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Sun Nov 13 2011 10:55:43

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay began testing a mandatory escrow system in Europe in the fall and appears to be expanding it to Australia, possibly limited to cross-border transactions.


(See update below.)


In September, eBay rolled out a limited escrow system in Germany and Austria in which it accepts payments from buyers directly for certain transactions, and only forwards payments to sellers when they show the item has been sent to buyers. Previously all transactions and payments had been between buyers and sellers.

 

An EcommerceBytes reader from Australia said when he tried relisting an item yesterday, he first had to agree to a page of new terms and conditions. Once he had agreed to the terms, he received a message from eBay in his messages that said his seller account now used eBay's new payment process, and described how it worked:

- Your buyers will pay us for items you sell, instead of paying you directly.

 

- After you ship the item and mark it as shipped, we'll pay you the funds from the transaction.

 

The message had links for more information, including a "Supplementary User Agreement" for sellers, but the links did not work. The link to the Supplementary User Agreemnt was as follows:

 

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/user-agreement-addendum.html

 

The seller reported having been a seller on eBay for over 10 years with 10,000 positive feedback, with high DSRs and Top Rated Seller status.


The pilot test eBay is running in Europe applies to new users on eBay.de and eBay.at (Austria). We'll check in with eBay, and in the meantime, let us know if you've encountered any such tests.


Update 11/15/11: eBay Australia researched this issue and got back to me today with an answer. Spokesperson Jenny Thomas said:


"It is highly likely that the seller received this email when they tried to list directly on eBay.de or eBay.at (please see the attached press release). If the seller registered their eBay account with eBay.com.au, then the email would have appeared to come from eBay.com.au. We are working to update these emails to ensure that going forward members are clear that the policy only applies to sellers listing on eBay.de or eBay.at. Regarding the broken link in the email, thanks for flagging this. We are in the process of getting it fixed asap. As previously mentioned there is no such payment intermediation process on eBay.com.au."




Comments (46) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Nov 13 12:06:16 2011

The facts are that eBay is unable to generate substantial transactional growth, and the CEO is increasingly more desperate.

In order to disguise this fact from Wall Street and investors, John Donahoe has been leading the company in a downward spiral that will eventually assure eBay becomes the next AOL, Enron, or MF Global.

Donahoe keeps finding new ways to squeeze as much corporate profit out of sellers revenue as possible. These ill advised tactics are driving buyers and sellers away in increasing numbers which in turn requires additional effort to conceal the facts.

Under John Donahoe, store fees have increased, listing fees have increased, listing accessory feature fees have increased, and final value fees have increased. Additionally, eBay has added new fees in the form of final value fees on shipping costs unless sellers include the cost of shipping into the selling price of the item.

eBay's CEO has also directed a course of revenue shifting designed to push revenue off PayPal's books and onto eBay's books. This revenue shifting has been designed to drive the misconception that eBay is growing and deceive investors into believing that eBay is generating higher profits from sales when in fact sales are not truly driving eBay profits.

That eBay is now resorting to impounding and delaying payments to sellers is yet another sign of the desperate measures eBay's CEO is initiating in order to continue the deception of analysts and investors.

If eBay's CEO has the ability and talent to focus on genuinely increasing sales instead of simply employing new methods to squeeze seller margins, sales on eBay would have skyrocketed and these deceptive - marginally legal practices would not have be necessary.

Unfortunately, eBay is moving father and farther away from it's model of connecting buyers and sellers to generate a high volume of sales, and instead is concentrating solely on manipulating the decreasing number of transactions appear more profitable.

It is these desperate - ill conceived maneuvers that are driving both buyers and sellers away from eBay in ever increasing numbers.

eBay is in desperate need of new leadership which is focused solely on growing sales and reversing the anti seller policies employed by the current management team to stimulate that growth.

John Donahoe's era of half truths, deceptions, outright lies, and antagonizing relationships with buyers and sellers must come to an end before they combine in a perfect storm and bring this company to collapse.

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: John

Sun Nov 13 12:22:25 2011

JMO but could this policy if implemented in the US be designed as well for the new tax law for internet sales.

Could eBay be planning on holding funds for transactions, then releasing them but hold any tax that could or should be charged for sales.

This would create a phenomenal amount of interest for eBay, especially if they kept the interest as payment for holding the tax money.

It seems to me this or something like this could be in the works. If it does happen it will probably effect every single small seller on eBay.





eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: Pace306

Sun Nov 13 12:28:01 2011

Ric couldnt be more right if he tried! =)

eBay is slowly sinking and has been for some time. The escrow issue mentioned above is simply a way for eBay to generate cash off the interest they make while they hold YOUR funds.

