eBay seeks to strangle its Australian sellers


We should be used to this by now. Yet another money grubbing directive has surfaced from mother eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY), As covered in a story in The New York Times, eBay has decided to test market the strategy of allowing payment for transactions on its site solely through its wanton money portal, PayPal. The company intends to run this test on Australian eBayers. I wonder if our mates Down Under would be willing to tell us how they feel about this strategy?

eBay is claiming that this change in operating procedure will lower the incidences of fraud on the site. That's funny coming from them, when you consider that the worst eBay fraud nightmares generally run through its own PayPal system. I can believe that eBay's own fraud exposure might be cut by funneling everything through PayPal, but that's about eBay's bottom line. It's not about the bottom lines of its loyal patrons. The matter is further examined in this Associated Press article.

BloggingStocks reports that, as it stands right now, PayPal collects 2.9% from every sale which runs through its system in the U.S., plus another .30 cents for any sale under $3,000. The picture gets even gloomier for Australian eBayers, where PayPal charges 4.4% on sales, plus the additional .30 cents. What percentage of eBay Australia's sales currently run through alternate payment means? That's what I want to know.

If this change is enacted by eBay against the entirety of it's operations, it will be just one more step in the inevitable creation of "Wal-Bay", a site where large volumes of foreign made junk will be peddled by a thin crust of well protected sellers. In the meantime, alternate online selling strategies continue to take hold and grow as eBay's own growth has stalled. eBay can fake revenue growth for just so long. It's only a matter of time before things really start to get ugly over there.