[LINK] Land of the Free, and the Expensive

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Thu Aug 21 07:11:06 EST 2008

>       eBay to Force U.S. PayPal Use (After Australian Rejection)
>             http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000415.html
>Greetings.  Months ago I mentioned to various eBay sellers in my
>acquaintance (mostly sellers of collectibles not suitable for "fixed
>price" sales) that eBay was moving to force the use of PayPal for
>all transactions in Australia -- and wanted to do the same here in
>the U.S.  Most of these eBay diehards, used to being manipulated by
>eBay's fee structure and recent detrimental changes (like the
>abolishing of "negative feedback"), still refused to believe that
>eBay would make such a move.
>Subsequently, Australian regulators have made it clear
>( http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20152/1103 ) that they would not
>accept such an arrangement down in Oz -- a plan that would have
>primarily benefited eBay itself (which charges significant
>percentage-based fees for the use of its wholly owned PayPal) --
>so eBay apparently has cancelled the scheme there.
>But knowing full well that U.S. regulators can be easily cowered
>into inaction in similar circumstances, eBay has announced today
>that PayPal (or credit cards) are to be the standard required
>payment mechanism on eBay for all transactions.  For most sellers
>this means that they must use PayPal, and eBay will be assured of a
>nice juicy PayPal commission from each of those sales.  eBay of
>course claims that this is mainly a consumer protection measure --
>interesting that the Australian regulators didn't see it that way,
>eBay is also making other changes to de-emphasize auctions entirely
>by making fixed-price sales more attractive -- essentially
>undermining the basic auction model on which they built their
>business, and turning eBay even more into Just Another Online Store
>in many respects.
>There are numerous alternatives to selling on eBay.  I've wondered
>why so many eBay auction sellers have been willing to be fleeced for
>so long by eBay's increasingly callous practices toward this bedrock
>It will be interesting to see how the eBay auction community reacts
>to this latest punch in the gut from eBay itself.
>    [ There are definite privacy implications to the forced use of PayPal
>      vs. simply mailing a check! -- Lauren ]
>Lauren Weinstein
>lauren at vortex.com or lauren at pfir.org
>Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
>Co-Founder, PFIR
>    - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
>Co-Founder, NNSquad
>    - Network Neutrality Squad - http://www.nnsquad.org
>Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
>Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
>Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
>privacy mailing list

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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