Jul 13, 2006 - 02:31 AM
From what I can remember, eBay "earns" their money from the seller.
When the seller lists an item, there is a fee for the listing, as well as optional fees for things such as bold headlines, featured listing, listing in multiple categories, etc.
Then, once the item sells, a portion of the final selling price is "charged" to the seller. This amount varries based on the final sale price, or what the item being sold was.
Ultimately, these charges end up on an "invoice" for the seller. eBay has the seller's credit card information on file, so they can process the charge automatically.
As for the amount owed to the seller from the buyer, it is up to these two parties to arrange for direct payment. I use PayPal for most of the auctions I am the winning bidder on, and usually prefer to be paid via PayPal when a buyer wins one of my auctions. There are other ways, of course, such as money orders, cashier's checks, or some other "secure" payment vehicle, including "escrow" companies that will hold the money until the buyer receives the goods and "OK's" the release of the funds to the seller.
I guess since eBay owns PayPal, you could say that eBay is getting a cut from all sides of the deal now.
Hope this helps...