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Sat May 12 2012 13:43:31

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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eBay is considering requiring buyers to sign a one-time billing agreement that would make them pay immediately after winning an auction, according to a survey eBay has sent sellers.

The mandatory payment would only be required for listings where where shipping costs are given upfront, and for those sellers who accept a form of payment that allows for immediate pay (via PayPal).

eBay already gives sellers the option of requiring immediate payment for fixed-price listings.

As far as I see it, this would be a good thing, as it would cut down on the problem of non-paying bidders overall. This is something I personally have experienced multiple times in the past year alone...just flaky people who don't seem to understand that when they bid on something, they may actually win it and have to pay! eBay sellers also joke amongst themselves about the litany of sob stories they receive from buyers who want to back away from a purchase.

Sure, you can go through the motions of reporting them to eBay, if they never pay, but meantime there's a lot of time and hassle sending them businesslike notes, nudges, and doing everything but sending a blimp with a reminder on its side to fly over their house.

But one seller who received the survey thought this could create a problem when buyers like to pay other ways: "Too bad the people who like to pay by check [or] money order and would e-mail you to see if you have another trinket or two would be set aside," they said.

However, in my experience, people very rarely want to pay another way these days.

It's speculated that the policy eBay is mulling is both designed to cut down on non-paying bidders, and to make eBay more in line with marketplaces like Amazon, where buyers always pay up-front and Amazon deals with collecting the payment. 

What do you think about eBay requiring an immediate payment on qualifying auctions? Is this a move that's sorely needed, or do you foresee problems? And should eBay make an exception for higher-priced items, allowing buyers more time to pay? And what would the cutoff point for "higher-priced items" be, over $100, over $10,000, or something in between? Finally, do you get many requests to pay by check or money order nowadays?

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Comments (28) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 14:28:01 2012

I do not want eBay to make ANY more decisions about how I operate MY business. They HAVE a remedy for non-payers. It ALWAYS works for me. I am adamently opposed to being forced to require immediate payment in ANY transaction. eBay may as just as well allow me to pay for the privilege of listing, packing, and shipping, and then run the whole show--send me my proceeds afterward, less their fees for managing my sales.... what next? If it were OPTIONAL with sellers, FINE--all for it. They are overreaching into areas that are the seller's realm. It is OUR risk, our inventory, our hard work that built our eBay businesses.

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

This user has validated their user name. by: TrentDep

Sat May 12 14:29:24 2012

It seems that buyers are ~ OK ~ with having to use Paypal.  

All of my listings are BIN, immediate payment required, but I do have to deal with waiting for payment on the occasional best offer - why eBay has never figured out how to force immediate payment on those is a mystery to me...

While Amazon is clearly doing well with their model, I think there is a small niche on Ebay ( myself included ) who would resist an ~ Up Front Agreememnt And Access To My Paypal Account ~ ...

Not sure why exactly, except for the obvious - it is eBay, and they are NOT to be trusted...

I think the real solution has been - all along, to just deal w/ non paying bidders severely.  Most people use the same billing address for whatever credit cards / bank accounts they have - it would not be difficult to restrict eBay access based on that alone, probably avoiding 90% of problematic accounts from creating another user ID...

Clearly, eBay has not considered this to be a real problem until recently.  I don't think it is due to Diamonds complaining - most of them are not using an auction format...

Here's a start - allow seller's to block bidders who have 1 non paying strike in FOREVER, as opposed to the ( I think ) current 2 in 12 months threshold... Really?  That is the best that can be done?...  

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 14:31:33 2012

PS I have a several loyal, return customers--over 10 years or more--who buy from me BECAUSE I allow them to pay by check. There are buyers who will NOT use Pal Pal. I wish to accommodate all my customers.

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: hitch This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 17:26:46 2012

i started doing auctions a couple of months ago after a year or so of BIN. no problem with payment, have sent out Second Chance Offers but no takers at all, if Ebay are going down this route could they also have an opt in that bidders could agree to accept second chance offers, ebay would gain more fees, i would gain more revenue and buyers would get a bargain, seems an all round winner

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: EssexEstateServices This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 19:21:16 2012

YES!

