Today, we continue our discussion of the 2008 eBay changes and how they affect those that sell on eBay. We are going to talk about the upcoming changes to the eBay safe payment policy.
January 2007 saw changes to the eBay payment policy that required new eBay sellers to either offer PayPal or a merchant credit card as a safe payment option. This move was to offer more protection for buyers when dealing with sellers with little or no track record.
March 2008 is going to see this policy expand for those selling on eBay. In addition to those new sellers with less than 100 feedback, the following people making money on eBay will have to offer PayPal or a merchant credit card as a “safer payment option”:
- Sellers with more than 5% dissatisfied buyers in the last 30 days.
- Sellers who list items in the following higher risk categories and sub-categories: gift certificates, video games, cell phones, computers and consumer electronics.
In other words, if you sell on eBay and have little experience, or are what eBay deems to be a problem seller, you are going to be forced to offer a payment option that allows buyer protection. If you don’t like this, then quickly get some feedback or clean up your act.
But more importantly, if you sell in a category that eBay deems to be higher risk, then you will not only have to offer a “safer payment option,” but your payments may be subjected to a 21-day PayPal hold. This is really going to put certain sellers in a bind if they make money on eBay using one of the higher risk categories.
If your payment is held by PayPal, it will be released when the earliest of the following occurs:
- The buyer leaves positive feedback
- 3 days after confirmed item delivery (US domestic transactions only)
- 21 days without a dispute, claim, chargeback or reversal filed on that transaction
The good news is that there is a way to make sure that PayPal does not hold your payments. Your payments will not be held if you meet all of the following requirements:
- eBay tenure is greater than 6 months
- Total feedback score is more than 100
- Dissatisfied buyer percentage is less than 5%
- Detailed Seller Rating is greater than 4.5
- Total Detailed Seller Ratings received is more than 20 in the last 12 months
As you can clearly see, it is possible to never have your payments held, even if you sell in what eBay says is a risky category. Not sure if this has ever been brought up on the eBay Discussion Boards, as rational discussion seems to be easily lost amidst the noise of disgruntled sellers.
This payment hold applies to those that sell on eBay to customers in the United States and internationally. The good news is that if you have a PayPal Money Market Account, you will accrue interest on any payments that are being held, even during the holding period.
Hopefully, we have shed some light on the subject of the revised eBay safe payment policy. On the surface, you can see why eBay sellers are getting their feathers ruffled about this change, but if they bothered to take a moment to actually investigate the changes, sellers would see that the changes will affect only a small percentage of sellers.
Don’t let these changes get you down, especially if you are just learning how to sell on eBay. Educate yourself and filter out all of the noise regarding the upcoming changes. This is a good lesson in taking what you hear on the Internet with a grain of salt. It always pays to look into a situation yourself.