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eBay wants PayPal to remain part of eBay for now

Carl Icahn invests in some of the largest technology firms in the world. One of the firms he is invested in heavily is eBay and recently Icahn proposed that eBay spin off its PayPal division. EBay's CEO says that he listened to Icahn and his proposal for a spin off, but ultimately rejected it.
 
Icahn hasn’t offered any official comments on the story at this time.
 
EBay purchased PayPal back in 2002 for $1.5 billion and had previously toyed with the idea of spinning off the payment service. However, eBay recently decided that spinning the payment service off to be its own company would harm the overall synergies between its ecommerce business and payments arm.
 
"First, eBay accelerates PayPal's success. Second, eBay data makes PayPal smarter. And third, eBay funds PayPal's growth," Chief Executive John Donahoe told analysts on a post-results conference call.
 
Word of the potential spin off sent shares in PayPal and eBay up. EBay expects revenue of between $18 billion and $18.5 billion for 2014 with analysts predicting $18.5 billion.

Source: Reuters



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The truth is
By DT_Reader on 1/23/2014 1:32:43 PM , Rating: 3
The simple truth is that by owning PayPal, eBay makes money twice - once on the auction, and again on the payment for the auction. Frankly, the way PayPal screws people over is enough to keep me from using either business. If PayPal is the only way I can buy your product, then I'm not buying your product.




RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 1:41:09 PM , Rating: 3
Frankly it should be illegal for eBay to require payment via PayPal. To prohibit you from using any other legal tender, like a check or money order, is a horrific abuse of the consumer.

They got that in other countries, like Australia, when eBay made that "policy" change and forced them to undo it. But we're far to f%cking stupid in the US to realize when we're being abused and do anything about it.

I'm reasonably sure that eBay/PayPal is the worst company on the face of the planet that isn't actually actively killing anyone.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 2:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
Does that mean if I sell something on Craigslist I should also be forced to accept checks or money orders?


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 2:28:05 PM , Rating: 1
If you sell something on Craigslist you can accept whatever payment you want...because they don't force anything on you at all.


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 2:29:17 PM , Rating: 2
It's also worth noting that Craigslist has an F rating with the BBB...and also that it's not actually a replacement for eBay, since it's not an auction site in the first place, and also isn't nationwide/worldwide like eBay is. It's just classified ads.


RE: The truth is
By nafhan on 1/23/2014 2:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Ebay is completely a middleman in the transactions; Craigslist is mostly just a message board. Their business models are not even a little bit similar.

Speaking of which, though an interesting thing about Craigslist to me is their business model/how they get money: mostly job listings. Large companies pay for that, no one else pays anything.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 2:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
That's entirely irrelevant to the point I'm making. I'm talking about buyers and sellers. Any industry. Any product. Just the interaction between someone with a product/service and someone who wants that product/service.


RE: The truth is
By DT_Reader on 1/23/2014 2:55:43 PM , Rating: 4
The BBB means nothing. If you've got a complaint about a BBB member, they do nothing. They have nothing good to say about BBB non-members. If Craigslist has an F rating from the BBB then that just tells me Craigslist hasn't succumbed to their extortion. If Craigslist were to join the BBB watch that "F" disappear.


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 3:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
Not true.

When I once filed a complaint aginst eBay, the BBB dutifully relayed it to them, and then eBay threatened to block me for life unless I just dropped the complaint.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 2:54:10 PM , Rating: 3
But what you're advocating is forcing sellers to accept checks or money orders. In which case, my craigslist buyer could give me a check if he wanted to but I didn't.

What is the difference between a seller setting his own rules (declaring I'll only accept cash on craigslist) or agreeing to rules defined by someone else (accepting eBay's condition that buyers must pay with PayPal)?


RE: The truth is
By DT_Reader on 1/23/2014 3:01:58 PM , Rating: 1
The difference is that cash is legal tender for all debts, public and private - unless you're eBay, in which case that law somehow doesn't apply.

