eBay customers flock to Aussie auction site

The backlash against eBay has begun. Melbourne-based auction site OZtion says its growth has exploded since eBay Australia announced all items must be paid for using PayPal.

OZtion says online auction listings have grown by 22% in the last two weeks to about 580,000 simultaneous listings. Over the same period, daily new member registrations have increased by 165% and daily new sellers registrations by 300%. OZtion now has more than 250,000 registrations.

The company’s site traffic has also increased substantially, with OZtion, which was established in 2005, now getting monthly traffic of around two million visitors.

OZtion’s general manager, Philip Druce, says consumers are clearly unhappy with eBay’s decision. “The fact that OZtion has seen significant growth across most metrics shows that Australians are looking for alternatives to eBay and will not be forced into only using PayPal. Our internal data shows that 79% of buyers prefer to pay by bank deposit.”

eBay cited improved security as one of the main reasons for its decision to ban payment methods other than PayPal. But Druce says rather than restrict payment methods, OZtion has increased the number of identity checks required for its members, so that the level of identity check is similar to that required to open a bank account.

“Many online fraudulent activities are only possible because sites make it easy to create a fake identity. When a crime occurs with a fake identity, sites that don’t check identities just shrug their shoulders and hand the fake details to the victim.”


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