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eBay Managed Payments Review

eBay started sending me notices to move into the Managed Payments system in May. I ignored them. At the time I suggested that you ignore them too.

By mid June eBay became more insistent, but still I ignored them. In early July eBay offered me $150 to move the big account to Managed Payments by July 15th or they'd do it anyway by the end of July. I took the money. I also got $50 for the smaller eBay account.

Once I signed up to get the money (actually statement credits) ebay told me they'd notify me when I'd go active, and they requested account holder information. Because I'm a business, I had to upload pictures of my Driver's License, and my business documents, along with routing information for my business bank account.

I tried to prolong the move on one account by not uploading requested documents, but they enabled Managed Payments anyway, and then notified me that they would hold my money until I uploaded information.

On one account I kept getting messages asking me to verify stakeholders details. It requested a picture of both sides of my driver's license. I uploaded pictures of my license at least 4 times in a two week period.

This same account did not transfer money to my bank the first week because details needed to be verified. They were still asking me for pictures of my drivers license.

I was on the phone trying to understand the statements on the other account and asked about it. It turns out my birthday in the eBay system doesn't match my driver's license. Only an idiot would think asking for another picture of the license would solve this.

Dates Still Not The Same?

Ask for another picture. Just genius.

Trying to change my date of birth results in a message saying “Something isn't right. Check that everything is right below.”

I was unable to change the date, so I'm done. The phone rep said she'd have someone enter the correct date. The date cannot be changed except by the account holder for security reasons.

I told eBay to just close the account, and ended up with a manager in Texas who said I could change the date in my account profile. That worked.

eBay Charges Final Value Fees On Sales Taxes

Ebay is taking final value fees out of sales taxes. Supposedly, they weren't and then they started.

Nothing Adds Up

Something is wrong here. After eBay transfers the money to my bank account and I account for final value fees and USPS shipping costs, I'm missing about 1.3 percent of my sales. That's a quick number so I could be missing a little more or less.

Ebay sales reports show the item cost plus shipping collected and taxes. One report I am looking at shows I made $25 less money last week than I transferred down after taxes and selling costs. Twenty-five dollars didn't magically appear.

When I downloaded a Listing Sales Report, I realized I had not accounted for the 30 cent per order fee. Adding this in still does not result in the math adding up.

At this point I am assuming that eBay is adding costs to some transaction reports, but not to others. There is no way to reconcile the numbers they are giving.

It's bullshit.

I wrote the three paragraphs above in August when I'd been in Managed Payments for a month. Now I have three months in, and I still can't reconcile the numbers.

I have two accounts, one does 35-50 items in 10-15 transactions a week for about $200-300 in sales, the other does more. The small account should be easy to reconcile, but it doesn't work.

Even worse, I get reports that have the auction title “and # other items.” I can't even tell what I've sold.

I was trying to figure out how to allocate costs and sales to a joint venture, and decided the only way to do it would be to just use one eBay account for nothing but the joint venture. Even with that I'd still need to start on the 1st of the month, and add costs that showed up in other months, or subtract fees tnot related to the joint venture.

I'm looking at the downloaded report and it doesn't have the amount I paid for the shipping label, but does show the amount I charged the buyer. It does give me an aggregate shipping costs for the period.

Either the whole mess is poorly designed, or it's been designed to hide how eBay is screwing us. I'd say the later because accountants are easy to find.

At this point I have no other options. We don't have shows because of the flu fears, and I have piles of trains to sell at shows.

Managed Payments Means Lower Sales?

A short aside here. Many sellers are saying their sales are down since they switched over to Managed Payments. I don't think Managed payments makes it harder for buyers to buy or see things on eBay.

I think sales are just down because of the overall outlook. My sales are down. Buyers aren't fighting over my items, and many are selling for only one bid. I think people are holding onto their money.

It's uncertainty about the future with the new robot chicken overlords replacing the lizard people.

I don't know what it is, but buyers are holding off on spending money right now. So, I have been holding some of my better items because to auction them now would bring me less money.

Right now, I'm selling junk to clean up around here. Things where when they sell for smaller than expected amounts I can still say. . . "it's better than throwing it out."

I'm betting that things will come back when the chickens go home to roost. Then I'll start selling the better items again.

Figuring Costs For Taxes

One big concern is my taxes. I need to know exactly what I paid in eBay fees and for postage. In the past I paid eBay fees with a PayPal debit card tied to the account the money went into, and paid the shipping fees directly from the account. I could see the eBay fees on the eBay site and then subtract them from the PayPal payments sent number to get postage costs. I didn't use the PayPal account for anything else.

When I first started on Managed Payments, I spent an hour on the phone with an eBay rep, and was unable to see how I can find out the information needed.

Since then eBay has added monthly statements to the managed payments area. The statement has gross sales, returns, shipping labels, disputes, and transfers.

While the shipping labels costs is shown, there is not enough information to figure out my costs for tax purposes. While I'm writing this I have the Sept. 2020 statement opened, plus I have the Sept. 2020 invoice opened.

