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Are you against eBay immediate payment via PayPal under £350?

By Dan Wilson October 13, 2016 - 12:57 am

Yesterday we were contacted by a seller who is jolly uptight. His annoyance relates to the requirement of immediate payment via PayPal for Buy it Now items under £350. He describes the move a few months back as the “worst decision in the history of eBay.”

He said: “Forcing immediate payment for Buy it Now items has got to be the worst decision in the history of eBay & is also contradictory. It has no benefit for buyers or sellers. The only reason eBay has done this has to be that they will make more money on the 10% fee charged on postage cost if the postage is paid on every item.”

Here is the eBay UK policy: “For items priced below £350 on eBay.co.uk with a specified postage cost and where PayPal is the only payment method offered, buyers who click Buy it Now are asked to pay immediately.”

We don’t think getting immediate payment from buyers on sub £350 is a bad thing at all. And the reason isn’t about fees. Chris and I recall the bad old days of non payers, the scourge of NPBs (Non Paying Bidders). That was a genuine problem that has since been alleviated and that’s a good thing. The plague of NPBs is old news these days. And it used to be the source of daily grumbling.

That’s not to say that there aren’t issues. Because the shopping cart feature isn’t available for overseas sellers, the immediate payment facility does mean that when it comes to international sales it’s not possible to combine purchases and get a shipping discount.

That’s not right but, as always with eBay, the reason is cock-up and not conspiracy.

Isn’t the general approach to take payment immediately the right one?

  • Andy R
    10 months ago

    You gloss over the fact that the shopping cart isn’t available for overseas buyers, as though this isn’t important.

    This issue has been there for years.

    Given that Ebay is supposed to be a global marketplace, shouldn’t they have fixed this by now, as it stops international buyers from buying from UK sellers.

    A far simpler solution is to have ONE option for buying, i.e., the basket.

    This is the normal mode of buying on many websites and takes away the current confusion.

    Buyers can then buy more than one item without the need to make messy postage/shipping refunds – note that Ebay holds onto the fvf for postage even if refunded !!!

    But there’s nothing for customers on Ebay to see that they should use the Ebay basket for multiple purchases – because Ebay DOESNT TELL THEM !!!

    GRRRRRRRR

    • Steven
      10 months ago

      With you 100% on this one Andy. The BUY IT NOW button shouldn’t be there!

      People buy a lot of very low value accessories to go with my main products, and PayPal take the £0.20 fixed fee for each item when the basket hasn’t been used.

      And now I’ve lost my international sales. Haven’t had one since this latest madness!!!

    • 10 months ago

      I said years ago that maybe we sellers should have a choice between buy it now button or basket or both. Our choice. I can understand a seller of beds having BIN button as most people only buy one but in party most of our sales are multiples therefore we would choose only ‘Add to basket’ It also makes customers check what they want before paying and therefore dont make as many mistakes on their orders.

      Come on Ebay…give us a choice!

    • Jon
      10 months ago

      We had the choice to ask for immediate payment Anne but they just took it away. The immediate payment tick box still exists. It was our choice to tick the box but now it’s been overridden by eBay. Tons of sellers don’t tick the box… This insane decision makes no sense at all. Why do eBay think we need this imposed on us?

    • 9 months ago

      When I first started selling on eBay I had loads of overseas customers and then the parameters changed and overseas sales stopped. Sellers were then encouraged to use a third party to sell overseas thus incurring fees to the third party for listing and translation on to the various sites and another layer of fees to eBay Uk, plus currency conversion charges for Paypal. However, I understand that overseas sales are opening up again and in the past couple of weeks have had a few sales to US and Europe with the buyers being able to “add to basket”.

      With regard to BIN immediate payments, surely this makes sense to all Sellers?

    • Russell
      9 months ago

      We had a conversation about this very same idea yesterday and today have already had two people buy two items as two separate purchases rather than using the shopping basket and making one.

  • Gary
    10 months ago

    The “non paying bidders” argument only applies to auctions. The immediate payment requirement only appies to BINS. The real issue is that ebay has to constantly compromise as it has multiple sellers with different shipping charges and two totally different sales methods. Until ebay rationalises some of this by ditching auctions altogether, imposing fixed shipping charges, and even making sellers anonymous by making sellers agents of ebay then it is difficult to see how ebay can make a basket work on ebay in the way sellers would like it to work.

    • Toby Lamper
      10 months ago

      Fixed shipping charges? That would be a nightmare for us! Customer would either under or over pay. Why can’t they just leave things alone and sort the bits that are broken!? Auctions def need to go… justa way for chinese sellers to clog up the listings!

    • Jon
      10 months ago

      Everyone seems to be missing the point. Nobody overseas wants to pay postage on every item so they don’t bother buying at all. It’s killed any new multiple overseas purchases. 99% of buyers will think we are all making money on postage. Fixed shipping charges or no more auctions will not solve the problem. Customers need to be told HOW to implement discounts on overseas purchases with a broken shopping cart. There should be some prompting. Instead it’s just brushed under the carpet. It will take a long time for sellers to realize the implications of this insane decision.

