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eBay To Disallow Checks and Money Orders In US

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the shooting-for-their-own-bailout dept.

The Almighty Buck 412

Sir_Kurt writes "In eBay's latest FAQ, they explain that sellers (for the good of the buyers) will no longer be allowed to accept checks or money orders as payment. They can take electronic payments only. So, will Google Checkout, Checkout by Amazon or Amazon Flexible Payment be allowed? No, says eBay: 'Google's and Amazon's products and services compete with eBay on a number of levels, so we are not going to allow them on eBay.' Options are limited to PayPal, ProPay, direct credit payments to the seller, and 'payment upon pickup.' But remember, this is for our own good!" eBay ran into trouble earlier this year for trying to restrict payment options.

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412 comments

eat my shorts slashdot !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111491)

Eat my shorts slashdot !!

Actually they are right (4, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111503)

Too many people fall for the "I will send you X+Y and you send me back Y with the item".

Besides if your dealing on the net the protection of a CC is a must

Re:Actually they are right (4, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111535)

That doesn't excuse banning competing payment systems, however, especially ones that meet the same standard as Paypal.

This is a sideways move towards allowing only Paypal transactions to be made in the US - they're testing the water and seeing how far they can push it.

Re:Actually they are right (5, Insightful)

nbert (785663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111773)

especially ones that meet the same standard as Paypal.

Quotes like this make it sound as if Paypal had a standard. Instant transfers and protection from fraud on ebay sound great, but there are also many cases in which money gets retransferred for no apparent reason or accounts are blocked because something was not conforming to their "policy". To me they are just pretending to be a real bank. As long as it works as advertised it is great but when there is trouble you'll face scenarios you would never encounter with any financial institute.

I'm too tired to look up any sources, but take a look at this google search [google.com] .

Re:Actually they are right (5, Interesting)

timbck2 (233967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111855)

Hear hear! Paypal looks like a bank, acts like a bank, and quacks like a bank...therefore, it should be regulated like a bank, and held up to the same laws and legal scrutiny as any bank.

Corrections (4, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111991)

Paypal acts like a payment processor, not a bank. They don't have a bank charter among other things. Payment processing regulation is very lax.

They are a teeeny-tiny player in the payment processing world dominated by hook-and-crook by the Visa association of banks.

Re:Corrections (5, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112239)

Paypal acts like a payment processor, not a bank. They don't have a bank charter among other things. Payment processing regulation is very lax.

They allow you to move money from your bank account to your paypal account.

They allow you to elect to make payments from your paypal "balance"

They offer a "debit card" that draws from your paypal "balance".

If someone sends you funds, it goes towards this balance.

If they put a hold on your account, they deny you access to this "balance" that is your money.

They sure sound a lot like a bank to me.

I suggest calling your legislators, writing them, etc, to ask for tougher regulation and better regulatory oversight for the operations of companies like PayPal.

Re:Actually they are right (5, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112197)

You mean the US should be more like Australia, where Paypal has to follow certain rules, just like a bank? :)

Re:Actually they are right (2, Funny)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111859)

So on top of the fee that they charge you for selling your item on eBay, they get to take another few percents off the buyer for using Paypal.

Eventually, if they don't ban the other methods of payment, they would charge a few percents on using the other payment methods as an "inconvenience charge".

Well, this is the beginning of the end of another good idea.

Re:Actually they are right (1)

craash420 (884493) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111915)

PayPal is free for the buyer, they take their slice of the pie from the seller.

Re:Actually they are right (3, Insightful)

FearForWings (1189605) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112151)

And the seller will pass on a part that PayPal fee with higher shipping and handling fees.

Re:Actually they are right (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112179)

It's basically irrelevant. Both fees are taken into consideration by the seller, and the minimum bid is adjusted accordingly.

Re:Actually they are right (1)

nutrock69 (446385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112251)

PayPal is free for the buyer, they take their slice of the pie from the seller.

When did this change? I had the misfortune of trying to set up a Paypal account a few years ago - as a buyer on eBay - and when they tried to charge me to use my account to buy something, I canceled and haven't looked back. I do hear that it is worse for sellers, but I have refused to buy from any seller that uses Paypal exclusively and have told many of them why. Amway looks trustworthy in comparison.

Based on the horror stories that keep popping up concerning problems people have had using this so-called 'protected' service, cash by mail actually seems safer. Until they get regulated like a bank, my money will never pass through their hands. By moving down the path towards requiring only Paypal - and nobody can argue that's not where they're leading - they're just trying to take a bigger cut of each sale while eliminating competition at the same time. I guess eBay doesn't want me as a customer anymore.

