PayPal isn't compulsory on eBay UK (if you're a big enough seller)

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PayPal Candy Bar
Creative Commons License photo credit: Anh Thai

eBay UK sellers must accept PayPal. It’s the rule. It’s been the rule since 3rd June. And it’s to increase buyer protection and confidence, so that’s alright. Right?

Not quite. Not if you’re one of the really big sellers, whom eBay will keep happy even if it means ploughing up that famous level playing field.

Questioned on the PowerSeller Board about Dell’s lack of a PayPal offering, pink :

When we made the Paypal change, our seller support teams contacted our largest accounts to discuss this. A very small number of sellers, including Dell, who use a different checkout process were unable to adapt their technologies in time. So we created a new policy such that if a platinum powerseller met certain conditions, we would work with them to migrate their systems. Those conditions include that the seller must offer their own payment protection policies such that buyers have access to the same cover as Paypal would provide and that they migrate quickly. It is that, and not the country, that allows Dell to list without Paypal for a short period of time.

Smaller sellers who want to use their own merchant accounts to process card payments rather than PayPal will be extremely unimpressed with this. As several people have commented on the original thread, not accepting PayPal seems more like to be about “wouldn’t” than “couldn’t” adapt technology. Plenty of other sellers were, after all, expected to change their technologies to ensure that their buyers had PayPal’s protection, and eBay announced the change in March: four months should be long enough for Dell to change a computer system, shouldn’t it?

What’s more, buyers learn that “all eBay UK listings now offer PayPal”. How is it improving the buyer experience if a few of the very largest sellers and the most well-known names are allowed to flout the rule?

Thanks to Whirly for the heads-up.

52 Responses

  1. Every time they do something as blatantly protectionist as this, it makes a mockery of all the times I say “they really aren’t trying to pull one over on us.. there is no conspiracy, honestly….


  2. The trouble is Lynne so many people now rely on eBay to provide a major part or all of there income, eBay are massive employers/venue/brokers…eBay know this and it is one reason why we are treated like servants. Last to know but first in line to take the BS.

    If eBay UK announced today that it was Paypal only on UK as from tommorrow how many sellers could afford to just walk away.? not many I bet.

  3. So big clients get special perks. How is that different to every other industry in the world?

  4. Sounds about right for ebay, maybe I should of made it to a platinum seller then I might of been alright, lol

    I know its big business, but ebay should be sticking to the one rule for everybody if they want to run a fair marketplace.

    Seems a bit like they are moving towards bigger companies selling on there, it would make their lives easier if they got rid of all these ‘community’ people wouldn’t it!!


  5. #6 If it was confirmed a month ago don’t you think one of the worlds biggest computer companies would have the knowledge and the staff to add paypal as an option for payment lmao

  6. #8

    Of course, I’m just saying it is old news. I’m just suprised at anyone being suprised about this. There is nothing fair or reasonable about ebay anymore, I expect nothing and therefore I’m not disappointed.

    I used to resell Dell computers when they used to do their silly deals every Thursday morning and made a lot of money out of it, but one thing I learnt was, there are as many scammers in the laptop market as there are in mobile phones. If I were Dell, I wouldn’t want to be accepting paypal either, I don’t blame them.

  7. A policy that was announced in April and still has exceptions for certain sellers is news. That’s a third of a year – how time is required for someone to change their back end systems to cater for PayPal? 4mths? 6mths? 1yr? 2yrs?

    I kind of understand that it takes time for a massive organisation to update their systems to allow for a totally new process – the question is how much time is reasonable and how long will eBay allow?

  8. Exactly Chris.

    Lets look at the facts..

    They only have 83 live listings FFS

    Bulk edit>Payment Options>Add Paypal… would take about 5 Minutes.

    97.9% Feedback Score – Below Powerseller Criteria.

    4.3 DSR for postage.

    eBay you really need to employ a PR Guru, quite honestly the way you treat your customers is embarrasing.

  9. #12

    They don’t need a PR spokesman, they have a monopoly, it is an
    unnecessary expense.

    I’m even more shocked that you guys think that ebay is a level playing field or are suprised by ebay/paypal doing this.

