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

We have been subscribers to Antique Trader for 39 years, having purchased our first antiques business through this paper and feel a "connection" with them even though they have changed in the many years…!   Keep up the good work!
We have been eBay sellers/buyers for 9 years and I am often irritated with their many changes and "improvements?" that are constantly made. I use and love PayPal, but am incensed that they have the gall to tell us what we can and can’t do regarding accepting payments. MANY of my customers pay with check/money order and I have NEVER had any problems. I resent having to pay eBay/PayPal charges when not necessary, especially on top of the already numerous charges that they impose, which only causes sellers to tack on another small amount to cover these charges.  I am not happy with this mandate, nor are any of my friends who sell on eBay.
Evelyn Lohr

I’m in agreement with you as I’ll let know one have access to my bank account.  Ebay is making a terrible mistake which will cost them a lot of business if they think they can bully me into giving them access to my bank account in order to use their service.  I watch and see how many people right now have given eBay total access to their bank accounts and I can tell you it’s not 50%, I don’t know who’s brain child this was but you can bet it’s going to back fire on eBay.  I buy big-ticket items, such as coins and high priced collectibles and they will lose my business for sure.  I mean, just from looking I can see where they will lose 50% of their business so it makes me wonder what is really going on behind this change. 

Just my thoughts,

Kindest Regards, Terry


I too distrust PayPal.  There are not enough assurances and safety in the system for me and I waive my right to take them to court if they should accidentally clean out my account. 

But I believe EBay’s new policy results from States’ sales tax pressure.  Now virtually all money transactions will be recorded, to the benefit of those blood-sucking states that require sales tax and of course for the IRS. 

I do almost no selling but lots of buying on EBay.  I don’t like this at all and home this helps some of the alternate auction sites to grow and replace EBay. 


I haven’t bought much on eBay but each time I did I sent a money order.  I don’t like giving out my credit card information and I don’t want to deal with a debit card.  What is wrong with the good old fashion check or money order?  When dealing with electronics, if you have a problem it just takes a lot longer to get things straightened out.

L. Purdin

Hi Robyn,
I sell vintage jewelry making components at Ebay, and am a platinum powerseller.  I also have a large free-standing website, apart from Ebay.
Checks in this day and age, compose maybe 5% of my sales.  So this will not impact me much EXCEPT that I have to take down my whole Ebay store and put it back up, to eliminate any reference to accepting checks (because I was okay with receiving a check, although I didn’t like waiting…. I would do it.)
I am not very happy about all this extra work on my Ebay store, at this time of the year, our busiest selling time.   That’s the biggest hurt to me. 
Also, I don’t really like being told how I will accept payment for MY goods, but!  If you are going to sell at Ebay, you have to play by their rules.   This may be a little too much control, and there may be other reasons for the new policies besides the obvious.   At this time I am too busy trying to comply, to analyze what other reasons Ebay may have in making this policy.
There will always be changes at Ebay.  You have to weigh out the pro and con factor and then decide if you want to shop or sell there.  To be sure though, I don’t think many people send checks anymore.   I only am asked to send a check, usually, for tiny purchases at Ebay; usually the folks who send those checks fail to include the Ebay item number and make it hard for us to go back and find their order, made two weeks previous while we waited for them to sit down, write a check, find a stamp and mail it.   We’re managing a lot of stock there, so it’s tough.  I won’t be sad not to have to jump through those hoops.
As much as I hate to say it, I think checks will be soon a thing of the past in many areas and people just need to get used to it…I didn’t like the idea of PayPal when it first came out, but it really is the best way to go.  You should try it.  It’s much easier.
That’s the biggest point.   Make it easier, get your stuff faster, move on.
My take!