Re:Actually they are right (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111925)

Remember Billpoint.....ebay took care of that. 10% of my sales are check or money order. Bye Bye 10% of my sales....and by bye 10% of ebay fees, At a time when all businesses are looking for as many payment methods as possible to capture sales, ebay is chasing away business. You guys at the top of ebay aren't too bright

Re:Actually they are right (4, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111939)

Yeah, this is the opposite tactic to what eBay tried to pull in Australia. There is was "you can only use paypal". Now they are trying the opposite, just to exclude everyone else BUT paypal.

And yes, I did read the summary, which does mention they are permitting a couple of other methods right now. But is there any doubt as to which direction they want to go (as in, keep reducing the methods of payment until you can only use paypal)?

Re:Actually they are right (1)

amcdiarmid (856796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111697)

countered by: "I X by paypal, and pray I receive Y - as many times I have not." It's not worth it to deal with Paypal Protection, as a better use of my time is getting the item I may need.

Re:Actually they are right (3, Informative)

timbck2 (233967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111871)

I actually received my money back (Paypal called it a "reversal") by filing a dispute against a deadbeat eBay seller through Paypal. I was really surprised, since the one or two other times I've had disputes with sellers, Paypal ALWAYS ruled against me.

All about the intention (4, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111817)

Well, of course the excuse they are using is factually correct. We have to look deeper, at what they're really intending to achieve by doing this. It doesn't take a tinfoil hat wearing loon to see that eBay are trying to shoe-horn everyone into paying by Paypal. They've already tried it once recently!

There's also one point the summary missed:

eBay ran into trouble earlier this year for trying to restrict payment options.

The thing is, they ran into trouble in Australia. Will the US DOJ take an interest? Am guessing, but I doubt it.

This is a case where the course of action for the DOJ is clear however. eBay and Paypal should be split into two separate companies, that would stop this -- and any future -- nefarious deals between the two. Returning competition to the market.

Competition? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25112041)

It's been decades since we've had a true competitive market in the US. Agriculture was the last to go.

Re:Actually they are right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25112047)

* Winners compare their achievements to their goals, losers compare theirs to those of others. * ARMONK, NY - Aug. 8,

Whiners who are losers point out basic errors in other /.ers' sigs. My pleasure.

protection (3, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112101)

Besides if your dealing on the net the protection of a CC is a must

CCs only protect buyers not sellers. A buyer can always dispute a charge on their credit card, which is a good thing as credit cards or their numbers can be stolen. But it's bad for sellers, they may not get paid. And if they have too many chargebacks their merchant account [merchantexpress.com] can be canceled. As for paying with checks or money orders, banks will stop payments on checks and the buyer can get a refund with their money order receipt.

Falcon

Re:Actually they are right (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25112187)

If you are too stupid to realize that the X+Y thing is a scam, then you probably need to either get bit in the ass by it or get off the internet.

If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere else (4, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111521)

The more restrictions they put on their service, the less interest I have in using it.

I liked the good old days of ebay where you could buy a few sparc stations and then drive over to a guys house and give him cash for them. (craigslist has filled that void)

Re:If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere el (5, Insightful)

ghoti (60903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111607)

I don't mind using PayPal, but I really hate the fact that the site is swamped with commercial vendors rather than people selling stuff they don't need any more. eBay needs to be split into a marketplace where you can go to buy new things (like Amazon), and the good old auctioning of used personal stuff. Until they do that, they won't see me again.

Re:If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere el (4, Insightful)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111703)

I'm with you, man. Every few months I decide to scour eBay for something I don't want to pay full price for with the hope that I'll find the one true, used, item from a normal person in the middle of all of the "new for the same price or more than it costs at a store, plus shipping, plus you have to wait for it to arrive" crap.

Every time I do that, I end up spending the next hour ranting to my wife (seriously, for real, I have one of those) about how eBay has gone to hell and it's just a bunch of overpriced, new products now instead of used stuff.

Re:If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere el (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111729)

eBay needs to be split into a marketplace where you can go to buy new things (like Amazon), and the good old auctioning of used personal stuff. Until they do that, they won't see me again.

Ebay IS split into a "market place" (ebay stores) and an "auction". The trouble is the marketplace people want visibility in the auction side and so flood the auctions with their stuff.

And then on top of that there are the boatloads of garbage sellers, who just stuff the auctions with worthless crap that never sells... 'guides' and crap like that. And the people with scammy sounding auctions...

