Monday, January 22, 2007

Perils of PayPal / Ego of eBay

Since I regularly list my prints on eBay, I am often asked why I don't take PayPal. Well, once upon a time I did. I even began accepting it as a form of payment on my own website. I abided by all their Terms of Service rules. One of those rules was that, I could offer PayPal as a form of payment on my website but could not accept it for items deemed 'mature'. That I had no problem with, and the few times buyers paid me with PayPal for 'mature' items I quickly declined their payment and had them pay with another method. Then one day, out of the blue, my PayPal account is frozen! The reason they give is that I sell 'mature' items on my website, and that is not allowed, despite that is NOT what their Terms of Service agreement states. What was more distressing is that I am told the decision is final and there is no appeal, my account is frozen and my funds will be held by Paypal (masters of the universe) for 6 months! What!? What kind of business is this? A hostile, no regard for it's customers kind of business, is what. I did eventually reach a partially sane employee who released my money, because they realized that what they did was wrong, but I got no apology and my account remains frozen.

Ever since eBay purchased PayPal they have tried to force it down it's users throats. They often tout the 'security' of it as a wonderful selling point. But who will protect you from PayPal? Visit for more complaints and even worse horror stories. There is no 'protection' with that company, it's not a bank and is not regulated by the government. I am so much happier having my own merchant account and it's LESS expensive that PP.

Now eBay is planning to, what appears to be breaking anti-trust laws, REQUIRE new eBay users to get a PayPal account. PayPal is the LAST company I want having any sort of access to my bank account.

Fortunately, my PP experience forced me to get my own merchant account and thus set up my own online gallery/store. I have since reduced my use for eBay. In 2003 eBay sales accounted for nearly 70% of my income, last year it was down to 10%. I only use it now as a form of advertising to attract new customers. eBay has become more and more useless, it's a complicated behemoth, that's hard to navigate and its obsession with PayPal is nauseating.

Bottom line on why I don't use PayPal, "They are not trustworthy". When it comes to my money and yours, that's a big deal.

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