Friday, April 18, 2008

PayPal Only, Coming to an eBay Marketplace Near You!

Last week eBay announced they would make PayPal the sole payment option on the eBay Australia site and followed the announcement with additional "eBay Speak":

"eBay spokesperson Nichola Sharpe said the new policy applies only to eBay in Australia. "There are no plans to go to a PayPal-only model for eBay in the US and we haven't announced any other markets at this time."

Let me translate this message for you, "no plans" is "eBay speak" for we haven't made the decision yet while in reality they are modifying the site code as we speak to make PayPal the sole payment option on

Ms. Sharpe, also said "we haven't announced any other markets at this time." which implies that those announcements are forthcoming, so all this statement means is; other countries are coming and we will announce those as soon as they are ready. W are waiting to see what happens with the Australian site before we decide to turn this on in the US.

Now, I'm sure some of you will tell me to go put on my "tin hat" so that the eBay death ray doesn't melt my brain, but lets just look at this logically:
  • If eBay wants to make this option available in the US they will need to make changes to the checkout code sooner rather than later. Making these changes right now, does not mean they have made the decision yet, so Ms. Sharpe's "no plans" comment is not really disingenuous, remember "no plans" just means they haven't decided.
  • Ina Steiner just posted on the AuctionBytes blog that sellers are seeing a "glitch" ("eBay Speak" for "new feature that shouldn't have surfaced yet") So apparently they are making changes to the code right now, just like they did when SDC ( listings showed up on

Look, I actually have no problem with them making business decisions that they feel are best for the marketplace, that is their right, but stop treating users like idiots. You've already launched PayPal only in Australia, which means you will seriously consider launching it in the US.

Ms. Sharpe, why not just say? "We want to see how this works in Australia before we roll it out to all markets" It would accomplish the same thing as the actual announcement did except you wouldn't reinforce the lack of trust users have in ebay management.

If this move is good for the eBay business then just lay out the reasons for the change, don't continue to hide behind "eBay Speak". We are all adults here, do you think the reaction will be worse or better when this launches in the US after you said you had “no plans”?

Just my 12%

1 comment:

Tony P. said...

Randy, remember a few months back when a change to the Checkout page eliminated the seller's street address?

Yep, it was that long ago... that I put their first action towards this 'option' into motion.

A tin hat? Shoot, you're small 'taters. I need my whole house covered.