It would be as if GM said the only way to pay for a car is through a GMAC loan. Not a bank loan, not a credit union loan, not even paying cash. GM would never get away with that, so why does eBay get away with it?


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 5:23:32 PM , Rating: 5
http: //www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Currency/Pa ges/legal-tender.aspx
quote:
This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.


GM could do that if they wanted to (baring any state laws). It would likely negatively affect their business, but they should be free to do so.


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 3:03:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But what you're advocating is forcing sellers to accept checks or money orders.


In what world do the words I wrote mean that?

eBay forces sellers to *not* accept checks or money orders. They force them *to* accept PayPal, and only PayPal.

I clearly conveyed the notion that sellers should be able to accept whatever payment they want to accept, without interference from eBay. You should probably revist your ESL workbooks.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 5:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
There's no misunderstanding.

You're just making sh1t up now.

I in no way, shape, or form said anything that would cause a rational person to believe:

quote:
By disallowing that, you are advocating that sellers (again, an entity that is providing a good or service - in this case eBay Inc.) be forced to accept checks or money orders.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 6:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why you're so angry about this. Sheesh.

You're saying it should "it should be illegal for eBay to require payment via PayPal".

Do we at least agree that: Banning the ability to only accept one form of payment is equivalent to forcing acceptance of some other form(s) of payment. (at least if you choose to stay in business)


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 6:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea how it's possible that you can't get a *very* simple concept through your head...

quote:
You're saying it should "it should be illegal for eBay to require payment via PayPal".


No...I'm saying it should be illegal for eBay to require payments to *only* go via PayPal. In other words, it should be illegal for them to ban cash, checks, money orders, or beaver pelts.

quote:
Do we at least agree that: Banning the ability to only accept one form of payment is equivalent to forcing acceptance of some other form(s) of payment. (at least if you choose to stay in business)


No...in fact that's a horribly malformed sentence, and I'm not sure exactly what it is you're trying to say. But I said what I meant - again - above.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 9:14:56 PM , Rating: 3
So you misquoted me then, removing some context. Here's the actual quote:

quote:
Frankly it should be illegal for eBay to require payment via PayPal. To prohibit you from using any other legal tender, like a check or money order, is a horrific abuse of the consumer.


It is clear, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I'm saying that it should be illegal for eBay to require PayPal to be the one and only way payment can be made.

quote:
I'll ask my question one more time, and I'll try to do a better job forming it for you. Is changing the law to make it illegal for companies to "ban" cash the same as forcing companies to accept cash?


Who's accepting cash? eBay? Nope. Try again. We're talking about the *seller* being prohibited from accepting cash...or a check, or a money order, or a photo of your sister if that's what he wants for payment. The payment between the buyer and seller only has anything to do with eBay when they force it through PayPal.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/24/2014 1:25:04 AM , Rating: 2
If you think I misquoted you or removed any context, you're delusional. I omitted the word "Frankly" and the sentence I quoted does not change with/without the following sentence.

It is clear, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I'm saying that it should be illegal for eBay to require PayPal to be the one and only way payment can be made.
Yes, and It's clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that I think it's a stupid idea and an unnecessary act of forcing your desires on everyone else.

Who's accepting cash? eBay? Nope. Try again. We're talking about the *seller* being prohibited from accepting cash.
Except the seller's not collecting it. A condition of using eBay's service (just like a condition of selling on Amazon) is to use their payment service. eBay's handling the money, and they're accepting whatever forms they accept. What the seller is willing to accept is irrelevant - it's what a buyer is able to transfer through the payment system. eBay's payment system. And you're saying eBay should either a) not be able to force it's payment system, or b) it's payment system should allow whatever the eBay seller would accept.

