Angry eBay sellers compared to drug dealers

No primary category set

eBay Australia held the first of their roadshows yesterday regarding the Paypal only changes coming in June. By all accounts it was a pretty rowdy meeting with sellers booing the eBay directors.

Prior to the meeting a select group of 12 sellers were invited to a private Q&A. These appear to have been chosen for their willingness to listen and discuss the changes with the sellers voicing their concerns by taking on board the reasons for the PayPal only decision.

The main session appears not to have gone quite so sedately, with a moderator from a local radio station dubbed the “Referee” by the crowd.

“You can boo and hiss all you like, I can just tell you the simple facts”, was the exasperated response by Alastair MacGibbon, eBay Australia’s Trust & Safety Director. His later riposte “We’re not allowing people to offer unsafe choices, just like in this democracy you can’t go out and buy heroin on the streets”, may not have been the wisest analogy to use. Later Simon Simith, Senior Vice President of eBay, emphasised “The problem is not the people in this room – the problem is the thousands of people not in this room”

Enforcing PayPal only is not going to be a smooth ride for eBay Australia, with sellers leaving for rival Oztion and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) still to rule if it’s even legal, there’s a long way to go before the furore dies down.

15 Responses

  1. until a day or so ago
    I was paypals biggest fan and could not understand what the uproar was over,
    though after paypal have just froze an account we use with £650 sitting in it
    without warning & put a ridiculous condition on it being un froze, despite us uploading our inside leg measurement etc,
    we have totally changed our stance
    we have had a number of paypal acounts for years 100s of thousands of pounds in transactions without trouble and we know the ropes

    yet this one other account we set up has destroyed our faith in paypal
    £650 froze is a drop in the ocean to us,
    though it could make the difference to some between surviving or going bust.

  2. oh and the ridiculous condition is .we have a chalet for rent in the grounds of our property,
    we have to prove ownership of this chalet before the account we use for taking the rental payment is un froze,

  3. You what??? You have to prove you own the chalet????? 😯

    And what if you were processing rental income for other people that owned chalets?

  4. too right chris
    is ludicrous
    we have paypal accounts at the same address with the same details that take thousands a day
    yet this account has to jump thru a ridiculous hoop because of some idiotic technicality

    at the moment you can sort of work round or work with paypals draconian dictatorship

    paypal only really frightens me now

  5. I hope they don’t link your accounts North 😥

    We’ve had 4K tied up in a frozen account since Feb.

  6. I submitted a 7 page objection to the ACCC. It can be read here:

    Ebay had to know there would be a lot of badwill in this proposal, but instead of it dying down, or them handling it with kid gloves, they have only inflamed Australian ire over what should be a “transition” period. People I have spoken to who didn’t like it but considered it a fait accompli have only been angered by Ebay’s attitudes and treatment since the announcement. So far, the ire is not dying down with time, some very long term sellers are leaving Ebay, others are considering their futures although they feel that Ebay has been very lucrative for them until this point (at this stage I will only be leaving the Australian site unless the ACCC intervenes, and will not list on any site with a PayPal only policy if/as this gets extended).

    American Ebay and PayPal staff have been selling the “improvements” to the Australian seller protection as a great thing, and Australia has been selling the safety and protection angles, but by section 4.2.4. of the user agreement a seller loses their rights for multiple shipping – which has been a staple of my business for the last ten years. PayPal must be offered as a payment option for pick-up-only items, but it voids seller protection and if a claim is made that the item was not received PayPal will automatically reverse the payment to the buyer as “proof of shipping” does not apply to pick up only items. The Australian pinks have been ignoring queries about these issues in the workshops for these changes, I managed to get acknowledgement from Colin Rule on Ebayinkblog that these were problems, but nothing further has been done to ammend the user agreement or address these issues, so far. While section 4.2.4 also applies to the British and European PayPal User Agreements (but not North America), Ebay Australia added the “Misleading and Discouraging Payment policy” last October to stop Australian users from discriminating against PayPal – thus a seller can not return or discourage a PayPal payment for a pick-up-only item within Ebay’s rules.

