An eBay executive indicated the marketplace will not be backing down on Managed Payments or the GTC mandate (Good Til Cancelled) despite much pushback from sellers. Last week, Jordan Sweetnam addressed seller concerns about two of the biggest changes to the site in 2019.
In one post on the eBay boards, Sweetnam addressed a question from a seller on whether eBay would reconsider forcing all sellers to use Managed Payments, a policy that is being phased in over time. The seller cited eBay's technical glitches on its site as well as reports that sellers enrolled in Managed Payments already had seen their funds held for weeks with no explanation.
"I am happy with PayPal," the seller wrote. " I do not want to switch. I get my payments immediately thru PayPal. Will you reconsider forcing all sellers to use Managed Payments?"
Sellers also raised the issue of eBay Managed Payment fees, which can be more costly for certain kinds of transactions - while PayPal has a per transaction fee of 30 cents, eBay charges 25 cents per listing. One seller of antique postcards explained, "If I sell 40 different postcards to a buyer, the per item fee of Managed Payments would be $10. I know of no other payment system that charges a per item fee instead of a transaction fee."
Sweetnam said there were no plans to reverse course on Managed Payments. In a confusing analogy, he compared eBay's reliance on PayPal to the US nearly pulling out of the UPU (Universal Postal Union). "When eBay is fully dependent on one solution, we can't bring the best solution/cost to your businesses," he said.
"Moving to Managed Payments still allows buyers to use PayPal, but as we progress, it will also allow GooglePay, ApplePay and solutions like EFT + Wire Transfer," he said.
"All of these additional payments will bring more shoppers onto our platform and, in the case of EFT + Wire Transfer, allow sellers who can't make money with today's PayPal fees be successful on our platform on really high priced items. We've already processed over $1 billion in payments and have no plans to slow down."
He also criticized PayPal for not refunding transaction fees when a seller refunds a buyer, but to our knowledge, eBay has never said it wouldn't engage in the same practice.
"Obviously PayPal is their own business and is free to make the choices they feel appropriate for the service they provide. There is a cost to process a payment and there is a cost to refund a payment... so it's hard to question the entirety of their decision.
"Now is that cost to serve equal to the full amount of fees paid? That doesn't sit right with me. At the core I still operate under the philosophy that we (eBay) are successful when you (our sellers) our successful... if you sell something we both make money... if you get a refund I'm not sure that should put you in the negative on the transaction.
"I can't promise you where we will land with managed payments (there is still a lot our teams are working through), but this should give you a sense of where I'm philosophically leaning."
Sweetnam also made a very surprising admission - he's unfamiliar with eBay Managed Payments per-listing fee structure. "It was actually news to me recently about the difference in the "per item" vs "per transaction" fee. If you are selling 40 different postcards to one customer in the same transaction I agree it would seem odd for us to charge the per item on each one. I don't have the full history here, but will dig into it."
Sweetnam returned to eBay in July after a stint at Walmart and is now Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas Market at eBay.
"A lot will change and become clear as we get further into next year, so please keep providing the feedback," he said in the post on the eBay boards
No Plans to Reverse Good Til Cancelled Mandate
Sweetnam also told sellers eBay has no plans to reverse the decision about the GTC mandate. "I’ve heard of a lot of things since I've returned that don't make sense (and will drive to change), but to be clear I haven't seen (yet) an example where the move on GTC is the wrong one," he wrote.
"GTC listings have better sell thru, the permanent item ID improves how those items appear in SEO (that helps everyone) and a consistent item ID helps search deliver better ranking."
He also said the practice of starting and stopping short duration repeatedly to appear at the top of time newly listed search results was bad for buyers and overall search relevance, which he said hurts all sellers.