The payment between the buyer and seller only has anything to do with eBay when they force it through PayPal.
The payment between the buyer and the seller only has anything to do with eBay when they both choose to engage in trade using eBay's resources. eBay can impose whatever stupid restrictions they want. And as long as they both agree, it doesn't impact you or I at all.

Regardless, I think we've beat this horse to death about 17 times now. You want to force your way on eBay. I want eBay to have free choice, and to have to accept the consequences of whatever choices it makes. We're not going to see eye to eye. No sense running around in circles even more.


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/24/2014 12:20:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Except the seller's not collecting it. A condition of using eBay's service (just like a condition of selling on Amazon) is to use their payment service. eBay's handling the money, and they're accepting whatever forms they accept.


Proof positive that you're amongst the stupidest people alive.

So you're telling me that, prior to eBay buying PayPal and forcing all sellers to use PayPal (and only PayPal), that if a buyer bought something from a seller and wanted to pay with a check that he sent the check to eBay?

Do you honestly think that's how it worked?

If they wanted to pay cash, do you think the buyer drove to eBay headquarters and gave eBay the cash?

You're a catastrophic fool. Everyone with more than 2 synapses to click together is aware of the unavoidably obvious fact that in the case that the buyer pays for an item with cash, check, or money order, that GOES DIRECTLY FROM THE BUYER TO THE SELLER. Pull your f%cking head out. I can't believe you're honestly so stupid as to try to tell me that eBay would be collecting the cash, check, or money order from the buyer and then doing something with it before the seller gets it.

Please go die. You're making the internet stupider with every letter you type.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/24/2014 3:17:20 PM , Rating: 1
Proof positive that you're amongst the stupidest people alive.
Man, you're an asshole. We have different opinions. Different beliefs. We disagree. Fine. The insults get old, and they don't further your cause at all. Grow up.

So you're telling me that, prior to eBay buying PayPal and forcing all sellers to use PayPal (and only PayPal), that if a buyer bought something from a seller and wanted to pay with a check that he sent the check to eBay?
No, I'm not telling you that. Never once did I say that. Prior to eBay buying PayPal, eBay didn't have a condition in their terms of service that you must use a particular payment system. Things changed. They bought PayPal, and they added a requirement that their customers use it. Now, today, they require being your payment processor.


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 5:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and as for this:

quote:
What is the difference between a seller setting his own rules (declaring I'll only accept cash on craigslist) or agreeing to rules defined by someone else (accepting eBay's condition that buyers must pay with PayPal)?


Ummm...well, the blindingly obvious difference is that in the first example, the seller is in control of their own financial decisions. In the second example, the seller has *no* control of their own financial decisions.

Look at it this way: back before eBay bought PayPal, as an eBay seller you could pick and choose what methods of payment you wanted to accept - cash, check, money order, or PayPal (or even some early PayPal competitors). The seller was in control.

That is the way it should be, and to make any argument to the contrary is sheer lunacy.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 6:04:42 PM , Rating: 3
The eBay seller is always in control of their financial decisions. They can choose to auction their product on eBay and accept the eBay + PayPal fees/restrictions, or they can choose to use another service.

I get it that eBay offered more options in the past. I get it that those options were more appealing to you (and, frankly, to me). They changed their policies and I dislike it; boo hoo me. I'm free to do business with someone else who's policies are more agreeable to me.

I'm not saying eBay's PayPal requirement is a choice I would make. But I certainly wouldn't want to use the force of government to remove their ability to choose how to run their own business.


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 6:34:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The eBay seller is always in control of their financial decisions. They can choose to auction their product on eBay and accept the eBay + PayPal fees/restrictions, or they can choose to use another service.


There functionally is no other service for online auctions. And don't even try to point at one of the technically-actually-exists online auction websites as a valid alternative to eBay for online auctions. They're not valid alternatives. eBay is a functional monopoly.

