eBay says it will improve the consumer protections offered by PayPal. The AP says, “buyers who pay for items with PayPal will be eligible for full refunds, with no cap, if a seller fails to deliver an item as promised.” The changes are expected to take place this fall. [NYT]


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  1. statnut says:

    Oh good, the scammers just got another weapon in their arsenal.

  2. Yeah … even more reason for me to never buy or sell anything through EBay ever again.

  3. SkokieGuy says:

    Let’s reword that press release:

    Ebay announces it will generate lots of press to counteract how loudly they sucks.

    The new press will be centered around a ‘guarantee’ that will pay buyers who don’t get the merchandize they paid for via paypal.

    Ebay has not yet announced the terms of this new guarantee that will insure that it is completely meaningless.

    Experts in the know aren’t worried. “Even if it were to be a real guarantee, Ebay has no potential loss of revenue”. They are experts in avoiding any actual contact with buyers or sellers that would be required for any kind of guarantee to be implemented?”

  4. crabbyman6 says:

    don’t they already do something pretty much just like this and that doesn’t work either? Like statnut said, I’m sure scammers will exploit this just as bad as every other ebay/paypal policy in existence.

  5. snoop-blog says:

    @statnut: exactly. last 2 out of the 3 things I’ve sold I was scammed on. Now I only accept money orders.

  6. SkokieGuy says:

    If you’re in a decent size city, two words:
    craigslist baby!

    No packaging / no transporting / cash in hand before the item leaves your possesion.

  7. snoop-blog says:

    @SkokieGuy: too bad I live in bfe (bum-fucked, Egypt).

  8. SkokieGuy says:

    Snoop, talk to your bank, money orders can be faked and depending how drafted, even stop-payment you can still get burned.

  9. @crabbyman6: Currently, they offer protection if you pay via instant transfer from your bank account. You can have a credit card linked to your PayPal account, but if you use that to pay, you currently forefit their protection. I think. It’s been quite a while since I’ve used my eBay or PayPal account. I should probably just cancel them, actually…

  10. Snarkysnake says:

    I recently gave Craigslist my first try. Sweet Jesus,it was light years ahead of the whole Ebay experience. I sold a scooter to a real buyer without the hassle and ridiculous fees that Ebay charges. I wish I had read SkokieGuy’s post above a long time ago.There is still some fraud connected with Craigslist,but you have to be a greedy,stupid seller to fall for it.(In which case you probably deserve what you get). I will never sell on Ebay again. I might buy there,but no matter how hard they try,the bastards can’t force me to open a PayPal account.

  11. snoop-blog says:

    @SkokieGuy: I meant money orders from people who have established positive feedback rating. no new users.

  12. terminalboredom says:

    So once again ebay/paypal becomes even more unfriendly to the honest small-time seller who won’t be able to recoup the costs of a bad transaction. “If a seller fails to deliver an item as promised,” is pretty open ended.

    I haven’t sold on ebay in 4 years due to the hassle it became back then. With the last couple things I’ve bought recently, I’ve noticed the “say whatever you want with no worries” no penalty feedback system for buyers.

    I mean, as long as someone got paid on time, as a seller you *should* leave them positive feedback since they held up their end of the bargain. However, sometimes a negative was your only weapon to warn others against completely unreasonable or shady buyers that you’ve done your best to accommodate or make things right for. Now that’s completely gone.

  13. Sndtrkman says:

    @terminalboredom: Exactly, what eBay did was give the scammers more power than the actual sellers. It sucks that they took our means of leaving a negative feedback away and we can’t do anything to the people who do leave us one just by blocking them. Ooooh like that’ll help much. God, eBay is just getting worse and worse by the day.

  14. rellog says:

    Ebay is essentially rooting out the small sellers. As if EBay hasn’t already become a useless over-sized outlet mall…

  15. terminalboredom says:

    @silencedotcom: Oh and CLOSE YOUR UNUSED paypal accounts. I hadn’t used mine in around 8 months last year, and started noticing strange $50 withdraws from my checking account some time in October for some g-potato.com gaming site I had never heard of, and of course my paypal account had NO record of the transactions.

    I called my bank immediately to stop any further outgoing paypal transactions, filled out fraud affidavits, then called paypal and explained the situation with a detail of the charges that needed to be reversed, letting them know I had already taken the appropriate steps to put them in the corner, and requested that my account be closed. Supposedly they fixed them that day, and indeed the money was re-deposited in my account within a few business days.

    The real issue came when I then had the amount in question that had been refunded come back to me in the mail in the form of a COLLECTIONS NOTICE from PayPal. Many threatening phone calls later, it was supposedly resolved. I have yet to see it actually pop up on my credit report.

