One positive aspect of Bill Cobb’s Keynote speech yesterday are the payment requirements for new sellers. New seller accounts will be required to either offer Paypal or to accept direct credit card payments; other payment methods which eBay does not like, such as cheques and money orders, may be offered in addition.
Despite eBay spokesperson Catherine England’s assertion that eBay do not intend to make Paypal the sole acceptible payment method on eBay, this is one more step towards exactly that: new sellers tend to start by either selling their own unwanted possessions, or as very small businesses, and one of the beauties of Paypal is that, unlike merchant accounts, it’s cheap, quick and easy to set up. In practice, “Paypal or a merchant account” is going to mean *Paypal*.
This is great news. What better way to stop the brand new, (0) feedback scammer accounts than by forcing them to offer Paypal. Such a high percentage of buyers now prefer to use Paypal that this will, at a stroke, instantly protect hundreds of potential scammees. It might (and I know I’m being super-optimistic here) put the scammers off a little in the first place. It’s possibly the best move eBay have ever made to keep their buyers safe.
We have just one question. Why is this, the cherry on the sour cake of eBay’s changes, being kept just for north America?