  10. #13

    I don’t think eBay is a level playing field, I have been reporting a shill bidding account for a top 10 Worldwide seller for 3 months, eBay couldn’t ignore me more if they tried.

    I rather think they do need someone to dish out 1st class corporate BS, share price has been dropping all year, the market is loosing confidence.

    Do you sell on eBay?

  11. I wouldn’t say it’s as easy as a five minute edit of listings – but I’m surprised they’ve not managed to add PayPal to their back end systems in four months

  12. #14

    Yes, I’ve been a part time seller for the last four years but since this year the majority of my income comes from selling on ebay.

    But I’m making sure that is being diluted to other outlets as soon as possible.

  13. I wonder if accepting paypal is even on Dell’s agenda. I would think that Dell is more use to being the organ grinder than the monkey.

  14. #15 – It can take normal sellers four months to get a Paypal account set up and confirmed, dell would have lot of problems:

    1) which bank account to use, could their bank accounts even do direct debits?
    2) which phone number to use to receive the authorisation call.
    3) who’s credit card to use?

    Plus who has the authoristion to use any of the above, could easily be months of board meetings.

    (Based on what paypal would ask for currently to set up and verify an account, not the various legacy requirements).

  15. The biggest problem I can see with Dell opening a PayPal account is that there still aren’t proper “Business” accounts, every account is a personal account and if that person leaves the name on the account can’t be changed.

    It’s about time “Business” accounts could be opened in the name of the “Business”.

    However that aside I’d guess it’s more the integration of payments into their back end systems that are more problematic.

  16. #17

    Spot on.

    Dell are pulling ebay’s plonker, and stringing them along.

    They’re a good manufacturing company that produces good products at a good price and markets them very well.

    They know exactly what will happen to them if they accept paypal and they’re not willing to start giving away laptops just because ebay says that paypal is safe.

    I’m going to stick my neck out and make a prediction, Dell aren’t going to list paypal unless the security of taking it as a seller improves dramatically. They’re standing back and waiting to see what other things happen such as the ACCC ruling. I’d say Dell would drop selling on ebay before excepting paypal in its current form.

  17. Quite frankly considering the number of Dell Outlets there are for less than perfect stock I’m surprised Dell need to sell on eBay at all. I think this is a case of eBay needs Dell more than Dell needs ebay.




    OK, tell me if this is all, just a coincidence.

    The 2 girls, on these 2 message board threads:


    Received fake/knock off items, bought from Ebay. Both were told to send the items to the following address, where they would be ”destroyed”.

    Paypal Returns
    12750 Perimeter Drive Suite 154
    Dallas TX 75228

    One girl asked, since it was being destroyed, could they write ”FAKE” all over it, just so that it was never resold. They were told ”NO”, that it MUST be in the same condition, as it came.

    One of the girls happened to look up the address and realized that it belonged to a company named, Liquidity Services Inc.
    Liquidity Services inc., is a business surplus reseller. Is ebay giving these buyers a refund, from the sellers account and then taking over ownership of the item and reselling it, for profit, when it is supposed to be destroyed? The website that this company resells from is called

    This is an email, that one girl got from Paypal, when she filed her claim:


    A refund on this transaction will be awarded to you once the item, in its original condition, is shipped to the following address:

    PayPal Returns

    12750 Perimeter Dr Suite 154

    Dallas, TX 75228

    Attn: Buyer Protection Claims – #PP-************

    Make sure to include your case number in the address above.

    NOW I’M IN THAT PURSE BLOG AND THIS IS WHAT I POSTED (A question about her email):

    Dragonlady, where it says

    “Attn: Buyer Protection Claims – #PP-************”

    How many numbers, is that PP#? (this will be brought up, farther down)

    I was doing a little investigting last night. I went to and was just looking around. I did a blank search and chose the Dallas, TX location, since this is where Paypal is telling people to ship. I also chose ”returns”, for the item condition, to only bring up the returned items.

    I noticed several sellers, that sell a LOT of stuff there, so….

    On a whim, I decided to see if any of those names, matched up with ebay ID’s and this is what I found. Seller (Onlinereturns), There just happens to be an ebay seller named ”Onlinereturns”. Lets check their feedback, on

    Ok, that must just be a coincidence, this guy is selling FAKE stuff and is now naru’d (Not a registered user).