Even looking at both of them, I cannot easily figure the total I paid in eBay fees and shipping. There is no mention of the 30 cent per transaction fee I can find, and no mention of the fees on sales taxes. I don't even know if sales taxes are included in the gross amount paid by the buyer.

Anyway, for my taxes, I'll just subtract the amount transferred to my bank account from whatever eBay says my gross sales are, and then add the fees I pay with my credit card to get my total fees and shipping. Then I'll put that amount on one line as eBay fees and shipping costs paid through eBay.

For tax purposes I just want to make sure I'm not paying taxes on money I gave to eBay. I'll print out all the statements from Managed Payments and eBay and take the numbers from there.

International Fees

While I was looking at my Managed Payments statement, I saw a line that says “International Fees” with a charge of $3.49. I don't do international sales.

This means eBay has charged me for a foreign buyer even though I shipped to a US address. This is the first time I saw this fee.

I checked the international fees. . . From the eBay information page:

“This fee is calculated as 1.65% of the total amount of the sale and is automatically deducted from your sales” when “the buyer's registered address is outside the US (regardless of the delivery address for the item)”

I didn't know I was paying that. I guess the idea is they might have to convert the funds to dollars.

The Local Payments Glitch

An interesting oddity is eBay has no way to collect final value fees when payment is made outside the Managed Payments system. Over the past few months I've had many buyer pick ups that aren't reflected in either statement.

I just checked by looking items up in my September statement. One shows as a credit for insertion fee when the item was sold. Other items I looked up didn't appear at all. None of the local sales I did in September appear as final value fees.

The eBay rep I talked to about reading the statements in August told me eBay was going to change the rules so local buyers had to pay through eBay. Not for me.

Years ago, I had a Yahoo buy $20 worth of trains that he picked up from me and paid with PayPal. Then, two weeks later, he told PayPal he never got the trains and I couldn't show delivery.

After that, if a buyer picks up he pays cash or with a local check. No exceptions. I don't care what eBay says.

Just looking at the past three months, I've saved about $50 in final value fees when buyers picked up trains, and eBay has robbed me of at least $3.49 in "international fees." I also did a return when nothing was wrong with the item because there was no way I'd win the case that cost me $13 in shipping. So I'm up about $35 for the past 3 months.

One other point on this. I bought an expensive train on eBay and mailed the seller a check. I saved 3% by sending a check. This was in April. Now I know that the seller saved 12.5% of the sale on final value fees, and only passed on 3% to me. I didn't get eBay bucks for the transaction either. (I'd still mail him another check if I bought from him again.)

Non Paying Bidders

It looks like the Non Paying Bidder process will change. Because eBay doesn't collect a final value fee until payment is processed, you won't get a fee credit when a buyer doesn't pay.

You should still do Non Paying Bidder claims because buyers who don't pay can't leave feedback, and it allows other sellers to block deadbeats.

Getting Rewards for Shipping Costs

Under the old system, using the PayPal debit card card to pay ebay fees and shipping costs also gave me cash back. Some sellers used credit cards with rewards for eBay payments.

These rewards are gone under Managed Payments. I did see online that you can link a credit card to PayPal and set it as the primary payment method to get the rewards. But I haven't tried this.

I actually don't even think this works at all because the same person who told me about the use of credit cards through PayPal also said you could pay for shipping from Managed Payments without having money in the account. This is FALSE.

If you have no money in your Managed Payments balance, you cannot buy postal shipping labels except through PayPal. Twice I've had all the money transferred to my bank Tuesday morning and been unable to print labels unless I specified PayPal as a payment source for the labels.

I know I could move from mailing to sending by UPS and Fedex and then pay the shipping costs on my eBay invoice with a credit card, but I send a lot of first class packages and having to buy boxes instead of using free Priority Mail supplies would add a cost.

If you've managed to figure out how to get rewards on your shipping fees let me know.

Managed Payments From The Buyer Side

Under Managed Payments, buyers saw nothing different when they paid, but a few had problems paying. One told me he couldn't pay with any browser. All of them managed to pay the next morning when they tried again. Based on this, my recommendation is to tell buyers to clear their site data:

You clear cookies and site data by clicking on the padlock to the left of the URL in your browser. With Firefox it's a few clicks, with Microsoft Edge each cookie for the site needs to be deleted individually.

If clearing the data doesn't work, I tell buyers to just try again in the morning.

I purchased a train set on eBay from a seller using Managed payments and paid for it 4 times with PayPal. Ebay kept telling me “Something went wrong. Try again.” PayPal stopped the transactions, and 72 hours later I was able to pay.

These problems with payments are still happening in late October. Despite the problems, Ebay is continuing to sweep all sellers into the Managed Payments scheme. For me, one buyer for about every 100 transactions has problems. It's a hassle, but that's between the buyer and eBay.

As sellers we don't have any control over this. More and more my response to buyers with issues is to tell them to call eBay.

Looking forward, I think Managed Payments works, we'll get used to it. It was difficult the first month, then it got easier. Now eBay is screwing around with the shipping labels.

Terry

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