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Buying outside ebay - paying outside Ebay - perhaps not dealing with PayPal too

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  • Buying outside ebay - paying outside Ebay - perhaps not dealing with PayPal too

    I've got a question regarding suspension for buying/selling outside ebay. I've only ever sold one item, back then the rather experienced buyer asked me to do a "buy it now" option, talked me through the process and all was fine.

    Now yesterday I needed an item urgently and contacted the seller via ebay messenger whether she'd consider to do a "buy it now", and she accepted (no bids yet). I offered her above her reserve price, she asked me to confirm via messenger that I'd buy the item at the price agreed so she could take the listing down, which I did.

    I was waiting for the "buy it now" option to appear, but it never did ... by messenger I asked her to let me know the next steps, and whether I wouldn't need to click the "buy it now" button. She didn't directly respond, but asked me to pay cash on collection, which I said I couldn't because I wouldn't collect in person. So she asked me for my email address in order to bill me via Paypal, which I gave her (again, through ebay messenger).

    I didn't think anything of it until a friend (experienced ebayer, which I'm not ... can you tell?) told me that basically this was completely against the rules of the site and constituted fraud. I certainly had no intention to commit fraud, and I wouldn't even say the seller did ... given the amount of feedback she had, she seemed to be rather inexperienced as well.

    So now I'm rather worried they'll suspend my ebay and Paypal accounts (and hers, as a matter of fact ... I didn't mean to get her in trouble with what I thought was a legitimate request).

    Does anybody have any experience in this matter?

  • #2
    Oops, I just noticed I should have put this in the UK section of this forum


    • #3
      It's a general question about buying outside Ebay, so it is fine here. I will get into more detail than you probably want to hear, but I will turn this topic into a general discussion of different scenarios where you might want to buy an item on Ebay other than through the usual, "win the auction and pay with your attached PayPal for shipment to the PayPal's confirmed address" scenario.

      What I would have done in this situation is sent an Ebay message to the seller, and not stated exactly what you wanted to do. Just sent a general question about the item and noted something like that you are traveling, cannot access Ebay so can you please respond in a way so that you may respond by email. (When anyone sends you an Ebay message he has the option of allowing you to see his email address.)

      Then, once you have the seller's email address, respond via email, and get into the details of the transaction - explain what you want to do, Just buy the item without dealing with the auction. You may still pay with PayPal, but outside Ebay. When you do pay with PayPal make it clear to the buyer that he should not indicate it as having anything to do with any Ebay auction in the payment notes. This way, there is no record of your paying outside of Ebay for an Ebay auction.

      We do this for example when we have a PayPal account attached to our Ebay that does not have a registered address to which we may receive goods. If we win an item on our "anonymous" (Stealth) Ebay and then pay with our stealth PayPal, we would not be able to supply any confirmed address over which we have dominion (at which we may receive goods) via this stealth PayPal payment. Anyone who has an anonymous Ebay and PayPal knows exactly what I mean by this.

      So what we want to do there, is pay via a different PayPal, or pay without PayPal entirely. In such a case, again, get to the point of email contact with the buyer (easier to do once you win the auction, because you can request buyer contact information from Ebay and phone him and discuss the matter), or, again as outlined above, send an Ebay message and get the seller's email for further discussions, and after you have discussed with the buyer, pay via some method other than your stealth PayPal.

      Once again, if you pay with a different PayPal (different from the one linked to your Ebay), make certain that the payment is not marked or connected in any way with that Ebay auction, or your "legitimate" PayPal will become linked with your anonymous Ebay and PayPal and cause problems for you.

      Sure it's against the rules of Ebay to transact outside Ebay but as long as seller and buyer are on board with it, and you are careful not to say anything too specific via Ebay messages (that are logged and become a part of your Ebay record), no one will know about what you two did, unless somehow the deal goes sour and one of you reports the matter to Ebay, and even then, all that will exist are emails which are more difficult to provide as proof to Ebay that the payment you made had anything to do with an auction, unless you really know what you are doing with proving that these emails came from the seller and buyer.

      You seem to ask a question about some sort of payment method other than PayPal - C.O.D. What you are asking then, is whether a payment option other than PayPal makes the auction process "outside of Ebay." No, it doesn't. If you win the auction through Ebay, and then pay with some method other than PayPal, that is not transacting outside of Ebay. PayPal is not Ebay. While, true, in the U.K. for the most part sellers must offer PayPal, it is not transacting outside of Ebay just to accept some payment other than PayPal.

      Now, does it violate Ebay rules for the buyer to ask for payment other than via PayPal for an auction you won on Ebay? Well it depends. Some seller's are authorized for payment methods other than PayPal. But some are not. So technically yes, if the seller is not authorized for anything but Paypal, then asking for payment other than PayPal is a violation, but who cares as long as you get the item.

      In some respects you are worrying for nothing. If you trust the seller will send you the item, then accept it however she does it - through the auction process or not. Through PayPal or not. Just be careful to keep the information away from Ebay by being careful of what you two say in Ebay messages.

      What I see is that you made a request to the seller to buy something quickly, right now. She interpreted it to mean that you didn't want to deal with the auction process. Once she starts an auction that does not have a "buy it now" option, she may not change it to be as such. Cleaner for her to just cancel all bids and pull the listing. And then, you're left with one of the scenarios I describe above to pay for the item.

      If I were contacted by a buyer on a listing like that, I would offer to cancel the listing and accept payment outside of the Ebay process, being careful to keep no record of what we do in Ebay messages. I would not cancel until the buyer had paid me, and our transaction were completed. I would probably allow a PayPal payment, but being careful to make sure there is no reference to the Ebay auction in the payment. C.O.D. is a little shaky, but you don't have to pay until you receive the goods and sometimes the carrier will let you open the box right in front of him as soon as you pay.
      Please read the forum rules before you post.

      And if you need extra help:
      Modee Tech Support


      • #4
        Thank you very much for your detailed response.

        I was fairly sure that there was the option of adding "buy it now" after listing the item .... at least that's what I thought we did with my first (and only) sale. I don't remember how (as I said, the buyer back then talked me through it, and it was rather complicated), but somehow we managed to find a way to end the transaction with the buyer winning whilst going through ebay (plus them receiving their fees).

        So I thought that this would happen in this case as well.

        My/our problem is that we conducted nearly the entire transaction via the ebay messenger system ... me initially unaware that this would lead to doing the deal outside ebay. So we agreed on a price, payment method (via Paypal, which is why I gave her my email address ... and I later read somewhere on the internet that the "@" sign in those messages gets somehow filtered by ebay) etc. etc.

        So what I'm worrying about isn't the seller (we already did the deal) .. I'm worried about ebay finding out. Any idea how likely they are to pick up on this ... and what would be the potential consequences?
        Last edited by Lina; 07-11-2012, 08:22 AM.


        • #5
          As long as neither of you end up complaining, Ebay should not find out. At worst, all you did was discuss the matter, as far as they could prove from the messages. Given the circumstances it might be best if you used some payment other than PayPal so that there is no record of payment with anything associated with Ebay. That way, even if Ebay does object, there is no proof of a completed transaction in their system.

          Just re-read what I wrote above - all possible scenarios are outlined.
          Please read the forum rules before you post.

          And if you need extra help:
          Modee Tech Support


          • #6
            Thanks again, Modee. I've already paid by Paypal, however, there was no mention of "ebay" in the transaction ... she sent me a bill by email. And I'm sure neither of us will complain.