Buyer email addresses hidden by PayPal say sellers

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Tamebay readers are starting to notice that eBay buyer email addresses are no longer appearing in PayPal payments – not in email notifications nor when you log into your PayPal account. This appears to be a recent change and is rolling out to some seller’s before others. If you rely on buyer email addresses in PayPal payments then you may have to rethink the way that you manage your service.

PayPal are saying that this is a change that eBay have asked for. What we don’t know is the reason for the change – is it part of eBay’s programme of reducing the availability of contact information, preparations for the roll out of eBay Payments with Adyen, or whether it’s as a result of their preparations for GDPR.

This could impact sellers in a number of ways, for instance if you don’t have the buyer email address then you’ll no longer be able to pass it to your chosen carrier so that they get tracking notifications. Of course you could and should be uploading tracking information to eBay, but there are two issues with this. Firstly not all couriers are integrated within eBay so tracking won’t be linked. Secondly the courier won’t have a facility to automatically collect the email address from eBay and so shipping updates won’t be relayed to customers.

For many eBay sellers, you may hardly ever log into your PayPal account and may not rely on PayPal dispatch emails in which case the change won’t bother you in the slightest. If you do rely on gathering your buyers’ email addresses from PayPal then you’ll have to change your workflow.

Personally, one reason I’ll welcome the change is that it’ll stop disreputable spammers from adding my email address to their wretched mailing lists against the eBay User Agreement. I might make a purchase from you but in reality I’m purchasing from eBay and have no interest in being added to your spam list. At least it’ll keep the spammers a little bit more GDPR compliant if they can’t see buyer email addresses in the first place.

24 Responses

  1. I might make a purchase from you but in reality I’m purchasing from eBay ..’

    I’m not sure that I agree with that. eBay don’t sell anything, it’s the seller who is paying for eBay’s service and the seller who is eBay’s customer.

  2. If ebay want to do that, they need to upgrade their messaging system, adding an attach file option, not just attach and shrink a photo. We often get customers asking for a copy VAT invoice from weeks, months or even years ago. Currently the only way to send this as a PDF file, is to search through email logs for the address the paypal payment came from, then send it there. With Amazon messages, it can just be attached.

    Then there is the tracking details experience. For the heavier courier only items, we use DPD, so we can offer 1 hr delivery slot windows. If we add the email address, DPD will send an email notification of when they expect to deliver. This can be useful to the buyer, but without an email address, they will have to rely on the ebay integrated tracking system, which currently, is not exactly brilliant.

    As an example, when using DPD and adding the tracking number, it will either autofill as DHL, or it will autofill as USPS. WTF? Yes, these can be deleted and DPD selected, but the fact it comes up with the United States Postal Service as a pre-filled option just goes to show the laziness and sloppiness of the programmers and checkers.

    Additionally, the DPD proof of delivery when shown through ebay will sometimes show the depot address it left from as the delivery address. Funnily enough, this confuses buyers!

    Both these things need sorting out before they finalise removing email addresses.

  3. This is all getting a bit silly now from eBay. One of the biggest signs you get of an ebay fraudster is if the PayPal email is different from the eBay email. We have used this check for many years, and if our gut tells us something is fishy, it normally is. Of course this is not always the case but it does let us do additional checks.
    It has paid of many times.

    Just dealt with one, scammer using multiple eBay accounts from the same paypal address.
    The whole thing is getting stupid now.

  4. Also another issue which eBay is already well behind,… Digital Delivery….many people will buy a DLC or code and have this delivered to their PayPal email instantly like we do on our website. So am unsure how this will now work with eBay (you can do the same). Maybe some upgrade on eBay itself, and defo an upgrade of that internal message system is long overdue

    Amazon have been pushing DIGITAL for sometime and we know some of the Game retailers markets are going to be doing this. System is already in place with Mirkal with some retail markets. Some are dilly dallying but we know one who is all over this.

    We are selling more digital and less physical all the time (not my preference I prefer tangible goods) but I do not dictate the market (must have generation)

    This is large part of business eBay will be missing the boat on (Amazon defo are not)…

    As well as the above issue in previous post , this is another issue for us, I doubt this has even crossed their minds. It is all a bit OTT..