EBay thinks they are fooling everyone with this new wrinkle of only accepting PayPal and not accepting paper. I know they accept other electronic payments, but lets face it, PayPal is by far the most prevalent. If a customer, for whatever reason, wants to use a check or money order, that is their own choice. There is only one reason for this move and that is a bigger slice of the profits. EBay just keeps piling it on and tries to pretend the moves are to give a better buying environment. All these moves do is increase the cost to the seller who in turn will have to pass the costs on to the buyer, which result in higher costs all the way around. Same goes for the push for free shipping and limits on shipping costs. They actually state that they want the seller to incorporate the cost of shipping into the price of the product (so that the cut eBay takes from the seller is higher). This is supposedly to give the buyer the impression of greater savings. The shipping cost is listed in the auction, if the buyer thinks that the seller is gouging them then they can just skip right by and go onto the next. That is how free enterprise works, no need to hide the cost of shipping in the product price. Again, higher costs to sellers equal higher costs to buyers. EBay wants to make a game of it, but the bottom line is transparent. EBay just wants a bigger piece of the pie but all they will do is create higher costs to the end user- the buyer. EBay should be looking to grow market share and volume. This will have a huge reverse effect and may increase their "take" on each individual purchase, but it will reduce the number of purchases being made on their site. So buyer beware- there is no such thing as free shipping, at least that’s what the Post Office has told me.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that eBay is mandating the payment of all transactions only through PayPal because they care about safety for their buyers and sellers.  BULL. 
They are instituting this policy so that they can collect additional fees they charge to sellers.   Now a seller is charged a ridiculously high fee to sell on eBay, and also be charged a fee by PayPal to collect payment.  Does anyone out know of any other "bank" that charges a fee to electronically transfer funds between accounts?  Only PayPal does this. 
Here is an example; say you sell a small item on eBay for $10 and charge an additional $3 to the buyer for shipping.  Total cost to the buyer is $13.  The seller is charged 2 fees by eBay, an insertion fee of $.35 plus a final value fee of 8.75% of the $10, or $.88. Total eBay fees= $1.23.  Then PayPal charges 2 fees as well; an initial fee of $.30 plus 2.9% of the total collected, $13, or $.38.  Total PayPal fees= $.68.  So between eBay and PayPal, the seller is charged $1.91 in fees, or about 20% of the price of the item.  What a total rip-off.
Remember, eBay owns PayPal.  Can anyone here say MONOPOLY?

Dennis Elkin
Schenectady, N.Y.

I think the time is right for another Internet auction site to go for a share of this market.

I’ve been buying and selling on eBay for over 10 years now. And doing both less and less recently.  These latest changes have forced me to start looking for another venue.

It seems that eBay has gone as far as it thinks it can go as an auction site, and is now trying to enter the retail market.  It is doing it’s best to discourage the small sellers from listing items on their site. It now more and more difficult for the small auction seller to make money on eBay!

There is no question about it; Ebay is trying to eliminate the ‘one item’ auctions.   It is catering more & more to their Power Sellers.

This new PayPal only (and their encouragement for Sellers to include shipping in the price realized) is just one more way to make it difficult for the small seller (who is charged for all transactions.

Right now, I am paying them over 20% of the price realized if payment is made through PayPal!

Every improvement (?!) that eBay makes has been geared to create more income, which is good business.  However, not taking into consideration the reaction of their clients is not good business.

I am looking into all the other sites.  Have tried Ruby Lane & Delcampe, but find them lacking.

What else is out there that can take over this market?

Dear Robyn,
This has to do more with eBay’s bottom line then it does buyer/seller protection. I buy and sell on eBay and your best protection is common sense. Ebay will now get a cut of almost every transaction that is processed thru eBay and I resent this. I also resent that they are constantly pushing PayPal (and the fees involved) and sticking their nose more and more in my business. As a seller I will start looking for an alternate way to auction my goods as I have had enough of their ingresses…

Phillip Howe


I have had a PayPal account for 11 years and I’ve never had a problem.  (I’ve heard some horror stories from sellers, though.  But those problems could have been prevented.)

Personally, I avoid eBay auctions that don’t offer payment through PayPal.  The ONLY time I’ve had a problem with an auction was when I paid with a Money Order.  PayPal offers a Buyer’s Protection that you can’t get with a Cashier’s Check or Money Order.  The price of gas plus the price of a MO, not to mention the time it takes for the Seller to get it in the mail, makes me stop and think about how badly I want the item.  And what happens if the MO gets lost in the mail?  You have to wait 30 days to even file a loss claim.

I have a checking account (with Debit/Credit Card) I use solely for PayPal.  I have minimal funds in that account so, if something happens, I won’t lose a lot.  (I can transfer funds from my main account on-line if I need to cover a large purchase amount.)  I also have two PayPal accounts; one as a Buyer and one as a Seller.  My "Buyer Account" is a personal account and has no transaction fees.  "The Seller Account" accepts Credit Card payments and does have transaction fees. 

Sellers should periodically (depending on how much they sell) transfer PayPal account balances to their bank.  Some sellers have "lost" money from their PayPal account.  Transferring balances to their bank account will keep any loss to a minimum.

So, go ahead and get a PayPal account.  After you’ve used it a while, you’ll wonder why you took so long to get it!  <grin>

~ Deb


As an 8 year seller on eBay, and someone who has no time to spend in the chat rooms and discussion boards I have a few different takes on it.  My daughter who is a bookseller on eBay does visit the chat rooms and discussion boards, she keeps me posted on most of the reaction to the changes.

It all comes down to who’s customer is the "buyer" of my items, mine, or eBay’s?

