell sellers what form of payments they can accept?
I feel that it is just another ploy to take more of the sellers profits.  With prices on collectibles dropping like they have over the last few years, ebay and paypal are making more money on my sales than I am.  Not only are they stopping checks, money orders and cash payments but they have increased selling fees again and I am sick of the whole game on their site.  It used to be profitable and fun to buy and sell on ebay but they have taken that away and it has become very aggravating to do business on ebay.


There’s both good and bad about eBay’s new Paypal only policy.  It will certainly improve the revenue stream for eBay and hopefully, sellers as waiting for checks which may or may not arrive, may find quicker payments.

On the other hand, like yourself, many buyers do not use paypal and it may cut bidding by potential buyers.

This policy was challenged in Australia and eBay lost…only time will tell.

Bruce David
Queen Creek, AZ

Hello,  I have been a seller on ebay for over ten years.  I STRONGLY oppose the new ebay edict that payment must be made through Paypal.  For one thing, it adds an additional 3+ % of fees to every sale for the seller, which must result in higher charges to the buyers.  For another, as you have said, it means opening up your personal accounts to the Paypal world, and third,  there are many many buyers, like you, who are uncomfortable with electronic payment and will just stop buying on ebay, which is a loss to both those buyers and to the sellers who count on them.  This is just another way for ebay to make money, it has nothing to do with a better buying or selling environment.

I wish there was another viable auction site because at the present time, ebay is acting the role of dictator.

Thank you for this survey, I look forward to the results.

On the plus side:

1)As a seller:  

  a) I find that over  95% of my customers already pay me via pay pal.

  b) Since I found out that cashier checks and money orders can be forged, I feel more secure with the pay pal payment.

  c) I love the faster turn around with the pay pal payments.

  d) I don’t think one can order anything on line or over the phone from any company and then  mail in a payment!
3) As a buyer, I love the faster way of paying via pay pal. It is such a pain anymore to have to go the bank and get a cashier check and mail payments. In fact, I do most of  my bill payments electronically anymore!
On the Negative:

1) I hate the additional fees!

2) Pay pal will have a captive group and they can just keep raising the fees!

2) How can they force me to only accept pay pal? What is to keep me from saying that I will accept mail payment in the item description?

3) As a very small company, I should have the choice of how I want to accept payments! This seems like an invasion of privacy and freedom!

I love the effeciency of pay pal but I hate being FORCED to accept it (or credit cards ) only! It feels anti-American!

Nancy Moore

I am a buyer, not a seller, on Ebay. My other half sells on her Ebay account and I help her especially with packing and the post office duties. As a buyer I use Paypal if I have to. Thousands of accounts at Paypal and Ebay have been broken into over the years, take a look at the message boards. Once someone gets in to your account they have access to all of the personal information. It is only a matter of time before these Internet pirates can decipher the information they need to penetrate your personal data and in many cases steal your money. Paypal has had many incidents of identity theft. Some users have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The money and access to personal information is not well protected and Paypal does not claim responsibility when these thefts happen. On the contrary, Paypal suggests that one change their password often and one learn how to avoid e-mail that is not from Paypal that can compromise your Paypal account. Using  Paypal is without guaranty when an account is compromised. When you lose, you lose, and often you can lose big.

Ebay has decided on this ridiculous policy of no external paper payments. Ebay is more interested in profit than security. Ebay wants a greater part of the sellers take by charging a percentage and forcing buyers to use Paypal on transactions. Ebay also gets a percentage of the shipping.  Ebay does not offer any shipping services nor do they provide materials for shipping in any way.  Ebay will eventually be challenged on this issue but that is another story. Interestingly, Ebay takes money from the seller on BOTH ends of each transaction.  In most auctions, auction companies take a commission from the seller and they charge a premium from the buyers.

In Australia. Ebay tried to force this same policy but it was overturned by the courts.

It is only a matter of time and the same thing will happen here in the USA.

Ebay knows how long the court system can take and has enough money to fight until the policy is legally overturned

 I expect a class action is already in process, as lawyers, here in the US,  will do anything to make a buck.

