Think you can accept checks and money orders on eBay? Think again. eBay banned paper payments in 2008. Nevertheless, many sellers believe the policy only applies to the payment methods the seller advertises, believing sellers can accept a check or money order as long as it is the buyer making the request.
The issue arose on Wednesday's weekly chat session when a seller asked moderators to provide some examples of a proper response to a request from a buyer who "makes a request to buy products and then tell you they will send you a check or money order," and "who more than likely does not know the policy."
A moderator responded with the following:
With limitations in protection options when checks or money orders are used, there are only specific situations where they'd be allowed on eBay. Unless you're listing in a category where you can advertise those as forms of payment, I would suggest responding to your buyer's question with something like this:
Thanks for your interest in this item! We aren't currently able to accept checks or money orders as a form of payment. We do, however, offer (enter payment method you offer here). Let us know if you have any other questions and thanks again!
Or something like:
I'm happy you're interested in this item! We currently are only able to accept (enter payment method you offer here) and wouldn't be able to take a money order or check.
Something short and sweet like that should suffice. Since we do have very strict policies regarding those forms of payment, don't hesitate to report a buyer who may be pushing the issue after that. You can also include this link
for your buyers to reference.
Another seller responded to the moderator, "Are you sure about that Heidi. To my knowledge as long as the buyer brings it up first without any prompting from the seller, the seller can agree to take a check or MO if they want to. Sellers just aren't allowed to solicit it."
But the moderator responded, "I just double checked on this policy and you're more than welcome to accept the payment method the buyer wants to use as long as it's covered through eBay's accepted payments policy. Checks and MO are only covered in specific categories."
This has been a controversial issue from the beginning. There are plenty of buyers and sellers who are happy to conduct business with checks and money orders (one of the appeals of Etsy, though they're now requiring sellers to offer Etsy Payments.
What do you think?