"I will randomly pack a few valueable items into one of 500 lots of near worthless items" buy a lot of lots and hope you get lucky!

Of course there is no accountability that any of the 500 lots ever had the valuable item in the first place...

Re:If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere el (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111829)

It depends on what you want. If you want something new or modern, forget eBay. If you want something old or obscure (Apple IIc flat-panel display, copy of Suspended in the box), it's still the only game in town.

Re:If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere el (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111959)

I used ebay for the last time a couple of weeks ago. Tried to use a credit card via PayPal and found that I couldn't without giving very personal information --- so I sent a bank check and decided then that I wouldn't be back.

Pity. Greed has no bounds, it seems.

Re:If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere el (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112155)

Don't hold your breath, they cant make enough money off the private 'yard sale' customers to make them happy.

I see craigslist growing due to this blunder.

Re:If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere el (2, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111659)

Is there anywhere else? Ebay used to be 'the garage sale to the world'. With in overwhelming amount of corporate sellers, now it's more like 'outlet mall to the world'. And Craigslist is just want-ads with zero protection offered or even implied. Putting an ad is the local paper is sounding more and more like the best option (at least for selling).

Re:If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere el (5, Insightful)

SlowGenius (231663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111705)

But there really aren't a lot of "somewhere elses", other than craigslist, at least, not in a realistic sense. And craigslist is only an okay option for people who are happy selling locally at a fixed price (or perhaps "best offer", if you want to be technical about it.)

Other than that... hmm. Certainly there are a whole myriad of tiny itty-bitty auction sites out there (I would guess), but aside for some very narrow specialty niches, ebay enjoys an incredible barrier-to-entry advantage in the auction-house market. Why? Because when selling, just about everybody wants the biggest possible market for their wares. Hence, just about everybody goes to the biggest market. Duh.

This will not change until/unless eBay shoots itself in the foot by getting so greedy on sales commissions that they manage to piss off a critical mass of people. And even then, they'll still enjoy enough of a natural advantage that they can just back off a percentage point, wipe out their fledgling upstart competitor, and carry on as before.

Re:If you don't like thier policy, go somewhere el (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111937)

The more restrictions they put on their service, the less interest I have in using it.

I liked the good old days of ebay where you could buy a few sparc stations and then drive over to a guys house and give him cash for them.

That is still allowed under the current policy, as there are no restrictions on the payment at pick-up option, but very few sellers offer that.

That's a good policy in general... (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112169)

But not in this case. As a seller, you can't go elsewhere because all the buyers are there, and as a buyer you can't go elsewhere because all the sellers are there.

Ebay holds a fully locked down monopoly, and they need to be regulated as such.

Profit??? (0, Redundant)

Widowwolf (779548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111543)

Since the promlems in austrilla, paypal just beign a worthless system lately and with this new help from ebay, and fees rising ata higher percentage of gas, tell me how anyone makes any money off ebay anymore?

Improvement at e-bay (4, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111547)

Basically paypal and e-bay are ridicuously bad about protecting people from scams.

However this is a move in the right direction. Recently they put a 30 day escrow on pay pal payments. Which they should have done years ago.

Now it's much safer to shop.

Re:Improvement at e-bay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25112111)

Yes, now you can claim that you were "hacked", and get your money back, AND get the item that was already shipped! Awesome!

Re:Improvement at e-bay (5, Insightful)

brady8 (956551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112175)

I'm sure they did it for our benefit. Collecting 30 days of interest on hundreds of thousands of dollars probably doesn't factor into it at all.

Goodbye Ebay (0, Redundant)

das3cr (780388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111549)

You won't find me bidding nor buying on Ebay again.

I've never had a pay-pal account and this isn't going to drive me to one. I've never had a problem with sending money orders.

1. Checks and Money Orders (1)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111553)

2. Wait a year.

3. Knock direct credit payments to the seller and payment upon pickup on the head.

4. Profit!

Who says they haven't learnt from what happened in Australia.

So... (3, Insightful)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111569)

Other than payment upon pickup, you have to accept a payment method with 5-10% transaction fees. Internet merchant accounts take time to setup, so most sellers will switch to PayPal. Might make them more money in the long term, but I think it's another move that will alienate sellers from eBay.