    Unfortunately, I loooooove to collect records, and of course anything I want that’s valuable is going to hit ebay before anyone sells it to a record store that’s going to fleece them for 1/3 the ebay going rate, so I have to have a PP account for certain listings. Grr. I just made sure to open the new account with no bank account attached, and use a CC I never carry a balance on, so any shenanigans will be spotted and charged back immediately.

  16. SkokieGuy says:

    This just in:

    Merger talks are continuing in what is being called SEABAY, a merger of Sears & Ebay. The merger could result in the most consumer unfriendly behemoth in history, rendering Walmart just a friendly neighbood joint by comparison.

    Of course when Home Depot starts using SEABAY to sell home improvement products (paid for with your BOA credit card) we can be certain the end of the world is near.

  17. snoop-blog says:

    @silencedotcom: I would and let me tell you why and what’s been happening. First there are plenty of websites set up that are like the consumerist but for bad paypal stories only.

    If you have a bank or card linked to your account, remove them quickly.

    okay here’s what happened, (in a nutshell)
    I sold a nintendo ds with games on ebay. The item arrived no prob. I already transferred the money to my bank, then spent it. (the only reason i was selling stuff was because I was broke and behind on some things. Instinctively, I read about some of paypals new policies and such. It had been so long since I was on there that I think they pretty much had to inform me of the changes. So right after I was paid for the ds, I removed my bank and card info out of being paranoid. Glad I did because the guy was new to ebay (I know) and complained to paypal claiming it would power off everytime he hit the b button. Well paypal immediatly put a hold on $110, but remember, that money was long gone already, so now my paypal was negative $110. I still had other auctions going. when those ended for $30 each, I was still negative. Yeah you know how the buyer pays for shipping? Well I was counting on that money to you know SHIP THEM! So innocent buyers got penalized by the nintendo guys douchebaggery. Oh BTW, The guy doesn’t want to give back the ds, and now has his money and my ds. Did paypal do a damn thing to help me get back my ds? HELL NO!

  18. Blinden says:

    The system is broken, so broken, and there isn’t much of an alternative right now.

    I purchased an item from eBay a few weeks ago that was both counterfeit AND the wrong item altogether, and the company that sold it would not return any emails.

    I filed paypal dispute then claim, and I have to send it back to the seller at my cost to have a chance to receive a refund.

    This isn’t a lot of money for this particular item, but it’s principle, I did nothing wrong, except for use their service, which apparently is a punishable offense at this point in time.

    Plus the item was ship gouged at $20 shipping (real shipping should have been about $8), so, in theory I should get $20 over my cost to ship it back, but I would certainly settle for $8, or, most likely -$8 at this point.

  19. snoop-blog says:

    I tried to only include the important details because there’s a lot more to the story. Man I just get so worked up thinking about it. I try my best to not think about it so I hate re-hashing it, but I just had to after I seen this post.

  20. SkokieGuy says:

    My first experience with ebay was buying an antique from a business in england.

    After the auction closed, he wanted money for shipping and additional money for ‘packaging’. I believe about $100.00 on a $450.00 purchase.

    I argued with him that shipping is buyer-locatiion specific, but packaging an item is part of the cost of selling and is unfair as a hidden add-on. He reduced the charges and gave ME negative feedback

    Second experience was buying Mach III razor blades at what seemed to be a great price. Seller never delivered, ebay said call paypay. Paypal said call ebay. I left negative feedback, the blades showed up a month later with store price tags scratched off (the guy pretty clearly stole them long after the auction ended). He too left negative feedback.

    I have never used ebay again and have actively discouraged others from it.

  21. bugsbenny36 says:

    Why are they waiting until the Fall?

  22. terminalboredom says:

    @Sndtrkman: Agreed. The last couple records I’ve bought on ebay, I noticed the new feedback policy, and thought to myself how truly, well…GRACIOUS I felt towards the honest non-super-mega-ultra volume sellers I just bought from, since I immediately noticed how lopsided the new system is, and how easily I could take advantage of it if I were a person of lesser moral fiber.

    I can’t believe anyone with half a brain would actually open themselves up to possibly, EASILY being scammed out of their goods and money at this point, unless they’re a large business that can absorb the cost of a few losses as the ‘cost of doing business.’

  23. terminalboredom says:


    While any seller with half a brain would know that shipping materials, especially those for shipping a valuable antique overseas, should generally be figured into the shipping total up front, stating that he’s out of line for requesting money for shipping is a little, uhh….ridiculous?

