eBay.com paperless payments policy goes live

A week later than expected, eBay.com’s paperless payments policy has finally gone live today; sellers may not offer cash, cheques or money orders as means of payment, but only one of the approved electronic methods: PayPal, credit or debit card payment to a seller’s merchant account, or ProPay. As of today, sellers will not be able to list as accepting “checks” or “money orders” through the SYI form; listings already live with checks and MOs as payment options will have those hidden on the view item page.

eBay has extended the grace period for .com sellers to amend their listings to remove references to paper payments to January 15th 2009. Sellers who have to cancel and relist Good Til Cancelled listings in order to remove references to prohibited payment methods, will have their insertion and feature fees credited to their seller account.

What’s still not clear is how this affects non-US sellers whose listings are available on eBay.com, whether using the ISV upgrade or on an international search. Both pinkie James on the UK PowerSeller Board and John McDonald, head of Trust and Safety in the US, talking to Scot Wingo, were unable to clarify the position. In Australia during the short period where PayPal was the only permitted payment method, sellers who offered other means of payment had their listings hidden from Australian buyers. Scot asked John whether sellers on .com would be permitted to offer paper payments to buyers from countries where this is still permitted: he, like thousands of sellers, is still waiting for an answer to this one. If the head of T&S doesn’t know, one has to wonder just who he’s gone to ask; as soon as we get an answer, I’ll update this post.

Updated to add the answer:

A little site experimentation finds that if you search for something you’re likely to find from German sellers and then choose one of the ones not offering PayPal, the View Item page is blocked:

This item is not available for purchase
This item is not available for purchase on eBay United States.
Learn more about our accepted payments policy.
View the original listing on eBay and buy this item on eBay Germany

More generously than we might expect, there is a link to the listing on the original site.

On items which offer PayPal plus paper payments on the original non-.com listing, when viewed on .com the paper payments are not shown.