Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Apr 19 2018 20:48:39

PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers say PayPal is no longer showing them email addresses of their eBay buyers, and PayPal told us it's due to eBay's policy. 

Not only is PayPal leaving out the information in email notifications, but it's not allowing sellers to view the email address of buyers even when signed in to their PayPal accounts.

Confusing matters is that PayPal is phasing in this change - the first indication of a change was in this Letter to the Editor we published on April 7th - some sellers were still seeing email addresses at that time, others were not. Also confusing were responses from PayPal customer service reps.

More recent reports surfaced on Ecommerce EKG, and we've received additional reports via email as well.

A reader said, "I am sure my business is not the only one that sometimes need the email address of a buyer. If I cannot independently verify payments using email and telephone, I reject those payments when I notice a possible scam."

One eBay user welcomed the change, however, saying there was no valid reason for any seller to have any buyer's email address. However, that would imply eBay doesn't provide the email address of the buyer to the seller itself.

On April 9th, a seller responding to the report on the Letters blog said, "Email addresses are still showing on the Sales Record at eBay which you can access from the hub. Probably not for much longer, though."

Sellers are speculating the change has to do with eBay's transition to a payments intermediary.

When we reached out to PayPal today, a spokesperson referred us to eBay, telling us it's an eBay policy. We reached out to eBay this evening.

Comments (53) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: 227272 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 07:40:38 2018

Having the buyer email address can sometimes protect a Seller:

I use the email address of buyers if I am adding them to my blocked bidder list. You can add email addresses there — not just user names — and this prevents a problem buyer from making a purchase under another user name, but with the same email address.

A little frustrating that eBay is removing what few protections we have left.  :(

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: Lois This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 08:22:35 2018

I can tell you exactly why I need addresses. I don't have a big business, and I use those addresses when I am preparing New York State State Sales Tax Reports.

Oh, sure, I could have been conscientiously, meticulously, keeping records, but I didn't - I relied on the fact that I could get the information from, my internet records of payments over the past year.

I don't personally care about the street address, but I care a lot about having the zip codes.

Of course, because I am a small seller, neither EBay nor Paypal really care what I want.

Happily, due to advanced age and poor health, I am phasing out my internet sales presence, but I do think this is a bad move by  EBay.  

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 08:40:35 2018

Silver :) ty for the tip - ill try it next time

As Ive said - I dont need it (though 3p shipping solutions and usps.com ask for it) - its just the thought of Paypals bad behavior ... again

As for Amazon - the point was that Amazon was giving out MORE info, eBay was giving out LESS.

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Fri Apr 20 09:00:18 2018

When everything else fails, copy the abusive monopoly Amazon right? As usual, eBay never tested it with real sellers. When will eBay be merged into Amazon's tiny blister?  

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: geoffreymason This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 09:07:29 2018

I used buyer email addresses when I had percent-off sales on ebay. The response to such notifications was huge and it produced great sales totals for me and FVFs for ebay. Now both ebay and I are losing money because I am unable to use this strategy. (My most recent sale produced little.)

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 09:35:41 2018

I would imagine that with everyone chiming in and telling eBay & PayPal where sellers can still see emails, that it will speed up the lock down of buyer emails. I would not even think of letting them know how I get my buyers info much less posting on a public board (sorry Ina!)

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 09:38:04 2018

for the time being I will be putting the email address from ebay's sales record into a secure off-line spreadsheet.  I never did this before but if t hey are going to play "little reindeer games" so can I.  Of course, first I need some sales.  

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: glasspackaging This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 10:15:17 2018

so.. I wonder... If I have a buyer who is both a direct buyer AND has an ebay account - will they block the email? ....  if so .. he will never get shipping updates from me.

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 10:17:50 2018

It does not matter what PayPal does not give you.
When eBay goes to their in house controlled Payment Processor...
you'll get NO info...

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Apr 20 10:46:04 2018

@Steevo
No doubt that's part of why they throttle sales: so many of us can't get big enough to absorb the cost of a merchant account.

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: leathermermaid8 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 10:55:51 2018

Well, there's nothing to stop anymore from getting a throwaway email account and putting that email address on a business card, packing sheet or invoice that goes into a package.  That's the way I've been able to buy from eBay sellers who have given  up on the site.  

It's understandable though, that not everyone will feel comfortable even doing that.  Way too many good buyers that go rogue, stalkers and the seller who may be collecting emails for spam.  Facebook may have been a good avenue for some to remain in contact but for myself, that site has plenty of problems of its own.  

I just really think this new policy is going to be less helpful than they think.

None of this will help if eBay is doing your shipping and handling for you a la Amazon.  Where there's a will, there's a way.  These giants will never miss the business anyone conducts on line, anyway.   Time they found out for sure!

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Apr 20 10:57:37 2018

Luckily, on eCrater I get both the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of my buyers. This has been really helpful as I have had a couple of buyers put in numbers or words in their address section which don't make sense, so I've been able to clarify that information via an e-mail (I prefer to have everything in writing so if there's a problem in the future I have written evidence of what they told me). I don't want any of my packages being lost in the mail or returned to me, so having contact information is a must for me.  

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 11:37:23 2018

Every once in awhile, I need to legitimately send the buyer an email. In example, I had an Italian buyer recently need a company post-sale invoice to submit to their accounting department.

