eBay Australia Narrows Payment Options

    April 11, 2008

Brace yourself for another round of boycotts; eBay intends to force all Australian users to deal with PayPal – and pretty much only PayPal – from June 17th forward.

The other option is to pay with cash in person, but since Australia is only slightly smaller than the continental U.S., this might not always be practical.  Also, paying in person defeats some of the most obvious benefits of online auctions.

eBay's Narrowing Payment Options
 eBay’s Alastair MacGibbon

On to the protests, then.  Slashdot is full of people debating the move’s legality and/or swearing off eBay.  Others say they’ll do the same if eBay tries to limit payment options in their home countries.  There’s not much (figurative) confetti in the air.

Nonetheless, Alastair MacGibbon, eBay’s trust and safety director, explained the move to Stephen Fenech by stating, "[You’re] four times less likely to have a problem on eBay if you pay for the item with PayPal than, for example, with internet banking.  If you can reduce the chance of something going wrong you increase the safety of people of buying on eBay which is great for sellers."

Sellers preparing to abandon the site would appear to disagree.