Re:So... (1)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111749)

Unlike Ebay's other recent moves which really have only upset sellers, this one stands to upset both buyers and sellers. Granted, I use paypal on ebay and I always have, so I'm not really affected. But the company who pisses off both vendor and buyer is not one that is successful in the long term. It seems that the more ebay tweaks their system, the less profitable it becomes, and that prompts more tweaking. My advice to ebay - go back to what made you successful in the first place, and stop worrying about eclipsing growth records. The Internet is not growing at the pace it used to be, neither is the economy growing at rapid fire pace. Be happy with the business you have because it's going to cost you far more to get it back once you've lost it.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111775)

Well, if the buyer has a PayPal account that they keep money in; and the seller is *NOT* a commercial seller, then there is no fee.

But that's a VERY small percentage.

Sears-Discover debacle anyone? (5, Informative)

h2oliu (38090) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111573)

Many may not remember, but when Sears first came out with the Discover card, they stopped accepting Visa/Mastercard.

Sales dropped, and it was the beginning of the end for Sears.

Those who don't study history....

Re:Sears-Discover debacle anyone? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111727)

I thought the beginning of the end for Sears was when they started selling all those crappy Kenmore appliances in the 70s.

Re:Sears-Discover debacle anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111735)

Have to do Geography instead, and man did I ever suck at it.

Re:Sears-Discover debacle anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111931)

...are usually business managers.

I love to say this. (5, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111593)

If Google wanted, they could launch an e-bay competitor.

Re:I love to say this. (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111665)

Google should build an ebay competitor, this seems really ripe for one. I stopped using ebay and now use craigslist or network and do not know a single person that is currently happy using them and most have outright stopped using ebay.

Re:I love to say this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111849)

If Google wanted, they could launch an e-bay competitor.

I've been hoping for a competing auction site from Google for years now. eBay has integrated so many senseless 'features' in the past two years that work directly against the sellers, it's sad. I would like nothing more than to see a proper competitor come along--Google could do it!

Re:I love to say this. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111865)

well, there is froogle, google base, and google checkout. None of which have any mind share, in the public or within google.

Re:I love to say this. (1)

swabeui (1291044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111873)

I'm not so sure. The average user doesn't change often and tend to follow the 'if it ain't broke...' mantra. Google tends to take hold by crushing the norm (Gmail, Maps and of course Search). Craigslist and eBay pretty much have it covered, so I don't think there is much room here. (I'd love to be wrong though).

Now... that said, an auction site with no transaction fee's (funded by ad revenue)... the average user DOES change in matters of the wallet.

Treasury Bailout Package from the horse's mouth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111597)

Read it here!

Congress's bailout package will reward failed Wall Street companies instead of letting them crater and injecting money into solvent banks.

This is an important read for those who have money in banks and stocks, and who hope to make the US their home for the next decade:
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/09/20/treasurys-financial-bailout-proposal-to-congress/ [wsj.com]

Don't use paypal (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111603)

If payment options are ever limited to Paypal, then I won't be using EBay.

Little known fact: Paypal "reserves the right" to reverse a transaction without permission from the seller. That's what backs their money-back guarantee.

I sold an item which went to a woman in CA, it arrived damaged in transit. I worked on processing the insurance claim, but she didn't want to wait, and made a claim to paypal. They reversed the transaction, she shipped the item back, and received money from them which they billed me for. I refused to pay, so they kept money from another transaction that I made during this time.

So now I have a broken item that's been to CA and back, I can't make an insurance claim since it's since been shipped again by a different carrier, and paypal is sending me to collections since I refuse to pay for a return they authorized, not me.

Re:Don't use paypal (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111887)

well known fact: Credit card companies will do the same thing. But they'll also tack on a chargeback fee.

ebay is no longer my first choice (0, Redundant)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111619)

with the changes to their layout (making it bulky and slow) and the big changes to their feedback system (no negative feedback for buyers? that's crap), ebay is no longer the place that i start my search for hard-to-find hardware and merchandise.

i agree, the more restrictions ebay applies, the more i look elsewhere

The Former U.S.A : +1, Informative (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111621)

We are all comrades now in the U.S.S.A.

No checks or money orders in U.S.S.A. because there are NO banks.

P.S.: In case you've been reading Slashot too much,
General Motors will announce bankruptcy. They're drawing on U.S. $ 3.5 billion of their last U.S. $ 5.5 billion
line of credit.

Cordially,
Comrade Kilgore Trout [blogspot.com]

New company motto (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111625)

"just send us money". They decided it'd be easier to avoid auctions all together and require users to send a portion of their income to Ebay through Paypal.

Gettin' yer thrills from bidding? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111653)

I can't for the life of me understand why so many people continue to waste their time using eBay. What exactly is the appeal of going through a bidding process to end up paying over retail prices on stuff that may not ever even get shipped by whatever douche happens to be scamming at the moment?