    NEXT: Seller (Techexcess) Wow, there is an ebay member, with the same name, as well. Let’s check their feedback: Hmmm,

    Must be another coincidence, that this person is selling all kinds of used/broken junk! (Ebay returns?) Seller (ReturnsManager) Out of a feedback score of 18, 10 of them were negs/neuts and they are now naru’d, from ripping people off:

    Are all these, just coincidental? Surely they wouldn’t use the same name on ebay, would they?

    I then typed in Vuitton on the resellers website and chose Dallas as well and came up with this:

    If you click on the 4th title down, it takes you here:

    Click on the ”view manifest” link, next to ”quantity in lot”.

    you will get this:

    Notice to the fair right, under notes…what are these numbers? That per chance could not be the ”PayPal case #” that they were TOLD to include, would it? No way, couldn’t be. They would not be that stupid, would they?

    You can also look at each pic in the auction, by scrolling down and clicking ”view all photos”. I was looking at the pics and noticed a pen that is made by Mont Blanc. Just a little strange, because I remember seeing that name, somewhere…

    OOOOhhhh, it was here, the last negative by the seller ”OnlineReturns”, before he got naru’d…ok, please don’t tell me that this pen, is the same pen and is just circling around and around.:

    I then found an article, where it says this:

    ”Because of its reliability with online resellers, Liquidity Services is ranked as Paypal’s #1 bulk source for inventory”‘

    You’ve got to be kidding me, right? Paypal promotes and sends sellers to Liquidity Services to buy in bulk/lots. The buyers of that junk/fakes, list on ebay. Those sellers are now selling fakes and junk and may not realize it. Paypal refunds the buyer, who purchased the fakes, out of the sellers account. Ebay keeps the sellers listing fees and the final value fees, which is a good amount on the high priced fake designer items. They then have the buyers ship the junk/fakes, BACK to Liquidity Services and then they RESELL it, again in lots, to the next sucker. He then in turn lists it on ebay, who takes the fees AGAIN and the circle just continues.

    This is their actual meaning of ”returns’ on the website: “Returns were sold to a customer, who then either physically brought the item back to a store or mailed it to a specified location. Reasons for returning a product may not have any correlation to its usefulness.”

    Heck, this sellers actual name is ”returnresale” and ALL his items are from DALLAS, TX.

    Funny how they have a bunch of stuff and then throw in a pair of LV boots, guarantee they are fake!>

    Another one, where they just throw in a LV product, with other junk:>

    This one in barely advertised, just thrown in like the seller has no clue, what it is, making the buyer think they have a steal:>

    This seller was found, after I typed all of the above. I did a search for Vuitton and left the location open. A different seller I noticed came up (Designersforless). Once again, just on a whim, I tried ebay, to see if that name had a match. Funny, there is a member named desingersforless on ebay. They last sold something on May 22, 2008, but before that, no sales back til November. Probably because their feedback was starting to look bad, from all the negs. So, 3 days AFTER the new policies came into affect, they must have noticed that their feedback jumped back up, from the new 12 month rule, where all your past history is wiped clean by ebay. Oh, great she says, let me start scamming again. This is the feedback, from what they listed:

    Item purchased was not an authentic RL Polo,bad quality.Seller refuses to refund.
    Reply by designersforless (May-23-08 13:21):
    Buyer unable to provide proof that shirt is not authenitic.

    This seller, has stuff up for sale now…are they all fake? This is a seller to watch and keep and eye on the feedback, to see if there are any more reported ”fakes”. If they sell fake stuff somewhere, they are more than likely going to do it again, somewhere else ( This is what they have sold on and all are ”AS IS”, which means you are STUCK with it:

    Are all these FAKE returns, from ebay? Has anyone been asked to ship items, to a California address, where this person sells from? Found out later that YES, people have sent to CA, another location of Liquitity Services Inc.

    You can see by the following links, that loads of people are getting ripped of by this company (LSI), because all their lots are, AS IS. I guess they decided that ebay, wasn’t working too good and people were noticing the fakes and getting refunds, so they start listing on and then no one can get refunds, because they are ”AS IS”: &q6=&q3=&q2=&q7=&searchtype=0&submit2=Search%21&q5=liquidity+services

    We have now found sellers, who sold authentic items only to be told by the buyer, that it was fake. This one sellers states that the buyer, was an ebay employee????