The key here is that Ebay is taking money out of the sellers pocket that will eventually pay for lawsuits against Ebay. In other words Ebay sellers pay for Ebay to fight these issues.  Sellers have long needed a union. I think the unionization of sellers would be the best thing for Ebay. In order to achieve a balance sellers would much rather use their funds to establish Ebay policy that is in their favor.

Buyers complain, but in reality they should have no say in Ebay policy.  Ebay takes nothing from the buyers.There are no charges for a buyer to use the Ebay system.  If a buyer does not like it he can go elsewhere. Coming from a buyer this may seem harsh but this is the truth.

Spencer Gorman
Merion Station PA

This is just another example of Ebay nickel and diming small dealers to death to increase their own profits.  People like I who sell inexpensive vintage postcards rarely make more than a dollar or two profit as it is.  We have to go through the same time consuming steps as dealers of more expensive items; that is scanning the postcard, writing a description, uploading the card to a server, typing in the description on Ebay, and loading the card to the Ebay site.  Then if the postcard is lucky enough to sell, packaging it up, and taking it to the Post Office for mailing.  The Ebay fees and Paypal fees steal another dollar at least and we are left with very little if any profit.  If a dealer starts the card higher to account for the added fees, I have observed that there are generally no bidders.  Both the dealer and collector lose out in the transaction because dealers will be unwilling to auction their best material knowing there will be very little profit and collectors access to the best material will become very limited and hard to find items will become scarce indeed.
I have noticed on the Delcampe Antique and Postcard Auction site that it is not uncommon for dealers to add a plainly stated 4% or 5% additional fee to the price for people paying by Paypal and that may be the way to go.  Too bad Ebay and Paypal have become so greedy.  It used to be a very nice experience buying and selling with them.
Best Regards,
Carol Golas
Postcard Dealer from Hunter Mountain New York

I wonder how long it will take for someone to test through the Courts this strategy of trying to place restriction on cash transactions.  Wasn’t this rendered illegal just after the 13 states joined together in issuing currency?

I wonder how long the Treasury Department will take to nix this idea for expanded profits at the nation’s effective-monopoly retail (I hesitate to use the word ‘auction’ for a channel with a fixed time-ending sale) site.  Has anyone sent a complaint to the FTC yet?

I somehow doubt that even they could whitewash a huge number of justified complaints.

About the new eBay policy.
I have been running my own business for 30 years. Now eBay dictates how fast I ship, what I charge for shipping and how I take payment.
When are they going to tell me to alphabetize my inventory?
None of this is for better sales, none of it helps the buyers or the sellers. It helps eBay compete with Amazon, this a preemptive strike. They want the book, CD, DVD, small electronics market and as I understand they are loosing it. The antique and collectible dealers are small potatoes and if they loose a few million with us and gain a few billion with the more traditional market, it will suit them.
Oh, and eBay owns PayPal. Higher fees for the seller than the Visa/MC charge. Credit card service is competitive, PayPal is not. If you are forced into using PayPal, the sellers don’t benefit, eBay does. It is nice and easy for the buyer to use PayPal, they have no idea about the fees.
Get out of my business eBay, I pay you enough in fees.
Ken Farrell
Just Kids Nostalgia

Hi Robyn, I’m in total agreement with you, although I have sent cash quite often at my own risk about 1/2 the time, checks the other 1/2, very seldom a money order when I neglected to be sure of accepted payments when bidding.  Lately have been using eBay only once in a while, but I guess now it’s over.  This has got to hurt eBay.

Peace, John Slovak

I have bought and sold on ebay since 2001, and the changes they are demanding on people is  absurd…. Take a look at page after page, no sales, I have been listing a few items each day and nothing is sellin.. NEXT  they are telling you how to ship  what to charge, and their calculator for freight is a joke….. In order to be correct on POSTAL POSTAGE, THE WIDTH,  DEPTH AND LENGTH OF BOX HAS TO BE CALCULATED, NOT JUST THE WEIGHT…………PAY PAL charges a fee on Postage… I think that is wrong because that is Government money, not theirs.or mine……

News from the economy tells me there may not be any internet shopping for long..
This is my opinion, and hope Ebay keeps its head above the economy let down…….

