Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Feb 22 2021 21:47:39

eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

By: Ina Steiner

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I published a letter to the editor today from a buyer who said they can't get their funds released by eBay even though the seller cancelled the order. Imagine - the reader paid for an item, the seller cancelled the order, but eBay is still holding their funds weeks later.

Lo and behold, a reader sent an email today who was experiencing a similar situation but from the seller perspective. 

The buyer filed a dispute, the seller okayed the refund, but eBay continues to hold an amount the seller already refunded to the buyer. 

The seller sent a screenshot showing the dispute was opened 2 weeks ago and showing that the seller accepted the dispute and allowed the refund, yet it also states, "The buyer hasn't received a refund." 

The seller told us said they did refund the buyer, yet eBay is holding that same amount ("Held from payouts until the dispute is closed").

Even if these two incidents are flukes, an entity that processes payments should offer customer service that would allow the parties to get such problems fixed. But neither reader could get eBay customer service to fix the problem and release their funds. 

It begs the question, how much money is eBay holding altogether?

I'm reminded of the 1991 Jerry Seinfeld episode where he's talking to a customer service agent at a car rental kiosk who's explaining to Jerry why she can't give him a car despite the fact he made a reservation.

Rental Car Agent : I think I know why we have reservations.

Jerry : I don't think you do. You see, you know how to *take* the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation. And that's really the most important part of the reservation: the holding. Anybody can just take them.

In these cases, eBay knows how to *hold* buyer and seller funds, they just don't know how to *release* them.

Just imagine if the Jerry Seinfeld show took place today, what he might say about the challenges of buying and selling online!



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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 22:11:23 2021

"It begs the question, how much money is eBay holding altogether?"

I've wondered this for a long time, but since the drastic increase in claims due to USPS delays, I'm starting to wonder if eBay makes more money in investing "on hold" funds then they do from actual seller fees!

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 23:33:13 2021

Once again, this is reminder that the government really needs to look into the nefarious practices of eVilBay!

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 23:59:11 2021

Free food over at Walkers costs lots of money - who do you think pays for it all?

Who pays for all the perks that they lazy eBay employees get (free health club, free baby sitting, free parking, free food - free everything!)

SELLERS

Each time, eBay nickle and dimes sellers - every time they come up with some new scheme.

And then the crickets from the PROFESSOR(s) and Cheerleaders.

eBay just gave itself COD on fees, instead of the net 30 it used to give sellers - does anyone have anything to say?

All the money goes into TONY's aka that idiot from Walmarts safe in his office (not physically - obviously it goes into the bank and eBay sits back and collects interest.

BUt dont worry - no one cares, and eBay marches on selling seller data and browsing habits and never gives sellers ANYTHING back ...

Yup ... way to go! (not)

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 10:01:17 2021

eBay seller Don Heiden, aka the Auction Professor just wrote an article a few days ago for ecommercebytes on managed payments and for him, it's "so far, so good". It's interesting but YouTubers who focus on ebay always to seem to have less issues and when they have issues, they seem to get attention from ebay right away. If an ebay scammer returns a box of rocks to you, just do a video and ebay will return you the money. Having trouble connecting to customer service, just do a video and ebay will call you. If you're frustrated on how buyers are not sending payments after a purchase, just do a video and Harry will personally send you an email.  

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 23 11:13:24 2021

Regulators need to land on eBay like a swarm of locusts.

Their "creative" schemes of making money by "float", holding funds that need to be released, are going to cause them problems.

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 12:58:37 2021

Your article is timely for me, Ina.  Here is a third scenario:

Buyer files non-receipt dispute on 2/17.  Within 10 minutes, I provide the tracking number (again, since ebay can't seem to look at the shipping on THEIR site and see the tracking number).  Within the next ten minutes I check USPS and Canada Post (package shipped to Canada) and find tracking on both sites showing as delivered on 2/12.

As of today, 2/23, there is this message on the case page:
Payment dispute details
Status:Open - No action needed
We've sent your rebuttal to the buyer's payment institution and they are currently reviewing it. We'll let you know when they've made a decision.  What decision??  They received the package, release my funds.  Oh, pardon me, is this ebay having my back again? gggrrr

And this message just came up today.  As of last night it was still saying that ebay was preparing the case to send to the payment institution.

A couple of questions:  why does it take ebay 7 days (or 5 business days) to get the information to the payment institution AND isn't ebay the ''Payment institution''?

Meanwhile, I have this email sitting in my inbox waiting for resolution:  ''Your funds are on hold due to a payment dispute''

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 13:37:28 2021

"We've sent your rebuttal to the buyer's payment institution" means that the buyer went to their CC company and is FORCING eBays hand.

