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Wed Aug 27 2008 22:50:14

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy with regard to the payment methods sellers may advertise in their listings. While the new policy bans paper payments (beginning in October), sellers report hearing on the QT that they may accept checks and money orders, as long as they don't solicit such payments from buyers.

eBay spokesperson Usher Lieberman confirmed today that a seller may accept checks and money orders "if the buyer insists on those payment methods. But, a seller can never solicit payment this way." He pointed to the eBay Ink blog for a post about the policy.

So don't ask for paper payments in listings or emails, and all will be fine? Not so fast - sellers say they are concerned that eBay may punish those with a low rate of electronic payment for their sales, assuming that the seller must be requesting paper payments.

I've been getting emails from sellers who are frustrated that the new shipping requirement took effect this week - before eBay's bulk-edit tools were ready (next month). Here's an excerpt from just one such seller:

"eBay is getting very frustrating, especially for someone like me who has a store with 2500 items in it. Every time they make changes like the ones they just announced, it takes me days and weeks to make all the changes. What is more frustrating is that when someone is unclear and I need to find out what I should do in my case, I get conflicting answers from different customer service agents."

Sellers who want to comply with eBay's policies want clear consistent answers and the tools to help them comply. But as they say in the military, hurry up and wait.




Comments (99) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: WindsorBear

Wed Aug 27 23:18:44 2008

I still say this policy will cause friction among buyers and sellers down the road.  When buyer ''A'' doesn't bid on something because he wants to pay with a check, and doesn't know that he can still demand to pay with one, and then finds out buyer ''B'' got it AND PAID WITH A CHECK, there's going to be a VERY UPSET BUYER!  Will eBay help with damage control?  Will eBay back the seller when the upset buyer files a complaint?  The whole thing has become a no-win situation for eBay sellers.

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: eBuyer Feedback

Thu Aug 28 00:15:17 2008

I'm far more concerned with nonpaying bidders who will claim that they paid via check because the seller told them to.  So instead of the buyer getting their strike the seller could likely face sanction.  A new method of extortion.

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: Jerry

Thu Aug 28 00:27:03 2008

OK, let me tell you how it really works. Whatever Usher Lieberman confirms....do the opposite of, as he seems to consistently make wrong statements on their policies.

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: Jerry

Thu Aug 28 00:29:09 2008

Oh wait....Usher cited the Ebay Ink Blog. After all, they never give wrong information on there, either (rolling eyes).

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: TekGems

Thu Aug 28 00:47:20 2008

eBay said you can specify additional payment methods for Local Pick. You can specify cash, check, and/or money order for that delivery method.

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: Patricia

Thu Aug 28 01:01:45 2008

The whole thing is so utterly freakish!  Why don't they just come out and tell the truth for once...they want ALL those Paypal fees on EVERY transaction.  They could care less about the buyers OR the sellers - they want the revenue!  Good grief one wonders just how far down in the mud this company is going!

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: Peter Combs

Thu Aug 28 01:31:42 2008

What about Bank Transfers {Bank to Bank} for larger transactions? We do them often internationally. Also LEGALLY Cash Cannot be Banned under Federal Law. Seems Ebay has made some errors.

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: SKEETER

Thu Aug 28 01:45:37 2008

 I am a casual ebay user and have been for years.  I don't intend to put any of my account numbers online in any form and only buy and sell with money orders.

 Those who are like me and wish not to have big brother in our business will be forced to bail to other auctions sites, which are now bound to flourish and grow.  

  When ebay was like a huge yard sale that you didn't have to leave home for it was great.
 But now, I may as well just go to wall mart.
 And,  I bet Craigs list is going to get a lot more traffic now.

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: SKEETER

Thu Aug 28 01:47:07 2008

 Also, I have a 100% rating there, which is rare.  

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: tiredofebaygames

Thu Aug 28 02:04:36 2008

Please note that GRIFF said that eBay will be watching those that they think are getting checks and money orders. If eBay deems that the seller is "abusing" the policy, the seller could face sanctions.

Usher is a snake so I would be nervous if following his advice.

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: WindsorBear

Thu Aug 28 02:38:50 2008

Is there anyone out there besides me that sees the similarities between eBays recent announcement of changes with the WKRP in Cincinnati episode where Mama Carlson decides to change the format of the station to ''all talk'' in an effort to make the station fall in ratings and lose money; thus the station becomes a huge tax write-off?  She tried to hide it by telling the employees that the changes were best for them and the station, when actually all of the employees knew it wouldn't work and would actually hurt the station.  Dr. Johnny Fever finally found out what she was up to and threatened to tell everyone what she was doing.  In the end, she abandoned the changes to keep from losing face.

Most of us sellers have been shouting to eBay that these moves are going to hurt sales and overall business, but they won't listen.  They keep telling us that these changes are in our best interest.  

Oh Dr. Fever... please come rescue us from Mama eBay.

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: tj

Thu Aug 28 03:45:46 2008

Anyone who still lists on eBay large or small volume must be completely brain dead..or have far to much money.

The complete mess known as eBay Inc is an overpriced obscene joke.

Just looking back over the ridicules policy’s, fee’s and other ludicrous changes over the past 10 months says it all...it's over

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: FU eBay

Thu Aug 28 03:57:08 2008

eBay reminds me of our current Government.  They'll do whatever it takes to stick it to you in order to make a few extra dollars.  Selfishness and greed is what causes this kind of attitude and like our current Government administration, we need a change!!

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: Our Policy

Thu Aug 28 05:06:58 2008

Our customers will always be welcome to pay in the manner they wish.
We're about good customer service, not servitude to eBay.

