eBay to hold payments for tickets until delivered

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eBay UK’s head of Trust and Safety, Richard Ambrose, said on Radio 4 yesterday that eBay is to hold payments for tickets “until buyers have what they paid for”. The statement was part of a You and Yours feature on eBay ticket sales from a seller they identified as “M T Promotions”. A number of buyers told the BBC that they had bought tickets for high-profile concerts, but received nothing: You and Yours calculate that around £½ million was paid to this seller – who has now had their eBay and PayPal accounts suspended. eBay told The Sun that buyers would be reimbursed, and that the police had been called in to investigate.

We’ve asked eBay for more details on the new policy: they told us that “this is a big task and something that will take a while to refine the details of and then subsequently launch.” As soon as we have any further details, we’ll pass them on.

The R4 program is currently available on listen again.

20 Responses

  1. This proposed payment hold will need to be way different than the existing Paypal upto 21 day hold !

    Why, because there are many examples of where sellers affected have ‘cajoled’ buyers into leaving +ve feedback before the goods are shipped, many examples of sellers stating they aint shipping till they get paid etc etc – meanwhile as far as the buyer is concerned they have paid, but have no goods.

    In effect to “hold payments for tickets until buyers have what they paid for”. is exactly what an escrow service does – and there already exists a UK based escrow service that handles event tickets, and has done for years, I wonder why eBay don’t simply recomend that service to buyers?

  2. Given the number of threads on various message boards about tickets not being received, and the sums involved I can see that something has to be done to protect the buyers, and the reputation of eBay as a whole.

    Maybe they should only permit tickets to be sold with so many days of the event, therefore still covered under the 45 day dispute period?

    Given the amount of press around overpriced tickets as well, maybe it’s about time that ebay looked at restricting the BIN facility in this category – auctions only, and let people decide how much they are willing to pay; simple market force economics (bar the shill bidding potential) but it’s yet more nanny-intereference affecting the many, that has been caused by the actions of a few.

  3. If a another seller cons buyers out of £500,000 selling non existent DVD’S,xBox,Wii etc will they apply the same holds….

    IMHO its a very big move to take because of the action of one seller,,,,where will it stop?

  4. Unfortunately all this mess is created by one person, I can’t say who it is here as he’d sue tamebay, but everyone knows who is behind the 3 ebay id’s.

    ebay were made well aware of the situation many many months ago but took no action.

    I think if ebay had specific account managers for the ticket section then they would of known much sooner that this fraud was taking place.

    I don’t think this will kill off sales on ebay as there are now so many buyers.
    What I do see is ebay buying one of the 3 major exchange sites over the next year, most likely Seatwave or Getmein and I would expect they would use staff from these to help manage the ticket section on ebay.

    If ebay said that tickets could only be sold when in hand then ebay would lose a lot of buyers, these buyers would just buy from sites like Seatwave or Getmein.

  5. Ebay already owns one of the biggest ticket sites, Stubhub.

    perhaps they should have borrowed a few bodies to sort this mess out months ago.

    Still it gave good ole Rich another radio appearance, man is on more often than Terry Wogan!!

  6. I don’t get it. eBay already has 100% buyer protections through PayPal in place. All seller holds do is protect PayPal from these sellers. And it sounds like if they were aware of this for months before taking any action so it is their own fault for allowing it to happen.

    This really isn’t much different than how it is already. PayPal can take “their” money back within 45 days so you basically just have a short term loan of their money until they finally decide it’s yours.

  7. Sue
    Issues do happen on the exchange sites like StubHub and the UK exchange sites but they have a backend infrastructure to make sure that buyers get the tickets if there is a problem with a seller. They go out and buy tickets to fulfil orders and then charge the seller.
    They also hold the funds back until after the event for small sellers and for large sellers they get paid upon delivery if the seller has a proven track record.

    The problems that arise on ebay are not with the small sellers selling a few tickets, instead it’s with the large sellers who get too big and just start speculating on the site.
    The issues with M_t_Promotions and ticket_daddy should of been picked up a long time ago.
    The selling patterns changed considerably with these sellers or seller.
    The fact that the ebay id ticket daddy had been bought back in January should also of been picked up many months ago.

    As I have said if ebay had specific category managers for this section then all of this would of been picked up. I can’t understand why ebay haven’t employed anyone from the secondary ticket market to oversee this section as it is very different to any other section on ebay.

  8. @ # 10

    On .com you aren’t allowed to sell anything you can’t guarantee shipment of within the next 30 days. I’m sure that’s only because it is required by law in the US but that is a good rule that should be universal especially when you have a PayPal limit of 45 days.

  9. Its not too difficult for eBay to introduce something like this :

    When creating a listing for event tickets – you have to input the date of the event, IF that date is greater than 45 days from the day you are attempting to create the listing on – eBay say NO

  10. But it is much more cost effective for PayPal to just hold onto that money for 45+ days. If it was legitimate, free interest. If it was a scam, free interest.

  11. Whilst I believe ebay is great to sell and buy any kind of stuff I fear though that is not the best place for tickets. Having used ebay for years it has never occurred to me to buy a ticket through because of the singularities of a ticket vs any other type of goods. For such I prefer places like Viagogo or Seatwave

  12. @7. I doubt that Ticketmaster would sell Getmein. they probably make more out of owning one of the biggest touting sites on the web than they do selling at face value plus booking fee on their main site.

  13. #19 I’m not sure but I think there is some eBay policy that restricts the sale of human heads…I could be wrong though


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