    We really need to get someone to send something back and have it marked, to see if it comes back on ebay or if it’s listed on, for resale after it was supposed to be destroyed.


  19. #10 Very interesting post. I guess the proof of the pudding will be what has happened by the end of August…

    I’ll be watching with interest.

    As for Dell it’s just another demonstration of what ebay has become. How low must the Dell buyer satisfaction rating be? And they haven’t been suspended? I wonder why that is?

  20. This is a temporary exemption, granted to three sellers to allow them time to integrate PP payments. You can interpret it as ‘one rule for them…’ if you like, but if we want retailers to sell on our site (and we do) then we have to be pragmatic from time to time and recognise that changes like this can take longer for them than for other sellers.


  21. i see dell are excempt or unable to comply with the returns policy either.
    i had to close 300 odd listings as ebay could not fathom a simple way to change from 7 to 14, this of course cost time and money.

    dell it appears need not bother.

  22. ebay can grant dell the world cup for all I care
    as long as ebay makes me money and does not suspend or restrict me because some dozy bugger has had a bad day

  23. business is business
    if I were dell ,I would be squeezing ebay for any perk I could get
    and if I were ebay I would be dangling carrots to get dells business too, trouble is they only dangle rotten spuds at me

  24. “You can interpret it as ‘one rule for them…’ if you like”

    Good – because that’s literally what it is. Thank you for your permission though :-p

  25. hmmm

    Richard I thought that ebay could not deal with sellers on a “case by case basis on a market place this size” but of course if your huge that doesn’t matter!

    And as #31 so rightly said it is one rule for them!


  26. whats the big deal its just the way of things, its how things work
    I give good customers a deal ,and I get good deals and better treatment from those I buy well from

  27. I think the point is Norf eBay will bend over backwards for brand names no matter how carp there customer service is…. and lets face it the Dell account is not that big,,

    Coupled with a pink stating “A very small number of sellers, including Dell, who use a different checkout process were unable to adapt their technologies in time” they have 80 odd listings ffs, not exactly hard work to ammend them is it?

    If Dell want to sell on eBay why can’t they play by the rules that all the other sellers who have helped to put eBay were it is today ?

  28. North, the point AFAIC is that eBay have consistently made this issue about buyer protection. “Only PayPal offers buyers complete protection shopping online” yada yada.

    Now, they’re saying that the needs of big brands listing on eBay take precedence over that buyer safety. (even if those big brands aren’t actually listing all that much on eBay)

    Which really makes the whole scheme look like it was only ever about pure and immediate profit, rather than improving the market place over the longer term, doesn’t it…

  29. agreed
    ebay do look as if they are shifting goalposts to suit any argument they fancy

  30. Exactly, North. If at the beginning of this PayPal-only/compulsory PayPal project, they’d said “it’s our site and if we want to screw a bit more profit out of you, we can”, I’d have every respect for that approach. But you can’t dress it up as buyer protection one minute, and forget about that when Michael Dell says he doesn’t have a PayPal account…

  31. Sue, I can see this view, but it genuinely isn’t like that. Moving to requiring PP on all listings has meant that around 500,000 listings now offer buyers the choice of protection when they didn’t before. Three retail sellers who just can’t accept PP quickly enough to comply have been granted an exemption, of finite duration, to allow them to do so. They’ve significantly reduced their listing volumes during this period, and the impact – and exposure to buyers – is absolutely minute compared to the wider protection offered by the change.


  32. 39# Richard, what happens to Dell’s account if they overstep this “finite” timescale for adding paypal to their listings? Will they be treated the same as the rest of the plebs? Or just given warnings and extensions?
    So many people will be watching how this pans out, I am hoping that ebay will handle it correctly and not add any more fuel to the fire of one rule for us, another for THEM.

  33. #39
    See reply from #40

    If they’ve had 3 years experience running it in the States and you must have given them advance notice in the UK, how come they’re having such problems.

    I mean, I assume as one of your big Titanium customers, you touched based with them some time before you announced to all and sundry?