    I have no idea how big or heavy this antique in question was, but shipping costs for anything bigger than a bread box could total $100 very easily.

    I used to sell a lot of guitar amps on ebay, and generally made shipping a $50 flat fee for something the size of a guitar amp head, and by the time it was all said and done, would usually come out of it losing $10-20 on shipping. I can very EASILY see some small piece of furniture or a nick nack that size being $100 to send overseas.

  24. MissPeacock says:

    @snoop-blog: It helps to vent. :)

  25. snoop-blog says:

    @MissPeacock: *weeps, gives hug.

  26. Geekybiker says:

    Ebay/paypal will make sure the protection is virtually impossible to qualify for. It is certainly the case for the current “protection”.

  27. squablow says:

    I sure hope somebody out there (I’m looking at you, Google) comes up with a viable alternative to eBay soon to run them some competition. eBay is going straight to hell with their new CEO and I hope an alternative to them comes up soon so I’ll have a place to sell my old car parts.

  28. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    e-Bay has definitely digressed in customer service. It used to be full of people who were “yardsaling” their stuff – honest people who were upfront about what they were selling.

    Now, its full of “professional” e-bayers who aren’t honest and aren’t interested in being upfront about things. I rarely use the site any more because of this. For instance I ordered a used wireless controller for my son’s videogame system. They conveniently failed to mention that the wireless controller didn’t have everything – like the wireless base that plugs into the console. Now they did explicitly state exactly what was included, but failed to make any mention that this won’t work without the base. Technically listed, but deceptive. I was pissed.

  29. MonkeyMonk says:

    @SkokieGuy: No worries. Your situations can’t happen again as eBay has eliminated anything but “positive” feedback for buyers. I’m not sure how this makes things an even playing field, but you can negative feedback fraudulent sellers (or any seller, for that matter) without any repercussions!

  30. bohemian says:

    After being burned twice along the lines of Snoopblog’s experiences we quit selling on Ebay due to Paypal’s bias against sellers.

  31. VeeKaChu says:

    Wow, I guess most of us here just suck at EBAY- according to our next president, John McCain, 13 million smart Americans “make a living” on that site.

  32. rikkus256 says:

    Great eBay, another move to drive out the honest sellers. The buyer-only feedback system has already force many sellers to quit. I believe even more sellers will quit later. Where is google auction?

  33. legwork says:

    The CEO is a google plant. <- wishful thinking.

    13mil smart Americans? Someone hasn’t been to the “smart” mall in a few years.

    It’s funny. I quit eBay several times since the late 90’s. There’s definitely a need which is all that’s propping them up. Every time I’d start buying & selling again it would be worse than the time before. At this point I’m done – haven’t been back in months except for research on weird items. Honestly, using them or the Paypal abomination makes me feel like Pee Wee Herman trying to Escape from New York. The company is a cesspool.

  34. terminalboredom says:

    @VeeKaChu: It’s not so much that we “suck” at ebay (I’ve used it since ’99 and had ONE bad transaction on the buying side), but still, why open yourself up to being screwed when you don’t have to?

  35. timmus says:

    buyers who pay for items with PayPal will be eligible for full refunds, with no cap, if a seller fails to deliver an item as promised.”

    Well, duh, of course all buyers are eligible for full refunds! It’s been that way for years. Is this the kind of crap that passes for journalism at NYT? Or is this one of those prepackaged corporate news releases?

  36. MisterE says:

    “buyers who pay for items with PayPal will be eligible for full refunds, with no cap, if a seller fails to deliver an item as promised.”

    This should have been the policy when Paypal first started. E-bay & Paypal are old business models. I hope Craigslist doesn’t start screwing it’s customers.

  37. daniinpa says:

    @MisterE: Absolutely, this should always have been the policy. If you don’t get the goods you should get the money back. I don’t know why people are complaining, that’s only fair.

    I’m a buyer who paid for an item that I never received. I haven’t used Ebay much, maybe 5 times in the last 5 years, so I thought the seller would be an honest person. When I didn’t receive my item they told me there had been a mix-up and they’d sent it to another person by accident and begged for time. Someone’s family member died, seller fell ill, all kinds of things came up. We were in constant contact throughout the 60 days so I thought they were legit. As soon as the 61st day came they ceased all contact. And of course I had no recourse with Ebay or paypal, so I’m just out the money and I never got the product.

    Since then I’ve heard that many scam sellers do this, they just string you along until they don’t have to deal with you anymore.

  38. heathenkitties says:

    I got TOTALLY screwed by an EBay seller–used Paypal and disputed–guess what? Got screwed again! I will never use Paypal again! My money goes elsewhere!