Saturday, July 12, 2008

Not A Smooth Move eBay in Australia!

Do you know that Chinese curse that goes "May you live in interesting times..."? There are certainly 'interesting times' for eBay in Australia.

Once in a while I do love to say "I told you so", so juvenile and so infinitely satisfying! When this whole PayPal Only in Australia debacle started I said that Australia may be a country with a small population but that Australians are a tough people and do not take kindly to being pushed around.

Hoo boy!

I am so glad I am on the side of light. I can't imagine anything closer to Hell than having a bunch of Aussies with blood in their eyes after me. eBay may think that they have gotten what they wanted. In reality what they have is the first stages of an unholy nightmare.

Australian sellers made a record breaking number of submissions to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in the matter of eBay's request for a waiver from the Trade Practices Act 1974. After a lot of bluster eBay withdrew their application. First round to the sellers I believe.

Many Australian sellers believe Stage one was merely a smokescreen for Ebay to sidestep themselves into the position they wanted in the first place. Mandatory PayPal on every listing, mysterious glitches to lower alternative methods of payments visibility and penalties for any seller who expresses a preference in payment methods. Ask for the moon and settle for a handful of stars.

Not content with their round one victory Australian sellers are now carrying the fight to eBay.

No more hiding behind "we are just a venue" whenever the going gets tough. If eBay thought that Australia was a soft target for sweeping global change we are determined to prove to a watching world just how wrong eBay is.

Their goals:
1. PayPal will not be a mandated option,
2. eBay/PayPal will have to become a party to the EFT code of conduct, and,
3. both will be obliged to respect all of the consumer laws of the country.

Letters are being written to The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, and individual Members of Parliament as well as the various Ministers for Consumer Affairs, Fair Trading, Attorneys-General, Justice and Workplace relations in all states and territories of Australia including at the Federal level.

Many US sellers feel that eBay has declared war on the small seller. Australian sellers appear to have declared war on eBay. I hope Simon Smith has a tin hat.

Y'all come back!


Anonymous said...

Never piss off an Aussie! I wonder when US sellers will get their gumption going?! Or has that been killed in the American spirit?

Anony Mouse

Anonymous said...

You Go Aussies! Some of use Americans are standing strong, and we appreciate your fight, and are rooting for you!

Kevin_T said...

"First round to the sellers I believe."

Not really, in my opinion. PayPal is now earning fees on about 50% of the turnover on my Australian dollar listings, up from about 0% (I would enable it for foreign buyers, but never included it on those listings). The fight that Ebay allegedly lost has given PayPal a substantial increase in market share - that is not consumers winning, that is success for Ebay.

Where they have lost though, they have seriously damaged their brand in Australia, and I suspect worldwide.

All that said, my sales are strong currently.
Hmmm, Kevin