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eBay Australia Backs Down on PayPal Push

eBay.com.au released a statement yesterday notifying of their intent to withdraw its notification to the ACCC regarding the removal of other payment options from the eBay.com.au website.

This didn’t come as a big surprise.

Going to court over the matter would indeed have been a long and painful process, not to mention the amount of stress and anxiety it would cause eBay’s poor old PR team in Australia. The lesser of two evils was to withdraw the notification. Good move. They should now make some more publicly satisfying changes to try and get some goodwill back!

PayPal still remains a compulsory payment option at this stage. No doubt this will still cause some animated discussion. In fact, one website has already questioned the validity of the PayPal requirement in relation to the ACCC notice

eBay Australia In Lose/Lose Situation

Time to change all your listings back to include all payment options?

Today eBay announced it would postpone its (now) 15th July deadline for changes of listing payment options to PayPal only, citing its requirements to wait until the review process of the ACCC regarding its recent draft notice is complete.

It seems fairly inevitable to me that the outcome will not fall in eBay’s direction.

eBay Australia seem to be in a lose/lose situation. If they struggle and fight against the ACCC, Google, and other companies and individuals that have submitted complaints to the ACCC they don’t come out of the situation looking good. If they ‘win’ they still look like the bad guy in the media, given the attention this whole situation has received.

And, if the ACCC ends up halting their effort for PayPal only, they lose again. They may then be judged as having made a poor decision to attempt to limit payment options to begin with, and they will lose (more) face with plenty of buyers and sellers.

Its a sad situation, head shaking stuff. I can’t help feeling that if they took smaller bites from the apple over time there wouldn’t have been a public and media reaction as strong as we have seen.

I do hope that other site improvements that they have planned (check out playground.ebay.com.au) ensure the sales and buyers continue to come and purchase…

Yes Please PayPal. Pay Me Later!

Paypal has released a new product in the US, called Pay Me Later.

According to the press release on May 15 2008,

Starting today, eBay buyers in the United States can take advantage of Pay Later’s financing offer of no payments for 90 days for qualifying purchases between $50 and $199.

With Pay Later, buyers now have more ways to pay for items at checkout and can use Pay Later even if they don’t have a PayPal account. The streamlined application can be completed in 30 seconds and provides a buyer with instant access to credit.

Sellers also benefit through increased sales and higher selling prices. According to a study conducted by Northstar Research Partners commissioned by PayPal, 56 percent of PayPal users are more likely to purchase from a merchant if a PayPal deferred payment option is available.1 Pay Later purchases are the same as regular PayPal purchases: the sellers are paid quickly, and standard PayPal fees apply. Sellers who accept PayPal on eBay will automatically offer the Pay Later payment option.

I well and truly put my hand up to accept any new product opportunities like this, especially with all the market changes going on.

For higher priced item seller and product like this could be great in Australia.  Australian TV is awash with ‘No money down, pay nothing for 4 years, interest free’ commercials for whitegoods, computers and furniture. It is a popular marketing model here and a product like this for Paypal users can only help to boost ASPs and conversion rates on eBay (and on our own websites!).

I hope it arrives in Oz soon…

eBay faces the angry mob in Melbourne last night

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.

(more…)

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