Online marketplace eBay will now pay its sellers directly rather than through online payment giant PayPal under new rules which came into effect on 1 June, marking an end to a 19-year partnership.
Buyers can still use PayPal to purchase items, but the selling process now takes place solely via eBay’s managed payments system from start to finish.
eBay says the new system is simpler, more convenient and gives buyers more payment options. But Which? has spoken to one eBay user who is ditching the marketplace, after experiencing delayed payments under the new arrangement.
Here, Which? looks at how the changes will affect buyers and sellers plus what protections eBay’s new system has.
What does the overhaul mean for eBay users?
eBay and PayPal separated in 2015 as eBay initiated plans to simplify the buying and selling experience for users.
Although its new terms officially came into effect on 1 June 2021, eBay UK started managing payments last year, becoming the third market to introduce its managed payments experience after the US and Germany.
eBay says it now has a single source for fees, customised reports, simplified protections, refunds, and dedicated support.
We have outlined the key changes for sellers and buyers below.
- Sellers will now be paid directly into their bank account and will have to manage their payments there instead of through PayPal.
- eBay selling fees are now automatically deducted from earnings at the time of sale and regardless of how the buyer pays.
- Seller payouts should now be consistently initiated Monday through Friday, within two business days of order confirmation.
- Sellers will no longer have PayPal fees, meaning the only charge will be eBay’s flat rate of 12.8% of the total sale plus a fixed fee of 30p, for all sales under £2,500. The old system was 10% for eBay, plus PayPal’s fees, plus 30p.
Under the new system, there are more options for buyers, who can now pay with credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and PayPal Credit, eBay says.
eBay and PayPal have agreed to keep PayPal as a payment option for customers until July 2023 when its agreement with eBay runs out.
- Find out more: your shopping rights
Do you have to do anything?
eBay says users should have received an email invitation asking them to complete managed payments registration by a specific date.
The online marketplace started inviting both business and private sellers to join in July 2020. Many sellers had a deadline of 31 May to join the new system, although eBay told Which? not all have moved to its new checkout and payments process just yet.
eBay’s terms and conditions make using the new setup compulsory, so make sure you check your emails for your deadline to move to the new system, and update your account details so it can start managing your payments.
The rollout should complete by the end of 2021. If you have any concerns, you can contact eBay’s customer service team on 0345 355 3229.
What have eBay users said?
The changes haven’t been welcomed by some eBay users.
We spoke to one eBay seller who waited a week for money for an item she sold to be deposited into her account.
‘I have no wish to sell there again’
Ms S, told Which? she listed a couple of items on eBay which sold on 1 June, raising £120 via PayPal.
After the items sold she checked her PayPal but found there was no money in the account.
The buyers and PayPal confirmed the money had been paid. However, Ms S discovered eBay was holding it.
Unaware of eBay’s new overhaul, Ms S says she was told it would take three days for one of her payments to be processed. The second payment was held while she confirmed her bank account ‘for a second time’, she claims.
Ms S says eBay told her it would wait for positive feedback from the buyer (although Ms S says the buyer never leaves feedback) or a tracked delivery to supply them with the tracking number or it would wait 30 days before it released the payment.
She sent the item via a tracked special delivery service to avoid the 30-day wait, which also meant she incurred additional costs.
On 4 June the item was delivered but no money was deposited from eBay . Ms S claims that after two phone calls supplying the tracking number eBay released the payment on 8 June.
Ms S told Which?: ‘I have no wish to sell there again after the fiasco so I won’t complain directly.’ Ms S is now looking for another sale site to do her business with.
We asked Bay for a comment on this case, but have had no response at the time of publishing.
Which? has also seen complaints on Twitter suggesting the fees are actually higher under the new system.
The eBay /paypal break up now means I make 15p on a 99p item instead of around 57p 😐
— Rhivous 🦫 (@GeneralRhivous) June 1, 2021
Do the changes mean fewer protections?
Now that buyers can use other forms of payment on eBay directly such as a credit card or debit card it’s worth considering the protections on offer.
eBay told Which? that managed payments should not only make ecommerce simpler to sell and get paid, but also manage the entire sales process. It’s hoped that under eBay managed payments, it’s operations will run smoother with simplified fees, integrated reporting, streamlined support, and ultimately the ability to mitigate and lower seller risk.
It also noted it does not have direct access to personal bank accounts. Sellers will provide a direct debit mandate to eBay, which will need to be verified by the seller’s own bank. eBay must provide advance notice of amounts to be collected by direct debit, and protections apply to sellers such that they would be able to obtain a refund in the event of fraud or incorrect payments.
Purchases made with a credit card worth between £100 and £30,000 benefit from Section 75 protection which means you will get your money back if anything goes wrong with your order.
Debit cards and credit cards benefit from chargeback which can reverse a transaction, however, this protection is not enshrined in law like Section 75 is.
PayPal’s buyer protection policy promises to safeguard users against breaches of contract, including missing deliveries, or when items turn out to be fake, faulty, or not what was expected.
Last year we surveyed PayPal customers who have made a claim and found that 71% were satisfied with how their claim was resolved. However, we found some PayPal customers have found it difficult to get reimbursed when they ran into problems – particularly victims of fraud.
It’s less clear whether eBay’s own systems will be more or less secure than PayPal for sellers, but eBay told Which? it has ‘simplified protections’ for sellers.
PayPal holds a banking licence, similar to a high street bank but with some limitations as it was granted in Luxembourg, such as accounts not qualifying for Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection, which safeguards up to £85,000 of deposits per institution per person.
Now that eBay will pay sellers directly into their bank accounts this is likely to mean sellers will benefit from FSCS protection on offer from their bank via their personal accounts, as long as they don’t exceed the £85,000 limit.
- Find out more: how PayPal fails fraud victims