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eBay Bans Google Payments 591

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the credit-no-good-here dept.
whoever57 writes "eBay has added Google Checkout to the list of payment options banned on eBay. A recent update to the Accepted Payments Policy includes Google Checkout (click on 'Show' next to 'Some Examples' to reveal the list). More comments on this action can be found at the eBay Strategies Blog."
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eBay Bans Google Payments

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday July 06, 2006 @07:51PM (#15671887) Homepage Journal

    eBay has added Google Checkout to the list of payment options banned on eBay.

    I want to be the first to predict Google sues eBay for monopolistic practices or some other restriction on open and fair trade! <8^) This is just begging those two extremely rich guys up Highway 101 to see who has the best lawyers and legs to stand on. Honestly, IANAL, but I don't see it as within the rights of eBay to dictate how people accomplish the financial transactions for Rearranging the World's Junk, as they are merely the facilitators.

    I also predict Google will win, but eBay will try to make it as clunky as possible.

    There's just something about the culture within eBay which is visible to outside world, that these people are real dorks when it comes to business, but like Microsoft, were in the right place at the right time, which seems to go a very long way in business and the public forgiving leaders for bad practices.

    As described in our safe buying guide, eBay strongly encourages sellers to offer payments through PayPal - PayPal is not only convenient to use, but it also offers buyers and sellers industry leading protection against fraud, chargebacks and theft of financial data.

    Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions including:

    • Listing cancellation
    • Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
    • Listing cancellation
    • Limits on account privileges
    • Loss of PowerSeller status
    • Account suspension
    • Or any other anti-competitive behaviour to insure our monopoly!

    And that wouldn't have anything at all to do with PayPal being a property of eBay [wikipedia.org] and further lining their pockets. ;-)

    What next, coining their own money and then claiming payments can only be made with their own eBucks? I think the US Federal Reserve would have a thing or two to say about that.

    Then again, this could be a push to more people offering their stuff on Craig's List [craigslist.org]. I wonder if eBay's 25% interest in that would be leveraged to interfer.

    • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:02PM (#15671965) Journal
      And don't forget:

      1) Ebay isn't an auction site.
      and
      2) Paypal isn't a bank.

      This gets them around a lot of nasty local and national laws involving auctions and banks.
      • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:49PM (#15672253) Homepage Journal
        "This gets them around a lot of nasty local and national laws involving auctions and banks."

        But, I wonder if they can get around the monopolistic laws? Fair practice laws?

        • Dunno about the monopolistic laws, but their tiered seller scheme should be illegal under most of EU consumer legislation. So far they have been getting away with it and operating in countries where pyramidal marketing is banned like Austria or Belgium.

          As far as their culture - they bought N. Zenstrom. If that is not a classic case of "similar dissolves in similar" dunno what is.
      • They won't take google's money but they will take Canadian Tire money

        So, google just has to get Crappy^WCanadian Tire to print up more Canadian Tire currency ...

        I can see it now ... Google buys a million bux of Canadian Tire money and uses it as their "float" for transferring money. Oh, and since you can get Canadian Tire bills for as low as $0.05, its great for micropayments since you can't send coins through the mail :-)

      • by darkmeridian (119044) <william.chuangNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 06, 2006 @10:15PM (#15672684) Homepage
        And don't forget:

        1) Ebay isn't an auction site.
        and
        2) Paypal isn't a bank.


        Quite ironically, being a heavily-regulated bank gets you out of antitrust troubles. The theory is that there are specialized state and federal agencies taking care of the banks, so the antitrust laws should not have a big role regulating banks. The fact that eBay and PayPal can do whatever they want hurts them in the antitrust sphere. Furthermore, Ebay and PayPal are vertical: Ebay is a dominant auction site and they use PayPal for payment services. Thus, eBay is using its dominance of its field to exert market power into another field on a basis other than merit. That's pretty much an antitrust violation right there. It's doubtful eBay can come back with a reasonable, non-malicious explanation for not accepting GCheckout. Oops.
    • I think of Google as the "kindly predator." It makes its rounds around several industries and outdoes everyone whose services it competes with.