  • Mike
    10 months ago

    The lack of an overseas shopping basket function is a huge problem for my business and has resulted in many unhappy punters – I get at least one message every day about it. However there is a work-a round – tell your buyers to log-on to http://www.ebay.co.uk and all of a sudden everything works as it should. QED

    • Jon
      10 months ago

      This is no longer a work around Mike……the shopping cart has no purpose if immediate payment is now being enforced. It is detrimental to overseas multiple sales & serves no purpose with single item overseas purchases. It is not possible to inform new customers as they are scared away by the high postage even if they do manage to work out they should log into eBay uk to use the shopping cart. How can they get around immediate payment? All they can do is ask for an invoice & hope the buyer gets back to them before someone else buys what they wanted to buy.

    • chrissieboy
      9 months ago

      Hi Mike, if (if they can be bothered) / when the confused buyer contacts you, advise him to contact you direct. Send a direct paypal combined invoice. pass on to buyer your seller fee/excess postage tax etc savings if you wish, everyone happy and next time buyer will know what to do, except ebay, oh dear, shame.

    • Sam O'levski
      9 months ago

      Don’t forget that ongoing problems with messaging etc, perhaps caused by new seller hub, means not all sellers will be able to speedily contact buyers or process refunds, even if they can send a message, which will of course lead to various problems with buyers and possible negativity.
      Imagine the hassle of being unable to contact a buyer or issue a refund for a few days, during which time a busy seller will have yet more buyers waiting for attention, and short of using holiday settings to prevent sales, how will they catch up quickly, as it’s not possible to repeatedly attempt to use non-functioning bits of the ebay system when other jobs need doing ?

  • 10 months ago

    The forced immediate payment is the biggest single issue with eBay for sellers like myself.

    eBay would only ever tell me something along the lines of “some buyers are asked to make immediate payments for some purchases to some sellers”. This is hopelessly vague.

    I sell low value items and it is normal to sell perhaps ten to an international buyer. In fact I offer free global shipping when a buyer purchases ten or more items – except that despite offering the tools to do this through “Promotion manager” eBay often forces immediate payment for each item along with full shipping charges for each item. In some cases, a buyer will make ten separate payments with full shipping charges and then understandably demand all of the postage back. eBay will keep the 10% on postage ten times and PayPal will keep a cut having made a fixed charge ten times. All profit is gone.

    The only work-around that I have found is to ask the international buyers (who take the trouble to contact me) to send me a list of the say ten things that they require and I then cancel those ten listings and make a single listing to include free or reduced shipping. This is ridiculously time consuming and both a bad buying and a bad selling experience.

    • Jon
      10 months ago

      I’m with Rob Newcombe…What gets me is WHY WHY WHY has this been forced on us. If sellers wanted immediate payment they could tick the box for immediate payment. We are worse off now than we were before. It is a step backwards to remove the option. Most sellers on here are missing the point. OK we can tell regular customers but try telling new ones. They just dont buy any more so we now have less or no new customers. Paying postage on every item scares them all away. It makes sellers look like we are making money on postage cost whch is something ebay used to frown upon. Now they are forcing us to do it! Another cack-handed eBay contradiction.

  • Ian
    10 months ago

    NPB has been alleviated?????

    Can you please tell the 10% of winning bidders this news because they have not caught on yet.

    We are relisting over 300 items a month due to NPB (Auctions usually, but not exclusively). But that’s OK, because eBay doesn’t suffer, just us.

    • Jon
      10 months ago

      What is worse Ian. 300 non paying buyers or minus 30 new overseas customers ording multiple items? I would trade 300 non paying cusomers for 30 new multiple orders every time. Anyhow…asking for immediate payment used to be optional so why did you not have the box ticked for your BIN items? Now it’s enforced nobody has any say in the matter.

    • Fred Frogley
      10 months ago

      Personally I would love to able to tick require immediate payment on heavy items that can’t be combined, but as far as I know I can’t because eBay’s shipping table won’t allow me to enter box rates for the EU and weight based rates for outside the EU. I use the shipping table for EU box rates. Anybody outside the EU can’t pay immediately because they have to wait for us to enter the shipping cost manually.

    • Jon
      10 months ago

      This is what it eBay say in their own words here http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/pay/require-immediate-payment.html
      …..They state the following contradiction…….For items priced below £350 on eBay.co.uk with a specified postage cost and where PayPal is the only payment method offered, buyers who click Buy it now are asked to pay immediately………………………..

      For all other items, if you’ve set a Buy it now price for your item, you can require the buyer to pay you immediately using PayPal. You might use this feature if you’re selling a time-sensitive item (for example, concert tickets). You must meet certain seller and postage requirements and the listing must include any related costs, so your buyer knows exactly how much to pay.

