|Sat May 12 2012 10:11:06|
eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders
By: Ina Steiner
eBay is surveying sellers to see how they feel about a new feature designed to eliminate deadbeat shoppers for both fixed-price and auction format listings.
eBay is considering offering a form of "immediate pay" for auctions. Buyers would sign a one-time billing agreement that would give eBay permission to automatically collect payment once a bidder wins any future auction.
Currently eBay offers sellers the ability to require customers to pay immediately for their fixed-price listings. The survey indicates eBay is also considering making the feature mandatory on eligible listings - i.e., where shipping costs are known upfront for those sellers who accept a form of payment that allows for immediate pay (via PayPal).
In the survey sent to sellers this week, eBay asked how interested respondents would be if eBay required "immediate pay" for all fixed price listings.
Another survey question asked, "If eBay required "immediate pay" for fixed price listings, do you think there should be an exception allowing buyers more time to pay for higher priced items?" It then asked sellers to define "higher priced items," from items over $100 to items over $10,000.
eBay could be feeling the pressure from merchants tired of non-paying shoppers, as well as those merchants who also sell on Amazon where the problem of non-paying customers is not a problem, since Amazon collects payments on behalf of third-party sellers. It could also be an attempt to boost the adoption rate of PayPal on the eBay marketplace.
A seller who received the survey wrote to EcommerceBytes, "It looks like this new "improvement" will be spun under the title of "Seller's Benefit - elimination of non-payment sales - get paid immediately". Too bad the people who like to pay by check, money order and would e-mail you to see if you have another trinket or two would be set aside."
Are non-paying bidders and buyers a problem on eBay?
And what do you think of the features/policies eBay is considering to address the problem?