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And as a show of confidence, they have promised to offer full refunds to those who buy with PayPal if a seller fails to deliver an item. Previously, eBay had capped the limit on refunds.

But a number of dealers have complained to ATG about the move, because Paypal is wholly owned by eBay, and they are accusing the company of attempting to cash in by forcing sellers to use the service.

The issue vexing eBay sellers is that PayPal charges for the service – close to five per cent for some transactions. Aberdeen dealer and eBay veteran Stewart McDermid summed up the views of many users when he told ATG: “While PayPal is a valuable tool when receiving payment from overseas buyers, I regard it as an avoidable expense when receiving payment from UK buyers.

“I always asked UK buyers to pay by cheque. Buyers reading my payment conditions had a choice whether or not to bid – almost 1100 positive feedbacks and no negatives suggest I must have been doing something right.”

The new policy specifies that eBay sellers must accept PayPal for all transactions, both domestic and international.

Sellers must not discourage buyers from using a particular payment method in their listings and cannot charge buyers a premium for using PayPal.

Mr McDermid, who has de-registered from eBay in protest at the move, believes eBay’s motivations for the compulsory PayPal option are less than honourable. “In the name of safety and security we are being denied choice. I take the more cynical view that this is more about drumming up more revenue for the eBay/PayPal conglomerate.”

EBay have already admitted publicly that competition laws dictate they cannot enforce the PayPal-only policy in the United States (although it is now mandatory for American sellers who ship internationally), but they are fighting government regulators in Australia over their highly controversial bid to ban all other payment services Down Under.

They have announced that they will no longer allow direct deposits, money orders or personal cheques as payment options on their Australian site. Instead, all payments will be processed via PayPal or be conducted on a ‘cash on delivery’ basis.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are moving to reject eBay’s PayPal policy because of the likelihood it would deny and restrict customer choice for eBay’s five million Australian users, as well as lessening competition in the online payment market.

In a draft notice, the ACCC asked eBay to delay implementing the plan beyond the scheduled July 15 start date until a final ruling is delivered sometime after July 3. However, already when Australian users attempt to sell an item they are informed that PayPal is the only available payment method.

By Roland Arkell