eBay are introducing a Misleading and Discouraging Payments Policy which they’ll begin enforcing from mid October in Australia. This is an update of the PayPal Payments Policy which is effective on eBay.com, but which currently doesn’t exist on eBay.co.uk.
The new policy insists that you must accept all payment methods offered from all buyers with no restrictions. For instance you can no longer say you’ll only accept PayPal for purchases over Â£10.00, or that you’ll accept cheques but not from overseas customers. If you offer a payment method in your listing you have to accept it regardless of the location of the buyer.
This policy is not limited to details within the eBay listing, but includes communications between buyers and sellers.
Most of the examples (and the fact it’s an update of the PayPal Payments Policy) lead me to think this is simply aimed at sellers rejecting PayPal payments from certain buyers. However the implications are more serious. For International sellers you may be perfectly willing to accept cheques from UK buyers drawn on a UK bank account, but accepting cheques in US Dollars, Japanese Yen, Lebanese pounds or any other obscure currency from around the world is not only unrealistic, it’s also nigh on impossible to cash them!
If eBay are to introduce policies such as this in the UK they might as well go the whole way and insist on PayPal as the only acceptable form of payment. Accepting cheques as payment from various countries around the world is just not possible, but to comply with the new policy if you accept them for domestic transactions you have to accept them for International transactions.
Whilst the policy is only currently being introduced in Australia it’s likely to migrate to other eBay sites in the near future. To avoid upheaval when it happens it’s probably worth considering updating your listings to comply sooner rather than later as when it comes to the UK it’ll never be at a convenient time to edit all your listing templates.
I’d predict that it won’t be too far in the distant future that only PayPal is used on eBay. If it’s not because eBay insist upon it, it’ll be because any other form of payment has been made too awkward to accept.