What’s up with PayPal and eBay? Or, Beware eBay Gift Certificate Redemption Policies
Can somebody explain to me what I’m missing here?
Daughter is always finding something she wants on eBay that she can’t get elsewhere, so last year when her thoughtful uncle asked for a birthday present idea, I was ready: an eBay gift certificate.
It seemed simple and straightforward enough. Wrong.
First, since Daughter didn’t have an eBay account of her own, we used mine. But when we tried entering the redemption number for the $25.00 certificate at checkout, because the email to which the certificate was sent (Daughter’s) didn’t match the eBay account holder’s (mine), it was rejected.
So we set Daughter up with an eBay account. No sweat.
Then she wanted something that cost more than $25.00. I tried to pay the difference from my PayPal, but that wouldn’t work. The Paypal had to be in her name. So I set up a PayPal account with her name and email, and from my PayPal sent her $35. Total purchase price including shipping and handling was $54, so that means that there would be $6.00 more in Paypal than required.
No luck. Now PayPal wants a credit or debit card account information, and to use the eBay gift certificate, a PayPal account is required. Daughter doesn’t have a credit card.
Yes, I tried Customer Service at both sites. PayPal never responded. Ebay did, but didn’t address the problem, and when I took up their offer to contact them again if I had additional problems, I received no response.
Okay, so let’s try something else.
This time Daughter chooses a pair of stockings which, including shipping and handling, comes to about $5.00.
Remember, she has her own eBay account, an eBay certificate worth $25, her own PayPal account, and a PayPal balance of $35.
In other words, between the two of them, eBay and PayPal have $60 of her money, so they ought to let her use $5 of it without a hassle.
PayPal still wants credit or debit info for “verification purposes.”
Okay, I give up. I gave PayPal the credit card info for an account we keep solely for internet purchases since last year we had to deactivate our ordinary credit card twice due to information leakages, likely on the internet.
Bingo! Daughter got to spend $5 of her money!
Now here’s the curious part: The credit card info that proved her ticket to success wasn’t, of course, for a card in her name. So what, I wonder, was PayPal able to verify by grabbing hold of that info it didn’t need?
You may say I should have looked into eBay’s policies before thinking a gift certificate was such a great idea.
Here’s what eBay says:
To use a gift certificate, gift card, or coupon for a purchase:
- The seller needs to accept PayPal as a payment method.
- You need to use PayPal to purchase the item within 10 days of the end of the listing.
You can use more than one gift certificate or gift card per purchase. However, you can use only one coupon per purchase.
Redeeming a gift certificate, gift card, or coupon
To redeem a gift certificate, gift card, or coupon, you’ll need to log into your PayPal account when you purchase the item. If you don’t have one, you’ll be given an opportunity to sign up.
Looking at the PayPal site’s Help Center, under Using PayPal with eBay: Gift Certificates, we find this:
- Question: Why do I need to add a credit card or bank account in order to use my gift certificate?
- Answer: For security purposes, you may be required to add a credit card or bank account to your PayPal account before you can redeem your gift certificate.
I’ve two problems with this answer.
- In the context of my situation, how was PayPal or I made more secure by PayPal demanding personal financial information to release money I and my brother had given to them? Why do corporations, governments, etc. etc. think that those two words, “security purposes” justify all?
- Why say “you may be required to add a credit card or bank account” when the truth is you will be required? Remember, there was $55 more than needed to cover the purchase available in the PayPal/eBay account. Tell me, if this situation didn’t fall into the category of no credit card or bank account required, what would?
Something stinks here.