When this happens, eBay "forgets" its in charge and dumps it on Adyen. (eBay never takes responsibility for ANYTHING)

When Adyen gets it - THEY dont want to eat the loss so they push it back in eBay. Theres some kind of back room deal that Adyen never eats the loss. Id love to see the paper work but of course that wold never happen.

Then eBay comes back to you ... or me (as I found out).

When a buyer does a chargeback and you are in MP - you AUTO loose. Ina doesnt want to write about it - but I know from experience.

The "professor" whos busy making radios from coconuts (ala Gilligans Isl) wont tell you about it either.

I hope and pray that it doesnt happen to you ..... (aka that you can win)

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Feb 23 15:21:20 2021

There is a solution that would help end eBay holds on cash..... FEDERAL LEGISLATION needs to be imposed so that money handlers are required to properly disburse funds within a mandated time frame, or else the held payment automatically begins accruing interest which would then be mandated to be paid to the person the money is owed to.

The legislation could also prohibit money handlers like eBay and Adyen from using money that does not belong to them in the currency markets that 'float' the revenue and earn the company profits.

Mandating interest on delayed payments, and prohibiting balances owed to customers from being used in currency markets would go a long way towards ending this company's rampant financial abuses.

So, how about it Democrats?  You are in charge now, how about some common sense legislation with some serious teeth to protect people from the rampant abuses of businesses like eBay and Adyen?

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Feb 23 15:40:41 2021

And float is exactly what they do. If you get a return and do not have twice the money in  your eBay Account ( which when you think about it, with weekly deposit and sales the way they are, you likely don't) They will take take money out of your back up funding regardless of the hold. In eBays little sorry mind, the two aren't connected.

Now, even more peculiar, it depends on the amount of the refund.  I had a $200 return that actually was applied to the hold on the funds. Then I had a $700 return and it was NOT applied to the hold. Not only that, they withdrew from my credit card instead of my bank account. My separate and only bank account for eBay which is the primary funding source.

If that wasn't enough, when my credit card released the funds to eBay, they refunded the buyer but kept the hold on my funds for another day?

I'm guessing they realize that a lot of us have a completely different aank account just for them, so (everyone should) they went directly to the back up source.

They are always scheming and scamming. They've been doing it too long they don't know any other way. It is absolutely disgusting and a disgraceful way to  "operate" a business. Smiley faced Iannone really needs to tone down his self kudo's.

Oh, and a after being told by Twitter,  and Facebook eBay customer service to continue to try and get through to the Managed Payments call back link......three weeks four times day ..............NADA.

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: notfunanymore This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 16:04:17 2021

Their payment scheme was designed so they can hold hundreds of millions of $ at ALL times, sure, of course they will make payouts, even if there were no issues with buyers, sellers, and funds, they STILL would be holding hundreds of millions of $ each and every day. They send THOSE funds to work for them, ie:  investments,  acquisitions, etc. They are making money on your backs... again. Its painful to watch

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 18:03:51 2021

@pace306

This is off-topic but related to my post:  

I see your point but I certainly hope I won't be left holding the bag for a package that shows delivered.  If that is the case what is the point of Delivery Confirmation??

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 19:28:40 2021

The buyers bank believes them when they say they didnโ€™t get it (or what ever the excuse is). This happens on Amazon 24/7 where DC isnโ€™t considered as delivered.

A charge back these days costs $200 or so and thereโ€™s no way on gods green earth that eBay is eating that charge. Neither is Adyen.

In my case eBay lied and said that I never used the resolution center when they know I did and it was confirmed by 3 SR numbers!

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 22:00:32 2021

@pace306

Just read your response to this supposed chargeback that was done by the buyer.  Adyen has no responsibility in this at all other than to get the money from Ebay or its reserves if the chargeback is closed in the buyers favor.  Ebay is the so called seller of record so they are who is responsible for getting the buyer their money back, not Adyen.  If Adyen were forced to give the money back to the buyer it would be taken from Ebay either by shorting their next payment or taking that money from Ebays reserves which they should have on file with ADyen.  It is then up to Ebay to recover the funds from the Seller.

When Ebay was first discussing Mangled Payments i had posed the question as to how Ebay was going to handle chargebacks as they should have an entire department dedicated to fighting those on the Sellers behalf (their true customer even if they refuse to acknowledge it).  Instead, by never answering that question they may it very clear that they had no intention of doing anything for the Sellers or even allowing the Sellers to dispute the chargeback with their own paperwork.  Ebay still considers the Buyers their customer and the only party they are interested in keeping happy even though they have a legal Fiduciary Responsibility to every Seller whose sales they process.  By keeping the buyer happy they not only get to withhold the funds from the Seller but can also charge them the $20 chargeback fee which is what they are truly interested in as once again a unilateral decision by Ebay to not fight any chargebacks will increase their revenue stream by $20 per chargeback that they lose on the Sellers behalf so another increase in revenue for Ebay.  There are supposed to be limits on how large of a percentage of overall sales are allowed to be chargedback before Adyen is supposed to close their account, but if Ebay received that 5% ownership stake that was in the initial contract i am sure that % has been increased or completely ignored by Adyen as once again its all about keeping Ebay happy as their customer, something that Ebay should learn from them rather than continually stealing from the Sellers on their site, but that would mean once again spending money that does not benefit Ebay and Ebay only.


Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 24 10:02:18 2021

SIK :)

you are of course correct that Adyen is not a bank - not even close. What they are of course is the exact same thing as Paypal - just in the Netherlands.

Adyen aka Euronext however, does not as Paypal did, "take a direct loss" when a buyer/seller issue arises.

Adyen is hungry and looking for growth but in a different method then Paypal and that was the invitation that eBay needed - your aforementioned percentage stake in the company. That percentage of ownership has Adyen letting eBay do as they please - and you are correct that they arent eating any losses. The back n forth is just for show - paperwork to prove that they "even remotely care" about what happens when a chargeback happens.

eBay sends it to Adyen (they have to by law) and then Adyen passes it back to eBay who (you are again correct) is acting as both (in the case of this chargeback) both seller of record and merchant of record.

Its of course fraud - since eBay is playing both sides of the coin. They cant/wont interfere on a sellers behalf because it is they themselves on the line. The buyers bank will come after whomever it needs to, to recoup those funds and eBay pays them off - then comes after the seller.

All this makes Adyen "eBays puppet", something Paypal used to be (and still is to some extent) but hasnt "really been" for some time.

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: Disgruntled_Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 25 10:02:35 2021

Reminds me a lot of Amazon, federal, states and other such types although a slightly different scheme, it fits.

"You Are Guilty" - "Prove You Are Not" or "You Owe ..." - "Prove You Don't"

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: Mamak This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 25 10:57:21 2021

I had a buyer requested cancellation and they failed to refund promoted listing fees so you also need to watch that as they get ya wherever they can.  

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Thu Feb 25 15:25:55 2021


eBay knows when to hold 'em
not when to hand over 'em
Knows when to walk away
Instead of giving support
They always float your money
Whenever they're able
They'll be nothing left for countin'
When eBay's  Lawyers 're done
๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽธ

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: RightbrainWoman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 25 15:44:28 2021

I feel the pain. My buyer filed an ''Item not received'' an hour before the item (a priority package that took 6 days to arrive) was delivered. Even though I contacted the buyer, the item is still listed as ''funds on hold'' and since this occurred the day after I received payments from ebay, there is not enough in my account to ship new orders. There doesn't seem to be a way to tell ebay that the problem has been resolved. (Or if there is, it's hidden from me.) Very frustrating.  

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Thu Feb 25 17:48:18 2021

@RightbrainWoman

I say we take over eBays illogical side....l.ol.

but in reality, they hold your money without foundation or proof. the hold is attached to nothing. How can a company hold money without a link completely??? here as to be a connection with something, but they have none. With no way of the victim to have contact or communication. [m sure many other industry's  would find their leader's in Jail or at least brought forward to face charges of utter thievery.

Useless is well useless. Don't you think Mr. Iannone? Did you check the market today? Down 4%%! Hahaha. Someone's catching on don't you think? I love watching you guys play with the stock market to try to stop the bleeding and you cant. You just have to take the hit sometimes don't you. What's it like to be the head of a company that is despised by so many?

And the ever famous board...................๐Ÿง–โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง–โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง–โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง–โ€
โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง–โ€โ™‚๏ธ
Must be starting to get hot and steamy

Perminate Link for eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them   eBay Knows How to Hold Funds but Not How to Release Them

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 26 12:53:13 2021

I think eBay is toast. Sales and traffic are down. Impressions are hollow as >80 percent of mine are not related to actual searches. My conversion rate, which has been consistent for at least half a dozen years, dropped by 25% since being transferred into Managed Payments last August. Buyer cancellations run about 5% of sales; something that has never been the case in the last 18 years. Every metric from every angle is headed the wrong way.

I don't think there is one thing within the eBay platform that is working as intended. I doubt they even realize it.

These schemes that eBay keeps implementing, honestly they are good business....for eBay. But why didn't all of these things happen 15 years ago? Well, eBay managers were too lazy to bother. They have built a business around raking in what is easy in the short run while ignoring basic fundamentals. They are managing receivables NOW because it is necessary. The rest of the business has been on the decline for the last several years. If you don't agree, just look at their stock performance for the last 10 years.

In my opinion, the holds, changing the invoicing et al is just just business as usual from the lazy suite at eBay.

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