I have over 11,000 feedbacks. Knowing that an average of only 1 out of 4 people leave feedbacks, you can estimate the actual amount of business I do on Ebay. I buy from anyone who accepts Paypal, money orders or checks. I even buy from new sellers if I want what they are selling. I have been burned a couple times but NEVER lost a dime – even if I sent them a money order or check. How? Ebay stood behind their buyers with what they call a "Buyer Protection Plan".

This ‘paperless’ change is NOT for the betterment of Ebay. It’s just another Fee Grab from a bonch of money hungry conglomorates that bow to the same ‘head honcho’.

During the Christmas pre-season sales, 1/3 of my buyers prefer to pay through a money-order. I have been told that the actual enforcement will not begin until January which is a good thing.

The extra fees are horrible for the small item seller. A minimum of $.40 on a paypal transaction!! Most banks today give you free services if your account has a certain balance. Maybe Paypal should consider that.

What about Paypal holding the deposit for 21 days for certain sellers? Looks like Paypal has bitten off more than they can chew on making good on their ‘buyer protection’ policies and now every seller has to pay the piper.

Not good. Ebay tried this in Australia and LOST! It’s time the sellers do something here.


I really don’t see where it’s any of eBay’s business how a seller and buyer decide to close their deal.  eBay should be able to dictate how they will receive payments for listing fees and commissions, but to tell its third party customers what forms of payment they can use is really overstepping their bounds.  Oh well, eBay stopped being relevant about three years ago.  This is just another turn in their downward spiral.


I have been a seller on ebay for several years and have over 3,500 positive feedbacks including almost 2,500 from different users. I have endured ebay’s constantly changing policies which for the most part have been solely beneficial to the buyer and, of course, ebay itself. Increased fees for ebay to pocket have continued to reduce my profit margins.
Ebay tells us to build these fees into our starting price but that’s absurd. Higher starting prices results in fewer bidders as people shopping on ebay are looking for great deals especially the re-sellers. Ebay shows no concern for the seller.
They tell us that they are reducing listing fees but at the other end they raise sales commissions 50% on the first $25.00 of sales. All they have done is reward the seller who does not sell the item while sucking more money out of the seller who is successful!!
With the advent of no negative feedbacks for buyers I have had more non-payers in the last 6 months then I’ve experienced in the previous 8 years.
Now ebay is squeezing the seller once again. They are forcing us to only accept paypal (or some other electronic method of payment which they will probably buy up) which is their subsidiary so it means more fees for ebay to pocket. Can anyone say "restraint of trade"?
Do they no longer have confidence in their feedback format? Are they telling the buyer that you are now protected because when paying with paypal you are assured of a guaranteed refund if dissatisfied with the merchandise or if the seller doesn’t ship the item while also saying ignore the seller’s feedback history because "history means nothing"? Wouldn’t it have been smarter and fairer to require paypal payments only with people having less than, let’s say, 250 or 500 positive feedbacks?
Yes, they are the only kid on the block so we, as sellers, are forced to live with their restrictive policies. However is ebay slowly becoming the goose that laid the golden egg?? Are they only concerned for the their current bottom line rather than setting up for a long term successful business. With the economic environment being what it is today and also realizing that a lot of sellers are doing this to help make ends meet it is phenominal that ebay closes its eyes to its sellers.
As a seller the ebay environment continues to become less and less appealing. Wake up ebay before you are left with buyers who want to buy but no sellers who want to sell.
A disgruntled ebay seller

" 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. "
That is a ludicrous, irresponsible, reckless thing to state to the public.  In other words, it’s just plain ignorant. 
Do you also believe in things that go "Boo!" in the dark too?
I am shocked FWPUBS allowed that Dark Ages thought to see the light of day.
All Reason …


Stupid, How else can it be described. There are many many ways the transaction of Cash, check & money order transactions can be done securely.  As a former business & retail store owner I’ve accepted thousands of checks and with my soundness check points I never had ONE Bounce and always delivered.  This includes many international sales and shipments.  Ebay will lose many sellers AND Buyers with this new policy.  This I know for a fact having spoken to many sellers Many of whom are on the verge of leaving already all due to increases in fees etc.  To add this additional financial burder/cost  to the overhead of selling on ebay will kill many sellers and cause them to leave for other places.