And either way, my point would still stand - it should absolutely be illegal for eBay, or any other online auction (or classified ad, for that matter) website to prohibit you from accepting any form of payment that is otherwise legally permissible for the stuff you're selling via their website.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 8:57:16 PM , Rating: 3
There functionally is no other service for online auctions. [...] They're not valid alternatives. eBay is a functional monopoly.
Irrelevant. Individuals still choose to use eBay's service. No one's forcing you to sell your stuff, or to sell it on eBay.

Your desire to make more laws and force people to do what you want is short sighted, and anti-freedom. Boo.


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 9:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
It's a monopoly. We laws against and/or regulating monopolies.

A monopoly is actually essentially the definition of anti-freedom. Boohoo.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/24/2014 1:10:12 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree with the latter point, I think you have a particularly narrow view of eBay's competitors or our suitable alternatives. Sure, eBay is the most prominent auction site but there are countless other ways I can sell my goods. An auction is merely one method for doing so, and an online auction is a further subset. But if you want to sell your goods, you have many options at your disposal. Garage sale, local consignment, ebay, craigslist, a myriad of fixed price online sites, etc.

Sellers have alternatives to eBay, yet they still choose to use the service and accept the restrictions that come with it.


RE: The truth is
By troysavary on 1/24/2014 2:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
No, it isn't a monopoly. You have many ways to sell online. And even if it were a monopoly, those are not illegal.


RE: The truth is
By nafhan on 1/23/2014 4:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
1 dishwasher for sale
Price 100 nafhan bucks*

*nafhan bucks can be purchased at a 1:1 exchange rate with the US dollar + a 5% processing fee.


That's a lot closer to what eBay is doing. There's nothing illegal about it, but it's consumer unfriendly enough and deceptive enough that, at eBay's scale, maybe it should be illegal.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 5:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
Unfriendly, sure. Deceptive, oh please.


RE: The truth is
By nafhan on 1/23/2014 6:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
So, you're saying it would be obvious to a new seller that they are going to get hit with payment processing fees? I'd be willing to bet a lot of new sellers would disagree with you...


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 6:16:45 PM , Rating: 3
It would be obvious to a new seller that eBay will charge fees. Anyone who's done any sort of payment acceptance knows that credit card processing, check processing, and even cash handling have associated costs. If you, as a seller, can't evaluate the options here: http://pages.ebay.com/help/pay/methods.html
to decide which payment options you'll accept, and what each will cost you, then find another shoulder to cry on.


RE: The truth is
By nafhan on 1/24/2014 10:02:52 AM , Rating: 2
...and that page doesn't say anything about Paypal also taking a cut by charging a separate fee. Someone (like me) who's willing to go over the fine print on each website individually will discover the fees. My experience is that most people are not like that, and that large corporations are aware of this and will attempt to obfuscate the fee situation as much as possible. I guess you feel like that's a good thing. Maybe that's what we're disagreeing on?


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/24/2014 3:24:48 PM , Rating: 3
Of course it doesn't say anything about PayPal taking a cut. It also doesn't say there's a service charge for an internet merchant account to accept credit cards. It doesn't list Skrill's fees. It shouldn't have to. Those are the list of accepted payment methods. You go figure out which is best for you. You might want the lowest cost. You might want the company that integrates with ___. You may want to use the company that buys carbon offsets or donates a portion of their profit to the homeless. Whatever.

My experience is that most people are not like that, and that large corporations are aware of this and will attempt to obfuscate the fee situation as much as possible. I guess you feel like that's a good thing. Maybe that's what we're disagreeing on?
I'm not sure I even agree the intentional obfuscation you describe is happening, but if it were I don't think it's good or bad. It just is.


RE: The truth is
By Fritzr on 1/28/2014 2:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
I have been offered a 5% premium by brick and mortar stores if I wanted to use my Debit Card. They don't hide the fee charged for using the convenient plastic issued by a 3rd party payment processor, they tell the customer right up front with a pretty sign that the customer will be paying the extra fee :P

Most merchants conceal the fee and adjust the price upward to make up the difference. The cash buyer pays the fee to avoid scaring off customers who prefer plastic.