Re:Gettin' yer thrills from bidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111791)

I find that eBay is still a good place to get commodity items cheap, provided that one is willing to invest 2-3 minutes comparison-shopping (for this I use eBay itself as well as Google shopping). The one time (out of over 100 purchases) I got screwed by a seller, I got my money back from PayPal.

I would hasten to add, though, that eBay is no place for the unwary and/or unthinking.

Re:Gettin' yer thrills from bidding? (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111961)

I can't for the life of me understand why so many people continue to waste their time using eBay. What exactly is the appeal of going through a bidding process to end up paying over retail prices on stuff that may not ever even get shipped by whatever douche happens to be scamming at the moment?

Ebay was, is, and will continue to be for the foreeable future a good place to purchase difficult to find collectibles at reasonable prices.

This includes used books, board games / table top games / role playing games / collectible card games, used toys (lego, playmobil, fisher price, construx, action figures, etc...), console video games and systems, etc.

Its not so much that you get them 'cheap', but you do get them for a fair market price, instead of either not being able to find them at all, or paying the monopolistic pricing that a local collector shop will charge. (I've seen used out of print paperbacks books listed at $50-$100 in local bookstores... they know they've got the only copy easily found for sale within 1000 miles... but you can often get the same book for $10-15 on ebay, if you search regularly.

Another example would be the famous lego "Yellow Castle" or "Galaxy Explorer" sets. There's often a couple up for auction on ebay, and finding them elsewhere can be downright impossible unless you are willing to spend ridiculous amounts of cash.

The other area ebay is alright is getting small new items with high retail markup. They tend to go on ebay for much lower markup and you can get good deals even after S&H and fees. (Although you can generally get them for the same price online elsewhere.)

Great (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111661)

Just in time for the rumored layoffs at eBay. Not a good time to be cutting services. I can understand why but OTOH, PP has it's share of problems.

What about cash? (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111671)

I'm not saying that many people do it (it would require a lot of trust), but it shouldn't be eliminated completely as an option. Is that what the "payment upon pickup" is supposed to cover?

They have to do this... (3, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111673)

The love affair with overpriced auction winnings is waning. More and more people are realizing that most of the stuff on ebay that you can get at your local store or at another retailer on the internet is usually ridiculously overpriced. The days of paying 105% of new price for used goods are over. This realization by the consumer is hurting ebay's bottom line. They are no longer growing at double digit percentages and I would argue trends show all growth will halt in less than a year. To continue to grow revenue they have to try to take a bigger cut of every sale. They have already raised prices so the next step is to take a cut of every payment transaction. That was the entire strategy with the paypal acquisition. It's simply been a matter of time before they ban every payment method other than paypal.

The question is will there be a drop is use of the site as a result, or whether there will be a lawsuit. Ebay has always run into this issue that someday a lawyer is going to get everyone together who's been scammed and file a class action suit that targets them for all the things they could do to prevent fraud and don't. It's going to be a BIG lawsuit someday so the executives have it in mind to bump the stock price as much as possible and make sure they get their bonuses before the shit hits the fan. That and making sure there is still growth in a company where there is no growth.

Re:They have to do this... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111801)

Wow, slashdot is lame as hell. Even lamer than eBay.

Re:They have to do this... (4, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111813)

It's going to be a BIG lawsuit someday so the executives have it in mind to bump the stock price as much as possible and make sure they get their bonuses before the shit hits the fan. That and making sure there is still growth in a company where there is no growth.

You're quite correct apart from one thing. eBay has been trying to bump its stock price for the past 3 years -- totally unsuccessfully. It's almost half of what is was 3 years ago(prior to the Skype purchase debacle). It's a dead man walking, and has been for some considerable time. Meg Whitman, the prime architect of its demise, baled a rich woman some time back. Just in time to avoid be caught in the wake of the ship as it sinks.

you dont -have- to infinitely grow revenue (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111853)

unles you are a caancer.... or a publicly traded corporation ....

eby could be a fine, stable business... if they go private and quit worrying about how to do 'double digit growth'... a ridiculous long term goal for any company.

Re:They have to do this... (2, Interesting)

iocat (572367) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111889)

The other side of the bad-news coin for eBay is that after it rationalized the collectors' market, pretty much everyone has gotten what they need. All the things I was willing to spend non-trivial amounts of money on (Infocom games, Apple II stuff, etc.), I have. I have nothing against eBay, I just have no reason to shop there anymore. My collections are complete, and I prefer to buy new things from real stores.

Half.com is still pretty good for used stuff, though.