    So, what, they’ve had at least six months notice in the UK? I’m just struggling a bit with the thought that a computer manufacturer the size of Dell that deals with hardware and software all day long has an IT department that is finding it tough to implement a payment process.

    Cow excrement comes to mind.

    Someone remind me, can you do chargebacks willy nilly for non ebay purchases like you can for ebay items?

  34. Re: Returns policy: Am I right in thnking that there is still the 7 day option on the returns drop down box on the SYI form? And that the mass edit tool for SMP templates has never worked properly?

  35. #45 There is a 7 day option, just looked. Why? no idea. It would appear on the surface a simple job for an eBay programmer to remove “7 “….. maybe the programmer is the same one who works for Dell which would explain why they can’t add paypal on UK but they can on .com ?

    At the end of the day eBay does what eBay does, traffic is going through roof and they are providing me with exactly what I expect.

    I have no time for all the corporate BS, and I admit it gets me cross sometimes but at the end of the day eBay is very valuable to me and I hope it carries on being successful and grows bigger and stronger.

  36. Who cares? Dell are a sensible company and have always had good buying experiences with them. Ebay/paypal are a bunch of hypocritesI ebay as any commercial entiy will do will emphasie one aspect of a policy change to one audience and another to a different interest.

    Ebay shareholders: ‘We have now virtually monpolised the payment system and increased per-transaction revenue, despite a minor hiccup in Australia’

    Buyers: ‘Increased buyer protection’

    Sellers: ‘Confirmed addresses are a thing of the past – enhanced seller protection!’

    The so called ‘buyer protection’ is an absolute nightmare for sellers and seems to continue to be a magnet for fradulent buyers who use and abuse the system at will.

    There is also the additional issue of fees paid per transaction and why should Dell’s and our customers have to ultimately foot the bill for a system that is costly to use and seems to encourcage fradulent buyers who would not get a look in in on more secure payment systems like amazon operate.

    It really is time that ebay actually used some of the paypal comissions to prevent fraud. It saddems me that 99% of fraudulent transactions have been identified as a result of our checking systems whilst we are paying paypal to perform a service that seems little more than a money transfer system.

  37. All I can say is just be careful. Recently I worded a listing with what Ebay says was Curcumventing fees. I cant see what I did wrong, Ebay wont discuss this matter with me or send me the listing back for me to check telling me I should have kept a copy of it.For heavens Sake this is Ebay not rocket science.First they tell me I cant put my Phone number or Email address on the listing then a couple of days later I get another email telling me I can. It seems they make up the rules as they go along to suit themselves.Go on take a random look at any listing on Ebay and you could say that at least 50% breach their rules. So what do they do,take your liting off and keep the money you have paid for it. Email everyone who has maybe bought something from you making them think that they have been ripped off by you.You email them because thats the only way of contact and they come back with a bucket load of crap about the word you wrote was wrong.
    If you happen to have sold a large amount that month any discount of the fees is then taken from you.Whatever you do Dont leave any money in your Paypal account transfer it straight into your Bank the same day because for a bank Paypal have the poorest security of all.
    All this seems to stink but there is nothing you can do. Ebay and Paypal are more powerful than some Governments and its time that they admitted that people can make mistakes sometimes (60 million Euros Ebay) and not to use the Big stick aproach but a kind reminder.
    I regard myself as a very Honest person and it hurts when Ebay treat you this way.

  38. I don’t think that Paypal is the safest way for buyers to pay anyway. Anyone who pays by credit card usually has all the protection they need. There is no reason at all (except ebay/Paypal’s profit) why people who can accept credit card payments should have to accept Paypal. And I’m saying this as someone who can’t accept credit card payments so I have no agenda here.

  39. There is an advantage in paying via PayPal – Although credit cards protect you can pay by credit card and you still have PayPal protection on top. Often a credit card won’t cover SNAD as readily as INR, and in either case PayPal will cover a payment as little as a penny whereas many credit cards don’t fully cover transactions under a set limit (used to be £100, not sure what it is these days)

  40. What do you need to make a SNAD (significantly not as described) claim now days? In the past PayPal could be a bit tricky e.g. Asking for third party colabiration. Surely SNAD should be an isue for trading standards anyway.


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