back to article eBay Australia faces PayPal fury

eBay Australia's attempt to force all sellers to use PayPal is failing to win over users and still faces a competition investigation. The online auction house has suspended introduction of the scheme while the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigates it. The ACCC has already said that it is concerned that …


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Muted response?

Why isn't there more of a fuss being made about this here in the UK?

eBay bans Google Checkout for tenuous reasons and no one really seems to bat an eyelid. eBay abuses it's position to force sellers to offer a specific online payment method simply because they own the company providing it (Paypal) - and there's no real big fuss made about it.

I don't understand why they haven't already been taken to task over these shady anti-competitive practices in the UK already.

Paris Hilton

Other payment methods?

If eBay accepts other payment methods, why won't it accept Google Checkout. eBay scans listings and any mention of Google Checkout results in the listing being rejected.


Paris, because she'll screw you, too.


Paypal secure?! Ha!

Paypal is a worthless piece of crud these days. Up to 180 days after payment is received, if a person who made the payment does a credit card charge back, Paypal will take that money out of your Paypal or bank account whilst the investigation takes place. And we all know how good Paypal's investigations are!

So much for an instant, non-reversible payment system. The sooner the remainder of the banks in the UK adopt the new same day free transfer system the better.


eBay greed - no other excuse

I sell a LOT of 99p items and asked people to consider cheque/Postal order when paying as eBay/PayPal fees add up to 53p (OVER 50%!). I did NOT say 'NO PayPal', I just asked people to think about it. I got slapped by eBay because their new terms do not allow you to 'discourage the use of PayPal'. Sheer greed on their part.

Someone in one of the forums said "If the people running eBay had to make a living of eBay the way that we do then they would not have done half the things they have done to us" - so true.



I wouldn't mind if PayPal was any good. I received this the other day from the poor folks at StatCounter:

"We at StatCounter are having ongoing, critical problems with Paypal.

In view of the complete lack of assistance from Paypal in this regard and

the gravity of the problems, we have decided that we have no option but to

inform you, our members, about the facts of the situation. This will allow

you to make an informed decision about whether to use (or whether to

continue to use) Paypal.

Please note that these problems have been ongoing since 15 May and may

arise not only in relation to payments made to StatCounter but in relation

to ANY Paypal payments that you make. We hope that our communications will

equip you with the information necessary to make sure that YOU do not

become another victim of this ongoing Paypal saga.

The two major issues affecting StatCounter Paypal subscribers are:

- Delayed issuing of invoices

- Instances of double billing

At StatCounter we have tried phoning, emailing, posting on the Paypal

forums... Many of our contacts are ignored, but even when we do get an

answer all we are told is that "Upon review of your account, unfortunately

we do not have a time frame for a resolution to your issue we are currently

actively investigating your issue with subscriptions."

Folks - we sincerely regret any problems you are experiencing and assure

you that we are doing our best to get all of these issues resolved for you.

We strive to offer a high level of customer service and pride ourselves on

being responsive to the needs and suggestions of our members. To have our

hands "tied" in this way as a result of Paypals inaction is frustrating to

say the least.

We would be very grateful for your patience at this time as we wait for

Paypal to resolve these issues.

We would also ask you to be patient with any of our fellow internet

merchants experiencing difficulties with Paypal at this time.

For further information or to post a question or a comment, please visit

our blog."


Stop me and buy one

Personally I think people working for PrayPal should be made to adopt their system in all their financial dealings - salary payments, all direct debits, the whole shebang. It's probably the only way we all might see a rapid change in addressing customer concerns then.


As an Australian eBay buyer....

I'm so glad they stepped back until ACCC make a final decision. Here's to hoping the ACCC see sense and say no to eBay.

And remember, that's as a BUYER. I'm apparently one of the people who is supposed to feel good about this move, but it's just pissing me off.

I've never had a fraud issue with eBay in the 8 years or so I've been buying. Never. And it's bank transfers all the way for me!

Anonymous Coward

Ebay is in deeper than anyone ever knew

Check this out, ebay is in TROUBLE:


ACC Has No Standing

The ACCC does not have the ability to enforce any decision on eBay. Although eBay is likely to take it's decision(s) into place.

As a seller on eBay, i don't mind to any great extent. I enjoy the use of PayPal, and seeing as eBay want this as their primary method of income generation is of no suprise.

