Is there a reasonable way to sell on eBay without having a PayPal account and be subjected to their policies? The only way I found was by using a merchant account which requires paying $20 monthly fees, which is not something I want to do to be able to sell junk occasionally....

PayPal is really nice to buyers (who get the service for free), but their policies are so anti-seller that I don't even want to have their account.

  • I would assume the main deterrence would be the dispute resolution policy for a buyer. What happens if something goes wrong and the user wants to return.
    – DumbCoder
    Feb 28, 2013 at 11:02
  • DC - agreed! As a buyer, the use of PayPal seems to be my protection. Feb 28, 2013 at 19:00
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    @Dumb the problem with Paypal, vs the regular credit card merchant processing, is that there's no protection against buyer fraud, and as a consequence there's a lot of such fraud on eBay. Since PayPal changed the terms to forbid class-action suits, there's no way whatsoever for a seller to defend himself. If a fraudster buys from me and then reverses a transaction - there's nothing I can do about it and Paypal will just take my money. I do not want to be subjected to these rules.
    – littleadv
    Feb 28, 2013 at 19:06
  • By the way, a lot of large scale sellers are moving away from Paypal to regular merchant gateways (after eBay were forced to allow them) precisely because of that. But a small scale occasional seller like me can't afford that.
    – littleadv
    Feb 28, 2013 at 19:08
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    Well, does it have to be eBay? There's also craigslist.
    – Lagerbaer
    Feb 28, 2013 at 21:55

5 Answers 5


I've definitely seen a similar conversation about this, I personally don't buy from eBay (Amazon for me). So I turned to the internet to see what I could find to offer you any additional information (albeit not my personal experience). I first read this article: CodeNerdz Article and was pretty horrified by the scamming that can happen by buyers. Then, this article by another regular user of eBay, Selling on eBay without PayPal : eBay Guides confirmed the trouble people have with PayPal & eBay.

Payment Services permitted on eBay: Allpay.net, Canadian Tire Money, cash2india, CertaPay, Checkfree.com, hyperwallet.com, Moneybookers.com, Nochex.com, Ozpay.biz, Paymate.com.au, Propay.com, XOOM

Have you looked into any or all of these?

  • Yes, only Moneybookers (skrill) is an alternative to US sellers, and it has the same fees and rules as Paypal..
    – littleadv
    Mar 11, 2013 at 19:14
  • Oh, that's disappointing.
    – DFitz
    Mar 11, 2013 at 19:46

One option might be to set up a separate bank account and a separate credit card account, which you would use only for your ebay transactions. I have a friend who does a lot of selling on ebay, and this is exactly what she did.

It's reasonable to want to protect your personal finances from any complications that might arise with PayPal and/or ebay. But since you definitely have to provide a bank account and c.c. number (there's no way around this), the best solution might be to set up separate "ebay-only" accounts. And be sure not to link them to any of your personal accounts, for added protection. If you're planning to do a lot of selling, this is probably a good idea anyway just for record-keeping purposes.

If you do a lot of selling on ebay, you might consider setting up a "merchant account". There are some limitations on international transactions (currently you can't sell to residents of UK, Australia, or France), and payment processing is a few days slower. But there seem to be fewer fees/risks/etc associated with a merchant account. I don't know much more about it, but here's an article from an ebay seller, including pros and cons of PayPal vs. merchant accounts.



Dwolla looks to be a great option. But it requires users to have an account there (Free to sign up). And there rates are absolutely amazing.

Free for transactions under $10 $0.25 to receive money on transactions over $10


It's been a short while since I sold on eBay, but I had a feedback rating of about 4,500 so I've done a lot of transactions.

The trump card is, and always will be, the buyer's ability to contact their credit card company and reverse the charges. PayPal has no policy to stop this even though they claim to "vigorously defend Sellers from chargebacks" on their website. You will lose this case 100% of the time. I don't see how that will change if you have your own terminal. The Buyer can still reverse the charges. Since you know the card number maybe you can contact his credit card company but it's probably not going to do much.

I've found PayPal is more Seller friendly in terms of PayPal claims. For example, the customer has a duty to pay postage to return the product and that's a cost for him. You also have things like online tracking which shows delivery and PayPal has an IP log to see where the payments are coming from. That helped me when a buyer claimed that someone else made the payment. Because people often break into someone's house and make PayPal payments for them....heh.

You really just need to use PayPal. You'll get more customers and better prices and it will offset the losses from scammers. Also, about 99% of buyers are honest people. Consider the scammers a cost of doing business and keep making money off of the good Buyers. If you're just pissed off that people actually scammed you, get over it. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. It's just part of doing business on eBay.

  • I'm not a retailer. One loss from a scammer is 100% loss for me, there's nothing to offset against. With my own credit terminal I'm the one talking to the credit card company in case of a chargeback, not paypal (which don't bother, because it doesn't cost them anything). I've done chargebacks as a buyer, and I've seen seller responses, and in my case there was an occasion when the credit card company refused to refund. Because I was wrong and the seller was right, and it happens. But not with Paypal - they don't even bother giving you that chance.
    – littleadv
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:27
  • Depending on the category, you can accept money orders. It's used for motors (cars), real estate, adult, and Business & Industrial. Also, if you're so concerned, why not try Craigslist or another selling avenue?
    – Moi
    Mar 12, 2013 at 20:49
  • Unfortunately eBay is quite a monopoly. I'm selling some of the things on Amazon, but they don't allow creating products for random sellers like me, and craigslist is good for cars maybe, but not for the random stuff I want to get rid of at home.
    – littleadv
    Mar 12, 2013 at 21:16
  • Also keep in mind that terminals cost money to operate per month. I believe my PayPal terminal was something like $30 a month. If you plan to use it for 3 months, for example, then you're paying an extra $90 in fees. Just FYI.
    – Moi
    Mar 14, 2013 at 17:43
  • paypal terminals cost nothing, I had one. But I don't want to use Paypal. But it looks like you didn't bother understanding what it is I'm asking.
    – littleadv
    Mar 14, 2013 at 17:55

I think you need to have paypal for eBay selling, just for one reason: people will avoid buying from you if they can't pay by paypal. It decreases significantly your selling.

  • You misunderstood the question. People can pay via paypal without me being forced to have a paypal account. The question is not whether its possible, which it is, but whether it is possible at a reasonable cost for an individual occasional seller. Besides, I don't care if less people buy from me as long as I still can sell what I want to sell. Really, I'm not a retailer, I just want to get rid of junk. Reducing the pool of buyers from a billion to a million really means nothing to me.
    – littleadv
    Feb 28, 2013 at 19:12
  • How they pay by paypal if you don't have it? Using your merchant account?
    – Alexan
    Feb 28, 2013 at 19:18
  • I've been buying on eBay all the time, so obviously its possible. You just pay with your credit card.
    – littleadv
    Feb 28, 2013 at 19:19
  • Yes, you can pay by credit card if buyer has paypal business account or merchant account. But if buyer wants to pay by paypal and user doesn't have it?
    – Alexan
    Feb 28, 2013 at 19:24
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    yes. What I'm looking for is a reasonably (=commission) priced merchant gateway to use instead of paypal. I was only able to find ones that require subscription fees in addition to commission.
    – littleadv
    Feb 28, 2013 at 20:09

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