eBay have reversed an unpopular decision to make sellers provide PayPal as a form of payment across their auctions, instead offering more 'flexible' options.
In a significant reversal for the world's largest auction site, eBay Australia and New Zealand have announced that they will no longer mandate sellers use Paypal as the sole primary payment option - instead it will now become one of three payment types available on the site.
But the change may not go far enough for some. eBay spokesperson Daniel Feiler told us that auction users will still need to provide at least one payment option consisting of either PayPal, Paymate, or a merchant credit card (e.g. Visa, Mastercard) facility via the seller's bank.
The change of heart comes amidst intense protest and complaints from many of eBay's biggest members, known as 'powersellers', who labelled the original decision to offer 'Paypal only' a breach of fair trading laws.
But it's not the first time eBay sellers have seen red over PayPal. Some sellers have become increasingly vocal in their dislike of the global payment facility in recent years, setting up anti-PayPal sites such as paypalsucks.com and paypalwarning.com, which serve as cleaning houses for disenfranchised PayPal users from around the globe.
The changes, which will go into effect from July 14th have been welcomed by ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel, who confirmed that the decision reversal "gives eBay sellers further choice as to the payment system they use, while ensuring consumers are offered safer payment options by all eBay sellers."
Currently, PayPal takes a set percentage of each seller's final valuation fee and it's these increasing fees, in addition to purported host of other issues (including less than ideal policies for dealing with frozen accounts, suspected stolen card payments and 'unusual transactions'), which have contributed to a backlash against the site in recent years.
Direct bank deposits are now favoured by many merchants, as fees are not charged on direct bank deposits. But while the banks may provide a relief from fees, PayPal does provide significant buyer protection for auctions up to the tune of $20,000.
The measures, which are expected to help offset some of the PayPal angst, come at a time when eBay is looking to improve the overall auction experience for its customes.
"We are looking at developing an enhanced checkout experience in line with best industry checkout experience", said Feiler.