Monday, September 1, 2008


eBay's Lorrie Norrington recently announced that as part of a move to achieve complete control of the the entire payment and communication process on eBay "checks and money orders will no longer be accepted on eBay". To clarify that statement, she meant sellers will no longer be permitted to accept checks and money orders, not that eBay will no longer accept checks or money orders.

eBay will require approval of merchant CC payment processing services, and all payment methods are to be fully integrated into eBay checkout. For large sellers who utilize ChannelAdvisor or a similar service this will not cause problems. The small seller who would not qualify on volume for CA has few choices; PayPal, ProPay, try to integrate by yourself or quit. Judging by the recent registrations at Bonanzle hundreds have seen the writing on the wall and are moving on.

eBay will become a de facto PayPal monopoly in the USA.

What is wrong with PayPal only on eBay?

PayPal’s ‘User Agreement’

Users of PayPal’s services are required to accept the terms of a contractual ‘user agreement’, which is posted on the PayPal website. Many of the terms of this ‘user agreement’ are potentially misleading, unconscionable, unfair, or unenforceable. Some specific criticisms of the PayPal ‘user agreement’ include:

• Permit PayPal but not the user to avoid or limit performance of the contract;
• Penalize the user but not PayPal for a breach or termination of the contract;
• Permit PayPal but not the user to vary the terms of the contract;
• Permit PayPal unilaterally to vary the characteristics of the services supplied to the user;
• Limit PayPal’s vicarious liability for its agents; and;
• Limit the user’s right to sue PayPal.

In summary

On the whole, eBay appears to be arguing that:
• eBay's customers, the sellers are incapable of choosing the ‘best’ payment option, according to eBay’s definition of what the ‘best’ option is;
• For those customers’ own good, eBay must force them to use the ‘best’ payment option;
• It is impliedly irrelevant to eBay’s decision-making that the ‘best’ payment option is provided by a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay, and will result in a significant financial benefit to eBay.

eBay’s argument is condescending and paternalistic at best, and ignores the fact that eBay users are capable of making rational choices about what they view the best payment method to be. Until recently eBay banned Google checkout on the site by categorizing it with 'unsafe and unproven' Payment Services not permitted on eBay. The wording recently changed
Safety and convenience are at the core of eBay’s policies toward payments. This policy is designed to promote safe online shopping, and to encourage online payment methods that are safer, easier to use, and offer high levels of protection for users

This all sounds noble and altruistic. Unfortunately an eBay executive made the following statement on eBayINKblog, the official eBay blog,
finally an truthful and unequivocal statement of the fact we suspected all along.

Well for goodness sakes!

Y'all come back

Links to topical articles:

The Brews News


Anonymous said...

Why no Google Checkout?

A better answer may have been....

Because we here at eBay wish to cut our nose off despite our face, we do not need traffic from the worlds largest search engine and we will not split our piece of a dwindling pie with Google just to "get along".

Yes we know our products would be more visible and our checkout options more favorable to consumers if we just worked with, instead of against Google, but we are eBay and we OWN the eCommerce world... so THERE "Rasberry"....


eBay does not own the eCommerce world, and they should not think they can live well without Google.


Give Google a cut on Google Checkout and move on, quit the war, win the battle... Get your products seen again... Google is the KING OF SEARCH, and eBay has no technology to compete with Google search.
Consumer search for products first on GOOGLE, not eBay. Time to re-think this strategy!
My 25%

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should wait until the 'glut the core' plan takes effect, but I'm guessing the leader of Ebay is severely shortsighted. Mistakes after mistakes. Can Ebay recover? Maybe, but not with Donahoe.