eBay Changes and Changes Postponed

There are a number of changes on our favorite auction site, eBay.  Some have already occurred, some will occur shortly and some have been postponed. They will affect both buyers and sellers, although sellers will have more changes to make.

eBay had previously announced that it will be eliminating paper payments (checks and money orders).

Paper payments end this October

Beginning late October 2008, all items listed on eBay.com must be paid for using one of the following approved payment options:

  • Direct credit or debit card payment via a merchant credit card account
  • PayPal
  • ProPay
  • Payment on pick-up

Paper payment methods such as checks and money orders will no longer be accepted on eBay.com.

There will be a loophole however, a buyer can request to pay by check and you can accept it.  however you can not solicit payments by check or MO.  A seller can not be forced to except a check or MO either.  Big Brother will be watching.  Check out this link and scroll down

Buyers requesting check or money order
A seller can accept check and money order payment from a buyer if (and only if) the buyer requests it. We will not take action against a seller who is trying to accommodate their buyer, complete a sale and be in compliance with the policy. A seller can also decide to refuse check or money order payment from a buyer.

When these changes go into effect in late October, a seller cannot in any way solicit check or money order payment from a buyer. This will be considered a violation of the Accepted Payments Policy. Violations may result in:

  • Listing cancellation
  • Forfeit of eBay fees on canceled listings
  • Limits on account privileges
  • Loss of PowerSeller status
  • Account suspension

One way we will detect violations is through buyer reports. We will also monitor checkout completion rates for sellers, and this has generated a lot of questions from sellers. Here are some clarifications:

  • eBay will not automatically take action against a seller with a low completion rate. We realize that there are many valid reasons for low completion rates.
  • We will investigate sellers with low checkout completion rates on a case by case basis. Specifically, we will check to see if the seller is soliciting check or money order payment from their buyers. If we don’t find any evidence of this occurring, we won’t take action against the seller.

The postponement relates to a new requirement for sellers a Return Policy.

We had previously announced that specifying both your Return Policy and Handling Time would be made mandatory in late October. However, given the breadth of changes we’re asking sellers to make to their listings this year, we’re giving sellers a reprieve on these two items until after the holiday season.

The new enforcement date for mandatory Return Policy and Handling Time will be in early 2009. To give sellers adequate time to get their listings ready, we’ll be giving sellers at least 30 days notice before we start enforcement.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to clear up a couple of questions around Return Policy.

Do I have to accept returns?
We encourage you to accept returns, as this increases buyer satisfaction. However, you do not have to accept returns. You may specify “No Returns Accepted” as your return policy.

More eBay changes to follow.


Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn’t seem to be working.