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: mickeyfinn This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 13 00:11:08 2012

Answers to this question are going to vary from one market to another, so I am not inclined to take any particular view as 'The Way To Go!'.

For items where a single purchase is normal and shipping costs fairly fixed, then immediate payment has its merits.

However, if a seller has products where multiple purchases are likely and buyers can benefit from huge savings in postage by combining them into a single package - AND THAT THIS PRACTICE is a major factor in encouraging multiple purchases, then enforcing immediate payment will be fatal.

What's even more dangerous is that buyers who DO make multiple purchases will demand combined shipping and reduced shipping costs - and from what I understand, not only is this difficult to perform, but PayPal rules specifically demand a single payment for multiple purchases shipped in a single package.

On the surface, immediate payment has an apparent benefit - but put it into the real world and there are going to be several more than insignificant problems for some.

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun May 13 01:22:37 2012

I would say that it would be a good thing. I quit running auctions because of the fact that many payers that usually come from the Asia and Australia bid and don't pay or they eventually do pay and then give you a negative because they felt they were harassed into paying.
Just recently had one from Australia that gave me a neutral and one from Hong Kong that gave me a neg and this is because I had to file NPB's on them.
I am going to give both back to eBay to see if they can be removed but I am not giving it much hope.

Bill  

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 13 09:57:56 2012

Mickeyfinn nailed it on the head for me. "However, if a seller has products where multiple purchases are likely and buyers can benefit from huge savings in postage by combining them into a single package - AND THAT THIS PRACTICE is a major factor in encouraging multiple purchases, then enforcing immediate payment will be fatal."

I sell a lot of low prices items and always get multiple purchases from the same buyers. If they had to pay shipping for each then I know I wouldn't sell as many.

I have noticed that Ebay's combined shipping has gone down hill over the past few years. I used to be able to send any kind of invoice to a buyer. Now there seems to be a lot of restrictions. Some times I can't combine invoices when they buy too much,  

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 13 10:14:55 2012

Other times if you send an invoice it won't let you add more items when the customer decides to buy more. Other times, and this happens a lot even though I have a very easy to read, short description that tells you my combined shipping prices, buyers will buy an item then pay multiple times. I emailed and even explained this to one buyer and he continues to shop this way. The guy paid for 6 items seperately and of course wants them all shipped in the same package. This creates a lot of extra busy work. I know I know I shouldn't complain because it's a sale and the money is green but the half ass continuously unthought out changes that eBay makes, makes it that much harder for customers to understand how the correct way to checkout.

They also added the add to cart option. For you sellers out there does anyone use it? None of my customers ever use it. From what I have read its optional. Why is the cart not mandatory on all buy it now items?

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
Web Site

Sun May 13 10:23:16 2012

Nice idea, but knowing eBay/PayPal, they will collect the payment as fast they can take it, but it will not be a surprise that it shows in hold for the seller.  

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: jpv1234me This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 13 15:13:01 2012

I think this idea was copied from a common sense guy/gal that was passing besides any eBay executives that were drinking a Starbuck's coffee cup and they heard this idea and thought that it was really brilliant…maybe the best idea on eBay in years  long….really it would be very nice…bravo for that guy/gal with common sense idea!

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: JLS This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 14 00:01:44 2012

First of all:  I feel that if someone is buying a really expensive item, they shouldn't even be looking at it, if they don't have the money to pay for it IMMEDIATELY!  Actually...that goes for ALL items on eBay!  If you can't afford to pay for your ''dream item'' immediately:  Don't bid, get off the website, and find something more constructive to do with your life than to take out a seller's listing and then never pay for your win!

