Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ebay Forces Paypal Use In Australia

Back when internet commerce came out and Ebay was just a baby... one of the first companies to actually make a profit on the internet... I thought it was a great idea. It's really cool to be able to look up and find just about anything that you want to buy. It's great to be able to sell something to a wide audience.

It still is a great idea, but I'm not a big fan of Ebay the company any more.

I feel similarly about Paypal. It's a great idea, being able to take credit cards online easily... but I don't like Paypal at all. I think they're a bunch of crooks. They stole $300 from me several years ago and I've never gotten over it.

We were living in Italy, in Navy housing, when Paypal stole money from me. I don't remember the exact details, but I was trying to get money into my USC Federal Credit Union account so I could pay a bill. After completing the transaction, Paypal decided to steal money out of our account (without authorization) and then decided to freeze the Paypal account where the stolen money went to. The only way to unfreeze this account was to produce gads of paperwork, including driver's license, some other stuff, and a utility bill. Since we lived in Navy housing and the Navy paid all of our utilities (and we therefore had no utility bills), we could not meet their excessive demands, and Paypal still has our $300 to this day.

There are many more horror stories (some worse than ours) on

So eventually, Ebay purchased Paypal, and then Ebay decided to make the Paypal thieves their preferred method of payment. Oh... goody. There are alternative methods of making online payments, but some people are more reluctant to accept those.

Ebay was once a fine company, but it has gotten too big and thinks to highly of itself. It has raised fees for sellers. It has banned the sale of homeschool teacher's editions, for no apparent reason. They say that it is because it's impossible to prove that someone is buying a book to get the answers... but these same books can be purchased online by anyone with a credit card, so I don't buy that... I think they're just kowtowing to the textbook publishers who don't like it when people purchase used books in favor of new books.

Lately they've screwed up the Ebay feedback system. They've made it more difficult for buyers to get good feedback, and if you are a casual seller on Ebay who doesn't do much business there and hasn't built a high enough feedback, you are banned from using their special features like buy it now.

Ebay's recent move is not in this country. In Australia, they are making a rule so that all transactions have to be completed through Paypal. Great... Australia has an alternate method of payment through bank transfers, that is popular with Australians, but Ebay doesn't want to allow that any more. They want more money, and more control. Perhaps they want to freeze a few more accounts and steal more money that way?

Who knows how long it will be until Ebay wants to enforce that rule here?

Will we ever see a real Ebay alternative? People have tried, but nobody has reached the success of Ebay, as of yet. If Ebay remains too big for themselves and keeps on passing rules that anger buyers and sellers alike, perhaps that will give Ebay's competitors a little help.

1 comment:

Right said...

I HAD to post a comment. you are dead on with what you're saying about PayPal. they froze money in my account a number of times, and the gobs of paperwork is right... I sent a drivers license, utility bill, bank account statements, passport, and the folks STILL were like "we're not sure if this is you..." I swear, a pack of fools over there.

then there was the time where they basically froze my account so I couldn't take the money from what I sold and use it to pay for the shipping.... I had over $1,000.00 tied up in my PayPal account and angry customers because their products were late. as a result? negative feedback up the wazoo. translation? PayPal actually killed one of my eBay businesses last year.