Re:They have to do this... (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111935)

The love affair with overpriced auction winnings is waning. More and more people are realizing that most of the stuff on ebay that you can get at your local store or at another retailer on the internet is usually ridiculously overpriced. The days of paying 105% of new price for used goods are over.

What? What are you talking about? Show me an action that sold for more than local store retail.

The vast majority of eBay items are used merchandise.

The original idea of eBay is gone (3, Interesting)

PCPackrat (1251400) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111675)

eBay has been going this route for a while. I don't see them backing down. I am in agreement that Craigslist is filling the void that eBay used to fill very well. Now it's just a bunch of 'PowerSellers' reselling product they don't even have. It was a nice flea market while it lasted, but they got big $$$ in their eyes and got greedy.

For example, I sold an item for $150, final value fee was $12.35 and paypal took another $4.82. That's a good chunk of the sale when you are the one designing the auction page and putting the items up for sale. All in hope that the buyer isn't going to rip you off by reversing the charges after pretending they never got the item and you can't leave them negative feedback anymore.

There is a need for a new auction site to open that is like eBay used to be.

Re:The original idea of eBay is gone (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112079)

All in hope that the buyer isn't going to rip you off by reversing the charges after pretending they never got the item and you can't leave them negative feedback anymore.

the problem was it was working the other way.

My ONE and only negative as a buyer was when I bought a flash drive, which was defective on arrival, returned it to seller. (hong kong postage) and waited as I was stalled repeatedly by the seller, waiting for manufacturer to receive it, waiting for reply, etc. Until I realized I'd exhausted my ebay appeals time and was almost out of time to leave feedback. The DAY my ebay appeal time ran out he stopped replying to my emails.

So, out the flash drive (now I can't even send it back since I don't have it anymore) and out the $150 for the drive plus postage again to HK, I left him (-). Immediately he retaliated by leaving me (-). So Not only was I out the auction price, I was out additional shipping, AND got a negative on my record.

After this I read through his feedback, and percentage-wise it was very good, 98-99%. But he had so many auctions every week, he was getting 1-2 negatives a week. Every one of them was the same story as me... buyer leaves (-) for defective product no resolution, every time he would retaliate by leaving (-) to the buyer with the same "please contact me for resolution, unfair to leave negative feedback" as though the buyer was being unreasonable. Clearly this was how that seller handled defective product, and was sending a warning to buyers, "leave me a negative and you WILL get a negative for it".

Behavior like this discourages the buyer from leaving a negative against the seller, and does nothing to encourage sellers to work hard for their reputation.

I'm thankful for the policy change personally. I don't have to worry about getting that badly scammed again. A lot of that was my fault for expecting someone with 10k of (+) feedback to be honorable, but the final slap was definitely the mar on my record.

And I'm saying this as a buyer AND a seller on ebay. I just sold a laptop on ebay.

uhm yeah. i process checks for a living (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111701)

and every day, companies send million-dollar checks through regular US mail to each other. and the system actually works pretty well. for 47 cents, plus envelope , paper, and special laser cartridges, you can transfer a million dollars. try doing that on paypal, or setting up eletronic systems to do that, and now try to keep those systems secure. now try to do it for 47 cents per transaction.

checks are dying, but they are not a horrible system. they work.

what's really going on is this: meg whitman left ebay, now some 'genius' MBA has come in and said 'omg we are not screwing the customers enough. take away their freedom of choice, and change it into profit for us'.

in other words: capitalists hate us for our freedom.

Buh bye fleabay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111715)

As a once-in-a-while seller, all I can say is: NO FUCKING WAY.

I smell a boycott.

Re:Buh bye fleabay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111947)

> As a once-in-a-while seller, all I can say is: NO FUCKING WAY.

+1 Flamebait, if there ever was one.

(Posted as an AC to preserve my mod points.)

Re:Buh bye fleabay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25112005)

You smell a boycott. The rest of us jumped ship years ago.

alternatives (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111725)

As Ebay increases restrictions they're increasingly excluding their own customer base. Where are these people going instead? Another comment mentioned Craigslist; and there are specialty auction sites (gunbroker.com is one I'm familiar with) that handle categories Ebay specifically excludes. But are there any general auction sites that are getting more popular as Ebay declines?

Checks okay, but money orders... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111733)

...every major purchase I've made on eBay was with a postal money order. Why? Because they're convenient and federally protected - if the seller frauds me they're in trouble with the postmaster general.

Shame to see them cut this - I guess I won't ever buy anything big off eBay again.