      Do you really think that Google will settle with a lawsuit or court settlement? This may very well be one of the leading reasons to an upcoming auction service, perhaps an eBay killer, likely named gBay.
    • I think that Google may include a claim for libel. Their implication to the methods that they accept is that those methods
      are subject to fraud.
      • I think you should have read the policy.

        From time to time, as new payment services arise, eBay will evaluate them to determine whether they are appropriate for the marketplace. Payment services that are not permitted on eBay may, in fact, be outstanding services for consumers in other contexts. eBay's evaluation relates only to whether a particular service is appropriate for the eBay marketplace. eBay will consider the following factors, among others, in making its determination:

        ....

        Whether the paymen

        • by Firehed (942385) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @10:56PM (#15672853) Homepage
          So, just what is it that makes Google Checkout inappropriate for eBay's marketplace? If that track record is anything to go by, PayPal most certainly shouldn't be allowed. Those bastards stole over a thousand bucks from me by freezing my account, and between their unreachable status and their position in a legal limbo as a quasi-bank-transfer-service-thing, I wasn't even given the option to bend over. I'd trust a new payment method which is a subset of a company with an excellent track record over an established payment method which is a subset of the rule-maker and known to screw people over regularly.
    • You can legally coin your own currency and use it within the united states to facuiltate any sort of transaction! Re: Ithaca(or Ithica?) Hours AND "Liberty Dollars" on wikipedia!
    • ".....but eBay will try to make it as clunky as possible."

      If I hadn't been reading more astutely I would have thought you were talking about Ebay's website...ahem.

  • monopoly? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by brickballs (839527)
    IANAL, but I'm curious, could this be considered monopolistic practice?
  • by rednip (186217) * <rednip AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 06, 2006 @07:52PM (#15671892) Journal
    That Google had started Google Checkout [google.com]. Perhaps since it's new eBay will be sure to give it a 'really close look' before they approve it, you know, for the benefit of the (ummm) users. You can trust them, they have a lot of good in house knowledge of Internet payment [paypal.com].
  • by elgee (308600) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @07:53PM (#15671896)
    I have been using them for years and they keep getting more expensive and more restrictive.

    Unfortunately, there isn't a good alternative yet.
    • That's why it's often called feeBay.
    • Nationally/internationally, there isn't. Locally, there absolutely is: craigslist [craigslist.com]. I'm sure you've heard of them. Since it's more geographics-centric, craigslist doesn't come across as having as much stuff on offer, but if you live near a metro area, eventually good stuff will pop up.
    • by samkass (174571) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:25PM (#15672114) Homepage Journal
      Unfortunately, there isn't a good alternative yet.

      I think you meant "anymore". In the 90's there were quite a few "auction" sites on the internet. eBay's marketing and consolidation have driven most of them either offline or turned them into standard retailers. It's possible some new one could spring back up, but I think it's unlikely. More likely, I think, is eBay just fades into obscurity leaving only free sites like craigslist in its place as people get tired of the hassle and frustration of doing business through eBay.
      • by zenslug (542549) * on Friday July 07, 2006 @04:08AM (#15673794) Homepage
        As a former employee of eBay, I can give some of my insight. eBay's weakness is to niche markets, and that is one way to kill it. That, or a large player being able to successfully transition its users to a different platform. I think case #1 is a lot more likely.

        eBay uses a one-size-fits-all approach to the UI. If a company were to come along and just knock one niche out of the park, then they can become *the* player (in jewelry, for example). eBay loses out on that market, then another, then another. It happens slowly, but I believe it will most definitely happen, especially if the top brass doesn't get booted out soon.

        My point is that sellers will leave eBay when it stops being a decent market for them. It is quite cut-throat today, but clearly there is still a great power to listing on eBay. It isn't the end-all, but it is a useful tool to an online merchant.

        Google could throw a much bigger blow to eBay by just putting more emphasis on Froogle. The potential is there, but they seem to be waiting on it, and I don't think it is intentional, but rather just the result of a ton of other projects and how management works there. eBay hasn't gotten local down, but Google already has a big piece to it figured out.
    • by 70Bang (805280) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:45PM (#15672224)


      They're also getting more restrictive about who works there.

      see wsj.com:

      PayPal President Jeff Jordan plans to leave eBay later this year, in the latest high-profile departure to plague the Internet auctioneer. 6:37 p.m.