Additionally we reserve the right to refuse any payment if we feel there is an unacceptable risk involved in its acceptance.  

Simple as that.

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: and watch out for paypal

Thu Aug 28 06:43:02 2008

We as sellers got ripped off by paypal again. We disputed a bogus claim from a buyer, WON a partial victory yet still have a negative feedback, $ taken out by paypal, and frozen account for the entire amount that was claimed to be in dispute.
Appeal? Don't ho,d your breath :
Thank you for contacting PayPal. We regret the delay in responding to
your service request.


From researching your account history, I can see that your issue has
been resolved. We are continually improving our customer service to
accommodate members' needs and can be contacted at
https://www.paypal.com/wf/f=default.


We appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter, and
wish you continued success on PayPal.


Sincerely,
Michael
Protection Services Department
PayPal, an eBay Company


Original Message Follows:
------------------------  Form  Message  customer  subject:  We  wish  to  appeal  your  refund  decision  on  a  bogus   claim.  customer  message:  Additional  Information:  'Claim  -  #PP-528-086-504  The  buyer  did  NOT  ask  for  a  full  refund,  only  a  partial  refund.  We  did  NOT  agree  to  nor  will  accept  any  returns.  Our  policy  is  very   clear  that  Shipping  &  handling  is  a  fixed  amount.    DO  NOT  isue  a  refund  to  this  buyer  &  do  NOT  have  him  return  the  item.  We  also  request  the  fake  negative  feedback  removed  from  out  rating.    You  are  being  unfair  in  this  matter.  Simply  advise  the  buyer  the  item   was  sent  timely  &  in  BETTER  than  condition  stated  in  the  listing.  Thank  You,  jsicolts    J  S  Iavarone  ###  Yates  st  Albany  NY  #####'        


No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com
Version: 8.0.138 / Virus Database: 270.6.10/1638 - Release Date: 8/27

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: Keith

Thu Aug 28 06:57:48 2008

OK That's it for me IF eBay doesn't provide a means by which to edit 1000 store listings in bulk to remove the checks and money order info stated in ALL my auctions.  They can end them ALL and it will just save me the trouble.  How the hell can they get away with this crap!

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: LuMcInturff

Thu Aug 28 07:26:37 2008

I received one of the e-bay calls two days ago and now have a followup e-mail from the Seller Development area of e-bay.  Although the new ruling states this:

Checks and money orders no longer allowed: Beginning in late October, sellers will no longer be allowed to offer checks or money orders as payment methods on eBay. Only approved electronic methods will be allowed. In January 2009, all accepted payment methods will be integrated into eBay Checkout. For buyers, change means a more consistent and secure payment experience. For sellers, it means faster payment and fewer unpaid items. (Note this policy will not apply to some categories in Motors, Real Estate, Mature Audiences, and Business & Industrial). To learn more, visit http://pages.ebay.com/sell/August2008Update/OtherFAQ#23

I was personally told on the phone that IF A CUSTOMER ASKED that we would be able to accept a money order or check from them; however, we simply could not ask the buyer to pay in that manner and can not advertise on our pages.  

SOLUTION:   There are a few of our "customers" who always pay in that manner.  Those that are making purchases from the time of notification until now, we are able to send a note to update them, along with the current ebay policy.  This lets them know that this decision is not our decision, but that made solely by e-bay.

We know that PayPal recently created a blog stating that a bill was passed which will now have them reporting income & sales of 600.00+ per year.   It is our understanding that Google Checkout already has this in place.  In order for PayPal to accurately report to the IRS a sellers income, or a buyers purchases, they would have to require that all sales monies went through them.  

E-bay is only "complying".  So are we.  Being told that after September 16th we will not be able to tell our current customers who send us checks / money orders that they can do so; means only that now is the time to handle that situation.

Dear Customer, While e-bay is changing, we are not.....

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: unaware

Thu Aug 28 07:27:50 2008

Could someone tell me what shipping changes took affect this week? I am probably aware of them but things have been changing so fast for so long I lose track sometimes.... I just finished fixing my listings to take into account a number of recent changes (new shipping rates for USPS from the May price increase, new state tax rate that took affect in July, adding a return policy to my listings).... so what shipping changes took affect this week? What new obstacle is eBay putting up in front of my speeding bus? I have to admit that I might not be keeping up with all the latest and greatest eBay changes because I have been spending more and more of my time listing items on Amazon. I was recently listing several hundred Music CDs on Amazon and realized that the listing method and format on Amazon has not changed in many years.... how refreshing is that? I have had to take down and fix my 600 or so eBay store listing on eBay at least 3 times over the last several years due to the many changes (not all by eBay... thanks USPS) but I still blame eBay because I have NEVER been able to get their bulk change tool to work. Anyway, no more whining... so what shipping changes took affect this week? Thanks!  

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

by: unaware

Thu Aug 28 07:50:08 2008

''I've been getting emails from sellers who are frustrated that the new shipping requirement took effect this week - before eBay's bulk-edit tools were ready (next month).''

Ina, I am serious.... what new shipping requirement took effect this week? I just looked over recent policy changes from eBay and saw nothing that took effect this week.... what did I miss? Thanks again!

eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy   eBay's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Thu Aug 28 07:51:34 2008

@unaware: from Tuesday's AuctionBytes Newsflash:
"eBay also told developers that enforcement of the requirement that sellers specify at least one domestic shipping service when listing an item began August 25th.And enforcement that sellers include a specified handling time in their listings begins in October."
http://tinyurl.com/577pv3

See the article for some of the other changes coming.

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