I have been catching up on the news this morning about eBay’s public meeting in Melbourne regarding the Paypal only changes coming in June.

I wasn’t surprised to hear that there was quite an angry mob asking questions of Simon Smith, Andrew Pipolo and Alistair MacGibbon.

I got invited to have an informal Q&A sessions with Andrew, Alistair and a few others before the general meeting. It was a small group of sellers, maybe 12 of us. The discussion was good, and we learned a little about the attitude of Paypal towards the change. It was actually floated as an idea in August last year by Simon Smith and Alistair and from the sounds of it, met with surprise by Andrew Pipolo.

Some concerns were raised, like the ability of media sellers using regular post to provide proof of shipment, and these issues will get investigated which is good news.

Some facts I garnered from the conversation:

  • Australian sellers see an increase in sales when they offer Paypal, more so if they trade internationally.
  • Paypal now offers tierless buyer AND seller protection. (even a zero feedback buyer gets protection)
  • Seller protection requires only proof of shipment, not proof of delivery.

Andrew Pipolo freely admitted that ‘people will leave ebay’, both buyers and sellers, but they were unable to estimate how many that would be. Paypal and eBay see a challenge in properly educating buyers about PayPal – what it is and why it is offered as the only option. If they can do this successfully it will help to alleviate some confusion i the buyer and seller marketplace.

My concern with this change still remains – will sales drop when this change is implemented?

However, I am in favour of a stronger marketplace, with better buyer and seller experience. Paypal offers many benefits :

  • Instant payment options (less non paying bidders)
  • Instant update to your eBay selling manager software when payment is made (no more chasing bank payments and deposits)
  • Protection for both buyers and sellers – Paypal wear the risk!
  • It is an effective alternative to credit card payment gateways

Yes, Paypal is owned by eBay. Yes, eBay will possibly earn more money, but come on sellers, think longer term!!! We will have a marketplace that has happier, more confident buyers. It might take a while, and I agree that the decision is a big one that will possibly have a large short term impact, but long term eBay sees this as necessary to run around the attitude of buyers towards eBay.

And judging by this article from apcmag.com, its fortunate I decided to grab my sandwhich and exit before the main gathering…