      Also, read items here [cbs13.com], here [informationweek.com].
    • by Phat_Tony (661117) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:50PM (#15672257)
      "Unfortunately, there isn't a good alternative yet."

      More unfortunately, there isn't likely to be.

      The benefits of the network effect are simply too great. Buyers stay on eBay because there's a big selection of stuff and they can find what they want. Sellers stay on eBay because more buyers bidding on things means higher prices for their goods. You'd think the higher prices would drive people away, and I'm sure some people check Yahoo! auctions because stuff sells for less, but most people learn they can rarely ever find what they're looking for there, and that it's a waste of time to do anything other than bid a little more at eBay. So buyers won't defect until sellers defect.

      Sellers won't defect unless another site offers them some other savings sufficient to offset the lower prices their auctions will go for (at least until the site gets size competitive with eBay). That is, competitors need a value proposition such that
      [ebay sale price] - [competitor's sale price] is less than [ebay's fees] - [competitors fees]

      So, how much do they have to reduce fees by? I studied this a few years ago, comparing auctions for like goods across a wide range of categories, and found that a competitor needs to set negative fees to offer a value proposition to sellers. That is, they would have to pay the sellers a commission on each auction to attract them.

      Good luck trying to get someone to back that position for long enough to get size-competitive with eBay.

      Of course, there are also other ways one might attract buyers to try to increase auction sale prices to reduce the fee gap. I wrote up a lot of these ideas for a business plan for a company that wanted to compete with eBay. First and foremost of them was to create parametric search system to help people find things based on including and excluding features particular to that product line. Unfortunately, eBay already did this. Is might be done better, but it's basically there. Ebay's searching features have improved radically in recent years.

      There are many other things that could be done. A dramatically different infrastructure could greatly reduce server and bandwidth costs, taking some of the sting out of the required fee difference. But all the tricks I had left in my bag added together probably couldn't allow a new competitor to succeed. Perhaps others have better ideas.

      My advice to anyone who wants to enter the general online auction market is "good luck."

  • How Ironic (Score:5, Funny)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @07:53PM (#15671898)
    I've been banned from eBay and I've had nothing to do with payments ... which is probably why they banned me come to think of it.
  • Looks like the guys over at ebay aren't reading [slashdot.org] /. Hope your lawyers have some antitrust litigation experience.

    -Eric

    • by Foz (17040) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:00PM (#15671952)
      eBay provides a number of non-paypal alternatives and it's not about monopolistic practices. They have a list of accepted vendors on their website which includes Allpay.net, Bidpay, Canadian Tire Money, cash2india, CertaPay, Checkfree.com, hyperwallet,com, Moneybookers.com, Ozpay.biz, Payko.com, Paymate.com.au, Propay.com, and XOOM. In addition, any merchant-type VISA/Mastercard/etc account is valid, as is a direct exchange of checks, wire transfers (bank to bank), etc.

      The list of unapproved money exchanges includes a lot of services including Western Union, so the hue and cry about antitrust and "eBay only allows their own stuff" is nothing more than a bunch of smoke without a fire. eBay specifically states that any "new" service without a track record of privacy protection and customer service will be scrutinized and most likely prohibited until it has some history.

      Everyone's quick to bitch and whine about eBay not going after fraud, not going after bad sellers, not backing them up on financial transactions and the like yet when eBay DOES try and show some spine and protection everyone piles on. It has less to do with the "paypal competition" than it does with "we have no idea how stable, how reliable and how safe this service is and we're saying no until such time as it does appear to be safe, private and protected"

      Pick a direction to go, guys... do you want eBay to get the hell completely out of your way and act like nothing more than a broker and middleman or do you want them to try and put stuff in place to protect people because you can't have it both ways.

      -- Gary F.
      • That's an important point, but if protection from unproven services is the real reason for the ban it should be lifted in no time. It'll be interesting to see where eBay and PayPal stand with Google in a year.
      • by miskatonic alumnus (668722) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:19PM (#15672067)
        eBay specifically states that any "new" service without a track record of privacy protection and customer service will be scrutinized and most likely prohibited until it has some history.

