That and ebay/paypal are greedy bastards who double dip you.
Six years ago, PayPal could claim a 91 per cent market share in the US. Today it's struggling to claim long-term relevance in the surging online payments market, the market it helped to create. The problem isn't really a matter of functionality, it's a matter of focus and being able to sell its new services clearly and …
Agreed. eBay grabs 9% and then PayPal grabs another 2.9% plus a $0.30 service charge. On top of that, eBay facilitates buyer's committing fraud via their "Buyers Assurance" program whereby the buyer claims the item was not described properly, gets an instant refund (yet the seller still has to pay all of the fees) and the buyer ships an empty box back (since eBay wants a tracking number). You the seller are then down basically 112% since you are out the money. fees and the item.
It's small wonder PayPal's association with eBay is causing it to lose market share.
They're greedy, but they charge what the market is willing to pay.
I hate paying their fees, but it's still worth using ebay because of the high prices that customers are willing to pay for my listings. Whats the alternative - Gumtree? Cash Converters? You will make far less money on either of these options even when fees are considered.
What we really need is some true competition for ebay.
"...is the enforced PayPal tie-in. PayPal's idea of customer service is as palatable as Bob Diamond's idea of his own entitlement. Horrible company."
Paypal support employs monkeys. There isn't anyone there with common sense or authority to do anything useful. Had a payment go to the wrong email address (typo) and I didn't want to cancel the payment and make the customer do it again. Rang paypal. They can't help me as I have to either cancel or make the account and then transfer to the right account.
I make the account. Can't transfer, have to verify the account by linking to a bank account even though I want it to go to the right paypal account and not the bank account.
I link the bank account and verify it. Still can't transfer it. Have to send copies of my driver's licence, utility bills, DNA, shoe size and favorite sexual position to prove who I can before I can transfer to a paypal account that I had already done that.
Six weeks later I make the one transfer and delete the wrong account. Yes the typo was my fault but my god did Paypal make it hard to fix the mistake. Their support was totally useless and unhelpful.
I've lost count of the number of buyers, businesses and charitiable organisations that have been screwed over by the PayPal "dispute resolution" system.
They have a habit of just taking all the money away (not just the disputed amount) for an indeterminate amount of time, with no apparent care for what that means to their customers. On top of that it seems well-nigh impossible to determine what happened and what needs to be done to sort it out.
As knowledge of the way that PayPal's dispute resolution operates has spread, is it any surprise that people do not want to do business with them any more?
And THAT is why PayPal will never be a bank. I don't give a flying monkey's that they signed a charter, a bank operating under the law cannot prevent you from accessing YOUR money without a court order.
PayPal deems itself above the law and that is simply not acceptable.
Personally I don't care either about Ebay or about PayPal. Ebay was a great idea and had a wonderful start before the suits wrecked it, but it may yet have some use left. PayPal, on the other hand, should simply die, and it is a good thing that the competition is starting in the online payment arena because Lord knows it needs it.
Moneybookers (now skrill) are UK based and offer the same functions as Paypal do and no merchant account needed so great for small businesses. If you use Prestashop open source cart then you get a preferential rate as well (cheaper than paypal). Only problem i have found since setting them up on a few websites is that their customer services can take ages to reply to questions send through their merchant support and they hold a reserve for 30 days to cover chargebacks
This post has been deleted by its author
All the cheapest stuff is in the US and other non-EU places though. I restore pinball machines in my spare time, even after customs and shipping it's often far cheaper to buy parts from the US. All those US companies and 'mom n pop' type supplies accept Paypal.
Paypal is 'too big to fail' at this point, not sure how much time analysts spend in the real world.
Possibly, but once I blacklist a company, they don't tend to get off the list because I stop paying any attention to them, they could be the paragon of virtue right now and I wouldn't have a clue.
Beside, the blacklist is there for 2 things
1) to protect myself against people who've proven they can't be trusted
With regard to 2, the punishment isn't about trying to make them change their behaviour, and so it's not about to be lifted even if they started behaving well, it's about giving the money they may have earned from me to their competition until such time as their competition do something stupid as well.
In some places PayPal is a bank, in some places it isn't. The European arm is "licenced as a Luxembourg credit institution" according to
possibly for the same reason that casinos are located on Native American reservations.
Bank, schmank. If the average punter can't be assured of his cash flow in a timely manner because the arbitration and/or legal process takes too long, he bags the service. It doesn't matter what they call themselves. And it doesn't matter how cool, hip, or trendy the back-end tech wonkery behind it is.