EBay apparently thinks they are their customers, and thus treats them to suit their business model and future plans.  This is obvious in some ways, and paradoxical in another.  They chase buyers away like you who like to use checks, money orders, or just stuff cash in a bag and send it to me, which is very common with buyers from Europe. They like to use cash because they can wait for favorable exchange rates, convert their currency to dollars then spend them as they see fit to their benefit. So here eBay is restricting you from buying my item on their terms, not mine.

Guess what, I do not remember being asked if it was okay with me, and I am the "seller", *who pays all the fees,* how can I not be eBay’s customer.

The paradox is they have just given the "buyer" the right to post neutral or negative feedback to me without my ability to respond, plus their DSR rating system is skewed towards the buyer, on a scale of 1 to 5, a series of 3 responses which would appear above average will put your items at the end of the search engine, and get you booted. This is done to increase sales, but at the "sellers" expense, who can benefit from this, only the "buyer" and eBay of course!

When eBay figures out we the "sellers" are the real customers, allows us to live or die by our policies (within guidelines which have worked for years), then you will be welcome by me and many others, until then, as ebay would say, shop some other place.

Here is the impact, booksellers are going to get hit the hardest as many collectors and buyers of books like to use money orders, checks, or cash, and I expect sales in those areas to drop.  I just sold a few items as an example, one book, the total with shipping was $14.99, buyer sent $15.00 cash, and has stated he will no longer buy on eBay, the others were $52,00 and $54.00 items, buyer sent a money order, not sure if this buyer will leave or not, but those are nice sales for me, they are good solid customers who eBay is chasing away, or deterring from shopping freely.

I think eBay has not considered the above, my thoughts are they are going towards a business model that collects "their" fees as soon as the sale is made, and since they now require you to post shipping charges,
they will eventually include shipping in the sales fees as does PayPal.

So bottom line is, eBay needs cashflow, and this is a way to get it, am sure their analysis has shown that their lost "customers", the buyer, will not impact overall sales by their real "customer", us the "sellers", and if it does, they have more "sellers" than needed, and am sure would like to see some go away on their own without being forced out.

So the elephant in bed is rolling over, will have to shake the sheets to see who survives.

Thanks, Doug Schiefer

No question about it, eBay will make mega profits from this new policy of PayPal only payments!

The one additional profit that has not been mentioned regarding eBay’s profit, is the "Float".

When a payment is made, it appears immediately in your PayPal account.  However, when you request a transfer into your bank account, PayPal do not send it to your bank for (usually) three (3) days later.

This wait period is called the "float", in which they are making money through their investments.

Now, eBay will tell you that it is your bank that causes the wait.  That is BS.  I have spoken to several banks and have been told by all of them that as soon as the money is transferred ‘by eBay’ it is in my account.

The bank does not cause the wait, eBay does!

Even though I always buy using PayPal, I think it is wrong to force a company owned product on everyone. This will further add to buyer and seller unrest with the company and is bound to lower the number of listings and sales. They seem to be doing everything they can to rid themselves of "mom and pop" sellers.
Also, what do think of the new shipping regulations? One price for any book! There are small books and then there are huge and heavy books. EBay’s new regulations are preposterous. I looked and it said if you sell a lot of 500 or more books, the max shipping is $30. The max shipping for videos, which I believe are much lighter weight is $120. The limit for magazines is now $5. I ask you this!!! How can you ship a box of vintage Life Magazines for $5? If that is possible, I’d like eBay to tell me which shipper would make this possible. Also there is the cost of the mailing materials to be factored in.

Finger Lakes area of NY reader

I’ve purchased perhaps 300 items on eBay, during the course of the last two years, that were paid for using PayPal.

Numerous dealers have been complaining about PayPal’s high-handed way of dealing with people.  A number of sellers post notices they won’t accept payment with PayPal.

Up to this time, I read right past those notices, as I’ve haven’t had an issue.

Recently, I placed an order for $114, clicked to pay by PayPal, which was Immediately accepted.

Two hours later, the dealer emailed to inform they don’t ship to a post office box, so my order was canceled.  The same email informed me my account would be credited for $114.

My account was never credited.

I communicated with PayPal.  A form was sent for me to complete. I did so, and emailed it back.

Another email arrived stating that my request was rejected because two email addresses appear on their records, one of which they don’t recognize.

Bottom line:  I have not received a refund–after two months.

I wonder how much money they collect in the course of a year this way, as surely I’m not the only person who has fallen victim to PayPal’s policies.

Geo. M. Meiser, IX
Limekiln, Pa.


Angry only tips the iceberg on how upset I am over this paypal only policy. I have happily accepted personal checks and money orders as payment on eBay for over 10 years. This change is about one thing for eBay…more fee money. They are greedy beyond belief, and at a time when the economy is hurting eBay sales, it seems downright foolish to set a policy that costs sellers even more money. I can’t believe it is even legal to do this. I won’t be buying anymore on eBay, since I have always preferred to send money orders and I will have to do some serious thinking about whether or not to continue selling.