        Paypal has some history [paypalsucks.com]
      • by BlindSpot (512363) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:19PM (#15672069)
        eBay provides a number of non-paypal alternatives and it's not about monopolistic practices. They have a list of accepted vendors on their website which includes Allpay.net, Bidpay, Canadian Tire Money, cash2india, CertaPay, Checkfree.com, hyperwallet,com, Moneybookers.com, Ozpay.biz, Payko.com, Paymate.com.au, Propay.com, and XOOM. In addition, any merchant-type VISA/Mastercard/etc account is valid, as is a direct exchange of checks, wire transfers (bank to bank), etc.

        I had to check for myself after reading the above to verify that the inclusion of Canadian Tire Money in that list wasn't a joke. It really is there!

        Few Canadians would accept CT$ as a form of payment. Many would consider an attempt to do so to be a goofy joke, or worse. Yet eBay won't accept GooglePay, or even more established providers like Neteller. Hmmm...

        (Note for those who don't know: Canadian Tire is a chain of hardware-turned-department stores whose gimmick is that they provide currency-like coupons as cashback on purchases.)
      • yeah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

        They may include other methods, but are these a threat to Paypal?

      • I think the real issue here is not that google's alternative is new, it's that it's google. They have no problem allowing small, unknown payment alternatives -- because they are small and unknown. Anything branded Google, however, is just a bit more threatening. . .
  • by phat_goat (836325) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @07:54PM (#15671911)
    Cant beat em, ban em. When will they learn.
    • Re:Cant Beat Em? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drpimp (900837)
      This is a very interesting concept, because I don't think it would work the same way if Google banned Ebay results from coming up in the results. I think Ebay would be rather T.O'd for that IMHO.
  • by bunions (970377) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @07:56PM (#15671925)
    it's not so much that I'm surprised they banned google checkout, it's that I'm shocked they specifically allow Canadian Tire Money.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm shocked they specifically allow Canadian Tire Money.

      Strange, considering they won't accept Canadian cash.

      Canadians without a credit card cannot make online payments with paypal.

      They will claim that a credit card is not required to use paypal, but once you have provided them with all of your personal info and banking information, they will tell you, oh - Canadians are required to have a credit card to use paypal. I was suprised by this underhanded information collection and false advertising by a suppose

    • I would think the buyer would have to charge the seller to ship the Canadian Tire Money (CTM) considering no one ever really has more than $0.25 notes. I know I usually walk away with $0.15 - $0.50 after any purchase, the bricks of CTMs would be enormous. Unless of course there is some online version of CTM that I am not seeing.
  • I don't understand how eBay can say a type of payment can not accepted. Doesn't it depend on the person selling it what methods of payment they use? What if eBay didn't like Mastercard, could they say that Mastercards can not be accepted by anyone using eBay? Does this mean that someone like me who REFUSES to use Paypal can never buy anything on eBay, because I must go through their payment system?
    • I think it's a bit like a store having their own (high interest) credit card but not accepting visa, mc, or amex.

      And it's completely legal.

    • by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:14PM (#15672035)
      Does this mean that someone like me who REFUSES to use Paypal can never buy anything on eBay, because I must go through their payment system?

      It's not like eBay is some natural resource that we all share. It's not a government service, it's a for-profit company that always tells you what the terms of using their service will be, and you agree to them if you want to use the service. Is it smart, from a marketing and PR point of view? Open for debate. Is it reasonable for them to want you to use their own service (PayPal is part of eBay) when making use of their other service? Sure. Is it legal to say that participating in an eBay auction means doing so according their rules? Of course - because there are all sorts of other auction sites, if you'd rather go elsewhere.
    • Does this mean that someone like me who REFUSES to use Paypal can never buy anything on eBay, because I must go through their payment system?

      No, because they explicitly allow [ebay.com] a number of other payment options, including credit cards, personal checks, money orders, cash (but only for in-person transactions)... and even a number of other online payment systems. Bidpay comes to mind.