As far as I've been able to tell, Paypal's sole raison de tre was to allow kiddies who can't be issued credit cards a way to pay for online purchases. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Amex, etc. and their various subsidiaries work for just about everybody else.
Well, ebay obviously feel comfortable enough to double the cap on the final value fee.
Before 10th July: £1000 sale, ebay get 10% of £400 = £40
After 10th July: ebay get 10% of £750 = £75
Plus, the paypal double dip of 3.4%
Plus the risk that paypal do not investigate a seller complaint properly, and take the whole lot
eBay and PayPal are greedy rip off merchants, I was really into eBaying a few years back but due to thier total rip off fee's an eBay business didnt work out so folded that one
I've also noticed that they make you accept PayPal and make out its all about 'helping' and all that - no its not, do you think we're thick? Its about maximising profits at the expense of screwing everyone over.
can't wait till ebay and paypal get their comeupance
The problem isn't really a matter of functionality, it's a matter of PayPal and eBay being greedy and unethical in their business practices.
When eBay stopped allowing money orders as an acceptable form of payment and forced PayPal or local pickup as the only options for individuals, I stopped using eBay.
If it was Amazon buying paypal, they would do couple of "it is easier this way" type tricks but they would never, ever remove other options like ebay did. It is because Amazon should only care about selling stuff and paypal should still compete with others to convince them.
That is why Amazon is Amazon and ebay is ebay.
"At its founding, X.commerce had a builtin audience of nearly 800,000 programmers, derived from counting eBay, Magento, and PayPal developers."
So more than 1 in 10,000 of the entire human race is now an e-commerce programmer?
I think the 1980s just called and Douglas Adams wants his telephone sanitation engineers back.
Each year it seems eBay increases its fees for making a sale and force users to pay again via the utilisation of PayPal - given they are the same company in reality they charge you twice for the same service.
As for the 'supposed' buyer protection, another ripoff, if anything goes wrong either the buyer or seller have to wait weeks before anything is done and then pay more fees.
Best thing is to put a listing on eBay and remove it before the end of the listing period and arrange a private sale with one of the higher bidders if your actual required price has been achieved - indeed, by cutting out eBay both sides if its quite expensive can save about £100 between them - you can use PayPal in the UK to send a gift payment for zero, or better still, take cash only via a personal collection.
I. like many eBay users feel ripped off by their service, the fees are way too high - they and PayPal are money grabbing bastards full stop - I hope they fail in time!!!!
"a sort of e-commerce operating system" ... using that metaphor doesn't help to elucidate what developers are supposed to do with X.commerce.
Oh come on, of course it does. We can leverage it to empower user communities with real-time transactions through a crowdsourced social networking meta-service.
Outside of the USA and UK it's PayPal for small online business or nothing. Here in France Google Checkout has never been available for merchants. As for the rest...
Crap as PayPal frequently are, at least they could be bothered to see beyond their own national borders and set up a proper international system that, by and large, seems to work most of the time. Where I live there's simply no viable alternative.
Quite right - for small businesses wanting to dabble in a bit of online trading Paypal is hard to beat. Easy to set up, no annual fees, no set-up fees, quite reasonable transaction charges (especially for charities). Beats the hell out of Worldpay etc.
Disputes are a bit of an issue - one client recently had a payment reversed when the customer said they'd never actually bought anything from my client - after giving details of the IP address, date, time etc, and a phone call to discuss it all the outcome was the customer saying"Oh, did I buy those from you? I thought they came from someone else." - It then took over two months to get the money credited again, but, according to Paypal, that's because the Credit Card companies flatly refuse to cough up again for 75 days, even when the customer admits it's actually all kosher.
Moneybookers and Dalpay can help you outside USA/UK and their prices didn't compare too badly with PayPal the last time I checked. I have helped a few people set up both systems and as far as I know all of them are quite happy.
There are probably a few other payment processors that aren't too expensive, it's just a question of finding them.
Being a buyer only, I stopped Paypal when they started to refuse electronic Visa cards* numbers, and demanded my real visa number instead. In essence, this "secure" provider was imposing unreasonable risk on me, probably with the intend to steal money (couldn't think of any other reason). And this was before all the phising problems.
There is no point, today, if your bank is from this century, to even consider PayPal.