When you see <credit card name> accepted here, you are paying the merchant fees for that card no matter what you use to pay. That is exactly what is happening with eBay, with the minor difference that it is not being hidden.

Seller prices include cost of product, cost of inventory storage, inventory taxes, profit margin, seller's time invested per sale, fees charged by the showroom for services, labor costs, etc. All of these are normally hidden from the buyer. Some are actually considered business secrets.

eBay is the showroom and the merchant fees charged by PayPal for handling the invoicing allow the seller to offshore the headache of processing payments. It is a convenience rather than a headache for large volume, 1 or 2 person businesses using eBay as a showroom.


RE: The truth is
By Fritzr on 1/28/2014 2:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
A seller agreeing to use a payment processor without asking what fees they are charging is naive by definition, you are definitely right about that.

Many people would tell you that such a seller deserves to be fleeced for such idiocy, but that isn't nice.

You decide you want to sell on eBay. One of the questions any seller should be asking PRIOR to accepting the terms of service is "What will it cost me?"
The answer will include
Listing fees
Payment processing fees
which may be separate from Merchant account fees & costs
Advertising fees
and the list goes on...

A one off seller getting rid of an old teddy bear can just send the payment to a personal account and avoid the PayPal fees, but for a business seller, they will pay merchant account fees even if they operate on a street corner and only deal in cash (the bank bills them for handling the checking account used to pay suppliers who won't take cash & tax payments that have to be mailed to avoid a 500 mile road trip)


RE: The truth is
By nafhan on 1/23/2014 2:36:59 PM , Rating: 3
Things that are OK for an individual to do, may be bad for a large corporation to force on millions of people.

In other words: if you start doing anywhere close to eBay's level of transactions, then some monitoring or regulation may be appropriate.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 2:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
Ok. Amazon. Does Amazon also have to accept checks and money orders? How about Apple/iTunes? Google Play? And where do you draw the line? 10k transactions? 100k transactions? 1M transactions? Do dollar amounts matter? If so, why? If not, why not?

Are you starting to see how stupid it is to try and force certain businesses into accepting certain forms of payment?


RE: The truth is
By nafhan on 1/23/2014 4:18:39 PM , Rating: 2
Amazon accepts payments through a number of third party payment services just like everyone else. If they stopped doing that to push their own hypothetical wholly owned financial subsidiary, that would definitely be something that should be looked into (IMO).

I have no idea where the line should be drawn, and the validity of my statement does not rest on me giving you an exact number.
quote:
Are you starting to see how stupid it is to try and force certain businesses into accepting certain forms of payment?
Do you see the difference between what you said, and what's actually being discussed here? It's about one business forcing users to pay with their wholly owned financial subsidiary and then skimming a fee off the top of that transaction. None of the companies you listed do that, and off the top of my head, I can't think of any other companies that do that.


RE: The truth is
By nafhan on 1/23/2014 4:18:39 PM , Rating: 2
Amazon accepts payments through a number of third party payment services just like everyone else. If they stopped doing that to push their own hypothetical wholly owned financial subsidiary, that would definitely be something that should be looked into (IMO).

I have no idea where the line should be drawn, and the validity of my statement does not rest on me giving you an exact number.
quote:
Are you starting to see how stupid it is to try and force certain businesses into accepting certain forms of payment?
Do you see the difference between what you said, and what's actually being discussed here? It's about one business forcing users to pay with their wholly owned financial subsidiary and then skimming a fee off the top of that transaction. None of the companies you listed do that, and off the top of my head, I can't think of any other companies that do that.


RE: The truth is
By Fritzr on 1/28/2014 2:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
eBay has demonstrated a pretty good metric to use
If net profits are lower than before the change, it was a mistake, time to go back to the other model :P

Businesses make that decision routinely
Diners Card acceptable?
Personal checks acceptable?
Visa acceptable?
MasterCard acceptable?
PayPal acceptable?