      Additionally, all the wording doesn't actually say the transaction can't be completed that way -- just that the seller can't

  • by SourceVisigoth (141614) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @07:59PM (#15671936) Homepage
    Allowed:

    Payment Services permitted on eBay: Allpay.net, Bidpay, Canadian Tire Money, cash2india, CertaPay, Checkfree.com, hyperwallet,com, Moneybookers.com, Ozpay.biz, Payko.com, Paymate.com.au, Propay.com, XOOM

    Verboten:

    Payment Services not permitted on eBay: AlertPay.com, anypay.com, AuctionChex.com, AuctionPix.com, BillPay.ie, ecount.com, cardserviceinternational.com, CCAvenue, ecount, e-gold, eHotPay.com, ePassporte.com, EuroGiro, FastCash.com, Google Checkout, gcash, GearPay, Goldmoney.com, graphcard.com, greenzap.com, ikobo.com, Liberty Dollars, Moneygram.com, neteller.com, Netpay.com, Nochex.com, paychest.com, payingfast.com, paypay, Postepay, Qchex.com, rupay.com, scripophily.com, sendmoneyorder.com, stamps, Stormpay, wmtransfer.com, xcoin.com
  • by HaeMaker (221642) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @07:59PM (#15671938) Homepage
    Why sue them when they can probably implement auctions.google.com in much less time. I am pretty sure google could implement a much better auction setup than eBay, and the kicker? They won't ban you from using paypal.
    • Sure, Google could theoretically cross-promote everything on the auction sight to users of the main search service. That still wouldn't necessarily solve the critical mass problem, which allows eBay to kill off every other significant competitor -- if you need it, its on eBay. Thus, the buyers are on eBay. Thus, all sellers go to eBay. What would you have to offer the first couple hundred thousand auction sellers to convince them to go to Gooooogle?
  • This is good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gasmonso (929871) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:00PM (#15671943) Homepage

    This shows that eBay fears Google's new service. Ebay is starting to show its age and lack of innovation. It needs competition from the likes of Google and anyone else that can challenge them. I stopped using eBay due to the high fees. Good luck Google and I hope you bring a good fight!

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
  • Coming Soon: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xenex (97062) * <xenex@opinionst[ ].com ['ick' in gap]> on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:03PM (#15671967) Journal
    Google Auctions [google.com].

    eBay, just like PayPal, are in a position of almost total dominance. Google are one of few companies in a position to compete with them.

    If you can't join them, beat them.
  • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:05PM (#15671980) Homepage Journal
    Then eBay would ban Paypal, since Paypal is notorious for ripping off customers, refusing to arbitrate disputes like they're supposed to, and sit on your money for a week when you want to transfer funds to pay for a purchase. After all, it's not like eBay has a vested interest in the continued support of allowing paypal while banning the non-evil Google, right? Oh wait a second, Paypal = feeBay. Can you say anticompetitive business practice where they are leveraging a monopoly in one market segment in order to maintain dominance in another?
  • In other news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Google has announced that due to large amounts of fraud taking place at eBay.com they will now block all of their pages to protect its users. Wonder how feeBay would feel about that one. Or better yet just quit taking eBay's money and see how they fair without some advertising on their site.
  • hmmm.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by disturbedite (979015) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:12PM (#15672018)
    if i use paypal do i also collect $200?
  • Okay, I'm guessing, maybe this is how it happened:

    An eBay executive was sitting around thinking, how can I get $5,000,000 of bad, sink-the-company publicity for almost free?

    YES, that's it!!!! Do something against Google, which is, today, the equivalent of doing something against cute kittens.
    • by Kohath (38547)
      Do something against Google, which is, today, the equivalent of doing something against cute kittens.

      Those kittens are only acting cute and doing cute things to trick you into feeding them and letting them into your bed. Don't be another victim.
  • by wernst (536414) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @08:50PM (#15672259) Homepage
    You know, it seems more often then not, when I search Google for a product, I sure get a lot of Ebay auction listings in the search results. I would imagine this brings many people into the Ebay auction scene when they otherwise would not have considered bidding instead of buying. Many, MANY people, I bet.

