AT Inbox: What effect will eBay’s paperless payment policy have on you? (Part 7)

As an Ebay seller of 8+ years I am fed up with their new electronic payment only policy. Pay pal is just another arm of the Ebay monster reaching in your pocket. Many people don’t like using credit card based payment methods at all, let alone on the internet. I for one will never take PAYpal nor use it to make on line purchases. And don’t get me started on the New/improved FEEdback policy…

Pam Smith
Prairiecream (Ebay)

I did some trading on ebay years ago when it was simple and they were not a conglomerate and more interested in their traders rather than their bottom line.

Paypal is something I would never join. They have been hacked all too often and ebay does not support its members/customers. 

Marion McIntosh
(Long time subscriber to the "ANT.  TRADER" – I subscribed for over 25 years, quit for about 10 and started again about 5 years ago.)

This is in response to your invitation to share my opinion about ebay’s newest payment policy. 
First, let me say that I don’t much care for ebay restricting the auction experience in this new way.  Seems a little extreme to control how people pay for their auction wins.  BUT, I have to remind myself that it is their auction and they get to make the rules, but I don’t have to like them.
I do want to comment on, what I believe, is your flawed thinking regarding "giving anyone the fast track directly into my savings or checking account"  I fail to see how using Paypal or other credit card would accomplish that?  If you pay by check, aren’t you giving the seller all the information they need to get into your checking account?  That doesn’t make sense to me.  There may be reasons NOT to use Paypal, but that is not one of them.
I am no lover of paypal, but I must admit, it is convenient, and I have not experienced any problems with the many transactions I’ve completed through their system.  I do not keep large amounts of cash in that account, but I treat it like any other bank account and so far, Paypal has acted with banking integrity. 
Ebay is a business out to make money.  Even though I feel like it is the only real internet game in town for selling my antiques for good prices, I don’t HAVE to use them if I don’t like their rules.  In the end, that is what it all boils down to. 


Anne Hughlett
Gresham, OR

Hello! Received message that you were interested in knowing how eBayers feel about the most recent changes to the website. I believe that if you go to the "soapbox" part of the eBay discussion boards, you will see exactly how eBayers feel.

But in a nutshell: eBay has become so out of touch with the very people who have built the business – its sellers, and now more recently, with its demand that everyone must use pay pal (because, of course, they own pay pal), its buyers as well…

Its customers refer to them as "feebay" and "greedbay". Ebay used to be a giant on the Internet. Most recently, their stock has dropped to an all time low of $16 per share. They are probably the only monopoly on the internet that has somehow managed to implode on itself, and it really is because, rather than improving the great auction site that eBay once was, they are trying to mimic what they consider to be their major competition:

They are trying to muscle out their auction sellers in favor of a fixed price or store format. They are selling advertising to competitors on other websites, further frustrating eBay sellers who are seeing their revenues dwindle with every step forward eBay takes, and eBay sellers are basically sick and tired of eBay telling them the changes are for their own good…

Check out YouTube as well and see how people feel about eBay. Buyers and sellers alike are opting out in search of an auction site that is not greed-based, and once again, it will be eBay sellers who build up the on-line auction business… Only this time, it won’t be on eBay.

Catherine Roe

Saw a post on a forum that asked how we felt about PayPal being forced on Ebay users. I for one have zero confidence in Paypal. The two times I used it, I was ripped off.  Paypal did absolutely nothing to help me.  I haven’t used them since.  If I have to use Paypal on eBay, may purchases will likely go to zero there.  I’ve been more comfortable sending cash in the mail than using Paypal, and have done so.  My thinking is, "Anything but Paypal."

Kent Staubus,
Sioux Falls, SD

Saw where you were looking for views on the new ebay/paypal debacle.

As a person who has been on ebay since January of 1997, I will no longer be selling on ebay after said policy is implemented. I’m not sure I will even continue buying, either. I have bought and sold over 3,500 items and have had ZERO problems in all those transactions. For a company that has always claimed to be ‘just a venue’, it sure seems that is no longer, if ever, true. I have a feeling that after said policy is implemented you are going to see drop in business for a company that has recently layed off 1600 people and they might just be the first to go. The premise upon which ebay was built has slowly but surely eroded in the past 5 years.

It really is too bad, cuz it’s been fun, but I will not be told how to run my business when I have been as successful as I have been in the past.

Eric Miller

I just got around to reading your above article this morning. Boy! Do my husband and I agree with you. We are a retired couple that not only sells what we have, but also sell for other seniors that are afraid of computers for a very low fee, most of it is because we have enjoyed selling on ebay, and some buying. If you are a seller you not only have to give a credit card but also a bank account number. Plus if you buy a lot, they not only want the credit card number but also a bank account number.

