EBay sellers can no longer receive cash

EBay Inc. no longer allows sellers to offer the choice of cash payments, a move meant to discourage use of an option favoured by scam artists.

The new policy implemented this year means sellers cannot list as payment options mailing cash or instant cash transfers from companies like Western Union or MoneyGram, EBay spokesman Hani Durzy said Wednesday. Sellers, however, can list cash on delivery or in-person delivery of payment as options.

"The whole purpose of this is to create a safe environment on the site by requiring sellers to offer what we consider to be safer payment services," Durzy said.

EBay deletes seller listings offering what the online marketplace considers unsafe payment options. The company, however, won't say how many listings have been deleted or the number of scam sites shutdown by the company.

Nevertheless, con artists are a problem on the marketplace.

Tiffany & Co., for example, has sued EBay in New York, claiming the company has failed to take adequate steps to remove fake Tiffany jewellery from the site. The jewellery seller estimates that at least three out of four Tiffany products sold on EBay are counterfeit. The state court lawsuit is pending.

Payment options that EBay, based in San Jose, Calif., deems acceptable include its own PayPal service, credit cards, debit cards and bank-to-bank electronic payments.

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