Largely overlooked amongst last week’s changes on eBay UK was an announcement about PayPal rules on eBay.
All sellers with a feedback score lower than 100 will now have to offer PayPal on their listings. Certain categories designated “high risk” must offer PayPal, and others will be allowed to offer *only* PayPal as a payment method: both these are the same categories as announced last year, but see below for a full list.
Easy to miss is the throwaway line at the end of eBay’s list: “We’ll also send targeted emails to sellers who we will require to offer PayPal because their buyer satisfaction is particularly low.” eBay UK have yet to specify what sellers will have to do to be targetted under this policy.
And there’s more. In certain – again, as yet unspecified – circumstances, PayPal may hold onto the money altogether:
To ensure transactions are completed to the satisfaction of both buyer and seller, PayPal may make the decision to hold payments related to specific transactions on eBay. This will only occur on a very small percentage of transactions, where research predicts a bad experience is more likely to occur. These restrictions will come into force at the end of March, and full details will be made available in good time before this change.
- been on the site for six months or more,
- have a feedback score of more than 100 and
- a buyer dissatisfaction rate under 5%
will never have their payments held. We don’t yet know if similar criteria will apply to the UK.
This ought to feel reassuring: unreliable sellers must offer a method of payment which protects buyers, and sellers involved in transactions which look like they’ll go bad will not be able to take their money and run (though arguably that latter is more about protecting PayPal than the buyer). Moreover, sellers with an established track record should not – if the UK adopts the US guidelines – fall foul of this policy.
I just hope PayPal’s PR department are ready to deal with the upset from new sellers who don’t understand why their money’s being held for three weeks.
Categories where PayPal must be offered
- Health & Beauty
- Video Games
- Mobile & Home Phones
- Consumer Electronics
- Jewellery & Watches
Categories where PayPal must be the only payment method offered
- One-Day Auctions
- Video Games > Consoles
- Consumer Electronics > MP3 Players
- Computing > Software
- Wholesale or Job Lots > Mobile & Home Phones
- Business, Office & Industrial > Industrial Supply