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eBay to Force U.S. PayPal Use (After Australian Rejection)
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 12:12:29 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren () vortex com>
Date: August 20, 2008 12:10:31 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Cc: lauren () vortex com
Subject: eBay to Force U.S. PayPal Use (After Australian Rejection)

          eBay to Force U.S. PayPal Use (After Australian Rejection)


Greetings.  Months ago I mentioned to various eBay sellers in my
acquaintance (mostly sellers of collectibles not suitable for "fixed
price" sales) that eBay was moving to force the use of PayPal for
all transactions in Australia -- and wanted to do the same here in
the U.S.  Most of these eBay diehards, used to being manipulated by
eBay's fee structure and recent detrimental changes (like the
abolishing of "negative feedback"), still refused to believe that
eBay would make such a move.

Subsequently, Australian regulators have made it clear
( http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20152/1103 ) that they would not
accept such an arrangement down in Oz -- a plan that would have
primarily benefited eBay itself (which charges significant
percentage-based fees for the use of its wholly owned PayPal) --
so eBay apparently has cancelled the scheme there.

But knowing full well that U.S. regulators can be easily cowered
into inaction in similar circumstances, eBay has announced today
that PayPal (or credit cards) are to be the standard required
payment mechanism on eBay for all transactions.  For most sellers
this means that they must use PayPal, and eBay will be assured of a
nice juicy PayPal commission from each of those sales.  eBay of
course claims that this is mainly a consumer protection measure --
interesting that the Australian regulators didn't see it that way,

eBay is also making other changes to de-emphasize auctions entirely
by making fixed-price sales more attractive -- essentially
undermining the basic auction model on which they built their
business, and turning eBay even more into Just Another Online Store
in many respects.

There are numerous alternatives to selling on eBay.  I've wondered
why so many eBay auction sellers have been willing to be fleeced for
so long by eBay's increasingly callous practices toward this bedrock

It will be interesting to see how the eBay auction community reacts
to this latest punch in the gut from eBay itself.

Lauren Weinstein
lauren () vortex com or lauren () pfir org
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR
  - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, NNSquad
  - Network Neutrality Squad - http://www.nnsquad.org
Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com

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