We’re used to being able to use PayPal for anything and everything these days. You can use PayPal to exchange money between different currencies and then pay someone in their currency of choice. You can take loans through PayPal. You can pay your grocery bill through PayPal. From a company that nobody had heard of when eBay bought it in 2002, PayPal has become an integral part of everyday life for many people. Not everybody has a PayPal account, but almost everybody at least understands the concept of one.
During the past twelve months, we’ve seen PayPal get bigger and more advanced than ever before. PayPal started allowing people to store and exchange cryptocurrency and partnered itself with a few online slots websites to create “PayPal casinos.” You could even use PayPal to acquire cryptocurrency in a few cases, which you could then use to play online slots. That’s how far we’ve come with technology now – and yet PayPal has just experienced a huge setback. You might be able to use it to pay for your bets at Rose Slots New Zealand, but you’ll no longer be able to use it to receive money from buyers on eBay. New terms have just been announced for anyone who sells goods on the world’s biggest auction site – and they’ve cut PayPal out of the deal altogether.
It would be one thing if eBay announced its new terms and gave users time to get used to the idea of losing PayPal functionality, but that isn’t what’s happened. The new terms were introduced on June 1st and have gone into effect immediately. In short, you can no longer use PayPal as an eBay seller. You could on May 31st, but you can’t as of 24 hours later. The suddenness of the move has caught traders off guard, and it’s safe to say that a lot of them aren’t happy. Sellers now have to be paid directly by buyers rather than using Paypal as an intermediary, which means that sellers now have to provide eBay with their bank details rather than their PayPal account details. That’s a step too far for some sellers who aren’t happy with the idea of eBay being able to take debits from their account at any time of their pleasing.
To sell the benefits of the move, eBay says that the new “managed payments” system offers more choice to both buyers and sellers and saves money because neither party will have to cover PayPal fees any longer. In practice, though, eBay has increased its own fees to the extent that the difference in cost between the old and new methods is little more than pennies. The vast majority of customers won’t notice any saving. That means they’re unlikely to feel like they’re getting any benefit from the change. It also creates a disparity between buyers and sellers. While sellers can no longer receive their money through PayPal, buyers can use it to make payments. Between this and the fact that money will now take an average of two working days to be processed (rather than the instant transactions that PayPal allowed), it’s not hard to see why sellers feel like they’re getting a raw deal.
Aside from creating an inconvenience for sellers, this move further underlines how drastically the relationship between eBay and PayPal has broken down. As we mentioned earlier in this article, most people had never heard of PayPal before eBay acquired the company in 2002. The two entities worked together harmoniously for more than a decade before PayPal broke away and regained its independence in 2015. At the time of the split, eBay felt it was the best move for both parties and insisted that it wouldn’t change anything in eBay processes. Now, six years later, it feels almost as if eBay is packing up the few possessions that PayPal left behind and throwing them out of the door. As another tech website put it, it’s like a long-running relationship has finally come to an end – and this time, it’s over for good.
Some observers believe that eBay won’t stop wrenching PayPal away from sellers. They think it’s a matter of time before buyers, too, are forced to pay directly. Another popular conspiracy theory among eBay sellers is that this move will make it easier for eBay to process refunds. Sellers often complain of a “bias” that eBay shows towards buyers, consistently siding with buyers when they make complaints even when the complaint doesn’t seem fair or reasonable. In cases where a buyer’s complaint is upheld, the seller must refund the buyer’s costs. Sellers still had little control over this when eBay didn’t have access to their bank accounts. From now on, eBay will theoretically be able to dip into a seller’s bank account and redress the balance when it decides to approve a complaint. This might prove to be the final straw for some of the platform’s longest-serving sellers, who may now move to other auction websites where they feel they’ll receive more protection and better terms.
The majority of eBay users will already be subject to the platform’s new terms and conditions. If you’re an eBay seller, you’ll likely be asked to provide your bank details the next time you log into the website or app if you haven’t already done so. There are some territories worldwide where the rollout is a little slower, though, so in the most extreme cases, your details may not be requested for two or three months. The moment is coming, though, and when it does, you’ll have to decide whether you want eBay to know your bank details. PayPal was created to make payments safer and more convenient for everybody. Once upon a time, eBay loved that idea so much that it bought the company. Times have changed, though, and eBay wants to get a little more personal with the people who sell their goods through the platform. Only you can decide whether that means eBay is still right for you or not.