August 20, 2008

eBay to Force U.S. PayPal Use (After Australian Rejection)

Greetings. Months ago I mentioned to various eBay sellers in my acquaintance (mostly sellers of collectibles not suitable for "fixed price" sales) that eBay was moving to force the use of PayPal for all transactions in Australia -- and wanted to do the same here in the U.S. Most of these eBay diehards, used to being manipulated by eBay's fee structure and recent detrimental changes (like the abolishing of "negative feedback" regarding buyers), still refused to believe that eBay would make such a move.

Subsequently, Australian regulators have made it clear that they would not accept such an arrangement down in Oz -- a plan that would have primarily benefited eBay itself (which charges significant percentage-based fees for the use of its wholly owned PayPal) -- so eBay apparently has cancelled the scheme there.

But knowing full well that U.S. regulators can be easily cowered into inaction in similar circumstances, eBay has announced today that PayPal (or credit cards) are to be the standard required payment mechanism on eBay for all U.S. transactions. For most sellers this means that they must use PayPal, and eBay will be assured of a nice juicy PayPal commission from each of those sales. eBay of course claims that this is mainly a consumer protection measure -- interesting that the Australian regulators didn't see it that way, eh?

eBay is also making other changes to de-emphasize auctions entirely by making fixed-price sales more attractive -- essentially undermining the basic auction model on which they built their business, and turning eBay even more into Just Another Online Store in many respects.

There are numerous alternatives to selling on eBay. I've wondered why so many eBay auction sellers have been willing to be fleeced for so long by eBay's increasingly callous practices toward this bedrock group.

It will be interesting to see how the eBay auction community reacts to this latest punch in the gut from eBay itself.


Blog Update (August 20, 2008): eBay Responds Regarding My PayPal Posting

Posted by Lauren at August 20, 2008 09:03 AM | Permalink
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