I suppose I can print-screen and turn it into a jpeg image to email through Ebay.

Ebay is coming across as desperate. Like, really desperate. I suspect they harbor devastating internal problems that they're unwilling to admit, in order to maintain healthy stock values.

There aren't many Ebay buyers who buy from a seller and then offer up repeat business. If I buy a used blender from someone, I don't go back to that person asking if they have a toaster for sale. Likewise, if I find an auto part listed on Ebay, I'm probably 50/50 on buying it from the seller's website. I'm not obsessed with running transactions through Ebay. But, that said, I consider myself a more savvy consumer than most.

I'm known as a "stocking distributor" of the products I sell. I don't get customers by manipulating how/where they buy. I get customers because I have an item on the shelf that someone wants or needs. It doesn't matter where they find me. And repeat business is very low, as my catalog is relatively small. There's no value in pushing consumers to my website.

Amazon is different. Mostly because of Amazon Fulfillment and Amazon Prime. I revisit sellers and buy again and again all the time on there. And I'd rather buy straight through Amazon, than through the vendor's website.

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: Filadelfos This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 11:54:44 2018

Well... Using your own shipping accounts requires you to have the recipients email address... SO...this then means that you will be FORCED to use eBay shipping, which cannot be legal...  

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: Dellthorpe This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 12:20:55 2018

Sure eBay is scared of sellers running off with their customer base because they and Paypal have made so many enemies over the years by defrauding the sellers which amounts to criminal fraud. Paypal is always getting busted by the feds for something and last I checked has 1,650,000 complaints with the DOJ. Paypal is/was under investigation for helping the Russians in the 2016 election meddling. I think the mob owns and operates both eBay and PayPal. I quit selling on eBay and wish some other financial institution with some integrity would boot Paypal out of the on line business. Let's face it any financial institution that allows a buyer's to send a empty box back in and get a full refund and pay the postage needs its butt kicked. No wonder Devin is afraid to fly commercial someone is bound to get a hold of him sooner or later and CEO of Paypal - I would but tickets. Send your complaints to the FBI (ic3.gov) Everytime these thief's steal from u as a seller.

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 12:38:36 2018

"eBay is scared of sellers running off with their customer base because they and Paypal have made so many enemies over the years by defrauding the sellers which amounts to criminal fraud."

YES its true ... its d@mn true.


Paypal (and Ive talked with them and they admit it) is basically a pyramid scheme. Their factor bets on each transaction and if it goes well then both they and Paypal make money. If theres an issue - then they take the hit - its basically crooked insurance.

Paypal doesnt own enough assets on its own at any given time to cover all the transactions flowing in and out - thats why they cooked up the now defunct "hold a sellers money and make interest off it". The courts put a stop to THAT.

Helping eBay steal from sellers lowers the amount of transactions buyers loose - less losses for the buyers, less losses for the factors, better for Paypal.

They expanded the INR/SNAD issues to 180 to help bolster their bottom line - they can come back 100+ days into a transaction to help their bottom lines.

I can hear the cheerleaders "but 180 days is industry standard" - same excuse they give when they try and cover eBay on ITS bad choices for sellers.

BOTH businesses are "rackets". Its about the money not about ecommerce. If it was - you would see act differently.

eBay and Paypal are no better then "the mob", the yakuza or the triads - all groups whos organizations are based on stealing from others.


Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 12:41:36 2018

The same people have been defrauding brick and mortar companies for a long time. Get a product, use it, remove parts, theft, etc. Home Depot (and everyone else) has no protection from people scamming and stealing merchandise.  For decades, it's been accepted as a cost of doing business.

Ebay is different because its sellers are so close and personal with every transaction. It it directly affects their ability to pay bills.

Unless Ebay is willing to blindly subsidize fraud losses for its users, there's nothing that can be done to structure a system that protects buyers and sellers.  

I think that people need to lean back into donating their stuff to Goodwill, recycling, etc. I'd never recommend anyone to go through the hassle of selling their X-Box (or whatever) on Ebay. It'll almost certainly turn into a nightmare transaction. Whether something gets knocked loose in shipping, a serial # can't be registered to X-Box Live, some unknown quirk/error during gameplay, etc. The average person should abandon Ebay in that respect. Don't buy and don't sell.

Likewise, it's still a good place for businesses to market their thrift and grey-market products. Because, when a transactions on that X-Box goes bad, and it's a business, the business can accept it as a cost of doing business. When it happens to an individual, it can be financially (and emotionally!) devastating.  

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 12:46:07 2018


it really makes no difference anyway, email or no email, at the end of the day most of our ebay buyers become our repeat website customers,

FVF on everything including shipping, is great for our business, I can't thank them enough.

we are laughing at the ebay freak show today ......
 

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Fri Apr 20 13:56:35 2018

@Lois
It's the EMAIL addresses that are disappearing, not the physical addresses.  You can still find the street address, state, zip, etc. in History Reports at PayPal.  You're ok there.

Perminate Link for PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest   PayPal Blocks Email Addresses of eBay Buyers at eBay's Behest

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 17:05:47 2018

and are they sending someone over to my house to make sure I don't have a flyer with a discount coupon in each package I ship out? dah

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