  5. Omg… does that mean we all have to reply on the ebay mesaging system? God help us all. the desktop version is bad and unreliable, try using it through the app and you have no idea if something has sent or whatever. reply via the app and it doesnt even show as read or replied to on the desktop site most of the time.
    More headache, more shambles, more avoiding the big issue by creating a non existant small new one!
    Ebay seems to view its sellers as devil spawn… why doesn’t it just save itself the worry and hassle and shut down as we areobviously all raving scammers.
    I smell the stench of desperation from a business that is so blind to the truth that it is drowning in its own fallings.

  6. “I might make a purchase from you but in reality I’m purchasing from eBay ”

    When you sell on Amazon, you sell to and get paid by Amazon, When on Ebay, you sell to and get paid directly by the customer, Ebay only take a fee. Might be picky but think there may be a lot of legal issues in there somewhere. Perception and reality are very different.

  7. This selling on ebay malarky is getting ridiculous now. This latest move is just another example that shows ebay treats its sellers like shite. The next move will be that Paypal will stop providing delivery addresses and sellers will only be able to get delivery addresses from ebay. They’re ultimate goal is to completely isolate and stop any buyer and seller interaction. That way sellers will become just puppets with no rights at all, just doing the complete bidding of anything they are told, and content they have been granted the privilege to sell anything by the great god ebay.
    The idea the buyers buy from ebay and not the seller is a laugh. Does ebay sort out delivery issues? Does ebay deal with warranty issues? Does ebay deal with buyer custom requirements? No.
    People might say “ I got this great widget from ebay” but if they want to make repeat purchases they look for a specific seller.
    I very rarely sell on ebay now because it is not a safe place to sell, but I do still buy on ebay, for now, but if I dont have the reassurance of a seller’s email address I will probably shop elsewhere.

  8. Have noticed this absence of buyer email / account name on paypal several times recently. Makes it difficult to refund the return postage costs if buyer returns a faulty item.

  9. Just on a practical note, although eBay will send Tracking information to the customer initially, what about companies like DPD who send follow up emails to allocate a 1 hour time slot on the day of delivery, how will ebay be dealing with that?

  10. I’m sure EBay put the squeeze on Pay-Pal (this is a Cain and Able story) to stop placing contact info on their receipts. I’ve been with Ebay since 1997 and found them to be arrogant, controlling, and greedy – wanting the whole pie and that extra piece too. PayPay was just the opposite. Since EBay is dropping PayPal as their primary pay source, EBay has probably threatened to offer them even as an option if they did not conform. Don’t kid yourself, this has little to do with scrammers and much to do with greed and control. And EBay is ruthless.

  11. Is it a coincidence that Paypal gets an extension to its deal with Ebay at the same time as this email address thing is announced? Sounds like Paypal agreed to this in order to keep a presence on Ebay for a bit longer.

    It’s also unclear how many will Ebay buyers will sign up to Adyen. Yes, you can force sellers to use it, but what if buyers prefer to keep using Paypal and won’t make the switch?

    In the end, Ebay’s attempt to stop off-site trading is futile. The more they bear down on sellers, the less inclined they will be to show any loyalty to Ebay. It’s Aesop’s fable about the sun and the wind. Maybe Ebay should try some sun, for a change, rather than their preferred tool of the icy wind. Ease off on this and stop cranking up the fees and seller requirements.

    Who knows, sellers might actually LIKE selling on Ebay again.

    Perhaps if Mr Wenig gets a chance to read this (when he’s not busy on the board of GM or knocking golf balls into an upturned waste bin) he might consider a change of policy.

  12. If I click on a transaction in my PayPal account, and then ‘See details on classic site’, I can see my buyer’s email address.

  13. As a buyer I find it frustrating if paypal give my private paypal email address to 3rd parties (this is a direct breach of GDPR). I prefer to give each retailer a unique email address.

    Of all the hundreds of emails from retailers due to the GDPR changes, paypal and ebay are conspicuous by their absence.

    So had a look under paypal permissions, I notice that I have at some point in the past given ebay access to my paypal address, email address, etc.

    So I have removed those permissions,
    Then unlinked paypal as my payment method in ebay
    Then relinked it.

    Curiously the permissions are still not present in paypal, will see what happens next time I make a purchase. This makes sense to me, paypal is just a way of authorising payment.

    Admittedly of all the hundreds of purchases I have made via ebay/paypal, I think I have only had a handful of exploits of my email address. So the vast majority of sellers in my experience play by the rules.


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