So like some other sellers we know we have our last items listed on ebay. We will no longer be buying or selling after the 20th. We do some business in the antique malls in the area, so that is where we will go for seniors. With real good items we do much better on ebay, but they have now shut the door on us.

We WILL NOT give them a bank account number. We could open a special account for ebay but that does cost, and with identity theft can lead to our other accounts. We are too old to try and work 8 hour a day jobs, so those accounts have to be safe in our eyes. We have a friend that had her identity stolen through Paypal, and we will not take the risk.

So good bye ebay. It has been fun but you pushed us out the door. We had a number over 3700 positives so we were good ebayers. Ebay probably does not care, because they are out there to make money and they can adjust Paypal rates, to take up any slack from people like us leaving. Wish we knew of another auction site.

Thanks for your article, it makes us sure we have made the right decision.

Joan Woods
Florissant, MO ( suberb of St. Louis)

Dear Ms. Knapstein,
This is in response to your recent request for reader input regarding Evilbay’s requirement for exclusive electronic payment from customers. I’m a dealer in collectible militaria on the Evilbay, by default. I say this because while there are several online auction sites strictly for military collectors, they do not have a tenth of the viewing audience that the Greedbay does.

Frankly, I prefer paypal, even with the fees. I consider it simply the cost of doing business and for the convenience and safety. However, I highly resent the Feebay’s micromanaging of my sales; it is none of their &^%$ business how MY customers pay me. That is a MAJOR beef that us sellers have with the Greedbay; they think of our customers as THEIR customers when in fact, my customer is my customer and I am the true customer of Evilbay, since I am the one paying them.

No doubt the Ebay Gestapo will warn us vendors with: "Vee haf vays of making you pay mit der paypal".

Name withheld upon request

I just wanted to let you know like most other ebay members I am unhappy with Ebay/Paypal. The fees, terrible customer service are my main reasons.


I will never bid on anything else or sell anything on E-Bay again when the rule that everyone must either accept PayPal or credit cards only for purchases comes into effect.  Like you, I do not trust just any and everyone with my credit card information, and I refuse to use PayPal. E-Bay’s imperative attitude about PayPal is simply a ploy to squeeze more money out of every transaction because PayPal is owned by the owners  of E-Bay.  

Barbara Spears
Barbara’s Dolls
Ft. Worth, TX

I suffered a stroke 8 years ago and had to retire from a busy surgical practice. I have been supplementing social security by selling collectibles accumulated over 40 years and eBay has been the perfect venue. I am sure I am not the only older citizen in that situation.

Recently eBay decided to implement a series of measures which have cast a pall on my initial admiration for that corporation. eBay directors have relentlessly raised their fees, have decided that only sellers are bad people ( all buyers are honest and innocent ) and have taken away the sellers’ right to defend themselves against dishonest buyers. And now this decision that all payments should go through Pay Pal. It looks like monopoly to me and I pray someone will challenge them in court. If I had the time, the energy and the money I would love to take that greedy corporation on.

No you are not over-reacting. I have been selling on eBay for near 8 years and the way a buyer paid has never been a problem until eBay decided to make it such. A much bigger problem has been dishonest, non paying and blackmailing buyers encouraged by eBay’s prohibition of negative feed backs by sellers.

eBay is too big now and they don’t listen anymore to the folks that nurtured them and made them that way.


Hi Karen,
I’ve been an E-Bay seller for the last four years.  A very good friend of mine has also been a seller a bit longer than I have been (selling postcards).

Many buyers pay with postal money orders or personal checks, and some even send cash.  Neither of us has ever been stiffed with a bad check … A couple thousand sales between the two of us.
We are no longer using E-Bay.  Forcing buyers to use PayPal infringes on their right to privacy.  They do not wish to publish their accounts, etc. And as sellers, we do not like being forced to pay additional fees associated with PayPal.
So, the bottom line is E-Bay has lost 2 sellers…  and I don’t think they even care.  E-Bay’s new policy has nothing to do with safety; it’s all about pure GREED… pure old fashioned GREED.

Have a good day!

J. Jonathan Wiest

I read with great interest your article on eBay’s changes in payment, in not allowing buyers to pay with checks, money orders or cash.  My question is, why does eBay hate me?