* Totally secure way to pay online: virtual VISA number, limited to a certain amount of money, limited to 2 months duration, generated by your bank portal. Very popular in France.
I used to sell a lot on ebay before as well, now I'll only buy stuff if I can't find it elsewhere. Ebay/Paypal need some serious competition to kick them up the arse, then they might be good again. TBH I think facebook has missed a trick here, it's already got the userbase, and could easily set-up a ebay like service, might actually get them some revenue outside of ads. Other large companies that could give them a run for their money are google/amazon (could set-up a amazon auction site). But the only alternatives I've found in the UK are small sites, without a significant user base. You need a large userbase of sellers to get a large userbase of buyers, and you wont get a large userbase of sellers unless there is a large userbase of buyers, catch 22.
To be fair, I honestly wouldn't buy anything from a seller who wasn't using paypal. As many dodgy buyers as there are out there, there are more dodgy sellers. And if anyone asked me to send them a cheque or western union, I'd immediately think they were up to something. It's only through enforcing stuff like paypal that buyers can be certain this won't happen to them.
And there's the nub of the matter: Paypal's product is their reputation. You've heard of them and reckon that if they mis-behave there is some chance that you'll be able to take action against them. Mastercard and Visa are in a similar position, but there isn't much room in the market for "companies that everyone has heard of", simply because "everyone" can only remember a handful of names.
e-Commerce payments are a natural monopoly. The barrier to entry is really quite large when you consider that anyone outside the country (legal jurisdiction) of a newcomer will automatically start from a position of "No, I won't be able to get my money back.".
I tried signing up for a 'free' PayPal account in the early days, only for the "please confirm" email to mention a $10 charge (yes, I joined from the UK, why should I expect new charges in my currency?) I politely declined to join at this point, yet they *still* took the money, although I had no account. They correctly assumed that I was not prepared to waste time and effort trying to chase down a small charge overseas. I did learn a valuable lesson though - PayPal appear to be thieves, and nothing I have seen in the decade since has persuaded me otherwise. $10 seems to have been good value for this lesson.
Looking for a hard drive caddy for Dell laptop, outbid at the last nano-second by someone using some smartass software.
An AUCTION is where you can see the other bids !
Few weeks later found a whole Dell Latitude (with broken screen) at a car boot sale for less than the winning eBay bid for a single part.
Paypal is just adding complicated insult to injury.
No, that's just ONE type of auction (the common English auction). There are others. For example, in a sealed-bid auction, everyone only gets one (secret) bid which no one but the seller sees. eBay and other auction websites simply use a variant on the Vickrey auction.
I stopped using Ebay/PayPal after PAYPAL ripped me off ; not a buyer or seller, but Paypal itself.
I paid with a credit card and had an email receipt with the correct last 4 digits, only for PP to take the money via my Debit card and leave me severely overdrawn at the bank, and I incurred £75 in bank charges.
When I called them their reply was basically "Tough, we had both card details on file and picked the first on the list".
(I also had issues with the bank allowing me to go £300 overdrawn on a single £600 transaction).
I will never, ever use any company that requires use of Paypal, and ditched Skype for the same reason.
"(I also had issues with the bank allowing me to go £300 overdrawn on a single £600 transaction)."
The UK's retail shyster banking system uses the "no annual / monthly fees" lure to get you on-board, before they spam you with hidden charges, such as £35 for an automated form letter that tells you you're now overdrawn (because they've just charged you £35 to send you the letter telling you about it—I'm not kidding: this genuinely happened to me.)
In mainland Europe, you pay a monthly fee instead, but for that you never, ever, ever get overdrawn unless you have an agreed overdraft. (In Italy, overdrafts are unusual for current accounts; they're mostly reserved for business accounts.) There are no other fees. None. That monthly fee is their sole source of profit, which makes it all nicely transparent. (Oh, and in Italy, most banks are still very much local affairs—some are cooperatives—with a cast-iron mandate to invest and loan money to local businesses. They're not allowed to just keep saying "No!")
One of the great benefits of being in the EU—however tangentially—is that the freedom to travel, live and work in any EU nation applies just as much to us Brits as it does to any Pole or Swede.
They nicked my account 3 times, with a 4th pending, on the same invoice. That wiped out my balance and the bank thankfully saw that something wasn't quite right and froze the transactions. It took me almost a month to get it straight. Mistakes happen, I understand that. But, while I might forgive them, I sure won't forget.
A couple of years ago I had occasion to buy a lot of stuff on EBay.