Thanks for the forum to vent!
Beth Snyder

I really do not think it has anything to do with the buyers or sellers! As you said, another layer of icing on the cake. This is the bottom line. Ebay owns PayPal and this is just another way to get more money out of the sellers! Bottom Line! PayPal gets a hefty percentage out of every sale and this move will add up to millions of dollars in extra fees over a short amount of time! Greedy Greedy!

I have been a member of the eBay community since 1999 but that soon may come to an end. I have always accepted cash or USPS or other MO’s…no personal checks except in certain situations. I have never accepted or advocated PayPal as a method of payment. A large amount of my friends that have offered it have had numerous problems over the years. Bank accounts have been compromised, money has been credited to other accounts and foreign buyers have cancelled payment AFTER the sellers have shipped the item. I have never wanted all this potential for loss!
cheaper3 on eBay since 1999.


I believe it’s a good idea, nothing is perfect or exempt form fraud now days and it adds a security level to buying and selling online ~ I stopped taking checks at shows a long time back, I in good faith hand out several hundreds of dollars in merk to a complete stranger for a piece of paper with a dollar amount on it and pray that the check is good, if not I’m caught up in legal problems until it is made good.
With eBay’s feedback system in place a miss placed paper payment or wait time for the check/money order to clear can spell out a negative feedback even when the seller has done all they can to be forthright in the matter ~ paper fraud is a big problem now days and with PayPal or other credit acceptance there is a level of security for both the buyer and seller, it’s also a fast track to a clean sale.
Thank You,
Bonnie @


As a long time seller on eBay who has conducted more than 800 successful transactions using "cash, checks or money orders," I find the new "electronic payment only," to be a slap in the face.  I realize that I am small potatoes to eBay and they really don’t care if I buy or sell on eBay, as I don’t generate enough revenue to attract their attention.  I take issue, however, with eBay’s justification of their new policy in that they imply it is the sellers who don’t use electronic payments who have the most incomplete transactions or receive the most negative feedback.  That is simply not true!  I tried PayPal a few years back and had my account compromised.  We all know how efficiency eBay/PayPal responds to problems! NOT!  I had a few anxious days when I wasn’t sure if my bank account had been violated or not.  I have heard horror stories from many eBay sellers about their PayPal accounts which further added to my decision to return to "cash, checks and money orders."  EBay would like us to believe that on-line payments are safer and more secure than the old fashion method that made America strong.  What happened to trusting each other to follow through with payment?  EBay continues to state that they are only the venue for which sellers and buyers connect, however, now they have put themselves in a position where they will "oversee" every transaction on their site.  It seems to me they are now more than just a "venue" and have established themselves as an intermediary.  I, for one, will not be buying or selling on eBay as of October 1, 2008.  I continue to read Antique Trader and AntiqueWeek and check out all of the other recommended selling sites.  I’m sure I will find one soon that will provide me with a safe and democratic method of doing business in America.  EBay’s current policy leaves democracy in the dust, as they continue to manipulate sellers as a means of creating, for them, a stronger bottom line. Nothing lasts forever and it’s only a matter of time before eBay will join the list of on-line companies that are a thing of the past.

There is a saying – "Don’t try to fix what is not broken" Ebay has been flying in the face of this saying for years now. They have gone from a very useable place to offer items for auction to an onerous huge computer program that does not work on anything but huge computers (takes over a half hour to up load a photo if you don’t have a mega computer) and now another rule to limit access to only the very large sellers. I stopped selling and buying on ebay several years ago and I see this from an antique dealers prospective to be a great positive.

No longer will the average individual be able or want to sell their own items on eBay. Now they will have to either consign them to "on the ground" auctions, offer them to dealers directly out of the house or put them up at a yard sale.  Civil war letters that used to bring $100 plus but dropped to $20 when they flooded eBay will return to $100 and so on. So while it will affect many and hopefully go a long way to sinking eBay, I see it as a huge plus for the average antique dealer and "on the ground" antiquing.

Charles Wibel
Charles Wibel Antiques
Farmington, NH

Yes I hate the PayPal only-

I have been selling on eBay for 10 years and only took checks or money orders- The past few years I added PayPal but did not advertise it. Just when I sold international I let them know to use it and sent the link. PayPal says YOU CAN NOT ASK FOR THE MONEY IT COSTS TO USE PAYPAL But you can should add something to your sh. when you now also have to put in a price -Well what if an item goes way higher than expected??? What a chunk of money that is!!!!

Ebay is getting very greedy! And has us all by the throat- its there game so we have to play by the rules but it is not right!! In all the years I have sold on eBay I NEVER RECEIVED A BAD CHECK!!!  I may have not gotten paid for an item but part of the game-



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