Fury at eBay changes grows

Australian eBay sellers are furious at a policy change by eBay that will push transaction costs on to its sellers.

And they are calling for eBay to sweeten the introduction with changes that could affect other eBay users.

On Friday the popular online auction site announced it would ban retailers using their own merchant services and force all traders to use its subsidiary bank PayPal.

Phil Leahy, president of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance, says the current changes are at the expense of sellers.

He says PayPal payments will reduce the friction of competing transactions. However he says the limitation of payment choice, higher cost of payment processing and limited real integration between eBay and PayPal far outweighs the benefit.

PayPal charges are higher than other payment methods, including bank transfers. There are also concerns that buyers who do not use PayPal may reduce their activity on the site.

Leahy says that the charge may be a breach of the Trade Practices Act which prohibits anti-competitive conduct, as eBay owns PayPal.

Leahy also called on eBay to eliminate all non-paying bidders, which is a real cost to sellers. Such a change would offset the higher costs that sellers will incur and could be funded by the extra volume of business that eBay will push to PayPal.

Leahy also called on eBay to announce a timetable regarding fee reductions for Australian sellers which should be in place before the new PayPal introduction on 17 June 2008.

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