All of the above charge fees to the merchant (the bank charges for deposits in the case of the check and then there are the costs associated with bad checks...bank fees and labor time recovering the money)

Which is why there are businesses who say "to H with that nonsense we are cash only"...then they pay the costs of miscount, skimming, bank fees for handling cash, government reporting requirements to counter money laundering etc.

You can't win for losing


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 3:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
Nope.

Name one other massive retailer that forbids you from paying in any manner other than the payment processor that they themselves own.

Note that you can pay the US goverment your taxes with a check. Is eBay somehow a higher power than the federal government?


RE: The truth is
By nafhan on 1/23/2014 4:19:48 PM , Rating: 2
What part of what I said are you disagreeing with?

I was making the point that things which might be OK for an individual or small business might not be OK for a corporation the size of eBay.


RE: The truth is
By Reflex on 1/23/2014 4:20:43 PM , Rating: 2
Basically everyone with a payment system enforces some sort of control. PayPal is the same as the payment section on Amazon. You can link your credit card, bank account or other payment instrument to PayPal and use it to pay for products off eBay or off any other site that enables PayPal.

By comparison, Amazon has a payment center as well. You can directly link any payment instrument you wish to it, and many sites permit Amazon Payments which use that same information.

PayPal is part of eBay. All they are saying is that you have to have a payment instrument set up via PayPal without realizing that they are not separate companies anymore, and PayPal replaced the integrated payment system eBay used to have prior to the merger with PayPal.

When people have a problem with PayPal, their problem is with eBay, which is the parent company. By the same token if you had a problem with AmazonPayments, your problem is with Amazon, as the owning company.

They all function the same. People are just hung up on differences that existed when PP was an independent company. They are not one any longer and have not been for a very long time.


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 5:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
Nope.

With a card it's straight through with the merchant account. There's no intermediary.

With PayPal, they're in the middle of every transaction, squeezing more out of it and putting their hands on every penny.

There is no valid comparison.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 6:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm missing where PayPal is different from AmazonPayments. https://payments.amazon.com/help/Checkout-by-Amazo...


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 6:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
Other than the fact that Amazon Payments has no bearing on the discussion...

*If* Amazon opened up an auction site to compete with eBay, and *if* they denied you the right to accept payment via check, money order, or cash, then I'd regard them the same way I do eBay/PayPal.

However...because Amazon has no such functionality, the comparison isn't all that relevant now is it?

As for a customer buying things off of Amazon, it's just a normal credit card purchase to a normal online vendor, like Walmart.com or BestBuy.com or whatever else.


RE: The truth is
By ebakke on 1/23/2014 8:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
I can sell something through Amazon http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=3051892011, and Amazon will require payment go through their AmazonPayments system where they will take a cut.

Other than auction vs fixed-price, these seem rather comparable to me..


RE: The truth is
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 9:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
They're not. There are untold myraiads of ways I can offer and sell things online for fixed prices. I can set up a Wordpress site to do that in about 30 minutes. Or do it via GoDaddy probably even faster.

Or...just put a post on Craigslist.

Only one viable online auction service exists. There are limitless opportunities to sell things for fixed prices - using whatever form of payment you want.


RE: The truth is
By Reflex on 1/24/2014 1:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
eBay's primary business is not auctions anymore and has not been for a long time. And again, there is no difference, the payment instruments are simply being centrally managed by their payments arm, PayPal. Just as Amazon's are managed by AmazonPayments, and Google's are managed via Google Wallet, and Microsoft's, Apples, etc. You can attach any supported payment instrument you wish to those portals (for the most part), but you have to use their payment system to buy something.