Amazon doesnt have these issues - the question is - why does eBay?

eBay has long divorced itself from the model of renting sellers ''space in the wolrds biggest mall''. That was the formula that worked. Each seller could shine, and they went boom or bust depending on thier own hard work. Not any more. Not only is eBay not content to have the aforementioned relationship, but they have surpassed one that every seller on here has discussed - your unasked for business partner!

Where are eBays shareholders? Where's the WSJ or CNBC nvestigation? Why do we just hear crickets chirping?

Now when I get a call from eBay offering thier ''help'' to make my business grow - I just say no thank you and hang up on them. I know the tune - let us help you out of your money!

Its fine that eBay wants to ape Amazon in certain respects - but please - ape the good things not bad things!  

1) CS Agents - Amazon's can and will help you - eBay's just read off a script and want you off the phone.

2) Amazon blocks certain categories or brands to avoid issues, eBay lets VERO harass you to death with violations that arent in US trade law.

3) Seller standards ... Amazon like eBay will give you a dedicated rep if you are a platinum dealer. (I believe the threshold on Amazon is 1m business a year). Those reps override the invisible magic DSRs, the negative feedbacks and order cancellations.

4) Speaking of the invisible DSR's .... thats eBay's second worse crime - Donohoe SWORE they would never be used against a seller ... just read this or the eBay boards to find out how much of a liar he is!

5) Money holds .. I wont repeat Ric's excellent points - though they do bear repeating. Id just add that most of us never agreed the Paypal holds, never mind an eBay hold. I know Paypal makes intrest off my money - its illegal and unfair - but I cant out spend them in court to stop it. I offered to close my paypal account when it was introduced so that I would get back the 3-4K they have on reserve every month - and I was told - that it doesnt matter what you do, you wont be getting it back until you close your EBAY account (god forbid you should take visa and mastercard yourself) and then wait 90+ days until we are satisfied there will be no claims against you.

As Ric said - eBay at this point is a con game, lieing to investors, scamming sellers out of thier funds, punnishing them for things they dont know about and more ... !  

Its true sad to see it slip so far!

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun Nov 13 12:28:21 2011

Bravo, Ric! A standing ovation for you! I'm so glad that yours was the first post in response to this topic... it's complete, thorough, comprehensive, succinct, straightforward, frank, and honest. Absolutely perfect! Nothing else needs to be added except to compliment you!

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: stillunaware

Sun Nov 13 13:45:20 2011

This is basically what Amazon does. Donahoe has always had Amazon envy... he continues to push eBay toward a Amazon model. Does this man have a ounce of innovation in his blood? Why become a poor second (or third or fourth) to Amazon when you could innovate with your own already established business model? I guess that would hurt his brain to much. I wish he would just spin off PayPal as a separate company and then go run them into the ground and leave eBay alone. He is betting that everything will be done on smart-phones and that price will be the only factor buyers will look at... that may be true for a short while but winning the race to the bottom will be a empty victory in the long run. The personal, one to one business model that eBay once offered will win in the long run. EBay now days reminds me of the GM of old when they thought price was the only thing that mattered... look where that got them. Quality and service counts, always has, always will. Donahoe are you listening?

BTW... when I first saw the eBay commercial about Buy It New, Buy It Now, Buy It On eBay (or whatever their new slogan is) about the hot rod car and mag wheels, I was not overly upset about it... they were just saying that eBay was a place they could get those items. But the one I just saw about the daughter buying jeans and the mother offering her old ones to her actually MAKES FUN of used clothing... I mean I can understand highlighting that you can get new cloths on eBay but do they really have to go out of their way to MAKE FUN of used clothing which this particular commercial does??? Sure not the eBay that I used to know and love!

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sun Nov 13 15:51:33 2011

Simply put, does the exploring of mandated escrow payments by eBay not tell us all we need to know about just what eBay/PreyPal have become under its current chief headless turkey, John Donahoe?

This is effectively another service shift from PreyPal to eBay and could be seen as another indication that the Ho is preparing to hive off PreyPal—before the banks and their partners ultimately bury this clunky operation.

And, would you believe there is another dreamer in Iowa named “Dwolla” starting up another PreyPal look-alike:

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/11/11/The-28-Year-Old-
Out-to-Kill-Credit-Cards-and-PayPal.aspx#page1


Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Sun Nov 13 17:27:29 2011

Is this ''people are basically good'' or ''we're only a venue?''

Does eBay charge for the mandatory escrow service?

When do people finally quit listing on eBay?

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Nov 14 01:03:50 2011

@ Ric

PERFECT!