    Perhaps Google should consider removing all ebay auctions from their search results? I'm sure the same phony logic that prohibits Google payments from ebay auctions could be used to remove auctions from search results, such as:

    "Ebay auctions are not categorically safe transactions, so as a safety precaution, we are eliminating ebay auctions from our search results. Please consider purchasing your new from the following vendors who have an established track record. And coincidentally, these vendors accept payments with Google Payments."

    Let's see who needs who then, ebay...
    • Perhaps Google should consider removing all ebay auctions from their search results?

      Given the kind of ebay ads you (used to?) get on Google [vaughns-1-pagers.com], maybe that'd be a good thing.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @09:09PM (#15672379) Journal
    Did you also check why eBay has this policy?

    I quote:
    Safety and convenience are at the core of eBays policies toward payments. This policy is designed to promote safe online shopping, and to encourage online payment methods that are safe, easy to use, reliable, and offer high levels of protection for users. The policy also attempts to preserve some flexibility for users that still prefer offline payment methods.

    I wonder why eBay believes Google Checkout is unsafe, unreliable and/or inconvenient? Seriously, this isn't an obscure, complicated, foreign payment system. It's pretty obvious to me why they really did this, and with this, they're most likely lying about it.

    As the link in the article summary also says, even calling Google Checkout something lame like being "too new" doesn't hold much water, given what Google Checkout is.

    I have nothing against eBay doing this, but only if they up front told either exactly why, the harsh reality and competition, or didn't comment on it at all. Anything would be better than lying or spreading FUD about certain competitors like this. It's really bad style IMO.
  • by Pulsar (4287) <[champ77] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Thursday July 06, 2006 @10:06PM (#15672652)
    As I posted last week on that Google Checkout story ( http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=189880&cid =15630137 [slashdot.org] ), eBay explicitly bans ALL payment services that eBay hasn't reviewed and approved; and I guarantee they're either going to take years to 'review' Google Checkout, or they'll find some reason "for your protection" to permanently ban Google Checkout.

    The interesting thing is to see how strictly eBay will enforce this rule - if they're really going to focus on forcing Google Checkout out of eBay, or if it'll be yet another rule that is only enforced from time to time.

    The company I work for is an eBay PowerSeller, and we've noticed there's basically three types of policy violations in eBay's eyes:

    1. those that eBay checks for when you list an item (try listing an item with 'pearl' in the title sometime to see what I'm talking about) and then either denies your listing or displays a warning message and flags your listing;

    2. violations that eBay only acts on when reporting by another user (usually NOT a buyer, it's almost always a competitor);

    3. violations that eBay is worried enough about that they write a program to automatically scan all open listings looking for violations.

    Right now, it looks like Google Checkout falls into the second type - there's over 3,000 active listings that mention accepting Google Checkout (ref. http://search-desc.ebay.com/search/search.dll?sofo cus=bs&sbrftog=1&catref=C6&from=R10&satitle=%22goo gle+checkout%22&sacat=-1%26catref%3DC6&bs=Search&f ts=2&fsop=1%26fsoo%3D1&coaction=compare&copagenum= 1&coentrypage=search&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D2&sadis=20 0&fpos=75050&ftrt=1&ftrv=1&saprclo=&saprchi= [ebay.com])

    So eBay obviously hasn't stepped up enforcement of this rule. However, if the number of current listings that mention Google Checkout drops suddenly, then it will be obvious that eBay has started treating Google Checkout like an item in the third type, not the second. This would be a policy shift to explicitly combat Google Checkout, instead of just discouraging it.

    I don't think PayPal would be around today, or would have the market share it does, if it wasn't for eBay buying them out and then cramming PayPal down everyone's throats. The stories I could tell about how PayPal really "protects" both the buyers and the sellers and how completely they've managed to brainwash so many buyers and sellers.... But as long as eBay is "not an auction" and PayPal is "not a bank" and "not a credit card", I don't see anything changing any time soon. eBay has already shown that it is all but unbeatable in the auction marketplace (look at Yahoo Auctions, and they're -free- now; Overstock.com auctions are another competitor that is all but defeated) - they've so completely tied PayPal into eBay and integrated it into so many of their requirements (there's certain buying and selling requirements that force you to establish a PayPal account, even if you never plan to accept or use PayPal) that I don't see anyone defeating PayPal, at least in the auction marketplace, any time soon.

