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Sellers Left in the Lurch as PayPal Exits Turkey

Online sellers in Turkey are left wondering what to do after PayPal told them it was ceasing operations there as of Monday, June 6th. Many of the eBay and Etsy sellers who are impacted asked questions on Twitter and discussion boards to see if there were viable alternatives.

PayPal announced Tuesday it was being forced to exit Turkey after government regulators denied them a license. A publication called Leaprate reported the news and theorized, “The Turkish Lira has been hammered over the last few years, this could be a way of getting more control over depositors, stemming any capital flight from the country.”

Another publication, TechCrunch, said PayPal was the latest casualty as Turkey makes moves to bring tech business in the country under more localized control.

Etsy was quick to alert sellers, writing, “From Monday next, 6th June 2016, PayPal will cease to operate in Turkey. This is as a result of not being granted the necessary license to operate in Turkey from the Turkish financial regulator. This effectively means that members with a Turkey-based PayPal account will no longer be able to send and receive funds from that date.”

Several Turkish sellers discussed the problem on the Etsy boards – one had been featured in an Etsy blog post about the business she runs from Bolu, Turkey with her mother making and selling handmade jewelry. She wondered if she should put her Etsy store on vacation or try to get more orders before she lost access to PayPal.

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Interestingly eBay owns the Turkish marketplace GittiGidiyor and responded to sellers via Twitter. One seller tweeted, “many people here (buyers, sellers) will be badly affected of this. Do you have any plans to add some other payment method to Ebay?”

eBay responded, “PayPal and eBay are regularly looking at how to expand into new markets. I know that PayPal will continuing trying in Turkey.”

It also tweeted a suggestion to another seller: “You can set up a merchant gateway, if available (http://ebay.to/1X9Y6sL ).” It also noted that the payment processing on its Turkish marketplace GittiGidiyor was not changing.

But the seller responded by explaining he understood GittiGidiyor was not impacted (it has its own payment method) but said GittiGidiyor didn’t have the global presence that eBay had.

Update: See, “Still Reeling, Sellers Show Generosity in Face of Adversity” (June 2nd EcommerceBytes Newsflash).

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.