Ebay believes it is too big to have to worry about such things as i mentioned in the above paragraph, the fault of many BIG businesses now defunct. Someone or something will come along to take Ebays place that will cater to and appeal to Sellers as Ebay Once did especially with the way finances are in the USA (On the verge of a global depression because Like ebay, the Banks, Wall street and Republican administration got too big for their britches)  After all Meg Whitman The CEO  of Ebay , of whom John McCain had on his short list for VP running Mate is a Republican and look how the Present administration let the power go to their heads.  Totally made a mess of the economy and the USA.  This is what happened to her and the feeling that she do anything she wants because she is so powerfull and the hell with the people that got her there.

Bye Bye Ebay


I read your article and you are a little misinformed.  I sell as aurasoma on ebay.  I called my account manager and its not true what is going around that you can no longer pay with checks or money order or cash.  The seller will no longer be able to put in their auction the other forms of payment such as money order or checks. They want everyone to THINK the only form of payment is those other online ones.   So, before you bid you will have to ask if the seller accepts a money order or check…. I know I will still take checks and money orders and yes I have even received cash.
Hope this clears some things up.
Have a great day

You know it will effect buying …e-bay is so out of touch with the collectibles world and doesn’t care, they want to be overstock, best buy etc… they don’t care a bit about where they started… corporate america rises  again.I personally have done the antique and collectible business for 35 years and e-bay WILL FAIL MAYBE NOT TODAY BUT WILL.

e-bay has forgotten that all people want to do is sell and buy material..its so simple.I am going to start driving traffic to my own web site, then I can sell as I want..



With regard to the changes at eBay, the words that come to mind are total stupidity.  I am so disgusted with the new Paypal only rules that I am planning to stop buying from eBay as soon as these new rules go into effect.   I think that this is the best example of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs that I have ever seen. 

EBay and Paypal are so concerned with bigger profits that they have forgotten the bigger picture. This is now a mature company that cannot increase profits at such a rapid rate as it did before.   Now it is a unique institution that has brought the world of commerce together like no other.  It is also a wonderful resource of all kinds of information.  The new system will limit access between the buyer and the seller which will also limit sales.  It is grossly unfair to anyone who does not have a credit card available.  Requiring using Paypal only seems to me to be a conflict of interests. And last but not least, is it not illegal to refuse to accept cash as payment?  I could go on and on indefinitely, but by now you must have some idea of my opinion on this subject.

Joyce Sterling
Needham,  Mass.

I welcome the change. In fact, I was going to stop accepting "cash". It’s a pain in the neck.
Maybe I’m just a bit old-fashioned and maybe a touch paranoid. (Yes, I think you are)


For hundreds of eBay transactions I have never had a problem using PayPal although I realize other people have valid complaints. I like the idea that only PayPal, and not each individual eBay seller, has my personal information. It also greatly speeds up delivery of the items I purchase.

My personal "phobia" is a dislike for placing my credit card in a folder at a restaurant and watching a waiter/waitress whisk it away to pay my bill. I feel an unknown number of restaurant employees then have access to my card, including pin numbers on the back, before it is returned.

The best protection is probably to go online regularly to monitor credit card and bank accounts for unauthorized transactions.

Susan Eberman

I  have  used  PayPal  for all my  eBay  payment  activities  as well as  payment  for  many other on-line sites. I  have  never  had a  problem that was  not  rectified  promptly and  appropriately.  This   is a smart  move !!!! 

Our sales are way down due to all the great new ebay enhancements. About 1/3 of our sales are paid via check or MO. Some of these buyers have already told us good-bye with the newest enhancement of PP only.  Just another way for Fee-Bay to bleed us out of more $$$$.  Our only hope is for someone like Google to open a new auction site, someone with the money to advertise it and get it going.  To bad ebay doesn’t wake up. Its the sellers that pay all the fees and there would not be buyers if they didn’t have sellers.  10+ year as a ebay seller and ready to move.

John Powell