Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



eBay Apologizes?

On Thursday, PayPal users got a treat when parent company eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY  ) agreed to waive the transaction fees on the online payment service for North American customers all day long.

While PayPal's "Thank You Day" was reported by many as a way for eBay to make amends for its site's extended outage over last month's Columbus Day holiday weekend, why is it that I'm not buying it as an apology?

While I list items on eBay sporadically throughout the year, I tend to go hog wild when December rolls around. That's because for the last few years, during the last week of December eBay has set aside a day to provide free listings. The timing is perfect as it's a great way for folks to unload that holiday gift that didn't quite hit the spot or for cash-strapped Santas to raise some funds to pay off that next credit card bill.

Granted, a day of free listings isn't the same as what PayPal did last week, as auctioneers on eBay's namesake site would still be liable for transaction fees on any auctions that were successfully completed. I get that. However, what everyone is reporting as an apology, to me, appears to be effective marketing.

With 56.7 million accounts -- and growing -- PayPal is the top dog in online micropayments the same way that Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation eBay reigns supreme over the auction space. A one-day reprieve isn't going to rough up its income statement. If anything, it will simply spur some free publicity.

While some who may have suffered through the days of PayPal's outage due to its ill-advised software upgrade may disagree with me, I don't think that PayPal needed to necessarily extend last week's alleged olive branch. I mean, consider the alternatives, and perhaps it's the customers who should be grateful that PayPal is still around.

This month, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) will be closing down its PayDirect service for the same reason that Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) offed c2it last year and eBay abandoned its own Billpoint venture with Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) in favor of acquiring PayPal. In short, it's no fun going up against a market-thumping gorilla.

And, call me nuts, but I've never heard a gorilla apologize.

Were you affected by PayPal's outage last month? Did you take advantage of the free transactions day? Are you an international PayPal customer upset that eBay didn't take its alleged PayPal apology overseas? All this and more -- in the eBay Discussion Board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user, but he has never bought the stock. He doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2008, at 1:52 AM, lijithmg wrote:

    A highly recommended site is for online auctions. They are the new ebay. Many smaller sites like this offer buyers far better deals than ebay ever could. Buyers also save a ton because this site charges little or nothing depending on the day. One more reason I like is because they don't take a part of the sale at all. No commissions or final value fees. A+++

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 503063, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/25/2016 2:49:05 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 5 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,223.03 77.32 0.43%
S&P 500 2,151.33 10.17 0.47%
NASD 5,309.83 52.43 1.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/24/2016 4:00 PM
C $49.58 Up +0.01 +0.02%
Citigroup CAPS Rating: ***
EBAY $29.22 Up +0.16 +0.55%
eBay CAPS Rating: ****
WFC $45.52 Up +0.43 +0.95%
Wells Fargo CAPS Rating: ****
YHOO $42.59 Up +0.42 +1.00%
Yahoo CAPS Rating: **