Already switched to Amazon (1)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111737)

I tried eBay for a few recent purchases but I found that Amazon was winning most of the time - either with its own stock or through third-party sellers. The marketplace is far more efficient for buyers - you don't have to wait for auctions that you might or might not win to complete. eBay might still be the best place for unusual or one-of-a-kind items - I've seen certain out-of-print titles go for far less than the offers on Amazon - but for most things it's just not worth my time.

I think all my Check/MO customers... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111753)

Will suddenly be "pay when you pick up" customers. Payment can be pre-sent via USPS mail, and shipping will be concierge service automatically 24 hours after payment if they can't pick it up because they suddenly got too busy. :)

Re:I think all my Check/MO customers... (1)

jachim69 (125669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111997)

This is exactly what I was thinking. They can't really police all the auctions to look for "cash at pickup" and "free delivery service with prepayment", now can they?

So long USPO Money Order, the best option to pay (5, Insightful)

Xanthvar (1046980) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111797)

Now you can truly get scammed!

Previously, the best way to pay was with a US Post Office money order.

What you would do is write a description of the item that you had purchased, and if you didn't get it, the seller had committed mail fraud.

The reason this was the best, is that they (the post office)have a whole division dedicated to mail fraud, and would actually work at tracking down fraudsters and shutting down their operations, as the laws on mail fraud have teeth, as opposed to something that belongs in small claims court otherwise.

Other payment methods (Visa, MC, PayPal) isn't going to spend a whole lot of effort to recover minor amounts of money, they may refund your money, but the scammer gets to continue their operation, maybe with a minor name change, taking advantage of the next sucker to come along.

This goes back to the reason why you don't really want to hack government entities, is that they will spend a fortune on tracking down the perpetrator all out of disproportion to the actual damage caused. *

In fact, a good way to tell the legitimacy of the seller, especially if they were a "private" seller, is to see if they would accept a USPO money order.

If they didn't it was a red flag that you may not want to deal with them.

I can understand (from a purely greed standpoint) of EBay not wanting to allow this type of transaction, as they don't get even more of a cut of the PayPal action, and just have to make due with the listing fee.

Oh well, just another nail in the coffin for fiscal responsibility.

Turn Away Customers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25111819)

Being in electronic payments business, though overall check volume is declining nationwide, I can't understand why any merchant (in this case Ebay) would turn down business by not accepting checks as a form of payment.

As much as we would like to see them go away, they won't for a long time. Banks still continue to issued personal check, even for folks that can't qualify for credit cards.

I don't think this program will last too long... other services will guarantee checks (like a credit card).

I think other hungry competitors would gladly accept these forms of payment to attract new customers..

Stupid decision (0)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111825)

This is ridiculous. When I sell on eBay, the ONLY method I accept is U.S. postal money orders. Not even checks. Just money orders. And when I buy, I only buy from sellers who accept money orders. They're the only payment method that can be trusted at all. Forget this electronic trash. I'm going to stop using eBay unless they reverse this stupid decision.

How does this solve anything? (2, Insightful)

statemachine (840641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111847)

EBay/PayPal holding the money doesn't solve where the buyer gets the item but claims he didn't, or where the seller ships something else.

It's still he said, she said. People on both sides will still get ripped off. The only thing different is the extra fees by using PayPal.

Re:How does this solve anything? (1)

Sparky9292 (320114) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112153)

EBay/PayPal holding the money doesn't solve where the buyer gets the item but claims he didn't, or where the seller ships something else.It's still he said, she said. People on both sides will still get ripped off. The only thing different is the extra fees by using PayPal.

As a seller, you do get $2000 of protection if you only accept Paypal and you only ship via UPS tracking using what's called a confirmed Paypal address. Basically you have to prove that you are at that address via a major credit card, or by snail mail.

My only gripe with the confirmed address policy is that eBay doesn't verify that bidders have one before they bid on an item. So when a bidder wins an auction, they often bitch to me that Paypal is refusing payment until they get it "fixed". And of course no one actually reads the item description that warns that my auctions require this.

I would be boycotting EBAY except that ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111851)

... I already started boycotting EBAY when they bought PayPal.

They failed in Australia, and yet they try again? (1)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111879)

So, they tried this crap as a trial run in Australia, telling everyone it was going to become the policy... except, well, enough people saw it for what it was, which is purely trying to make even more money... and got the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) to rule it not allowed.

Huzzah for Australia, but man... eBay can't be going too well if they're going to keep trying this crap.

They're going to discover people aren't quite as loyal as they may have thought.

As a sometime seller (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111941)

As a sometime seller,this isn't significant.

In about 1,200 sales, I've had exactly one bad check, and that was about six years ago.

