eBay is rolling out a new payments requirement, and not only are some sellers upset - some buyers aren't happy about the new policy either. Contributing to the controversy is the fact users say eBay has not notified them about the change.
The issue of Immediate Payment Required (IPR) came up during eBay's weekly chat session on Wednesday. A seller said he had been "pulled back into an old Beta test" that forced him to require immediate payment on all Buy It Now (BIN) listings, which forced shoppers to use the checkout cart to request a total for combined items.
An eBay moderator said it wasn't a test - it was a new change eBay was rolling out:
"We tested this a ways back but have recently made changes to help in our efforts of reducing Unpaid Item cases. There isn't an option to opt out of this feature but I encourage you to have your buyers use the cart and ensure your combined shipping rules are set up so that it's automatically being combined for your buyer."
The moderator replied to follow-up comments:
"Due to feedback from our sellers, we want to limit the number of non-paying buyers and in order to do that, we're pushing them through the checkout flow before showing the item as purchased/sold. We understand that it can impact some businesses more than others and we've shared that feedback with the relevant team."
One seller questioned eBay's premise that sellers had requested the change, reminding the moderator that sellers already had had the option of requiring immediate payment. "Ummmmm ...... that function is already there for the SELLER to choose, not to have eBay choose it for them."
"Immediate payment is automatically required on items priced below $1000, that have a specified shipping cost, and where PayPal is the only payment method offered."
In a separate thread, when sellers wondered if the change was a bug, an eBay moderator confirmed the change was intentional. And when a user pointed to a seller whose listings were exempt, the moderator confirmed that not all sellers were impacted the same way:
"We are still in the process of rolling this out to every seller. While I do not have specific timeframes for when this will be expected to be completed, more and more sellers will be moved over to the new process as time goes on until 100% are included."
It appears to be a poorly communicated change from eBay applied in an inconsistent manner. But will it benefit sellers by reducing the incidents of deadbeat buyers?