eBay Australia seeks ACCC talks over unco-operative suppliers

By Oliver Milman
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

eBay Australia is to approach the government and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over suppliers’ reluctance to have their products sold online, the company’s CEO has revealed.


Speaking to Business Spectator, eBay Australia’s Deborah Sharkey said more than 70% of eBay-based businesses had experienced problems in convincing manufacturers and suppliers to release their products for sale online.


The figure, taken from a survey of 2,000 business, follows a similar result taken from eBay’s Online Business Index, which was released in March.


Sharkey said it is “very strong evidence to indicate that not only are retailers not embracing the opportunity, but the industry is actively seeking to prevent consumers from accessing sales online".


"We are putting out a call to action to consumers, to let the retail industry know that this is how they want to shop.


"We are inviting government, the ACCC and also the industry to help us take a serious look at restrictive trade practices."


The threat of government or ACCC intervention was backed by Phil Leahy, head of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance.


“I’d absolutely welcome a discussion on the issue,” he says. “I’m not sure what the ACCC could do, but the issue needs to be out there. We don’t want any more government regulation, but if a company was made an example of, we’d welcome that.


“Australia is four or five years behind America when it comes to selling online. Some businesses are resisting change and the GST campaign [led by retailers such as Myer and Harvey Norman] is a symptom of that.


“The reality is that we’ve got to embrace online selling. As a country, we’ve got to get our head out of our arse.


“Some retailers don’t want their prices cannibalised by having products sold via eBay. But some sellers are forcing their hand by making themselves indispensible through their sales and then going back six months later and getting a more favourable response.”

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What galling hypocrites this eBafia mob are. They themselves would have to be the most anti-competitive entity on the planet, yet they have the gall to complain about manufacturers not wanting to have their product sold “online”. The ACCC certainly should investigate this matter, but first the ACCC should have a good look at all the unscrupulous activities of eBay and its most ugly adopted daughter, PayPal.

eBay, Magento, AliExpress, Skype, Fish, FigCard, GSI Commerce, RedLaser, Where, Milo, Fetch, PayPal, Google, Schmoogle, whatever …

eBay’s chief headless turkey likes buying toys, none of which have done anything to improve the eBay Marketplace’s bottom line, not even in this the fourth year of this ham-fisted fool’s three-year turnaround plan to change eBay from what made it so successful into, who knows what?

The fact is the rusting old hulk eBay is presently being kept afloat by the clunky PreyPal so it’s good to see these boys recently squabbling and threats to PreyPal’s online dominance now coming thick and fast. It’s interesting times ahead for all we eBay “haters” (oops, I mean “watchers”). I just hope that someone has remembered to bring the popcorn.

Even though PayPal clearly offers banking-type services (ie, holding depositors’ money in banking-style accounts), PayPal is mostly registered in various places not as a “bank” nor as a provider of credit but only as a “money transmitter” (like Western Union), and indeed PayPal claims that they are not even a “payment network”, and there is a minute degree of truth in that claim because it could, somewhat nonsensically, be claimed that most (but not all) of their activities do no more than facilitate the transmission of money by riding on the back of the banks’ existing payments processing systems.

In fact, the only thing creative about PayPal has been their use of users’ email addresses as an identifier for online payment transactions. PayPal is otherwise no more than a blood-sucking parasite on the back of, and in the main cannot function except via, the banks’ existing payments processing systems.

PayPal, outside of whatever will ultimately be left of the Donahoe-devastated eBay Marketplace, will undoubtedly eventually be consigned to the history books by the retail banks/Visa/Mastercard once those players get their “online” act together.

Some people may not like “the banks” but all those participating retail banks at least supply a professional payments processing system and even PayPal concurs with that assessment: except for its intra PayPal “deposit account” transactions, they use the banks’ payments processing systems all the time and simply could not exist without them.

Regardless, all the above comments apply equally to all of the other third-party online “payments processors” that are emerging out of the woodwork and wanting to have access to your banking account. Unless they have formal and direct arrangements with all the participating retail banks, as do the likes of Visa/MasterCard, then the result is invariably going to be as potentially problematic as is PayPal’s clunky operation for its PayPal merchants—a great many of whom can tell you a sorry tale or two.

All a merchant needs to know about the clunky PayPal, at:

What all buyers should know about the criminal activities of eBay, at:

Is that PayPal’s blood in the water, and are those “sharks”—oops, “banks”—I can see circling?

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.
PhilipCohen , June 30, 2011
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