      The so called “feature” is no longer optional. The first paragraph contradicts the second.

      I still don’t get why they removed the choice.

  • Jon
    10 months ago

    eBay agents have been telling me everyone has ticked the immediate payment box for months now but yesterday I got to the truth so thanks for doing this article. Why has immediate payment been forced on us? The tick box for immediate payment was there for anyone to use…it still is there. Immediate payment does not stop non payment for auctions or accepted offers and in turn puts off any overseas buyers who feel cheated by having to pay postage on every item. Why is there an option to create our own discounts when there is no way for the buyers to see the discounts due to a failure of the Shopping cart that has been ongoing for as long as the shopping cart was introduced? It’s just a waste of time creating any sales for ovcerseas customers. As for the five year long shopping cart cock up! Not a conspiracy? Why has it not been mentioned for years then? The markdown manager sales are no longer visible to overseas customers as well. eBay is a continuing contradiction and these gigantic problems damaging overseas trade are unforgivable. If they removed the shopping cart we could all go back to the days of overseas multiple sales. Then everybody wins. The very fact they have never publicly mentioned the shopping cart failure is gut wrenching. What is the point of a shopping cart with one wheel? Tamebay can you please ask them what is going on? I was in a conversation with support via email asking WHY has it been forced upon all sellers? After ignorring my question 3 times in a row they then sent a message saying that emails to this address are not received! It’s like dealing with North Korea. Please try to get an answer from them. If this is not a ploy to make money from the global shipping programme then why has Immediate payment been forced upon us and no longer optional? I would love to know what they say.

  • SAM
    10 months ago

    You can set your postal options for 1st payment and then more for each additional purchase. Plus if your willing to pay tracked on the first payment you get a really good deal on the rest. Also on a lot of items it is cheaper to buy individual items and send them by themselves by the time you add in weight costs depending on your courier deal.
    I require immediate payment on everything. However people seem to get away with not checking out on ebay.au, am always finding some item needing paid for.
    Immediate checkout and payment is essential for us.
    I also remember the days of a load of items sitting their unpaid for for days on end and having to go through the whole open a case then wait another 4 days what a total nightmare that was.
    It is only overseas as we are basically forced to supplement post domestic.

    • Jon
      10 months ago

      Those sales you mention are now obsolete. Sam you have missed the point. Nobody overseas wants to pay postage on every item so they don’t bother buying multiple items at all. Why woud you want to scupper your overseas trade like that? Why should Immediate payment now be imposed on every seller when we used to have the choice? All I want it the choice again & not to have it imposed on my business.

    • Sam O'levski
      10 months ago

      Some sellers will have a combination of larger and smaller items, which cannot be lumped together as additional purchases, so the seller will prefer to combine postage charges individually, unless the turnover is so great that is not possible, and they adopt a swings and roundabouts approach, providing they come out on top more often than not.
      I often sell lots of cheaper stuff which can go by normal letter post, but with the cost increasing greatly over 20g, I have to ensure I don’t undercharge and lose money, or overcharge and lose a customer, so really have to do those manually when several items are bought at once.

  • steve
    10 months ago

    Ebay don’t sell anything, so they don’t quite understand how merchandising works. Retail Stores treat customer flow as a Science, the whole idea is to get your customer once in, to buy more. Ebay just don’t get it. Too busy mugging pennies off postage I guess.

    • Jon
      10 months ago

      I think it might a ploy to make sellers join the global shipping program con. Is it possible to accept combined overseas purchases or offer postal discounts using the global shipping program?

  • Sam O'levski
    10 months ago

    In the same way ebay ‘educated’ buyers about the money back guarantee, why can’t ebay now educate them about how to make multiple purchases by waiting for a combined invoice if the seller chooses to offer it ?

    • Jon
      9 months ago

      Because they have to pay immediately Sam. No more mcombined invoices. Thats what this is all about.

  • JD
    9 months ago

    eBay has screwed this up bigtime.
    Sales to US and other worldwide destinations via .com are a fraction of what they were 5 years ago. The current level of the GBP imples that it should actually be the total opposite.
    A site that lets me create postage rules like ‘free shipping worldwide’ with a spend higher than £X and then has no system for it to be used is missing many screws.
    A few buyers still buy multi items and expect postage refunds which is as time consuming as it is tiresome, not to mention all the ill gotten fees not refunded by both eBay and PayPal.
    Most potential buyers simply don’t bother anymore. A few do get in touch enabling sales to be taken away from eBay ….

  • Gary
    9 months ago

    I stopped selling internationally on ebay the moment ebay plonked fees on shipping. The weak pound won’t make me change my mind as multiple sales waste time to sort and ebay and paypal scam fees. My website on the other hand is booming on the international sales front mainly to expats and with no feedback DSR risk to the business. So on ebay overseas demand is there if you can stomache the issues and the fees, which I am not prepared to.

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