AT Inbox: What effect will eBay’s paperless payment policy have on you? (Part 9)


Here is my comment regarding e-bay no longer accepting payment via money orders or checks. 

I have been an e-bay buyer for a few years and have spent thousands of dollars.  Once upon a time I tried making a payment on an item via pay-pal and my credit card was refused.  I contacted the credit card company and was informed that I had over $8,000.00 left to spend on that particular credit card.  When I contacted pay-pal, I was told that I had reached my "credit limit".  I informed them that I still had over $8,000.00 left on the credit card I was using for the pay-pal purchase.

I was then informed that I had reached the pay-pal limit of $10,000.00 purchases and could no longer make payments with the credit card.  I talked to a "supervisor" at pay-pal that confirmed that I had reached their arbitrary limit of $10,000.00 and could no longer use that credit card for payment.

I had to ask three times for clarification ..  ..Do you mean that, although I have money on my credit card, and it is a good credit card that you have accepted in the past, I can no longer use it because I have spent over $10,000.00 with e-bay using your pay-pal service ?

That is exactly what they said was the case.  I asked if I could use a different credit card.  Their reply ?  NO !  HOWEVER . . . ..I could continue to make payments with a credit card if I requested a PAY-PAL credit card.  Like an idiot, I actually did that for a while but stopped and have been making payments for merchandise by sending money orders.  I just sent a money order off this morning to pay for another winning bid on e-bay.

Okay . . . .Bottom line . . . .If e-bay activates this "no money order and no check" policy, I give up.

I have read in the newspaper and heard on TV news that e-bay has raised rates to the people that sell on e-bay and that they are losing customers.  I think e-bay is too greedy and I don’t think they need any more of my business.

Sorry for the length of this e-mail but you asked !

Budd & Sandy Ballard

Dear Robyn,
I read with great interest the several submissions to your Web site about eBay’s new paperless payment policy. Unfortunately, the new policy as described in the eBay Q&A section has all of the friendliness of a legal brief. It is unfortunate that the company appears to have abandoned its roots as an online rummage sale and traded that role in favor of a increasingly complex commercial experience.
My own opinion is that sellers need to educate themselves that eBay may be trying to pull a fast one on them with regard to the refusal to accept check and/or money order payments. Here in Arkansas, tender of payment for debts is considered " … sufficient when made by any means or in any manner current in the ordinary course of business unless the seller demands payment in legal tender …" (ACA 4-2-511) I am sure several other states probably have statutes like this on their books. It is hard to conceive how a company would forbid a method of payment, much less two methods, that could place sellers in a position of violating their own state laws.
Perhaps the reason for the delay by a few months of the immediate, full enforcement of this new policy is so that questions like this can be raised. After all, it seems bizarre to think that a seller in Little Rock, Ark., who accepts a check for payment from a buyer in Hope, Ark., would face penalties from eBay for something that has been perfectly legal in this state for generations.
In sum, it is my opinion in this instance that any decision that potentially restricts sellers from fair trade with buyers in their own state is in drastic need of rethinking. The goal of online trading should be to make available as many forms of acceptable payment as possible. A true free market system would respect this fact.
John J. Archibald
Benton, Ark.


In reference to your quote, "Sorry we can’t accept cash" commentary, one word summarizes EBay/PayPal status and that one word is MONOPOLISTIC, and that never bodes well for the consumer!!

Ed Jones

Like you, I did not want to give anyone access to my bank accounts, nor to my credit card, either!! I am not now, nor have I ever been, in the antique business. But I sold some stuff on Ebay some years ago, and it was sooooo slow! I had to wait until the buyer sent me a check or money order, then I waited until it cleared before I sent the item. I had to either wait for my bank statement, or call the bank the check was drawn on, to see if the check cleared. It was such a hassle, and I had to keep careful records so that I didn’t forget what went to whom and when!