    Google's best remaining chance to take PayPal on, head-on, would be to setup Google Auctions, and even then, eBay really has captured a frightening amount of loyalty and dedication from hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers...it would be an interesting fight.
  • The future-- (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gru3hunt3r (782984) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @10:11PM (#15672665) Journal
    First off, I'm totally close to this business - and this was an anticipated move, predicted it almost 2 years ago now. eBay needs to protect their business for the upcoming storm. I fully expect eBay to be remembered in a few years similarly to the Modem (remember those?) .. yeah people still use 'em, but most everybody's got a broadband connection.

    Google isn't going to release auctions, auctions are so 2001. NOBODY WANTS TO BID. The stuff you bid on is used crap, and honestly even then it falls into the "Working crap" and "broke crap". eBay is transitioning to a fixed price marketplace, so is Google. (Don't believe me, check out eBay express)

    It doesn't matter where you buy online -- the price battles online are over, they were over last year, price differentials are minimal. If anything eBay sellers are at a disadvantage due to all the fees they incurr and the higher overhead from the resulting support cost. The next frontier is mobile commerce, or perhaps more appropriately "local commerce" -- which is where Google is clearly headed. All the analysts seem to miss that Google has a really clear 3 year plan, and it's pretty freaking awesome - here's how it goes:

    1. Online prices are too similar, they are irrelvant.
    2. Who has a product closest to me, and is reliable, lets buy it from them.
    3. Will Google allow a local retailer to match "best price", or perhaps even come close -- you betcha.

    Within two years -- i'll be able to buy an 19" LCD monitor for $99 from GoogleBase, after it negotiates the best price for me, then tells me to go pick it up at the local circuit city or fry's, where I pay via Google Payments when I arrive to pick it up (probably via my phone). Yupe, it's right around the corner.
    The store will try to upsell me on other items while i'm there.
    Google will get a cut of the entire sale, in exchange they'll be more likely to send more buyers to that store. The stores that do the poorest job upselling, will see less buyers (think Adwords).

    • Re:The future-- (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GodBlessTexas (737029)
      The problem with your assertion is that the majority of transactions, at least in areas where I buy stuff on ebay, is personal sellers unloading personally owned items to others, and not new merchandise from a business to consumer. That's something Craigslist can do, but does poorly because everything is local and it's fixed price/best offer. Your model works great for new items, but not for used or hard to find items. I sell on ebay as well, and while I dislike their policies and BS, I also realize that
  • LMAO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jesus IS the Devil (317662) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @10:13PM (#15672675)
    Ban Google for possible "fraud" concerns? If that's the case, eBay should ban Paypal and itself!! Those two are the main gateways of fraud if there ever was one.
  • fud (Score:4, Informative)

    by jasonditz (597385) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @10:30PM (#15672753) Homepage
    They've got a list of qualifications on their site, and the important one is that:

    * Whether the payment service has a substantial historical track record of providing safe and reliable financial and/or banking related services (new services without such a track record generally cannot be promoted on eBay)

    That's been eBay's policy since way before Google came up with this brand new system of theirs. And the fact remains that Google has absolutely no past track record in financial transactions. While google is a big name in other services, eBay has absolutely no way of verifying the security measures that Google Payments offer. It's probably a great service, but eBay doesn't want to stick their necks out to potential lawsuits if this brand new service turns out to have some major security hole and a bunch of eBay site users get robbed.

    That's not to say you can't use such payment, you can use whatever the hell you want. You can mail the guy beads if you really want to. What eBay is saying is that you can't use their site to advertise that you accept these payments and thus imply that eBay is in some way endorsing those payments.

    This was a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation for eBay. If they refuse to accept Google, which is in keeping with their stated policy, everyone sees it as some sort of monopolistic wrangling. If they accept Google, then all those other sites on the forbidden list which were excluded for the same damned reason can cry foul by saying that eBay is playing favorites and arbitrarily excluding some.