    The PayPal user agreement is a seriously flawed legal document, that is being forced onto every Ebayer that continues to use the Australian site in the name of safety and protection. Australia’s PayPal site has had numerous technical problems over the last few weeks, including users of one of Australia’s largest ISP’s being unable to connect with PayPal, and PayPal withdrawing money from bank accounts when they were only authorised to transfer money from the user’s PayPal account. Why these aspects were not fixed before trying to sell this as a secure and safe service makes little sense – doing it professionally and easing the first stage (PayPal must be one of the payment options on all listings) of the change into position before even announcing the second stage (PayPal is the only payment option allowed) would probably have made the transition less fiery. Instead, I believe that they have seriously injured Ebay’s reputation in the antipodes, and even if the policy is reversed I don’t know how much business Ebay will have lost.

    Sorry for rambling, Kevin

  7. Hey Kevin the old PayPal on local pick up is just as much as a problem in the UK as in Aus – no protection for the seller at all and although we don’t have PayPal only, we have to offer it on all listings on

    It’s something I think sellers are going to have to work with though, I can see the PayPal only spreading around the world once it’s up and running in Australia. Just a matter of time IMO, like it or not it’s going to happen

  8. Yes, Chris,
    The UK has step one of the two steps, and I think that if they pull this off in Australia, the UK will have “PayPal only” VERY quickly. I don’t know how long it will take to do this to the American site though. Once they do, I will go back into doing live auctions, as I have no interest in selling online other than auction format, and I can not see anywhere else being viable for an eclectic international seller.

    How can PayPal leave pick-up-only sellers THAT vulnerable and claim that it is being done for their protection and benefit? The real options are either fix the user agreement (doubtful), ban pick-up-only (may happen as this means that PayPal get the commission on EVERY sale) or remove the PayPal requirement for pick-up-only (very unlikely).

    I don’t sell pick-up-only, but the issues involved bother me very much.

    Kind Regards, Kevin

  9. If they go Paypal only in the UK I hope they change the policies that relate to large items that can’t be delivered using a online trackable method, such as pallets!!

    Had a item not received late last year….Paypal’s answer.
    “Hi XXX I have the POD for the disputed delivery, can I fax it to you?”
    “No, you need to enter the online tracking details Sir”
    “It was delivered on a Pallet, we can’t post baths”
    “Well Sir, you could try faxing it to our investigations team for review”
    “Review? it’s a signed POD”
    “Well Sir, I can’t say yes or no that they will accept it, you need to send items by a service that offers online tracking and one that we list, I can direct you to our help pages…etc etc, Sir? Sir?”


    Although we haven’t used Paypal for many months now, in the past we used to send a paper invoice by recorded delivery once delivery had been made.

    I hope the Australian sellers kick up enough fuss and eBay backtrack, Paypal only for us would be another kick in the walnuts.

  10. I hope the aussies kick up a stink they cant hide too because the more I think about it the more its wrong,

    if paypal is so good for everyone why the need to enforce the regulation ,sellers and buyers would use
    it by natural choice and there would be no need for enforcement

  11. whirly

    4k tied up in paypal is simply obnoxious and revolting
    they should be able to be held libel

    its a very very very worrying paypal having the monopoly on ebay payment options

  12. North, for our own sanity we had to just walk away and leave them to it, it’s like water torture by email.

    I would be very very worried if it was Paypal only on UK.

  13. as of today paypal have seen sanity and removed the ridiculous condition the account is now active again,

    if only some one at paypal had thought first,it would have saved us a lot of trouble

  14. They have trouble thinking 🙁 That’s my biggest complaint with both eBay and PayPal. Their automated processes kick in where a simple phone call and some sanity could often resolve problems without causing sellers a lot of heartache.


PayPal USD Stablecoin launched pegged to US$

PayPal USD Stablecoin launched pegged to US$

German Customers switch on to PayPal

German Customers switch on to PayPal


PayPal Return Shipping on Us scrapped


PayPal Launches POS Solution for Small Businesses in the U.S.


Is Crypto on your radar? PayPal lowers rates

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars