Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Nov 7 2013 20:44:15

What Is Your Experience with eBay's New Immediate Pay Policy?

By: Ina Steiner

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Thanks to eBay's new Immediate Pay policy, an item isn't actually "sold" on eBay until the buyer PAYS for the item. The intent of the policy is to make the buying experience the same as other ecommerce websites, eBay said. "This change will essentially eliminate unpaid items for eligible transactions and help sellers get paid faster."

However, it can be a bit confusing to buyers and sellers, because buyers click the buy button on an item, but it continues to be available to other buyers until a payment is made. It can also cause problems, as two sellers recently described.

The first problem is the impact of Immediate Pay on Best Offers. A seller explained she had accepted someone's Best Offer on an expensive item. "Except now when the buyer makes an offer and the seller accepts, the buyer gets something like 45 hours to "commit" and actually pay. The item is not sold until that happens."

"So," the seller continued, "now the buyer has "nibbled" and knows what amount I will accept, and is free to "think about it" and possibly try to negotiate a better deal with someone else. And I've committed to that price (a lower price than I've listed the item for) but don't have a sale. I think this is really unfair and there is no way to opt out."

The second seller explained she had run a fixed price listing with a quantity of five items. On the same day, three different sellers purchased the item. But one buyer used an e-check to send their payment.

"With the new BIN payment policy, apparently e-checks are being treated the same as non-payment. Her purchase did NOT reduce the amount of product available for sale, leaving the listing active. Someone else purchased them outright."

Now the seller has to explain to the buyer why they didn't get the item even though they sent an e-check payment, and she must open a transaction cancellation through the Resolution Center to get her eBay fees refunded.

"I am sure this is going to both anger and confuse the buyer. Their frustration won't be aimed at eBay - it will be aimed at me! This seems to be a rather large loophole in the new BIN policy, one which leaves e-check users at the mercy of timing. I can see a big mess and disappointment with holiday shoppers who have formerly used e-checks without incident!"

But aside from problems such as those described above, is the new process benefiting sellers by reducing deadbeats? Let us know if you've been impacted by the new process whether positively or negatively.




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This user has validated their user name. by: NaruMessenger
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Thu Nov 7 21:13:52 2013

Ha.. If they did that with all those FREE vehicle listings on ebm they would go broke. eBay loves those deadbeats where sellers give em $125 per car. FREE my azz! eBanged!

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by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 7 21:19:43 2013

''I can see a big mess and disappointment with holiday shoppers''
It's already a big mess.

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

Thu Nov 7 21:48:34 2013

Hmmm... it seems that the policy-makers and programmers didn't think this thing through and consider all the possibilities.

Go figure.

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 7 23:59:12 2013

And, par for the course, it's the small sellers who will take the biggest hit because the big box sellers are better insulated against the impact of this new ebay "experiment".

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This user has validated their user name. by: ebayisajoke
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Fri Nov 8 01:01:12 2013

People DO NOT ACCEPT E-CHECKS I don't care what you do, call PayPal and make them aware that you do not want your account taking e-check payments. As for the payment policy, it's a joke, but if you're selling BIN quantity items it shouldn't effect you. Stay away from auction items and only sell BIN.

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by: arrjay This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 01:59:41 2013

I sell vinyl records on Ebay.
I have a regular customer at the other end of the USA who buys often and buys alot. He was forced to be under the 'trial' that Ebay imposed earlier this summer with 'immediate pay.' We often chat about things by email because we've become friends.
He made it clear to me, that being forced to pay immediately was a horrible experience for him - and called Ebay three times over 3 months to 'opt out' and they wouldn't let him. He likes to browse hundreds of items from different sellers and being 'under the gun' while doing it, was extremely uncomfortable.

On another note, I have a handful of 'regular' customers from overseas. Because of the high postal costs - and the fact that I have close to 4,000 items up on Ebay to browse through (not to mention I feature 'audio clips' where buyers can listen to the record before buying), these buyers like to spend a day or two browsing around - then check out and save on shipping. They've all made it clear to me, that if the immediate pay notion is enforced, they will most likely stop buying on Ebay.

I can see Ebay's point to try and eliminate the people that 'never' pay, but wouldn't it be easier just to ''BOOT'' those deadbeats off the site permanently?

The immediate pay policy is NOT going to help me as a seller one bit. And I see a lot of ways that it will hurt my sales.

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by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 02:59:25 2013

This immediate pay thing for my postcard business is totally confusing. My business depends upon people buying several items to save on shipping. Now they have to buy them one at a time, and the refunding on shipping is a lot of work. I set up a shipping rule, but it only applies to newer listings. It doesn't seem to be working either.

There are still people who buy, and the item just sits in the Unpaid column, until the Assistant puts it into dispute, and then ends it after several weeks.

The e-check problem is a big flaw. If one has been initiated, then why isn't the item considered sold?

This immediate pay is all about Ebay getting those basic PayPal fees for each and every item sold.

It seems lately that Ebay is held together by gum and rubber bands, which keep unexpectedly breaking. Selling there anymore is like playing a game of chess. Ebay moves and you try to counter, and not lose.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Nov 8 05:54:00 2013

This leaving items up for grabs until payment is made is not good policy.

As buyer, I've routinely paid right away throughout the years. Now, if I purchase on my phone away from home, I wait until I get home to pay. I would be mad if it sold out from under me - unlikely since I am usually the only bidder.


When this first started, it was emphasized that if the seller sends an invoice to the buyer, the item would be taken ''off the market''. So in the e-check  cases, do we know, was an invoice sent from seller?  

Just a possible work-around but if a seller gets notice of an e-check maybe sending an invoice to the buyer at that point would protect the transaction?

The e-check scenario needs to be looked at: It would probably be too much to ask to have a choice for the seller to keep item up for grabs or take it off the market.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Incubus

Fri Nov 8 06:08:27 2013

Just another way for eBay to force small Sellers into doing BIN. eBay once again experiments with small Sellers. Unreal.

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by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 08:54:27 2013

eBay does not have the remotest idea of how collectors shop--not a clue. I like to run through a newly listed buy-it-now category fast and buy a lot. I don't anymore--the shopping cart is a joke. All my scores can be snatched unless I pay immediately OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I stopped hunting eBay months ago.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Nov 8 09:49:45 2013

@Incubus
"Just another way for eBay to force small Sellers into doing BIN. eBay once again experiments with small Sellers."  I am unsure as to why this policy would force a seller of any size to do BIN listings.  To avoid the policy, you'd have to do the exact opposite. Run auctions.  

@RCL
It isn't just collectors.  It could be fashions, crafts, toys, etc.  It could be just about anything.  I know when I shop and locate something I've been looking for, I check out what else the seller is selling just to see if there is something else I can't live without.  I know that many of the regular posters here do sell antiques and collectibles, but there are so many other categories that are just as affected as them.

********************

To me this was a bad policy from the moment they announced to to all of us.  Plus it made no sense to me anyways.  As a seller we have the ability to require immediate payment on BIN and GTC listings.  So why make it mandatory?  Yes the new policy was suppose to work for Best Offers, which would be a new feature, but obviously they messed that up royally.  

I have many buyers that purchase multiple items.  This process only hurts those sales.  Fortunately for me, this new policy has NOT affected my listings yet.  And I'm hoping I make it through the holiday season before they do apply it to me.  

It is a bad and once again an ill thought out policy that only lends to damaging many sellers and will most certainly cost us some good buyers too.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Nov 8 09:53:55 2013

Oh something I have noticed and I'm not sure if it has anything to do with this new payment policy, has to do when a buyer requests an invoice.  If I have a buyer that purchased multiple items request an invoice, I get an email request on all items individually.

Meaning if I have a buyer that purchased 10 different listings and they request an invoice.  I get 10 email requests for the invoice.  It is NOT the buyer doing this.  It IS Ebay.  For me it has been going on for about a month.  Very annoying.

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 10:37:29 2013

Leave it to Ebay management to turn things upside down LMAO

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by: Eric Saeger This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 11:44:55 2013

I haven't run into many problems with this.  But I can see a giant can of Level 1 and 2 bugs popping up over it.
Seriously, is this management team trying to tank eBay?  What's the deal with new policies like this, transparently ripped off from Amazon, and ripping off Etsy's "Treasuries" with eBay's "Collections," and all this other stuff?  I swear, if a stupid idea is out there, these dingbats just jump on it like right out of Dilbert.  And Wall Street just encourages this disaster to keep going.
Who would have ever thought it, my God.  How are new users even getting around eBay through all this random sewage?  What the hell is wrong with these guys?

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by: JOHNNY MASADA This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Nov 8 12:07:00 2013

as Eric said -

"How are new users even getting around eBay through all this random sewage?"

People tell me constantly - I know how fond you are of ebay and I tried but it was so hard I just went to Amazon and bought it.

 "What the hell is wrong with these guys?"

   Well, things needed fixing but you got to remove the dry rot before you slap on a coat of shiny new paint.

     As fixes are reapplied to previous fixes, it gets a bit better - But ?

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by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 12:36:36 2013

> What the hell is wrong with these guys?

A large number of current problems can all trace back to one key distinction of eBay: They have the most impenetrable wall between corporate contacts (i.e. actual decisionmakers) and their customers of any company I have ever seen. Everything -- and I do mean everything -- gets channeled through a Marketing department that succeeds in rendering every original thought into badly-digested glop, turning into ill-thought-out strategies, followed by marginally-competent programming, yielding a result that not only doesn't work very well but also negatively affects several million people at once.

As a technical person myself, it's beyond frustrating to have no direct path of communication to someone who can field a problem report and actually do something about it. Many other mainstream users are similarly frustrated by being unable to convey meaningful feedback on why some new decision is a bad one, and what could be done to improve it. When any explanation at all is offered, it is so heavily rewritten and dumbed-down by Marketing that its original point, if any, is unclear to the point of uselessness.

While they do litter the site with links to bring up suggestion forms, the complete absence of any feedback leaves no reward for the user and no encouragement to continue in future. Any other company will at least acknowledge customer input with a note, and possibly even further dialogue, depending on the topic, but not here.

The amount of potential that they squander with their poor planning and stonewalled communication is staggering. eBay could be so much better than this.

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by: JOHNNY MASADA This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Nov 8 12:42:14 2013

"eBay could be so much better than this"

this comment by A.C. should have a 100% approval rating even by the ebay haters.  

Me -  I love ebay, where did she go - tell me have you seen her!

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by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 13:51:34 2013

a_c_green lays it down nicely in his post.

Ebay has insulated itself from it's users making it impossible to reach core decision makers.

Is this intentional or simply the results of a poor business structure?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Fri Nov 8 14:21:39 2013

@JOHNNY MASADA,

Same here; I fell deeply in love with eBay and miss her now dearly—and I am not a seller but only a buyer of “stuff”; I am now inward looking, depressed—you name it ...

Grief counseling definitely is in order; then, maybe if we could just find out which nursing/palliative care unit she is in we could at least go and pay our respects, and thank her for the enjoyment that she once brought us all …

Unfortunately, the destructive virus that has invaded her body is not at all concerned about such matters, or is even aware; while the virus is still able to continue feeding so voraciously, it will stay on course until the host finally succumbs; that is the reality of untreated virus infections …

[Bain’s] Tom Tierney replied, “Donahoe, you idiot. You don’t need to quit, we will find a way to make it work.” He assigned me to a local client so I could consult and take care of the kids.

The great leader (in his own mind), Johnny Ho, certainly has not demonstrated that same consideration for the many small merchants (nor buyers) that made eBay the great marketplace that it used to be—many of whom rely on an eBay presence to support their families—indeed, during his whole tenure, the very opposite has been the case …

What really amazes me is the constant flood of sycophants that suck up to such obvious “bags of wind” on sites such LinkedIn; is it any wonder that the US economy is having difficulty recovering when the likes of Johnny Ho could be pulling the levers …

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

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Nov 8 14:30:26 2013

Xander asks: "Is this intentional or simply the results of a poor business structure? "

In my opinion, it is both.

Firstly, under John Donahoe, the corporate culture is such that management has been programmed to treat small sellers as "noise".

This was one of the first things out of Donahoes mouth after assuming the role of CEO.

Given Mr Donahoe's beliefs, it is natural that all the new senior management which has been imported to eBay has been instructed to treat small sellers with the same dismissive disdain.

This makes eBay's anti seller bent both intentional as well the most horrible business structures ever devised.

Under John Donahoe's watch, eBay has gone from a flash in the pan to trash in the can, all due to the horrible business ethics of it's CEO.

eBay sellers best hope is that Q4 sales come in below the already low guidance Donahoe announced during the Q3  quarterly report. If sales for Q4 are terrible, the pressure will be on management to examine the root causes of a disastrous holiday season.

At that point, the case will be made that Mr Donahoe's vast changes have alienated both buyers and sellers and reflect the fact that Mr Donahoe's turn around plan has failed miserably.

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