eBay and PayPal appear to blame each other when things go wrong

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eBay PayPal SplitOn the eve of eBay announcing their results with PayPal’s to follow next week, it’s somewhat distressing to report the number of complaints we’re getting from buyers and sellers alike about the two companies not working in tandem.

Sales not being logged

Recently we heard that eBay sales were being paid for through PayPal but failing to appear on seller’s eBay accounts. PayPal appear to eschew all responsibility saying that it’s eBay’s problem. eBay tell us that it’s a glitch on PayPal’s side with them not sending the payment confirmation back.

PayPal told one eBay sellers “I assure you that once a payment has been made to your PayPal account, our system would automatically update eBay with regard to that and eBay should also update your Sold notification. PayPal is not the one who is going to make the notification through the eBay website since we are two seperate entities and we do not have access to your eBay account. I assure you that there are no problems with your account with PayPal and this issue should be communicated clearly with eBay“.

Frankly, we don’t care who is at fault, the problem needs to be fixed.

The only good news with this issue is that if the sale didn’t happen according to eBay then you cant get negative feedback, but that doesn’t help much when buyers are opening PayPal claims asking where their item is and sellers are having to constantly check PayPal in case there’s an order not logged on eBay.


Another issue we heard is that the incidence of £14.00 chargeback fee is on the rise since the split. This one is difficult for us to quantify, but once upon a time if you had “PayPal Preferred” on your eBay listings then you wouldn’t be charged the fee if a buyer did a chargeback.

Separately another eBay seller told us of a buyer who was refunded by eBay for an item shipped under eBay’s Global Shipping Program, but who then want on to initiate a PayPal claim and was refunded a second time. Again we don’t know how frequently this type of issue is occurring.

Fraud and account takeovers

The third type of issue we’ve come across was a buyer’s eBay account being hacked and fraudulent purchases being made. Because the buyer had linked his eBay and PayPal account the hacker was able to use the buyer’s PayPal account to drain the funds from his account and further purchases collected funds from his credit card.

PayPal simply shrugged their shoulders and said that because the fraud didn’t happen on a PayPal account it was nothing to do with them. eBay went around the houses even confirming that they could see the eBay account had been accessed from the other side of the world. They passed the buyer to the Money Back Guarantee team who immediately passed him back to the accounts team as it was fraud. The accounts team said that they’d marked the transactions so that PayPal could see they were fraudulent and to ring PayPal for the refund. PayPal again said “nothing to do with us” and sent him back to eBay and round the circle he went again.

Please PayPal, eBay: Start talking!!

In the old days when eBay and PayPal were one company it all seemed much simpler. PayPal staff could see everything going on with your eBay account and eBay could see if PayPal had already processed a refund.

Today, six months after the split, you might as well be talking to two completely different companies and in fact you are. However before the split, eBay and PayPal put in place an operating agreement which was supposed to see both companies benefit from a close working relationship.

Here at Tamebay HQ we wish that we could report everything was great, but looking at our mailbox eBay and PayPal appear to blame each other to the cost of both eBay buyers and sellers and PayPal buyers and merchants. We know that’s not the impression the two companies want to give, it’s just what we keep hearing from Tamebay readers.

3 Responses

  1. Trying to get any sense out of PayPal is harder than eBay. Been trying to solve why I’m getting emails in HTML instead of plain text, yes my setting are correct before anyone starts 🙂 they’ve been set to plain text format for the entire 15 years I’ve had my account. Seems it’s a bug that’s affecting others too, and there’s no resolution of this issue yet after two weeks, even tried on their facebook page.

  2. Here’s the thing, I had an order that disappeared or perhaps wasn’t there in the first place as Paypal looks normal, eBay must have lost it somewhere.

    After the buyer contacted me yesterday I have processed the order containing two items via paypal information that had been processed as two separate transactions, there’s nothing at all in ebay, no record at all. One item was the last in stock and was still for sale a week later so I manually took it off sale.

    I worked with the buyer to sort it out, first I knew of it, was when she contacted me yesterday. I despatched the order and printed postage through Paypal to let them know it had been posted as far as that would go anyway. Due to there being two items in the order I only needed to print postage for one of them as weight did not exceed to the next level. Paypal opened a case for this one even after the buyer said she was satisfied that both items were on their way.

    I now have had to ask the buyer to contact paypal again in the morning when she receives her order to close the case as I haven’t got tracking on the order as it was only £8, the only options I have is to refund or add tracking number.

    I’ll be interested to see the eBay fees on this order! Time to start talking peeps, one thing though, my buyer says she will be back to buy from me again as I sorted the problem out as far as I could … eBay/Paypal take heed, I gave good customer service and my customer is happy, can you do the same please?

  3. The paypal refund on an item sent with the Global Shipping Programme is quite common but easily resolved. It is a known “operator error” in the PP CS flow so just call them up and say there’s been a mistake and they will escalate it and resolve it, in my experience.

    Annoying it’s not perfect, but then innovation rarely is. There are bound to be teething problems in any new world — would be good to hear from both parties that they are dedicating the resources to overcoming those separation issues.


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