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Choosing a payment method (for buyers)

How you pay for an item depends on the payment methods accepted by the seller. Every seller is unique and offers different methods of payment. Read the item description before you bid to find out what methods the seller accepts. Most sellers accept PayPal because it transfers funds immediately and they don’t have to wait for funds to clear before posting your item.

Clicking the Pay Now button is the fastest way to pay on eBay. Payment methods available using the Pay Now button include PayPal and ProPay. Learn more about how to pay.

When choosing a payment method, look for options that are convenient, secure, and traceable in case of problems. Use the table below to compare payment methods.

Payment method

Highlights

PayPal

PayPal is the preferred payment method for most eBay buyers and sellers. PayPal lets you send payments quickly and securely online using a credit card or bank account.

Learn more about paying with PayPal.

Advantages

Payment is traceable. You can track the status of your payment using My eBay or your PayPal account.

Payment is immediate and convenient. You pay directly from the item listing page and payment is deposited directly into the seller's account.

Does not require you to use your credit card online. You can transfer directly from your bank account.

If you use a credit card, sellers don't see your credit card number. It is safely encrypted through PayPal's server so that the risk of unauthorised use is limited.

Offers eBay Money Back Guarantee that covers up to the full purchase price and original P&P charges on eligible transactions. See full terms and conditions

Credit card or debit card

Some sellers accept credit card or debit card payments through an internet merchant account.

 

Advantages

Payment is traceable. You can track the status of your payment using My eBay or your credit card account.

Payment is immediate and convenient. You pay directly from the item listing page and the seller receives notification of the credit card payment.

Provides limited liability coverage. Credit card companies typically provide some level of identity and purchase protection. Contact your credit card company to learn more.

Disadvantages

X You must provide your credit card information.

Pay on collection

In addition to other allowed payment methods, sellers can also offer this option.

Advantages

Opportunity to inspect item in person at time of payment

Saves effort and cost of postage.

Buyers may choose whatever payment method seller specifies in the listing, including cheques, postal orders, cash, PayPal, or credit card.

Disadvantages

X Must coordinate collection location and time with seller

X Some sellers have a surcharge for collection.

X Slower than electronic payment methods

X Protection varies by payment method.

X Important to manually document with receipt and proof of delivery.

Escrow

Recommended for high-priced items. For eBay transactions, you should use only our approved escrow companies. Learn more about how escrow works and which sites are eBay approved.

 

Advantages

Payment is held by the escrow service until you receive and approve the item.

Disadvantages

X There have been reports of fraudulent sellers using non-existent escrow companies, so make sure you verify any escrow service other than eBay’s recommended escrow partner.

Other payment methods

Cheques, postal orders, and direct bank transfers are not allowed for most eBay purchases.

However, sellers may offer these payment methods for certain categories of items including vehicles, capital and business equipment.

For specific exceptions, see our Accepted Payments policy.

Advantages

Cheques and postal orders are traceable to a particular postal address and provides proof of payment.

For cheques, most banks offer a stop payment service if problems arise before the cheque is cashed. Some postal order services might also have the option to stop payment if problems arise before the payment is cashed.

For bank transfers, payment is immediately deposited into the seller’s account.

Disadvantages

X For cheques, sellers must wait for funds to clear.

X Payment is extremely difficult to recover in cases of fraud.

Important: Sellers may not ask or require you to pay by payment methods that aren’t allowed on eBay, for example, cash or instant cash wire transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. For more information on safe payment methods, see our Accepted Payments policy. You are only obliged to pay the seller using one of the payment methods specified in the eBay listing. If the seller wants to change payment methods after the listing has ended, you can insist on paying with one of the methods stated in the listing.

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