Your complaint essentially is that you feel eBay should be more like Craigslist, a person to person message board, and less like Amazon, a centralized marketplace. Unfortunately for you, eBay has been moving towards the Amazon model for years now, and I can't even remember the last time I bought an auction item there rather than just buy it now items. However even an auction house typically has a centralized payment system managed by the house in the real world.


RE: The truth is
By Fritzr on 1/28/2014 2:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
Amazon is a good example. If you buy an Amazon listing offered by a third party, you pay Amazon and they send your payment to the seller and bill the fees to the seller's PayAmazon account. They do not advertise the PayAmazon payment service as it is only offered to businesses using Amazon as a showroom. PayPal on the other hand allows people to setup and maintain a PayeBay (doing business under the name PayPal) account and use it for their purchases at any vendor willing to accept payments forwarded by eBay's payment handler.

That sounds an awful lot like a web merchant accepting AmazonPay doesn't it...
https://payments.amazon.com/personal/shopOnline?ld...
quote:
3 Simple Steps to Shop with Amazon Payments

Safe, Simple Online Shopping
Use the information from your Amazon.com account to complete purchases.
1) Go to your favorite site
2) Add to your shopping cart
3) Pay using information from your Amazon.com account
No need to re-enter credit card numbers or shipping addresses.
Enjoy the convenience and familiarity of Amazon's checkout experience.
Your transactions are secure because your financial information is not shared or stored with merchants.
The same buyer protection plan on Amazon.com is available when you checkout using Amazon Payments. The A-to-z Guarantee ensures the condition and timely delivery of your purchase.

eBay calls their payment process PayPal and permits use on 3rd party sites
Amazon calls their payment process AmazonPayments and permits use on 3rd party sites.
eBay charges a fee to the seller for each payment
Amazon charges a fee to the seller for each payment
PayPal is widely known and accepted by most web merchants
AmazonPayments is not widely known and acceptance is spotty

There is only a minor difference between the two services, but that minor difference is a major nuisance when you decide to only AmazonPayments :)

No matter how you pay for your purchase, you are paying merchant account fees. Where they are not disclosed, they are averaged across all purchases and included in the advertised price.

Note the nice soothing message following step 3 where they fail to disclose that Amazon records your non-Amazon shopping history :P


RE: The truth is
By Fritzr on 1/28/2014 3:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
When you use a Visa card the intermediaries (there are a minimum of two) are the bank that issued the card and Visa corporation which operates the Visa Debit Card and Visa Credit Card networks that the merchant uses to process all Visa payments.
1) The merchant logs the payment on the Visa network
2) Visa forwards the information to the issuing bank
3) The bank accepts/declines the transaction
4) If accepted the bank authorizes Visa to transfer the money to the merchant's bank account
5) If accepted Visa processes an interbank ETF to move money from your account to the merchant's account (which may not even be part of your bank's clearinghouse network which is why there is often an extra fee passed to the buyer for "international" transaction)

When you get a Credit Card or Debit Card you are signing up with a "PayPal" like company that will automatically handle the details of checking your available balance and making an ETF from your bank account to another bank account somewhere on planet Earth. (Unlike checks, the credit card companies are not limited to the locally used Clearing House, they work with all the inter-bank networks around the world)

Most online only merchants refuse to accept cash and many refuse to accept checks, making a PayPal equivalent like Visa, AmEx, Diners Club, MC or AmazonPayments and maybe PayPal itself the only options aside from buying from someone else.

In other news: You can use check, money order or plastic to pay eBay. Their payment acceptance department operates under the name PayPal :P

For the protection of the buyers, eBay requires all payments for items purchased on eBay be sent to eBay who will then forward the payment to the seller. This also allows eBay to verify that the payment was made if a complaint of nonpayment is made by the seller.

Oddly enough Amazon treats their sellers the same way.


