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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2803 - May 14, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 4

eBay Could Force Buyers to Pay at Moment of Purchase

By Ina Steiner
May 14, 2012

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At most retail websites, customers pay when they make the purchase during the checkout process. But on eBay, the transaction is between the buyer and the seller - and deadbeat buyers are the bane of eBay sellers' existence.

eBay is now considering making immediate payments mandatory on many purchases and offering immediate payments on auction listings where the winning bidder isn't even known until the auction has ended.

eBay sent surveys to sellers over the weekend asking them how they would feel about such policies designed to eliminate deadbeat buyers for both fixed-price and auction format listings.

eBay currently allows sellers to require immediate payments on fixed price listings as part of its "Immediate Pay" feature, and its considering making it a mandatory feature for listings where shipping costs are known upfront and in cases where sellers accept a form of payment that allows for immediate pay (via PayPal).

One 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 is also 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.

eBay often surveys sellers on features it has already decided to introduce. Let us know what you think by posting a comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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