Since doing business with eBay for the first time back in 2001, I have had 100 percent positive feedback in over 1,000 auctions and a great many of the sellers indicate in my feedback the swiftness of my payment.  Discovering eBay was a blessing in that I was able to add items to my many collections that would have been impossible to obtain otherwise.  I make multiple purchases regularly from some of the same sellers and have made good friends from these folks.  For most of the years that I have been an eBay buyer, it has been a pleasure.

However, during the past few years, let’s say the past four years, things have changed, and as a buyer I have not been happy with many of the changes.  One that stands out is the fact that items that I collect appear less frequently; where five years ago a certain collectible or item was available in wide selections, the same item is either available in small numbers or not at all.  Where there used to be 160 “widgets” listed five years ago, I may find 32 or 24 or 7, all run-of-the-mill or not needed in my collection.  Some sellers have complained to me of increased seller fees on eBay and have cut back or stopped selling, and others have complained to me of buyers who just won’t pay.  It is a shame that those buyers ruin a good thing for those of us who pay regularly without the “benefit” of PayPal.  However, buyer feedback should indicate to the seller whether or not a buyer will pay promptly, or at all.  Now eBay won’t even allow negative feedback.  Feedback was the self-policing of eBay, and now it means nothing.

I have read all that eBay has claimed as positives for those buyers who go along with this new payment scheme, which will only enrich eBay (PayPal) and I think will do very little good for some of the sellers.  Sellers beware — what will eBay’s next scheme be to siphon more money from you?  What about some more blood letting from buyers, such as a buyer’s premium?

On November 1st, I plan to close my eBay account.  I’ll explain to some of my favorite sellers that I just don’t support the new policies on eBay, and wish them the best of luck and no hard feelings if they support eBay’s payment policies.  However, I will also encourage them to begin selling via other Internet selling organizations and to let me know when they are up and running.

Gilbert Estrada

I buy maybe  monthly  on  e-bay  and  I  send  a  money  order.  Never had  any  problems.  I don’t want  to  open  a  pay  pal  account,  and  if  this  is  the  only  way  I  can  buy  on  E-bay  I’ll  stop  buying.  I think it  should  be  up  to  the  sellers.

Also, I’ve been  a  victim  of  credit  card  theft  and  believe  me,  nothing  is  safe  where  your  personal  information  is.

Thanks for listening.

Craig in Bellflower,  Calif.

Thank you for the great weekly magazine I get to enjoy every week.
To me, this action of "No Cash" by Ebay is very wrong.  Ebay forgets they are the middle man—the go between— not the main show. 
To say their success has "Gone to Their Head" is an understatement.
As an Ebay seller, you could say that my name is on the bottom of Ebay’s paycheck   I am employing Ebay.
As an employer, I have never felt so powerless.
Doe Rieger
Wyckoff, NJ 
P.S. Another complaint I have about Ebay is their charity works program.  If you are not involved as a seller for a charity, you would not know the tricks (excuse me) the system Ebay has designed for themselves under the disguise of helping charities.

I have been an Ebay member since 1999.  In 2003, I started helping a local, no-kill animal shelter known as Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc. located in Oakland, NJ, by selling on Ebay for them.  Here is what I have experienced…
Ebay makes a big to-do about returning the fees – that is if the item sells. It doesn’t sell for the charity, Ebay collects its fees.
The payment going through Paypal is kept for 45 days before the money is sent to the charity.  Why?  Ebay says it wants to make sure the transaction had no problem.  Translate that in my book and I say it is so Ebay can invest the charity’s money, make money for Ebay, and then (after 45 days) give the orginil sum of money to the charity.  Once the transaction is completed and feedback left, the money should be sent to the charity.  No. Does not work that way.
Paypal fees are not returned to the charity. Paypal fees are based on the entire transaction (just like it is for the profit-making public), which means the postage fee is involved.  All these pennies add up to big bucks for Ebay and Paypal. Yes, charities are helped, but so is Ebay.    

I know of several artists who have moved to Etsy, but with higher priced items to offer, this is not a real option. Sales from websites in this climate, with the stock market jumping and falling at every political comment, are dire. This may end up being an artless era (pun intended).

To make matters worse, AOL is plunging into darkness every site built on their pages on October 31st. Nasty Halloween surprise.


Having been in retailing for 15 years and the hospitality business another 30 years I have learned that in difficult times you make it easier for the client to spend their money, you do not limit them. Not allowing sellers to accept money orders or checks will reduce the number of bids and sales prices. I have been buying on eBay for 10 years. I am very angry about this and will seek other auction websites. Make it hard for me to do business with you and I will go to someone that wants my business bad enough to make it easy to take my payments.
Dear eBay, you’re not the last Coca Cola in the desert!
Jamie Walker