When a seller received a message telling them they had $12.33 to shop on eBay, they thought it might be part of a rewards program from eBay. Other sellers quickly disabused the seller of that notion.
After the eye-catching headline, “You’ve got $12.33 to shop,” the message stated in smaller print: “Start using money earned from sales to cover selling costs or shop on eBay.”
It appears the message was eBay’s way of marketing its new “spendable funds” feature, which allows sellers to use their funds to make purchases on eBay – which until Managed Payments, sellers had been able to do when PayPal processed payments on eBay.
eBay announced the feature as part of the Spring Seller Update in April, saying it would be rolling out over the coming months. eBay updated sellers in September at its eBay Open conference, telling attendees it was continuing to expand the availability of spendable funds to US sellers this year.
Sellers discussed the feature on the eBay discussion boards after one posted news that they had been invited on November 2. “IF this is something a lot of sellers end up using, it could definitely have a positive impact on sales overall,” one seller said.
Another agreed but said they would rather use their credit card for purchases on eBay, “which is essentially a free loan for up to 30 days and on top of that I get 5% back from the CC on my purchases.”
The seller also pointed out some advantages to eBay: “This does work out well for eBay however since I suspect they will earn interest on the $ that are sitting in spendable funds similar to what PayPal did. It also relieves them of the CC merchant charge if the buyer uses the spendable funds as opposed to using PayPal or a CC. EBay does have some creative accountants when it comes to figuring out how to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses.”
Some sellers warned that activating the offer was irreversible and said it comes with automatic two-step verification that can’t be disabled. The eBay help page describing Spendable Funds does mention sellers are required to go through a verification process:
“We’ll guide you through the verification process, which may require you to confirm certain details such as your identity and bank information.
“During enrollment, you’ll be asked to enable 2 step verification on your account, and agree to the Balance Terms and Conditions. Once you’re signed up, we’ll credit your spendable funds with your sales proceeds, after we’ve confirmed the buyer’s payment and deducted applicable fees and expenses.”
Sellers would be wise to read the page and the terms and conditions carefully before enrolling. Let us know what you think of the new feature and if you are or plan to use it.