Once I'd spent several thousand pounds, I got a message from PayPal, not saying "You're a great customer, keep it up" or anything, but "You can't settle by credit card any more. You must give us your bank details so we can just siphon money out whenever we feel like it."
Needless to say, PayPal and EBay have seen zero business from me since then.
Sarah Lacy breathlessly hyping new startups because developers find that they are easy to work with? I would have never expected that.
You bloody well expect to get great customer service from an eight month old startup that has 28 employees who are looking to get wealthy - but what happens when they are successful and suddenly there are 500 employees, some of them not so experienced, talented or motivated any more, and now the startup is supposed to start showing some profits instead of just getting more funding rounds? Plenty of opportunities to dent those halos, especially as none of the new players seem to have really gone outside USA borders just yet.
But here's hoping the likes of Braintree and Stripe are successful - if only to force Paypal to cut its fees.
Frankly, I only use PayPal because ebay doesn't give you a choice in the matter. PayPal sucks on so many levels, especially as a seller. They double dip and have zero customer support if you need help, like a customer claiming that their package never arrived even though you have proof of delivery. Three cheers for the competition.
It's a decent article as X.commerce has been too broadly and vaguely positioned, but the whole PayPal crisis theme is nonsense and based on an article of the same basis on Pando Daily that itself was based on an interview with Elon Musk, a PayPal founder, that was sensationalised under a "PayPal is screwed" title!
Putting aside the chinese whispers of this type of report, it seems to me Musk was actually trying to emphasise evolvement of simple online payment solutions by firms like Stripe in the area of PayPal's core business. But: Musk is now a major investor in Stripe so the source argument here was never going to be objective.
Stripe is neat but it's just a hugely simplified version of PayPal. There is no technology innovation here. It's just a lean product. PayPal is never going to be Stripe because it would need to cut away functionality and value add. Stripe on the other hand might one day be PayPal, because broader product = more revenue.
If you go back to the "source article" the other theme is Braintree, an undoubtedly innovative and cutting edge Merchant payment services provider. But Braintree and PayPal are no more alike than Stripe and PayPal are. Braintree is a full service Merchant-oriented solution, PayPal is a user/customer-first payment wallet.
PayPal has never really tried to play in the Merchant space that Braintree is transforming (and even PayPal's "Large Merchant" re-entrance the past few years is as a wallet alongside card payments) so to suggest that success at Braintree is indicative of failure at PayPal is no more accurate than when a Stripe investor says it.
I actually work for a competitor of PayPal - but I'm informed enough to see that from the Merchant perspective of this (and the source) article, actually PayPal have innovated more this past year than they have in the prior decade. From a Merchant and multi-channel standpoint the competitor view is "PayPal are really going for it".
That's hardly the withering flower implied by "bleeding" or "screwed" - sounds more like blossoming. Of course most of this carries no weight with a vast majority of respondents who are aggrieved consumers or sole-trader PayPal/eBay users who believe their terrible service experience reflects on PayPal's strategic growth. It doesn't!
I have to disagree with you there.
Paypal's dispute behaviour is extremely important to their long-term health, and it's almost certainly their key strategic failure.
The reason for this is that the most important asset of any online payments provider is the trust of buyer and seller.
Both parties need to be confident that if the other fails to deliver, the dispute will be resolved quickly and effectively.
Without that trust, Paypal will fail because nobody wants to use it.
People don't use a service that they think will screw them over, and trust is extremely hard to regain once lost.
Have more than one bank account. Use one account as a gateway to paypal/ebay, but immediately transfer most funds to a different account to keep their greedy mitts off of it.
If you are selling on ebay, you don't need paypal if you have your own merchant account.
They do this to avoid anti-trust issues or possibly visa/mastercard requires it of them
When you purchase things via paypal, make sure you have taken any payments you have received out of
your "credits" and transferred it to your bank account and then to your safe bank account otherwise they
will use that first. Then make sure the credit card option is selected each and every freaking time or they
will attempt to take from your bank account. They do this because money taken from your account comes
to them essentially free while money from your credit card forces them to pass on the 2.3% they charge
every time regardless of pay source. This is where they make their largest profit!
You use the credit card option to protect YOU. Paypal has zero incentive to work on your behalf regardless
of the glaring level of fraud. If they can't get the money from you, they at least put on a show, but still rarely
appear to actually act. After a while they will, with crocodile tears, say they are sorry but you need to pay.
