eBay’s new ‘no paper’ policy FAQs

October 27, 2008

We’re getting quite a few questions from eBay sellers of all sizes around eBay’s new electronic-only payment policy (also known as paperless payments).  First, I urge everyone to read Dinesh’s post here that has some good clarifications.

Additionally, I was able to catch up with John McDonald who runs eBay’s Trust and Safety for the US today to answer the top questions we are getting.  Here are my questions and my paraphrasing of John’s answers.
Q: When is ‘no paper’ going live?
A: It will actually be ‘turned on’ today (Monday, October 27, 2008) – What that means is:
  • You won’t be able to list with paper payment options (in the payment fields) via SYI today
  • If you have any live listings with check or money order (MO) specified in your payment fields, they will no longer show in the ‘view item’ page of eBay
  • In your description/template, if you talk about check/money order, you will receive a message if you post via SYI, and you have a grace period until 1/15/09 to keep that text.  After 1/15, your listings will be in violation of policy and delisted
    •  (Scot’s advice – go ahead and take this out now and avoid any hassles)

 Q: Some eBay Pinks/TSAMs have said that if a buyer specifically requests to pay with check/money order – the seller can take paper payment.  What’s the official stance on this?

A: True. If a buyer explicitly opps out of electronic payments, the seller can take the check/money order.  However a seller may not solicit in any way.  Also for large sellers these kinds of payments can be a pain so they are free to reject the buyer’s request for paper payment.
Q: Will eBay still provide tools in MyeBay that allow me to manually mark an item paid?
A: Yes, that will remain.
Q: There is some confusion around international (eBay calles this cross border trade or CBT)- e.g. can I specifically mention in my USA listing that “for DE buyers I take x, y, z?” – assuming x/y/z are allowed in DE, but not in USA?
A: John was going to get some clarification on this one and I’ll report back.  Note this example can be between any two eBay countries where there are differencies in the payment policy which is actually pretty common.
Finally, thanks to John for taking the time to clarify these issues that are top of mind with sellers.