As to Best offers for BIN listings?  You bet!  eBay should require IMMEDIATE PAYMENT if the buyer's offer has been accepted by the seller!  I also am in favor of auction wins being immediate payments!  I use Amazon a lot and I certainly don't have any problems having my credit card charged the second I decide to buy an item!

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: biddude This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 14 00:48:31 2012

Personally I think it should be left up to the individual seller.I have purchased items in the past that I didn't have the funds in my account or accounts to cover the purchase at that very moment.I needed to go down to the bank and deposit the money the next day and then come home and finalize the purchase.There has been times when it was the weekend and I needed to wait a couple of days.It actually gives the seller time to determine who is buying the item as well by  checking feedback etc..I think in the long run it will only lower the amount of sales for eBay sellers and for eBay overall.

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: Duke This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 14 06:44:53 2012

Immediate payment at auction's end would hurt my business.  Many of my buyers will bid on auctions over several days to take advantage of combined shipping discounts.  I also allow customers to arrange for a slightly later payment if they are waiting on their paychecks, again with good results.    

Instead, if eBay would charge a buyer when the non-paying bidder report is filed, that would be useful.  

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: estateroadshow This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 14 08:14:29 2012

We are bringing back live auctions to eBay and they are not thinking.  During a live auction we sell off a catalog for 5+ hours and many of our buyers bid on more than 1 item attracted to combined shipping or pickup discounts.  We have customers winning 30+ items within a few hours.  Imagine the fun of having to pay 30 times with shipping forcing the need for special contact later to reverse all the shipping charges and combine the invoice for shipping in a few boxes not 30.  Other pure auction sellers or large stores would be affected where a buyer is shopping or attending a auction and really is not allowed to combine and save money.  While this could be adjusted later, it causes confusion especially with new customers.  

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: racecarguy This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 14 10:21:14 2012

I'm a NO vote.

I live on the East Coast, but a great deal of my business goes to the west coast, requiring me to have more than one shipping fee.
(Generally $10.00 to East Coast, $15.00 to the West Coast)

Because eBay has no means of posting different shipping fees for different Zones, then the only way is to ask the Buyers to wait for an Invoice.
As it stands now, west coast Buyers would have to pay immediately and receive East Coast shipping rates and I, AGAIN, would be losing money to eBay.

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 14 10:29:39 2012

You can't go to any live auction and bid without showing the color of your money.  They take a deposit. No deadbeats allowed.  

That ebay has allowed non paying bidders all these years is what's bizarre.  

Sure, you should have to pay in advance for anything you buy at auction.  If you can't you shouldn't buy, and that would be just fine.  

I have heard every excuse: dead uncle, heart trouble, traveling, computer crashed, inattention, I just didn't know, you name it.  

Sure, make everyone pay immediately or get out.  

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 14 11:37:37 2012

I buy small collectible items all the time and usually look specifically for multiple items from the same seller so that I can combine shipping and save on the overall purchase. The new policy would preclude that and make a lot more work for the seller. Additionally, PayPal would collect the extra minimum fee for EACH transaction instead of one minimum fee for the combined purchase. There's more to this then just dead beat bidders, it's another way for PayPal and eBay to make more money.

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: Quality First This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 14 12:53:23 2012

Good idea/Bad idea.

As a buyer that usually has a positive balance from selling activities, it seems that immediate payment would first come from that balance.

For accounting and cash flow purposes (& airline miles!) purchases need to go on either a business or personal credit and never from a PayPal balance or bank debit.

Now, what are the odds that we'll be allowed to use   card for payment when there is a PayPal balance?

This idea has its merits, but with the current system isn't ready for prime time.

Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?   Should eBay Require Immediate Payment for Auctions?

by: jimmosk This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 14 14:53:19 2012

Add me to the list of No's. A lot of my bidders end up winning multiple auctions over the course of a week or so, and then paying for them at a lower combined shipping rate. I'm sure that lower additional cost on shipping further items increases their likelihood of bidding, and it would go away under this proposed immediate payment requirement.

If they want to make it optional I have no objection... but don't force it on me.

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