New "Dealing with eBay" FAQs are up

Scot Kamins kamins at
Sat May 28 18:26:45 EDT 2005

> From: "Bill DiBenedetto" <billdi at>

> I agree with this for the most part, but have some additional  
> thoughts.
>    For some people it's not possible or desirable to use cc's. As a  
> general,
> and personal, rule I feel very uncomfortable giving out credit card
> information and I try to keep that to a minimum. (In fact I don't  
> use cc's
> much at all anymore for a variety of reasons we need not get into,  
> except
> for a gas card and one card I have kept active for emergencies.) I  
> also
> don't like to pay by credit card for small transactions totalling  
> less than
> $20.00, and if I were a seller I would not like that too much  
> either because
> of the cc transaction fees, (unless I was a high-volume seller, I  
> guess).
> For small deals I always prefer paying by personal check -- and for  
> the
> larger buys I might consider PayPal after a thorough evaluation of the
> seller's feedback scores.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. Here's what I think:

Credit cards are perfectly safe to use.You're protected from all but  
$50 if somebody manages to get your credit card number and use it  
fraudulently, and most credit card issuers won't even hold you  
responsible for that.  PayPal is accepted by more and more sellers;  
all you need do is give PayPal one credit card to use and you're  

As to the size of the purchase, that's a matter of personal choice. I  
for one use a credit card whenever I can on-line because (a) it makes  
record keeping extremely easy, (b) if I have a problem with a  
purchase I can have the credit card company withhold or retract  
payment, and (c) using a credit card often doubles the warranty and  
gives me other protection that paying in other ways doesn't.

As to the sellers who don't accept credit cards, you're right. Many  
don't because of the expense involved: As an eBay seller, I hated  
paying what amounted to close to 5% to eBay and then another nearly  
5% to PayPal; but I considered it a cost of doing business. For  
inexpensive items on eBay, I wouldn't accept PayPal at all because it  
would eat up my profit, depending on my reputation to give people the  
confidence to send me a personal check

As to buyers who don't have credit cards, obviously they can't follow  
the recommendation and it doesn't apply to them.

The recommendation to use credit cards must be taken in context of  
the rest of the items in that FAQ - it assumes you're buying from a  

- Scot Kamins

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