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eBay pumps up PayPal protections

Starting this fall, the company says it will cover 100 percent of the price of items in soured transactions for both buyers and sellers using PayPal.

Buyers and sellers on eBay are due to get a bigger cushion for transactions gone bad.

At its eBay Live community conference this week, the online auction giant offered details on more generous PayPal protections and incentives for its top sellers, and also feted the anniversary of its Kijiji classified ad service.

Starting in the fall, the company says it will cover 100 percent of an item's purchase price on most transactions for buyers who use eBay's PayPal service, with no cap on coverage. The policy addresses items that are not received by buyers and those that are significantly different from their listing descriptions.

For sellers in PayPal transactions, eBay in the fall plans to boost protection against claims, charge-backs, and reversals connected to an unauthorized payment or failure of an item to arrive at its destination in 190 markets worldwide. The coverage, eBay says, will come at no additional cost to the seller and with no dollar limit.

The current ceiling for buyers' and sellers' coverage generally has been just a few hundred dollars, and sellers had been protected on shipments to only a handful of countries.

Starting this summer, meanwhile, top-rated PowerSellers will qualify for additional discounts based on their customer experience ratings. They could see 20 percent lopped off the commission that eBay charges sellers for sold items and a 23 percent reduction in daily rates for UPS ground shipping.

That move is likely to stir further resentment among smaller sellers already up in arms over existing discounts to top performers.

In addition, eBay noted the first anniversary of Kijiji's debut. While it's clearly pleased to have 4 million unique users per month for the classified ad site, it's also embroiled in a lawsuit filed by Kijiji rival Craigslist that accuses eBay of unfair competition, among other charges.