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Google Checkout on eBay?
February 9, 2011 5:41 PM   Subscribe

I purchased an item on eBay via Buy It Now. I just now noticed that the seller's only accepted payment method is "Visa/MasterCard, Amex, Discover." PayPal isn't accepted. The seller sent me an invoice via Google Checkout. Is this legit?

eBay's accepted payments policy notes that sellers can accept a "credit card or debit card processed through the seller's Internet merchant account." Does Google Checkout count as the Internet merchant account? I'd still be protected by eBay Buyer Protection, right?

The physical address of the seller doesn't inspire much confidence. It's a private residence, and the only substantive results that come up on Google indicate that its back porch is a Narcotics Anonymous meeting spot.

And, worst case scenario, I could initiate a credit card chargeback at the very least, right?

A Google search for eBay and Google Checkout reveals a whole mess of policies and experiences that may or may not be applicable today.)
posted by SpringAquifer to Shopping (19 answers total)
 
Oh, and I haven't paid yet.
posted by SpringAquifer at 5:42 PM on February 9, 2011


What kind of feedback does this seller have? 'Cause if the feedback is good I would just pay by credit card and know that you can fall back on a chargeback if you have trouble with the transaction.

Also, it's up to you to check this info before bidding, so at this point I think you are obligated to follow through.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:47 PM on February 9, 2011


As far as I know, if you use Google Checkout then the seller never gets to see your credit card number. Just make sure the link they sent you goes to *.google.com and not a phishing site, and you should be fine.
posted by teraflop at 5:51 PM on February 9, 2011


The feedback is okay -- around 30, all positive, a small handful for similar items.

And, yeah, I know I'm obligated to follow through. But if someone notices a red flag, it doesn't mean I will follow through. It's $500, after all...
posted by SpringAquifer at 5:52 PM on February 9, 2011


Google Checkout is legit. You're protected by your card provider. I'd give them props for declining the convenience hell known as Paypal.
posted by rhizome at 5:54 PM on February 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


I've bought things through various non-Paypal checkout systems on Ebay with no trouble. There's a little bit of a move away from Paypal (and also away from Ebay) because Paypal, like Facebook, has a habit of freezing accounts without legitimate cause and doesn't provide much by way of customer service to get misunderstandings cleared up.
posted by Frowner at 6:10 PM on February 9, 2011


Google Checkout is legitimate and probably gives you an additional layer of protection that you wouldn't have, if they requested a money order or something (does eBay even let you pay that way anymore? that used be how I did business exclusively). So I'd go for it.

PayPal is such an amazingly crummy organization to do business with, you can hardly blame someone from avoiding them. They are like dealing with the mafia only less personable.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:13 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I know PayPal sucks. I've never made such a big purchase on eBay before, though, and it's the first time I've ever been asked to pay by a different method. Just wanted to check it out.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by SpringAquifer at 6:27 PM on February 9, 2011


I'd still be protected by eBay Buyer Protection, right?

No

This is...not normal. Can you link to the auction in question? What eBay site is it on -- dot com?
posted by kmennie at 7:22 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the seller has just 30 feedbacks, they'll take a big hit if you give a bad rating. I'm guessing they're going to treat you well to make sure of a good rating. If something goes wrong, they'll want to make it right.
posted by wryly at 7:53 PM on February 9, 2011


Ebay sellers are required to use paypal, pretty much. I'm really surprised that they don't take it. 30 feedback is very low, and if you get screwed, it's not much of an account for them to lose, so they don't really have to care about making things right. Can you link to the auction?
posted by Slinga at 9:53 PM on February 9, 2011


...yeah, I [Cdn eBay seller] am having a hard time figuring out how he set up an auction where PayPal wasn't an option. This is hinky stuff. Hinky + low feedback = be VERY wary. Please. You have received some dubious advice here.

(And lots of complaints about PayPal -- some justified. However. I used Google Checkout to buy something off deepdiscount.com. They didn't send it, and getting my money back from Checkout took MONTHS, with much confusion and irritations. They are probably not an improvement on PayPal.)

Please -- don't buy it without posting a link to the auction here so you can get it sussed out by people who do know the score for these sorts of things.
posted by kmennie at 10:28 PM on February 9, 2011


What eBay site is it on -- dot com?

Yes.

Ebay sellers are required to use paypal, pretty much.

Not true. See their accepted payments policy, which I mentioned in the question.

30 feedback is very low, and if you get screwed, it's not much of an account for them to lose, so they don't really have to care about making things right.

Agreed. But the feedbacks are spread out over quite a bit of time, and several are for similar (in description and in value) items.
posted by SpringAquifer at 10:28 PM on February 9, 2011


I [Cdn eBay seller] am having a hard time figuring out how he set up an auction where PayPal wasn't an option.

I am (well, I was, as of a few months ago) a PowerSeller on the U.S. site. Offering / taking away PayPal as an option involves clicking on a checkbox. Maybe the Canadian site is different.
posted by SpringAquifer at 10:35 PM on February 9, 2011


The account could have been hijacked if there is no recent feedback. I would NOT do this. How much money was the item? You will not be protected if the deal fails, as someone linked above.
posted by cass at 8:48 AM on February 10, 2011


Well here is Google Checkout's Buyer Fraud and chargeback protection info. So you might be covered under that.
posted by grapesaresour at 12:08 PM on February 10, 2011


Could the OP please do a follow up to let us know if they receive the item?
posted by drezdn at 11:25 AM on February 11, 2011


Could the OP please do a follow up to let us know if they receive the item?

I definitely will.
posted by SpringAquifer at 1:28 PM on February 12, 2011


Update.
posted by SpringAquifer at 4:33 PM on February 22, 2011


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