eBay Pulls Listing that Contain References to BidPay
By Ina Steiner
eBay has begun pulling down listings that include references to an online payment system that ceased operations on December 31, 2005. eBay had specifically included BidPay as an acceptable method of payment in its Safe Payments Policy, a new policy announced in mid-October and rolled out on January 15 that tells sellers which payment methods they can accept.
First Data Corp. ended its BidPay service on December 31, giving users just one week's notice on December 23. Sometime after December 23, eBay dropped BidPay as an acceptable method in its policy without any announcement to users. (AuctionBytes' October 17 article reporting on the new policy states BidPay was an acceptable method of payment http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y05/m10/i17/s01.) The BidPay service had allowed buyers to order money orders online to pay for eBay transactions.
Some sellers have references to the BidPay service in current live auctions because they have not yet gone through all of their listings and listing templates to remove the reference.
eBay spokesperson Catherine England said it was the responsibility of BidPay to inform their customers that the service was closing, and said eBay would make no posting specific to BidPay on the board to warn sellers, despite the fact that eBay changed its Safe Payments Policy to remove the reference to BidPay.
England said that if a member reports a listing containing a reference to BidPay, eBay would remove the listing since BidPay is not an acceptable method of payment. And while eBay is not proactively pulling listings with BidPay references, it will begin doing so in the future, she said.
It appears other words may be cause for auctions to be pulled, such as including the word "cash" in a listing. eBay's new Safe Payments policy prohibits sellers from saying they will accept cash for transactions.
The questions remain why would anyone report a seller's listing for containing a reference to BidPay, since it does not pose a safety risk and why eBay would not first notify a seller that their listing was in violation, and give them an opportunity to amend the description.
One user on the Online Trader's Web Alliance (http://www.otwa.com) discussion forum noted that there were over 30,000 active listings on eBay that contained the word, "Billpoint," eBay's ill-fated payment system that was shut down in January 2003.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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