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Ebay Turmoil

Most of our regular customers will know that we have reduced our Ebay selling significantly since the last increase in fees – quite simply, we can offer you better prices direct from our website if we dont have to pay Ebay their cut as well.

However, we do still run the occasional special as a way of gaining new customers who may not have discovered our website yet.  Unfortunately, the latest move by Ebay has caused more turmoil on the site.

For those who havent caught up with the controversy, Ebay will be forcing everyone to use PayPal as the only payment option – no longer will buyers be able to send cheques, money orders or use direct deposit.  On a practical level, this is taking choice away from buyers to use a payment method that is most convenient or feels most comfortable for them.   While Ebay claims this is done purely to protect buyers, the fact that Ebay owns PayPal clearly indicates that it is simply a scheme to increase their own income at the expense of choice for buyers.  Clearly an abuse of their market power to reduce competition and force up prices.

The facts:  Ebay charges for every listing, they charge a commision on every sale, they receive a further commission from every PayPal payment, they receive interest from funds held in PayPal accounts (account owners receive no interest), they charge for withdrawals for withdrawals from PayPal accounts under $150.   Foreign currency conversions are extremely expensive and their credit card commission is quite a bit higher than standard merchant facilities with Australian banks.  If you pay through PayPal from your bank account (rather than your credit card), this is an e-cheque and can take up to 7 days to clear before the seller can despatch goods! 

Seller protection (against fraudulant chargebacks) is unavailable for sales outside of Ebay and highly restricted within.  Buyer protection is not superior to that offered by banks through your credit card and you are charged when making a claim so dont be fooled into thinking PayPal is safer than all alternatives.  Weigh up your situation and decide what suits best for you.

Aussie Sapphire is happy to receive PayPal payments – although it is the most expensive way for us to receive payments, we are happy to provide this service to those who find it convenient.  However, we have many customers who prefer to use offline payment methods and we strongly believe that our job is to make it easy for them too.  Unfortunately, these people will no longer be able to use Ebay – we suggest you come to our website where prices are cheaper and we’ll do everything we can to make your shopping experience a pleasant one.

Although Ebay regards this as a fait accompli, we do still have a chance to give an opinion on this.  They have applied to the ACCC for approval of the policy – we have just a week or so to submit an opinion on how this will affect sellers and buyers.  See here for more information on how to make a submission.

Aussie Sapphire will be making a submission that we believe there is no valid reason for Ebay to be allowed to reduce choice for buyers while offering nothing to sellers and buyers in return.  If you believe in freedom of choice, please make a submission also. 

Still reviewing whether we keep selling on Ebay past June – we’ll see how the dust settles I suppose but feeling really upset that we cannot offer buyers the same kind of service that we can from our own website. 

Cheers for now
Andrew and Leah Lane (Aussie Sapphire)