At which point I suggest you tell them to pound sand unless you have no options other than ebay to sell.
Me? Well, I made the mistake of taking a payment through paypal for a friend.
She did web work for someone and their was a dispute. The buyer contacted paypal and asked for
their money back. Since the TOS states that services are not covered by the buyer protection program
paypal ruled in my friend's favor. However, shortly before a year had passed the buyer told here credit
card company that it was an unauthorized charge and paypal attempted to take the money from my
paypal account (I did not have a bank account linked and nothing in the credits at the time) so they were
not able to get it. They froze my account.
Having spoken to them, they said they would "fight" for me, etc. etc.
So, despite having emails from the buyer complaining about the purchase, and thus proof that it was
indeed authorized, paypal managed to lose the dispute. (Or that is the story they told me, I think it was BS).
So, they asked me for the money and I told them that the buyer was ripping THEM off and not ME.
I figured that if they had an actual risk of loss, they might actually make an effort.
Well, they passed on my "debt" to a collector who demanded the money.
I asked for proof of debt, there was none, and threatened to sue them if they put anything on my
credit report. They went away, but I still can't sell on Ebay and the only purchase I make are
when the seller is local and I can meet and pay cash.
Sounds like you had a lucky escape with the collectors. I cancelled a mobile data contract with 3 during the 'cooloff' period (the coverage was dire in the city centre, significantly poorer quality than expected) only for them to keep demanding payment. Only every time I disputed the debt and asked for proof, they said they'd look into it, and promptly bounced it onto a different collections agency. Presumably in the hope I'd get sick of fighting and cave in.
(Never discuss the 'debt' with these people - it is always the 'alleged debt' unless they have sent cast iron proof.)
I donate to Android freeware/ open source apps and of course when I tap donate button, it opens a paypal url in my default browser (opera mobile).
I always saw a very awkward desktop paypal page on mobile. Gave up several times since I don't feel OK to give secure info when I had to zoom in/ out stupidly.
I am just hoping they are stupid enough nor to check mobile opera, having a mobile site after all. They sure have mobile site right?
Worse than Jewellery by Gerald Ratner. I've tried to close my account in protest:
"Sorry you cannot close you're account"
"4 transactions by 2 retailers"
Which retailers and transactions?
"TheHut.com - 18372340 & 2389018290
Zavvi - 984303454 & 4534543534"
So I search for those transaction ID's in my account, nothing, ask Zavvi and TheHut, they have no idea, contact Paypal, no response, contact them again, no response, set up a complaint about the lack of response, no response. I only want to close my account ffs.
A lot of whining from sellers here. From a buyers perspective Paypal looks pretty good because, in my experience, the scammers are on the sellers side. One example is when my wife tried to buy a cheap and cheerful tablet on-line. Then it became apparent the seller was either scamming or not being honest. The device had not arrived within three weeks and the seller had become abusive. Paypal refunded the money no questions. That's what a buyer wants in order to have confidence using the service and, no doubt, it costs Paypal to look out for the buyer.
We as humans tend towards monopolies, because we are lazy fuckers. The vast majority of people simply cannot be bothered to search out an alternative to Amazon, Apple, ASOS, eBay, Facebook, Google, etc. Sure, there are better options in the respective markets, but if most of the people just go with the default then the competition have got a lot of work to do.
This came out prior to eBay/Paypal's actual results coming out; they did VERY well and doubled their earnings. All the evidence points to this article being wishful thinking on the part of investors in a rival startup; mostly based on information from Pando Daily. The author really shouldn't be allowed to write for The Reg again, as his bias and poor quality of information has been exposed.
Hard to believe The Reg is keeping this article up, now that it's been proven materially incorrect. If eBay and Paypal are over, someone needs to tell them and their investors - they're up 20% year on year, which for an established market leader is excellent. I hate eBay/Paypal's dominance as much as the next man, but not enough to deny reality entirely.
The emergence of new e-commerce payment methods is all well and good, and may be what all the "cool kids" are using now, but these changes are largely irrelevant for the e-tailers which my friends/relatives/ acquaintances/co-workers and I deal with. With most transactions, at least in this part of the United States, you are given a choice of credit or debit card, or Paypal. I find that Paypal allows me the safest way to make payments to e-tailers online, and the fact that most e-tailers here don't give us any other choices means that, until these other e-commerce payment methods are more widespread, we will continue to use Paypal for the forseeable future.