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: HereWeGoAgain

Mon Nov 14 02:33:13 2011

History repeating itself. Remember Billpoint the ebay payment service before they bought paypal? After ebay bought paypal money in billpoint was tied up with computer glitches and stalling tactics then the brick dropped. Sorry billpoint is no longer in existence and everything disappeared over night.

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: sparklements

Mon Nov 14 08:27:49 2011

"When do people finally quit listing on eBay?"

Well, you could just take a look at some of the nasty ebay-protective responses my letter here received last week (the last one tries to make the case of why there's nothing wrong with accepting abuse...). Strange, those posters seem to be absent from this discussion...

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: Kevin
Web Site

Mon Nov 14 09:05:06 2011

Ebays floundering about like a one legged man at an arse kicking party.Desperation oozes out of every pore.
I'm glad I jumped ship and offer my sincere commiserations to those who still have to bow and scrape to this unfeeling and now hopefully doomed organisation.
Bye bye ebay it wasn't fun whilst it lasted.

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: gruff

Mon Nov 14 09:24:51 2011

Yet in spite of all eBay's nasty shenanigans, they currently have 140,618,982 listings, which is 136 million more than 2nd place (eBid - 4,603,194) and 3rd place (eCrater - 4,369,230).  (See http://www.powersellersunite.com/auctionsitewatch.php for more details.)

I wonder if eBay ever listens to anyone but themselves.  They remind me of the evil queen talking to the mirror -- Who is the greatest auction site of all?

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 14 09:55:07 2011

Or it could be a help to sellers.  While certainly Ebay would make some money on our money while they held it.  IF Ebay truly released all funds once the item was shipped, it could save sellers some grief.  It could help stop non paying buyers.  Without knowing more about the program and how it works, it's hard to judge.  But it actually could help sellers.  I completely understand that Ebay would make money too on our money, but I know I'd be willing if it cut down on the non payers and IF Ebay didn't misuse the proceedure to hold funds longer.

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: sba55

Mon Nov 14 10:27:41 2011

This is not a big deal. Just make everything as shipped right after the order comes in and you get paid right away.

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: eddie

Mon Nov 14 10:37:46 2011

@Marie
Please can you elaborate how this experiment (soon enough it will be a fact) would help eliminating non paying bidders??

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 14 10:57:26 2011

If Ebay is going to collect the payment, then it stands to reason that Ebay may implement some addition financial requirements on the buyers.  Or it may just be merely informing buyers that Ebay will be collecting the payment and holding it for shipment that will cause a buyer some pause if they are considering not paying.  I don't know, I don't know enough about how Ebay intends this to work.  If they are going to model it after Amazon's payment struction, then unless a buyer pays, they don't get to purchase.  More information from Ebay is needed on this subject.  There isn't enough here to make an informed decision.

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: JM

Mon Nov 14 11:14:23 2011

@gruff, re "..they currently have 140,618,982 listings, ...

Yes but how many of those are fake or non legit?

eg: 2,080 results found for "paper clip" The majority of those results are for a single paper clip for $.01 btw. Hardly legit. LMAO!

No way should anyone believe the amount of listings is any indicator of success. Ebay adds listings the way the Fed prints money. LOL

What I'm wondering is will ebay/paypal actually get the proper license(s) to operate as an escrow service or will they just keep doing what they are now? (which is to operate as one in many ways) without being properly licensed?

It won't be long before ebay sellers find themselves operating in complete, unbridled servitude or peonage to ebay.

BTW there seems to be a *very* serious glitch affecting listings visibility and the fluctuation of sellers listing counts going on. Stores board thread topic "I Can't See All Of My Items In My Store!"
Wondering when ebay is going to fix that or respond officially?

Maybe ebay could fix it's broken site before they start adding non services designed to wrongly enrich them?

Maybe sellers should put ebay fees on an escrow service because it doesn't look like they are getting what they're paying for, does it?

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

by: PLentycosas

Mon Nov 14 11:52:44 2011

OK Ebay handles payment, that mean I can close my paypal account and save 3% plus .30?  

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 14 12:13:48 2011

@plentycosas

I didn't read that anywhere.  Where did you get that Ebay would not be transferring the money to PP?  Where is Ebay going to transfer the money to IF as you say it isn't going to go through PP?  I'm only trying to gather more information so that I better understand what Ebay will be trying to do.

eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments   eBay Expands Test of Mandated Escrow Payments

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Nov 14 12:23:13 2011

@JM,

It’s called “dealing in feedback”. The listings you describe (paper clips, etc) are all about the criminal facilitator eBay’s aiding and abetting of the shill bidding mail fraud that is rampant on eBay. How else do you think that all the many unscrupulous sellers stack their many new shill bidding IDs with feedback?

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

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