Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rumbles Down Under

At a public meeting for sellers held in Melbourne May 6th, the first in a series of four forums, eBay Australia VP Simon Smith compared people who don't want to use PayPal to drug addicts. The meeting was attended by several hundred sellers. APC journalist Angus Kidman was there and wrote this excellent article.

Picture courtesy of Opal Hut where you will find beautiful polished opal nuggets straight from the source.

Australia has strong consumer protection laws enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). EBay has applied to the ACCC for an exemption from the Trade Practices Act as it prepares to stop vendors using other payment methods, such as direct bank deposits, checks and money orders, on its online auction site.

eBay insists its move is designed to increase security but eBay Australia's trust and safety director, Alastair MacGibbon may have let the biggest cat out of the bag when he revealed the most common complaint it dealt with was regarding goods that did not arrive as expected, or did not arrive at all.

"Most disputes we see on the site aren't related to fraud at all, most disputes are actually a misalignment of expectations,"
Interestingly, Philip Druce managing director of rival venue Oztion disputes eBay's claim that direct deposit transactions are four times more likely to end in a dispute.
I would say that is very high. Our stats show that 79 per cent of transactions use direct deposit," he said. Out of those a tiny 0.4 per cent actually end up in a dispute, but out of them, 80 per cent are resolved.
At one stage, Simon Smith claimed the eBay figures had been verified by KPMG, but later retracted his comment after a quiet word from an eBay lawyer.

eBay Inc. CEO John Donohoe has stated if successful in Australia, eBay(Stock quote) will introduce the same rules across its global sites. In June 2006 eBay added (Stock quote) Google Checkout - the rival Internet payment service from the Web search giant - to the prohibited payments list.

According to local press reports, The Australian Bankers Association and The Reserve Bank are lodging submissions with the ACCC in an attempt to stop the online auction house from introducing the rule change on 18 June.

May 7th is the date changes to Paypal's TOS take effect, allowing Paypal to freeze an account if they think you might be in violation. Scary, when you remember what they did before when they allegedly had to have proof you were up to something.

Y'all come back and be sure to click VICTORIOUSLY on any interesting links in the sidebar!


Anonymous said...


Henrietta, are you forgetting that you must offer PayPal or a merchant service provider (such as Nova Sytems, Heartland, etc) here in the US. Am I missing the point about Australia? I thought the same rule applied.

Anony Mouse

Henrietta said...

Yes you are missing the point. Australia is very different from the USA. They have an interbank direct deposit system which is secure, free and widely used. The rule change in Australia is to initially require PayPal to be offered in every listing and June 17th to prohibit ANY other method of payment. Read about it here: