A press release by eBay Germany indicates that the company plans to switch the site’s current payment processing system to a new one this summer. Ebay customers who purchase goods on the site will then make their payments directly to eBay, and not the seller of the product anymore. The system works similar to Amazon’s marketplace system where Amazon customers transfer the money for the purchased items to Amazon instead of the merchant directly. The only difference between both systems is that eBay will transfer the auction money in full to the item seller. Sellers will be charged with fees after the end of the transaction. Amazon on the other hand deducts fees directly from the sales of items.
The system works like an escrow system.The buyer transfers the money for the item and the item’s shipping costs to eBay.eBay notifies the seller of the receipt of payment.The seller sends the item to the buyereBay transfers the money to the seller’s PayPal or bank account. The time of payment depends on a number of factors including the status of the account and the history.
Five different money transfer options will be supported by eBay on launch: Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Direct Debit, PayPal or Skrill (formerly Moneybookers).
The new payment processing system aims to strengthen the online transaction safety on the marketplace. Since customers will be paying eBay directly, it is less likely that they will get scammed by shady sellers on the site. Customers can get a refund if the item differs from the items they bought on the site, or if they do not receive the items at all. This money back guarantee covers all payment options, and not just PayPal. The inclusion of Skrill comes as a surprise, as it is a direct PayPal competitor.
About 500,000 eBay sellers have tested the new system on the German eBay marketplace. It is not clear yet if eBay plans to change the process on its other marketplaces as well.
What’s your take on the new system?