    I think the prudent thing to do is leave the system in place, wait a few months (IANAL, the better legal period might be shorter or longer) to make sure google's system actually works as advertised, then start accepting it. For the sake of public relations it might be wise to make it public that this is what's going on, and say "assuming there are no major security holes, Google Payments will be added on 9/7" or whatever date they think is ample time to cover their own necks.

    • Re:fud (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 31415926535897 (702314) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:19PM (#15672976) Journal
      They've got a list of qualifications on their site, and the important one is that:

      * Whether the payment service has a substantial historical track record of providing safe and reliable financial and/or banking related services (new services without such a track record generally cannot be promoted on eBay)

      That's been eBay's policy since way before Google came up with this brand new system of theirs. And the fact remains that Google has absolutely no past track record in financial transactions.

      Bzzz...Wrong!

      Google Checkout has been around for years; it's what they use to transfer money around for AdSense/AdWords. What's new is that they're finally opening it up to be used for any and all services.

      Here is an article [auctionbytes.com] with an interesting quote from Google, "Google Checkout is not a beta product. Google has a long history in billing and payments for AdWords and for premium services, such as Google Video."

      I would wager my entire net worth that eBay knows that Google Checkout is well established. I'm guessing they crapped their pants and reacted with this changed policy. I also heard that they changed their payment policy name from "Safe Payment Policy" to "Accepted Payment Policy" with the addition of Google Checkout to their list of unacceptable payment policies.

      As others have said, this is clearly a case where eBay is using their monopoly to control another market, and I sincerely hope that there is restitution. You can bet that I will be using Google Checkout for my auctions on eBay, and if eBay tries to suspend my account, they will be getting a letter from my lawyer (as I'm sure they've already received a few from Google's lawyers).

    • Re:fud (Score:4, Insightful)

      by theLOUDroom (556455) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:38PM (#15673063)
      While google is a big name in other services, eBay has absolutely no way of verifying the security measures that Google Payments offer.

      This is simply not true. Ebay has all sorts of means to verify this. For example, I'm sure Google would be more than happy to answer any questions that ebay has regarding their security polices. I'm sure the financial institutions that Google works with to provide this service would also be just as helpful.

      The FUD is the whole "lack of a track record" claim. It's completely subjective. This isn't some fly-by-night operation without established credit or capital reserves, it's freakin Google. There's no credible evidence that there's a security issue here, there is only fear, uncertainty and doubt being spread on the part of ebay. It's the very definition of FUD.
  • I suppose... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bazily (838434) <slashdot@noSpaM.bazily.com> on Thursday July 06, 2006 @10:57PM (#15672864) Homepage
    ...you can pay your Adwords bill with PayPal?
  • by Exter-C (310390) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:37AM (#15673624) Homepage
    Its interesting, I go over and read the list of banned payment services on the ebay web page and many of them are significantly cheaper than PayPal and Google. Understandably both the seller and the buyer would like to know that they can pay less fees when they are buying/selling or transfering funds around the world. It sounds very anti competitive, Although I am not sure about US laws but the Mastercard Worldcup issue sounds almost to familure.
  • by Cicero382 (913621) <clancyj@@@tiscali...co...uk> on Friday July 07, 2006 @05:32AM (#15673982)
    I think this just highlights what a mess the whole issue of net banking/payment is in.

    I use several sites for buying goods, but EBay is a good example, so I'll use that:

    As noted throughout this discussion, EBay only allows certain payment methods - foremost is Paypal. The others aren't anything like as useful because they are restricted to a geographic location (err.. why?) or just a way of processing credit card payments. Worse still, a lot of sellers seem to be locked into Paypal as well. So, OK, I use Paypal - I don't have any major reasons to worry about that except... Paypal won't allow me to use my (Italian) bank account for payments. Others, such as netteller will, but they in turn won't allow me to transfer funds to Paypal. In fact, even though I have several on-line account facilities, it is very nearly impossible to move funds from one to the other.

    What gives? These days I can route data from anywhere to anywhere via the 'net using a plethora of methods; but not money. I wonder if this is deliberate.

    IT'S A MESS!

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