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BidPay: Is It Really an Alternative to PayPal?

April 3rd, 2007 by Skip McGrath

The new BidPay is growing in leaps and bounds. It’s time to re-evaluate it’s position in the marketplace.

BidPay. Everyone’s heard of them. But did you know that they are completely different from their pre- June 2006 existence? BidPay was purchased by CyberSource which is one of the biggest global credit card payment service providers. CyberSource is a well established company with an excellent fraud protection, risk assessment backend infrastructure. And unlike the old BidPay, you can see instantly when an item has been paid, and you don’t have to wait for a money order in the mail.

Now BidPay accepts both MasterCard and Visa and the payment is sent directly to your bank account. It takes 1-3 days to get there, but you can see as soon as the payment has been made and can ship the item. So it’s just as fast as PayPal in that respect (faster when you consider most buyers use their bank account and often end up sending an eCheck).

The fees are comparable too. PayPal is a little cheaper for domestic items under $50 and international payments under $20, but for anything over that, BidPay gets significantly cheaper. Their fees are much easier to understand too: 2.5% plus 50 cents for domestic, 2.9% plus 50 cents for international. How much easier can it get?

This all aside, the thing I like most about BidPay is how they handle disputes. They assume the risk of the funds (unlike PayPal) so if there is an issue, they investigate it far more than PayPal. I like that. Some sellers I have talked to feel  like the odds can be stacked against them if a buyer files a claim with PayPal. Not so with BidPay and their chargeback protection.

Also, a BidPay survey earlier this year suggests that sellers who offered BidPay on their auctions realized a 15.4% increase in sales. Now of course this came from BidPay, but all of the numbers about PayPal come straight from that company too and we accept them. Even if it is a little lower, it’s still an increase and worth capitalizing on.

In my opinion, BidPay is the only viable competitor to PayPal. And the neat thing is they are becoming more and more competitive every day. They have some great new features which will be rolled out later this year, so keep tuned for more information on that.

My advice? Offer both BidPay and PayPal on your listings. It costs you nothing to offer both, and then you can let the buyers decide which they prefer.

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