Buyers who Want to Use PayPal are Being Denied on eBay.com

Posted on July 24, 2008. Filed under: eBay, Paypal | Tags: , , , , , |

Today I began receiving emails enmasse from potential bidders and potential buyers.  All of the emails were from eBayers who wanted to purchase my items, who had active PayPal accounts that were linked to their eBay IDs, and had been eBay members for many years.  Some of these folks were registered in 1998.  They were all reporting that they were unable to buy / bid on my items.

It is not unusual for me to receive several emails a day from people who want to buy from me but who are unable to do so.  My listings are all “PayPal Required” so anyone without a PayPal account has to ask me for permission to use an alternate payment method.  And I have the eBay “Bidder Requirements” set as high as possible so that eBayers who have too many Unpaid Item Strikes (UPIs) or other policy violations are automatically blocked.

Today was different, though.  Today the sheer number of emails was alarming and a quick review of these eBayer’s accounts told me that these were quality bidders who should not have been blocked from my listings.   So I began investigating.   My first stop was the eBay announcement boards which yielded no information.  Then the eBay user’s community boards had one post which described my exact problem and one person said that they were told by eBay Live that there was a “glitch” and that eBay was aware of the problem and was working on it.  No other details were available.

So, I get on the phone with eBay Powerseller Support.  Frankly I am thinking that they should install a special Batphone-type communication system for someone like me, someone who calls in several times a week.  I should not have to wait on hold for 13 minutes before being allowed to report yet another glitch.  Fortunately, I always keep a pile of work sitting on the corner of my desk — a pile of work that can be done while I am on hold with eBay.  It sure makes the wait time less frustrating when I am busy doing something.

I am able to speak today with a very nice Powerseller rep who admits to selling sporadically on eBay over the last year.  The young man is very polite, very helpful, and even somewhat knowledgeable.  He tells me that about 7 – 14 days ago, eBay experienced a glitch whereby some eBay users’ PayPal email addresses came “unlinked” from their eBay account.  But he assured me that the eBay Team was aware of the problem and the “unlinking” had stopped.  That is great news.  Now, what about the folks whose PayPal email addresses were removed?   Why has there not been an announcement made?  I was told that eBay was still investigating and so no announcement had been made because, at this time, no one is really sure how many eBayers have been affected and glitches are only announced when the problem is site-wide or when a huge number of users are affected.

But what about the users who were affected?  Their emails to me indicated that, first of all, they had security concerns about the eBay site because they were being asked to provide their PayPal password in order to bid on my items (which I am assuming is how the system was attempting to get them to link their Paypal email address) and they were also specifically concerned about me and why I would want their Paypal password because this only happened on my listings.  The potential buyers’ emails to me also indicated that they were frustrated  at having a problem purchasing my items and they appeared to be insulted that I would not let someone like them (someone with good feedback, a Paypal account in good standing, and a PayPal account linked to their eBay I.D.) purchase my items. 

It is safe to assume that I have lost a fair number of sales recently due to eBay’s “glitch” which penalizes sellers such as myself who use “PayPal Required” listings.  I use the PayPal Only Requirement to cut down significantly on nonpaying bidders.  eBay recommends PayPal only or Instant Payment listings.  But now, another one of eBay’s glitch is costing me sales.  I am sure there are many potential buyers that never even emailed me to express their frustration or to inquire about how to fix the problem they were encountering.  Instead, they went to someone else’s listing to purchase or they logged out of eBay altogether and went to a “more secure” site which did not ask for their PayPal password when they attempted to make a purchase. 

And, of course, I now get the job of “educating” eBayers (who emailed me with details of the problem) on how to link their PayPal email addresses to their eBay ID account again.   Of course I am frustrated with eBay.  I am frustrated with the glitch-infestation and I am frustrated that eBay will not put out an announcement letting people know about the problem along with the details of the simple fix.  It is me, the eBay seller, who suffers the lost sales and I am the one who is tasked with informing buyers about the problem and letting them know they can purchase my items after they fix the problem that the eBay glitch caused for them.  And, naturally, a frustrated eBay buyer is exactly the kind of buyer who I expect will downgrade me on my DSRs to express their frustration.  After all, how else can they communicate their unhappiness with the eBay system?

For anyone who needs to “link” their PayPal email address to their eBay I.D., the following steps should help you:

1. Log into your eBay account.

2. Go to “My eBay”.

3. On the left hand side of the screen under “Account”, click on the “Addresses” link.

4. Next, click on “View All Shipping Addresses”.

5. If the “Add PayPal Address” button appears then you do not have your PayPal email address linked to your eBay account.

Any eBayer who does not have their PayPal email address linked to their eBay I.D. will be blocked from bidding on a listing that is “PayPal Required”.  And since all of my listings are currently “PayPal Required”, I now know why some of my items are not selling as well as I had anticipated.  What is the point in maintaining good DSRs and becoming educated on Best Match so that I can appear at the top of the searches when the good eBay buyers are being denied access to purchasing from me because of an eBay glitch that eBay will not announce?

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6 Responses to “Buyers who Want to Use PayPal are Being Denied on eBay.com”

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Thank you for this interesting post.
It ALSO affected SELLERS, too. I went to revise an eBay Store item I had listed LAST year and received a message stating that I a listing limit had been placed on my account, but the only advise given was to link my PayPal & eBay accounts, which had already been linked for months!!! I also had a stellar selling record and had all greens on my Seller Dashboard [you would think something SHOULD be mentioned there], so was very discouraged.

I asked Live Chat about it and was told that the accounts WERE linked. I emailed Trust & Safety and NEVER did receive a reply. I than went and asked on the forums and they gave the same advise as on that page.

The next day I asked Live Chat again and was told the accounts were NOT linked [exact opposite of what they stated the previous day]. I linked the accounts again and that seemed to solve the issue.

PS: Ebay does NOT publicly mention issues, unless they feel compelled to do so. My BIGGEST CONCERN now is whether eBay/PayPal patched the major DNS vulnerability that has been in the news recently. If not, they are going to end up with a HUGE number of stolen accounts and fake purchases/payments

I’m suffering from this problem RIGHT NOW. I have a valid Paypal account and CAN’T BID ON ANYTHING that’s “paypal required” because my account is unlinked. AND IT WON’T RELINK!!! This is crap eBay!

yet another glitch from the eBay/Paypal system – how can this company not be thoroughly ashamed to have such base unreliable programming that even the most unused websites online can top. It is an utter disgrace

I don’t even have paypal account required on my listings and when I view my block bidder activity log it blocks people without a paypal account. It only now hit me that this is likely an intentional barrier to push members into signing on with paypal so they can shop on eBay. I do not believe there is an end to the depth of this companies manipulative practices.

I also cannot get my ebay account to re-link to my paypal account. But thank you for this post, at least I know I’m not alone!

Same exact experiemce and the seller was denied my winning bid, smile. Have no confidence in the system at all anymore. No security, cutomers service, no notification until the last phase of the bid.
Atrocious greedy company. They put the onus on the seller to do their work for them. I actually thought it was a ploy to get more people to put pre bids on so that the items and therefore their profits would rise.

Same is happening to me, a buyer for many years. It is wrong for ebay to ask for my Paypal password.


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