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.

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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: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 17:49:02 2018

Whether judged legally criminal or not, Pay Pal's act is no less than collusion with eBay in the restraint of free trade.  Restraint.  Free Trade.   So oxymoronic to what is supposed to be a founding principle of this nation their 'policies' now infect.  And what so many have died for defeating.  Perhaps ya'll have noticed that restraint of freedom of trade thing, thematically, regarding everything else as well, in the patchwork of paranoia that eBay has stitched together from the ruins of their innovationing.  Consider too...history shows such restraining, no matter the 'sheriff', is never finite.

As with all things eBay (and 'toto too!) though, there is always a 'choice'.  I recall reading that here and there anyway, and no doubting the logic.

So if that's true, and until people fight back against this shackled and now gagged form of 'partnership', it seems that choice now simply comes down to this:  (whip 'n chain fetishes aside) - Does agreement to the blatant restraint of free trade and what that means, work for you?  

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: WdrWmn

Fri Apr 20 21:00:48 2018

Actually, that doesn't matter because as long as the payment process goes thru and the paypal payment says "seller eligible protection", then no seller should be concerned with the new process.

I haven't had any issues with payments email or otherwise, as long as the payment has seller protection.

However, I welcome the change for one of two reasons:

1)  I'm tired of buyers going off site and communicating with me via private email address, just to cancel a transaction or to ask to do business outside off-ebay site.   I will not respond or answer to such emails.

2)  ALL communication should remain on eBay and eBay only.   If you agreed to terms and conditions, (even Amazon) tells you do not conduct business or communications OFF-SITE, which can lead to suspensions or limitations on accounts.  

eBay should also consider no exchanges of PHONE NUMBERS, unless absolutely necessary.   I had a buyer last week call & text me excessively, 7 times just to cancel a transaction.   WTH!  Whenever a buyer asks to cancel, I respond within minutes.  There is no need for that nonsense, and resolutions can be resolved on eBay.  There no need to go off-site.

On the flipside, Amazon also does not email sellers private info to buyers, and eBay should follow that policy more closely.

Now some sellers, might disagree.  But, I find that the only reason that some businesses want your email or phone number is to obtain it for email or phone marketing which I don't want either....

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: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 22:45:52 2018

There is no doubt there are sellers who might welcome eBay's muzzle, for many reasons.  Some of those include a lack of desire to be 'bothered' by their buyer's direct queries.  Nothing wrong with that - that's their choice, and should be respected.

But if a seller thus inclined so CHOOSES to agree with the restraints this latest in never-ending series of eCom handcuffs, and if such is to be considered with due respect, AND if, as stated, such restraint measures already suit freely chosen desires without impact either way, then shouldn't OTHER seller's freedoms to choose (without impact) be respected too?  

Because imposing this obstruction will remove that CHOICE from the table completely.  Even when retaining the alternate process(es) to allow freedom of trade (related comms) may be considered by others to be either undesireable, or 'improper' by rule.  

The argument isn't about whether communications is a good or bad (proper or improper) business operation element.  Even though THAT should be a no-brainer.  It's about whether it is suitable to remove the freedom to choose to do it, and still retain selling 'privelege'.  

If you want to silence your customers, or preclude sharing your contact data for whatever reason, you don't need eBay's 'help' to do that.  

But it seems now, that if you want to CHOOSE to service them via means most convenient to them sans eBay's ham-handedness, then eBay's 'permission' would not only be required, but will now, by default, be denied.  Without appeal.

Hard to understand how there could be folks out there who would advocate for that.  

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: strife This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 20 22:51:26 2018

Don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet but the email addresses are still there if you download an activity report.I went back as far as 2015 and download all of my activity just in case they disappear, and was able to see in the spreadsheet that all of the customer emails were indeed there for culling.

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

Sat Apr 21 14:11:27 2018

@strife
That is true of the OLD transactions on PayPal.  They didn't remove them retroactively.  On newer transactions, even on the history report, they are omitting the email addresses.  I downloaded March, all email addresses are there.  I downloaded April, and after April 8th, they are NOT there.  Before April 8th, they are there.  You can see the transition clearly.  But as the discussion mentions, sellers are affected at different starting times.  I was early in the process.  After April 8, I have no email addresses in all 3 areas - on my history report, payment received notifications, nor on the Paypal transaction line item as it appears on my account page.  You will probably see it blank out in all those areas shortly.

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: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 22 11:59:50 2018

@ Sierra
re your question on priority mail to someone else.
Buyers often get our purchase email where we state the actual reality delivery date range and decide they may need priority. Just judging from the questions on how much will 2 items cost to ship, many of these folks still do not know how to go to the shipping tab, much less are they likely to read the ad nor from the cancellations even read what they are agreeing to purchase.  So this issue of wanting to upgrade to priority is not surprising at all.

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: Ming the Merciless

Sun Apr 22 19:49:16 2018

As if our long term collective experience with both ebafia and PreyPal isn't enough, the exposure of the Facebook anti-democracy debacle and other out of control 'tech' corporations for being so profit/stock price centered that they're more than willing and to compromise or otherwise damage their own customers/users.

With ebafia soon to abandon PreyPal, it's curious that PreyPal would so easily and willingly accede to ebafia's 'request' to eliminate customer email addresses. Apparently they too fail to understand who their customers are.

Ebafia sources no product, owns no product, sells no product, and ships no product. WE do. WE are PreyPal's customers. WE sell the products that customers buy, NOT ebafia.

Yet PreyPal colludes with ebafia to deprive us of information necessary to conduct business. Ebafia is simply a venue or so they say when convenient.

I hope readers here will stop taking PreyPal on their own websites. Give your customers fair warning and encourage them to use an alternative payment platform like Stripe or Square.

Did PreyPal Board of Directors chairman and Carl Icahn scaredy cat John Donahoe have anything to do with this ill considered decision?

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.

Sun Apr 22 21:57:31 2018

We can all stop fretting. Ebay is finished.

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: justchangecarriers This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 24 02:22:56 2018

There absolutely is a reason to need the email. So I can bill them additional for shipping. Ebay bars me from sending email through ebay messages. And Ive been told by ebay themselves in the past to go to paypal and bill them/request funds with the email. Without that I can no longer get additional shipping when they dont follow directions. Also a couple months ago I was logging transactions. I got to one that was a case at the end of  2017 that I had to refund to chile for 65 dollars for not received. Well I used their email and sent them a message to see if they ever did get it. They responded. Said yes they did and I was able to request the funds. This is just another barrier for adequate communication. I hate these companies.

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: Anton This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 25 15:58:48 2018

For Russian users, the email from ebey has not been displayed for a year. What is being tested on poor countries has only just come to you now!

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: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 21:31:07 2018

If paypal wants to be taken seriously as a stand alone company..they will need to allow sellers to.communicate with their customers.

The whole point of branching off was to shed the weight of ebay..now to me..it seems this should piss off paypal investors who were told paypal is its own company. But it's not...it's just lies and the federal government needs to shut them down hard

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: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 21:33:09 2018

If we can't even contact buyers or see anybinformation..how care WE liable for chargebacks?

Wenig needs to be arrested

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: Ichabod This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 11 13:18:31 2018

I have one for you, don't know how this fits in to the current topic but I want to put it out there and if anyone has any ideas, please send them to me or respond to this comment. First: I am nowhere near as knowledgeable about ebay as probably most of the commentators on here. Second: A customer bought and paid for 2 burners from me. I misread the order and sent him only one. This was of no use to him and he had to go to an alternate plan. He requested a return and a refund. I told him that it was absolutely my fault and that I had no problem giving him a refund. I apologized profusely and sent him a return label. Here is where the thing runs off in the ditch. Ebay sent him some sort of notice that they would give him a refund of $35, half of what he paid, based on the fact that he returned only one burner. I talked with a CSR on the phone and tried to explain to her that he PAID for two and was only returning ONE because that was all he received but that he had PAID for TWO. She sent me some kind of form (always have a form, got a damned form for everything but the right thing) and I filled it out and sent it back along with the suggestion that they change their paperwork to reflect that he PAID FOR TWO of these items at $35 each and that he should receive a full refund of $70. Then they send me ANOTHER form (see comment about forms above). By this time I am frustrated, angry and fed up with their systemic and, apparent, stupidity. I sent them an angry email, no profanity, but questioning their lack of logic. Guess what? I get another form, one of their canned apologies, and more gobbledygook empty rhetoric.
Meanwhile, I have been in contact with the customer and he understands and is okay with what I am doing. I have assured him from the start that I would take care of him.
All in all, there were about 3 forms, two phone calls, and 8 emails and I finally told the customer to escalate the claim. Today, ebay sends me a refund form and I okayed it and sent him a refund...........for $35. I will catch up with him and make it right later on.
Ebay, and their employees have to be the densest most obtuse, willfully ignorant, laziest people on earth. Either that or they are the most dishonest website on the internet..........or both.
They should not be in business and damn sure should NOT be handling other people's money.
Since this IS NOT ebay's money and not Paypal's money but either mine or the customer's, I thought I would go to Paypal and see if I could free up the money and give the customer a refund that way. One thing is for sure, you can't do it through their "self help" stuff. That is a freakin' joke. What it amounts to is: go to the end of the block, take a left, go to the end of the block, take a left, go to the end  of the block, take a left, go to the end of the block, take a left, Now you are right back where you started and you can do this until the end of time. Worthless. So I called Paypal, another useless effort to do right by the customer and was told that they can't do anything because ebay has a hold on the $70, not $35, but $70 that the customer paid and they "can't do anything".

Bottom line is, at least in my opinion, they are both dishonest and most certainly stupid and they train their employees to be dishonest. I think the stupid part comes naturally for the most part.

Sadly, and I DO mean sadly, this is the best website of its type around. How sad is that? The BEST one is absolutely corrupt, dishonest, and ethically bankrupt.  

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