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Personal Checks and Money Orders Banned From eBay As of Today

January 15th, 2009 by Skip McGrath

Yesterday was the last day to accept checks and money orders on eBay. eBay starts cancelling reported auctions today.

About three days ago I received a phone call from eBay Seller Support reminding me that yesterday was the last day for eBay listings to appear with a statement that sellers will accept personal checks or money orders.  I remembered that I had already changed my settings in Vendio (my auction management service), but I decided to check and make sure the changes were effective.  It is a good thing I did.  It seems that the Vendio auto insertion feature only worked when you launched a new item.  Existing store and auction listings still had the old text.  So I have spent most of yesterday and today ending and relisting my items –about 70 in all.

Of course this is a boon to eBay. When you cancel a store or fixed price listing, you lose the fees paid for the rest of the listing term and then you pay a new listing fee.  I guess in this economic environment eBay needs all the help it can get.

Seller support told me that the eBay listing program will scan listings for the words “personal check,” “check” and “money order.”  If it sees these terms in your listings it will block the listing and you will not be charged a listing fee.  As for ongoing listings, if someone reports you, eBay will remove the listing and your seller reputation will be dinged.  Three of those in a 90-day period and you will lose your PowerSeller rating and you could be suspended by eBay.

So I suggest everyone go through their running listings with a fine tooth comb and make sure those words do not appear. The eBay listing tool is not perfect.  For example, I put a statement in one listing this morning that says “eBay no longer allows sellers to accept checks or money orders.” The listing program caught the words checks and money orders and blocked the listing.

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