RE: The truth is
By troysavary on 1/24/2014 2:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
Almost nobody accepts checks anymore. Very few online businesses would accept cash mailed to them either. So that pretty much leaves credit card. Since the majority of people do not have a merchant account, that leave them relying of E-bay to process those payments for them. E-bay has the right to use whatever method it chooses to provide this service. Anyone who does not like that rule can just not use E-bay. That is how the free market works.


RE: The truth is
By Fritzr on 1/28/2014 2:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
I will name the US government which does require payments be made in US currency or US currency equivalent. Only Embassies and Consulates accept foreign currency and limit that use to the currency of the city they are located in (Fees are still in US dollars and the local equivalent accepted for the convenience of local residents can change daily due to exchange rate)


RE: The truth is
By troysavary on 1/24/2014 2:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
No, it shouldn't. E-bay, as a business, has the right to conduct said business in the manner they wish. You, as the consumer, have the right to do, or not do, business with them, as you see fit. By doing business with them, you are agreeing to do business on their own terms. The last thing we need is yet more laws designed to interfere with the free market.

As someone who used to sell on E-bay frequently, I can tell you that they made the requirement to pay by Paypal for a very good reason. Paypal makes it very easy for E-bay to determine whether or not the customer paid. Long before E-bay made that policy, many sellers had already decided to accept Paypal only. That way, the seller could not claim that they paid when they did not and leave negative feedback against you for not shipping when you got no money from them.

Also, Paypal is a lot cheaper than opening a merchant account with a credit card processor. And it is far more trustworthy than the myriad of other online payment processors that have come and gone over the years.


RE: The truth is
By TheDoc9 on 1/23/2014 4:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
eBay makes money twice - once on the auction, and again on the payment for the auction

This is it exactly. Ebay is not about to let go of this money machine.


Hello SEC
By superflex on 1/23/14, Rating: 0
RE: Hello SEC
By Shadowself on 1/23/2014 2:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. Icahn is only in it for Icahn.

Whatever gets him, personally, the most profits in the shortest period of time is what he pushes. He does not give a damn about what his actions do to the company involved or the smaller investors in that company. You have to look no further than TWA, Time Warner, Blockbuster, Biogen, Mentor Graphics and others to see his real purpose.

Icahn can spout off about "unlocking share value" (which, in my opinion, is a pure load of crap) or "being an activist for investors" is just a smokescreen for Icahn pulling all sorts of tricks to set up a situation where he can personally profit.

To my knowledge there's nothing illegal about what he does. But his attempting to hide behind his claims that he's doing things to help "investors" in general is certainly unethical IMHO.

Any company in which Icahn takes a controlling interest (or sets up a board with his pals) I get out of as fast as possible because if you don't get out before Icahn gets his profits there's nothing left for anyone else.

Personally, I wish we could invest based upon two simple metrics: 1) Book value of the company and 2) Post taxes profits (current and projected). Everything else is smoke and mirrors and a shell game. Unfortunately 99+% of the trades done today are based upon the smoke and mirrors and shell games, not on simple metrics. Thus we are forced to make investments in the same light.


RE: Hello SEC
By DT_Reader on 1/23/2014 5:44:45 PM , Rating: 2
You can invest using any metrics you want - nobody's stopping you. Your problem seems to be that other people are investing using metrics that you don't use. Too bad for you. If you feel you're at a disadvantage compared to the brokerages who use proprietary metrics run on computers to make instant trades and maximize their return, then invest in mutual funds or don't buy stocks at all.

Personally, I'm far more interested in the dividend they pay than their earnings. Yes, you need profits to pay dividends, but a LOT of companies (Apple, Microsoft, etc.) have huge earnings and tiny dividends. They hoard their profits overseas rather than pay a dividend. As far as I'm concerned they're hoarding their shareholder's money and their shareholders should demand dividends, but I don't care because I only invest in companies that pay dividends.


RE: Hello SEC
By superflex on 1/23/2014 3:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
Here he goes again on AAPL. Buy, buy, buy!. Make me Rich!
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-23/carl-icah...


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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