Considering they are the owners of the website, they have all rights to enforce it's use. Doing so as the only method of payment or stopping all other methods of payment though is against fair trading law (online sellers, retailers, auction outlets (virtual and B/M). eBay must accept legal tender in a fair (to all users who may not use/want paypal) manor as well.


@ Will

Um, what?

The ACCC does have the ability to enforce decisions on eBay's operations in Australia. They are in fact the very agency that has the statutory authority to enforce the "fair trading law" (aka the Trade Practices Act, 1974) to which you refer.



I agree with jon here.

In fact, you said yourself that "eBay must accept legal tender in a fair manner" but forcing exclusive use of PayPal doesn't do it.

Check the Currency Act 1965 (Cwlth)

for our definition of legal tender.

PayPal, bank transfers, credit cards etc are all payment authorisation systems, not legal tender.

I haven't had time to investigate, but since eBay operates an auction system, there may be value in checking out legislation relevant to


Agency (does eBay act as agent for either party, particularly seller?)

Secondhand Sales

Sale of Goods

And no doubt each country in which eBay operates will have equivalent statutes.


@ John Angelico

eBay would get past the legal tender issue because they were going to allow COD (Cash On Delivery) as the solitary alternative to Paypal.

The issue relates more to restraint on trade and abuse of monopoly power/unfair competition, something that the ACCC has quite a bit of power to deal with already. The Rudd government has made it clear that it intends to give it even more power in this area.


Ebay makes it impossible to profit selling new computer parts

Hi, the markup on computer parts is terrible, if you sell in an Ebay store, it costs up to 8% when item is sold, and you pay Paypal another 3% to handle the money. How is a computer reseller supposed to make a profit? They don't Ebay does only. Its time Ebay adjusted fees for certain markets. The only thing you can 'profit' on in computer sales is used/discontinued items.


ACCC has the power

Of course the ACCC has the power. The Trade Practices Act gives it that power. In this case it is a practice called "3rd line forcing" which is where somebody uses market power in one market to force you to consume a 3rd party product and anybody in a market dominant position has to be very careful of it. It's a specific part (s47) of the TPA and not just some general "it's not healthy competition" subjective thing. There's a nice discussion of it at this Law Firm site: . They quote similar examples like a finance company insisting you use a particular insurer to insure a loan or a car seller insisting you use a certain form of finance. It's illegal.

Another thing people are missing is that the current, interim, situation on eBay AU is almost as bad. Currently you are forced to accept PayPal in addition to whatever other means you want to offer. PayPal must be one of the options. Which means, as a seller, I'm at the whim of a buyer. If somebody decides to use PayPal on my listings, I can't stop them. And it's a lot easier to use PayPal for them than do a bank transfer. I just cop the fees. It's this that I want stopped. I don't want to accept PayPal AT ALL. I wish the ACCC was going further than it currently is.


Reply - Virtual Trade Ref

The ACCC has no right to enforce it's decision.

The ACCC can say that PayPal must not be the only method of payment, but this will have no outcome that is of any use to consumers.

eBay is well within the law to make PayPal the only "method of payment for which it encourages". And the ACCC is well within the law to enforce that PayPal "is not the only method of payment".

Neither party will say they do not prefer either outcome. eBay can make the use of non PayPal payments so bad that there is no need to want to do so anyway while still allowing other (non pref) payments to be made.

The ACCC can endorse other payments, but has no legal standing to enforce exactly how they must be used. It is well within the rights of the ACCC to "enforce" the users "rights" to use other payments. It is also by these same laws the ACCC must "enforce" the "rights" of the owner of the site to allow a pref. payment method while allowing other payment methods.

The ACCC has no ground with this. And it is of no matter which outcome happens, eBay will have PayPal as it's pref. payment method. It also can (and most likely will) ensure PayPal is used for the majority of all payments by not giving any additional (sellers and owners rights) security to the buyer or seller other than what is shown at the time of the transaction.

eBay will have PayPal pref. very soon. It may well be forced to allow other payment methods. These will be so bad for buyers (and sellers), that they will skip them anyway. As a seller...i can choose what payment methods i accept and as a buyer i can choose which auctions or sales i take part in.

If you don't like them, shop with someone else. That's your right as a buyer.

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