Anyway, when I started selling on Ebay again, a few months ago, I didn’t like the idea of Paypal having access to my bank account or credit cards, so I opened a free checking account at another bank, specifically for my Paypal account and I LOVE it!! When my sale ends, the buyer transfers payment into my Paypal account from their own account, and I get an "Instant Payment"  verified notification from Paypal and I can send the item right out!! 

I’m disabled and I love being able to do everything from home!! I can sit right here at my computer and print out shipping labels, paid for through Paypal, have my mail carrier pick up whatever I’m shipping and never have to take anything to the bank!! I can transfer money from my Paypal account into the bank account and write checks against it, or use my debit card at the ATM. When my balance gets over $200, I transfer it into my bank account.

For an old fuddy duddy like me, this has opened new vistas for me!! I have talked several of my buyers into signing up for a Paypal account of their own, and they love it. too! They can buy something on Ebay and have it in hand in less than a week!! Ahhhh the age of technology!! God, I should talk to Paypal about becoming their spokeperson!!

Anyway, give life a chance, sometimes it will surprise the Hell out of you!! 

Lou Oliva
Tulare, CA

I have been using PayPal for years now and find it liberating. The way I did this was to open a bank account and attach it to PayPal, to be used only by PayPal, and or if I go over my balance in that account it is also attached to a credit card.  I have found using PayPal to be very easy.  Payments get made for items I have sold or purchased very quickly and PayPal is my mediator if there are ever any problem with any of these transactions.  I also have the added benefit of them protecting me against nefarious sellers or buyers.  Sure there is a small fee for all this but it is worth it for my peace of mind.  I have never had any problems with them having my account numbers.

I think your fears about using Paypal are completely unfounded.  I find using checks or money orders to be cumbersome and not very efficient.  When I am paid using a check I must wait until it gets to me in the mail and it is deposited into my account and then clears the buyers account to have access to the funds and mail the item to the buyer.  Likewise with a money order, I must wait for the buyer to purchase the money order and mail it to me, then I have to deal with depositing or cashing the money order to have access to the funds. 

Paypal is instantaneous and that’s wonderful.  You even have access to your account history with the click of a mouse.  So, I would advise you to not be afraid of using PayPal, I think you will really like it.

Judith Mueller

Hi, RE:  ebay paypal policy.  I buy and sell, or did, always cash, cashier check but mostly money order. 

The new policy will stop my use of the medium because no matter how secure, and it is not, I do not want to do it that way.  I have in the 180’s range of business which represents something over $100,000.00 but they do not care.  The ebay business is already falling off noticebly in volume and the $ amounts also.

Their timing, at Christmas, was terrible and if I was trying to do this I would make everything free for the first 6 months just to get the sign up.  Ebay, with the new ceo has been tweeking the way things work, mostly in a detrimental fashion as far as for me.  Thanks for letting me sound off.

Bob Key

I read with interest you article re theEbay/Paypal issue.    I, too, was very skiddish about giving anyone direct access to my checking a/c.   I solved the problem by opening an account exclusively for Paypal.  I monitor it to make certain that there is enough money to cover my purchases and not a lot more.

When I need to add funds to this a/c it is done very easily by telephone.  Once I started using Paypal, I could definitely see the advantages, especially at Christmas time when sellers are very busy and mail is very slow.  With Paypal taking the funds directly from my checking a/c , the seller is paid instantly. 

Mail can be very slow..I am in California, my brother sent me a birthday card with the postmark October 14, 2008, I received it yesterday, November 3, 2008 (nearly 3 weeks) with no explanation for the delay and it was correctly addressed.

Beverley Roark


I just thought I needed to vent to someone with the same views I have on this subject.  I, too, am "old-fashioned" and "paranoid"  and it sems the only reason eBay has changed the policy is because they are *greedy*!  If a seller is willing to accept other forms of payment, isn’t that their right, without being bullied by eBay into using PayPal?

I have been emailing sellers to ask if they will accept money orders (my usual form of payment) and I have been turned down only once and then only because she was paranoid into accepting any other payment than what eBay allows.

I hope eBay loses business because of this new policy and reconsiders.

Thanks for letting me rant & rave