How To Get Around eBay's New Paperless Payments Policy.

As most of you who use eBay probably know; eBay is trying their level best to get rid of paper payments in hopes of getting rich(er) by
collecting an extra 8% or so on every single sale in the form of PayPal fees. However: it turns out that it would be an illegal restraint of trade for eBay to *require* everyone to use PayPal *only*.
So what eBay *can* do -and *is* doing- is preventing sellers from mentioning that they'll accept paper payments in ther auction texts, and this eBay can do because they own the website and the law allows then to control it's content.
This leaves the sellers in a lousy position, because they quite naturally would like to make the maximum possible profit on each sale, and many potential buyers -myself included- won't open a Paypal account because PayPal now *requires* that you give them your bank account access information, and *that* could lead to identity-theft problems of Biblical proportions.
But! Because it would be illegal for eBay to just flat-out forbid it's sellers to accept paper payments they had to leave a loophole for creative sellers and buyers to sneak through, and a little digging on the eBay site found these weasel-words: (Scroll down and read the relevant section about customers who refuse to use anything *but* paper.)
http://pages.ebay.com/sell/august2008update/otherfaq/#3
What it comes down to is this: sellers can still accept any form of payment they wish to, but since eBay forbids then to mention that fact in their ads what you have to do is simply email the seller of the item you're interested in and ask if they still accept paper payments such as personal checks, bank checks, or US postal money orders.
Out of perhaps 100 sellers that I've asked so far, only three have replied that they prefer to use Paypal only, and two of those did so because they thought that accepting paper payments would cause them to lose their eBay account!
After sending them the above URL and letting them see for themselves that they aren't *required* to pay eBay that extra 8% unless they *want* to, two of the three relented and decided that paper payments might be a good idea after all.
So here's my evil plan: spread the word. Far and wide. To sellers and buyers alike.
Despite their protestations to the contrary, eBay instituted this policy because their profits fell due to the current recession, and rather then tighten their belts like the rest of us they decided to essentially charge twice as much for their services instead. Frankly, this reeks of the Wall Street guys who led their companies to financial Armageddon and then acted surprised that people got pissed off when said execs collected multi-million dollar bonus packages anyway.
Right now a little pitch-fork and torch action by the angry villagers might be just what is called for. (Tell Igor we storm the castle at midnight! )
~Pete
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On 4/9/2009 12:42 AM Twibil spake thus:

Amen to that. I agree with all that you said.
I really wonder, though, if one couldn't say in their auction description that one would accept non-PayPal payment. After all, what? does some eBay drudge actually scan each and every auction? I think not. So I plan on doing just that the next time I put something up for sale and see what happens.
I used to put a "no PayPal" icon on my auctions, a little graphic of the PayPal icon with the red circle and slash. Never heard a peep from eBay.
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No. But they *do* have search programs running that scan for words and combinations of same in every new incoming ad and automatically reject anything that trips their buttons. For instance: the words "money order" or "paper payment" will already do just that, and eBay *does* try to keep up with new permutations as sellers invent new ways of saying the same thing to get around the rules.

Worst that can happen is that eBay will notify you that if you keep doing it they will close your account. And if you *do* keep doing it and they *do* close your account it's but the work of a moment to open a new one under a different name...
So this entire thing is really just a huge bluff on eBay's part in an effort to make themselves a lot more money: they have no real teeth, and can only make things somewhat more difficult for their patrons.
~Pete
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I have a free account with a local bank completely separate from my 'normal' bank accounts. I use it exclusively for PayPal transactions. You are much more susceptible to identity theft when using a credit card in a restaurant.
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Good idea if you want to use PayPal. *Very* good idea.

Maybe. Maybe not. But my mother-in-law had $10,000 suddenly walk out of her bank account one day, and the only people who had access to her banking information were the Bank of America and PayPal. So either Paypal or B of A had a leak in the system *somewhere*...
(After a prolonged argument B of A eventually stood good for the missing money, but they never did find out who withdrew it or how they got the information to begin with, so it's 50-50 odds that a PayPal employee was indulging in a little identity theft on the side, and I see no reason to expose myself to that risk.)
Besides: life is more fun when you can tlt at windmills -in this case a large greedy windmill- and occasionally win!
~Pete
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Twibil wrote:

Actually, every person that receives a check from you has the same information that you give to Paypal. Routing number and account number, and name. That's all the information they need, and it is on all of your checks. Oh, and a cooperative bank.
Not that I'm a big fan of Ebay and their policies or performance, but in general, you are fare, far more secure using electronic banking than putting a check in the mail. Sure, schemes happen and people get ripped off both ways, but sending your account information (and signature!!!!) through the Postal Service is, when you think about it, almost an invitation for theft.
Regards,
DAve (with 13 years in bank operations under his belt)
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Erm, that *would*be true if I sent personal checks, but I exclusively use US postal money orders.
~Pete
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I was ripped that way twice. If you think the post office is slow, imagine asking about tracking down a $15 money order.............................
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Personal note: to the best of my knowledge I have never "titted" at a windmill, nor would I know how to do so should the occasion arise. However, it sounds painful at best -so I suggest you confine yourselves to "tilting" at any windmills you may encounter.
(Unless, of course, it sounds attractive to you; in which case YMMV.)
~Sancho
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Twibil wrote: <snip>

Doesn't help me much if I decide I want to sell some things. I'm still going to be required to set up one of their hack accounts with my bank.
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Rick Jones
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Hmmm. So how hard is it to set up an auction site that doesn't allow people to use paypal I wonder, paper only. Could be an opening in the market if e-bay restricts itself.
Mike
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That's probably exactly what will happen. Whereupon eBay will promptly revise it's rules to once more allow paper payments in an effort to recapture lost market share.
Right now, they think they're too big to fail and can do anything they want without fear of retribution.
~Pete
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Set up a Separate bank account. If possible, use another bank. US Bank offers free checking accounts (in Oregon anyway). When I needed a PayPal account, I opened an account at US Bank. That account is the Only account I have at US Bank and for the past three months has never had a balance of more than $17.00. When I win an auction I make a deposit to cover the cost.
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Not sure what you have set up with PayPal, but I pay 3% to accept paypal. No different than accepting a Visa, Master card. or AMEX. I do not know anyone paying more than 3 to 3 1/2% for using PayPal for business and auction sales. Sounds to me like you are the one getting screwed. I just closed 18 auctions last month and I was not forced to say I accept paypal only. Some people payed with checks, some payed with pay pal. Some did direct credit card sales with me.
Me thinks you need to go back and correct your agreements with both E -Bay and Pay Pal.. Good Luck Mike Mueller
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I used money orders once for an overseas purchase and the seller claimed that I didn't pay him so I sent him another one. I never got the merchandise and I could not prove it to E-Bay. So from then on I use PayPal only plus the fact I wouldn't purchase out of the US if Hell froze over. Sorry guys John
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NICHE541 wrote:

There is one sure way to never get screwed when using PayPal. Always use your credit card as your funding source. That way you can have the charge frozen when a seller screws you. If more people opted for their back up funding source and used the credit card system as they should, paypal would finally have to do something about their service. When a complaint is filed, it is up to the merchant to prove they were compliant with the purchase. If one must sent a money order, make sure it is an International Money order drawn from a real bank. That is no different than a check and you will than proof the money order was cashed. A little know fact is that a Money Order can have a stop payment put on it just like a bank check. The Problem with PayPal and E-bay is that people complain but are not willing to go through the hassles of following up. Mike Mueller
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Depends. That's a common attitude -and with good reason- but you can occasionally use that attitude to your own benefit.
A year or so ago I saw a rare (yes, really) N.W.S.L. Willamette logging loco in mint condition being auctioned on eBay, with the seller listed as being located in London, England. Like you, I shrugged it off with a "No way, Jose!", but as the auction deadline approached I noticed that there were still no bids and decided to do a little research.
Turned out it was being sold by a 100-year-old and *very* well- respected British auction house that specialises in collector's toys, and the odds of being scammed by them -if it *WAS* them- were *extremely* low. So after calling them on the phone and discovering that it was indeed the auction firm that was selling it, I went ahead and bid -and got it for the opening price.
No one else even bid: presumably because American logging locos aren't all that popular with British model railroaders, and the Americans were all too suspicious of an overseas seller to take a chance.
Another Willamette just like it showed up on eBay about 6 months later, and sold for circa $750 -which is over $400 more than I payed for mine.
~Pete
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Personally I prefer checks and money orders to Paypal. When eBay started their newest extortion, I removed most of the detail in my listings regarding payment methods. My auctions now simply say: "Contact seller for payment options".
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.invalid wrote:

And you can get away with that under the new rules?
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On 4/12/2009 4:20 PM Rick Jones spake thus:
>

Sure; what eBay doesn't know can't hurt you.
As I pointed out, it's not as if they (eBay) can have perfect knowledge of the contents of each and every auction; at best, they probably have some kind of bot scanning newly-posted auctions for certain hot words or phrases, and some drones there probably spend their time checking random auctions. But no way are they going to catch all "violators" of their new policy.
I'm planning on putting some stuff up for auction there and explicitly saying in my description that I don't accept PayPal. Worst that can happen is that they'll yank the auction; I really doubt that even that will happen. We'll see.
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