I've had 99+ buyers paying by PayPal for the last four years or so, with no push from me.

So this change is not going to change things for most buyers or sellers. It does simplifiy things a bit.

Re:As a sometime seller (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112217)

The buyers you get are the ones that don't mind what EBAY is doing. But you are getting fewer buyers (e.g. fewer bids) than you might have, otherwise. I can assure you I have not bid on any of your items because I don't use EBAY anymore. As this drives away even more people from EBAY, you'll be getting fewer bids and selling at a lower price in many cases.

the first 50 or so items on my feedback list (1)

screamphilling (1173499) | more than 5 years ago | (#25111971)

I started ebaying at about the age of 14. the first 50 or so items that I purchased were done via postal money order. Prepaid credit cards are easily obtainable these days but they weren't back then. I'd get my dad to let me use his credit card sometimes, but it was alot easier to buy a money order.

I'm sure it wasn't too much revenue for ebay, but there are plenty of other 15 year olds out there and banking impaired people.... unless ebay is purposely trying to remove this demographic from their business as some sort of precaution or something.

Alternatives to eBay? (2)

sdhoigt (1095451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112021)

Can anyone recommend any other online auction houses (I.e., one that you've actually used it to but/sell an item)?

Thanks,
SD

Paypal fees are a joke (1)

kamikaze2112 (792393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112077)

They aren't trying to make it safer for anyone, they are trying to line their pockets with even more money. The sad truth is that eBay makes it a pain to pay any other way. It wouldn't be so bad if their fees were more in line with what a B&M store has for say, a debit/cc terminal. The last time I received money from an eBay transaction I got dinged for 2 or 3 bucks, which is on top of the auction fees. All said and done, I was out close to $6 in fees, which isn't a lot of money I suppose, but it's quite a lot when you look at credit card and debit transactions from a real terminal. Considering the sheer number of transactions they must make, I'm sure they get better pricing on the transactions themselves than the mom and pop dollar store in the plaza across the street, and yet I doubt it costs them $6 to sell ~$100 worth of merchandise in a single transaction.

Check? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25112089)

I wish you Americans would learn to use the word "Cheque". Yes, I know any word with a "q" in it must frighten the bejaysus out of you, but "check" already exists as a different word with a completely different purpose, one it serves well. And while you're at it, it's a QUEUE, not a "Q".

The tipping point? (4, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112097)

Right now, eBay is the auction place. Sellers want to sell on eBay because that's where all the buyers are. Buyers want to buy on eBay because that's where all the sellers are.

At some point, both buyers and sellers could get sufficiently upset with eBay as to take their business elsewhere. Are we there yet?

And if we are, what is the most likely competitor?

http://online-auction-sites.toptenreviews.com/ [toptenreviews.com]

One more thought: if the current situation is close to the tipping point, then all it would take is one single disturbance to cause a mass exodus from eBay to the new site. For example, if Google were to buy one of eBay's top competitors, and publicly announce Google Auctions, and announce that they would charge less in fees and allow checks and postal money orders... eBay could lose everything in the blink of an eye.

Remember how fast Xfree86 was dumped in favor of X.org? Dissatisfaction with the Xfree86 project was already high, and then they announced one more petty annoying license change, and *boom*, they were done. I wonder if this could happen with eBay.

http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3338031 [internetnews.com]

steveha

How is this even legal? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112131)

How can a business stipulate that you cant use accepted legal forms of payment?

They get the fee from the listing, AND the pay-pal service fee. Double dipping and restrictive business practices from a virtual monopoly.

There really are a lot of check scams (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112213)

To be fair, there are a ton of scams involving money orders and checks.

It's not just some buyer getting scammed by sending a money order and never receiving merchandise. It's also sellers getting scammed by accepting fake money orders and are then liable for cashing it. Often, they even pay the scammer, because the money order is too large of an amount and the gullible seller refunds the difference.

Well, ebay just lost me as a customer (1)

G00F (241765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25112225)

I would only buy using checks or direct credit card and stayed the hell away from paypal after they froze a close friends account that had 10k for some BS reasons about someone buying from him might have committed fraud, yea so 6 months later he finally got it back, but had to get another job and nearly lost his house.

And ebay and pay pall have no need to know of my bank accounts yet it is now a requirement.(stopped selling when they demanded it back in 99/2000 I think)

Ebay is taken over by big businesses so it is much harder to find used older stuff at expected prices.

Thats alright, I recently looked at ebay for something for ~$250-$400 range then found a local one for $100 on craigslist.

So long ebay!

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