eBay Blocks American Express For Select Categories In Managed Payments

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


UPDATE 6-5-24

eBay has announced they will no longer accept American Express for item payments or selling fees as of August 17, 2024.

eBay To Cut Off American Express Amid Credit Card Fee Negotiations
eBay will no longer allow buyers to use American Express on the site starting in August as credit card fee negotiations hit a standstill.

UPDATE 5-18-22

The original poster from the eBay community thread on this subject commented below to let me know it still has not been resolved. I'm also seeing a few other recent reports, though it's not clear if these attempted purchases are in the fine jewelry, watches, and coins categories.

Paypal-Amex payment
When i make a purchase , press buy now I’m redirected to my PayPal account. I have three cards saved if I Select amex as the card to use. I then press the pay button and get a thanks for using PayPal and the rotating timer. But it won’t actually place the order or get passed this screen. If I go…

I don't believe eBay has ever made an official statement on this, however I did notice the help page about Managed Payments referenced in the original post did quietly change between July - August 2021 to remove the references to specific credit cards.

Was this eBay's way of covering for the fact that not all cards can or will be accepted in some categories?

From the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:

July 16, 2021 - shows list of sections on the left side, including Accepted Payment Methods.

August 4, 2021 - page is completely different, no sections on left, no longer any section for Accepted Payment Methods.

It looks to me like this was an intentional change where eBay has simply decided not to allow some payment methods for certain items, likely based on differences in payment processing costs and card issuer policies.

UPDATE 10-10-21: Unfortunately, the buyer who originally posted about this issue in the community still has not gotten any resolution as of 9-28-21

After all these months, this is still on going. I am sick on calling AMEX about this issue. eBay NEEDS TO RELEASE A LIST of what categories you cannot buy items with AMEX with. I have pretty much totally stopped shopping on this platform because I use my AMEX cards because of the high rewards I get. I can shop with no issue with other sites. Any item that AMEX doesn't allow to be bought, is not allowed to be sold on eBay.

eBay needs to tell us, the buyers, what cannot be bought on this platform. Telling us, the buyers, to contact the seller is not the correct answer and will cause buyers to stop shopping. This is a major issue with AMEX with the new Managed Payments and it needs to be dealt with NOW.

Re: Amex is not accepted with some sellers in the new Managed Payments
After all these months, this is still on going. I am sick on calling AMEX about this issue. eBay NEEDS TO RELEASE A LIST of what categories you cannot buy items with AMEX with. I have pretty much totally stopped shopping on this platform because I use my AMEX cards because of the high rewards I get.…

It appears eBay may be blocking users from paying with American Express in Fine Jewelry, Watches, & Coins categories.

This user tried to purchase jewelry but at checkout eBay said Amex was "not accepted."

eBay support apparently told them to contact the seller, insinuating this was done by the seller's choice, when in fact sellers in Managed Payments have absolutely no choice or control over payment method availability.

The buyer says he contacted American Express to confirm their policies and was told jewelry purchases are not prohibited or blocked by them and there should be no issue with the purchase.

Another user pointed out the same thing is happening with coins and watches, but again only for sellers in Managed Payments - Amex is still an option for listings where payment is being processed through PayPal.

I cannot find anywhere that eBay explicitly states American Express is not an accepted payment method in these categories.

In fact, in the Managed Payments help page, eBay does explicitly state that Amex is an accepted option for buyers and it will be automatically added to listings for sellers in Managed Payments - confirming that sellers have no control over this.

Accepted payment methods
Your buyers can choose from any of the following payment methods:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • American Express
  • PayPal
  • PayPal Credit
  • Apple Pay (through the eBay app and mobile website only)
  • Google Pay (through the eBay app, mobile website and desktop)

These will automatically be added to your listings and show up as payment options at checkout.

There was speculation in that eBay community post that eBay may be blocking American Express from these categories because Amex typically charges higher processing fees than other credit cards. It may also be worth noting that American Express typically takes longer to process and clear payments than other credit cards.

However, it's not clear if either of those is a factor in eBay's decision not to allow American Express payments for Managed Payments sellers in these categories.

Regardless of the reasons, eBay has an ethical and fiduciary responsibility to clearly and directly inform users if certain payment methods are not accepted for specific categories or types of transactions.

Buyers may prefer to use their American Express exclusively, especially for higher dollar purchases, due to favorable rewards programs and terms. If they cannot use their preferred payment method, it's likely that seller will miss out on the sale.

In my opinion it is particularly unfair given the fact this only seems to be affecting sellers who have been moved to Managed Payments. This puts those sellers at a distinct disadvantage against sellers who are still using PayPal and able to accept American Express in these categories.

That eBay would apparently rather throw sellers under the bus instead of admitting they either have a technical problem or an undisclosed policy problem just adds insult to injury.

eBay staff was asked about this issue in the weekly community chat on 4-14.21. They did not have an immediate answer but said they have reached out to get more information. I'll update this post if/when more information becomes available.

Fees & PaymentseBay

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

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