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 All you need to know about Bank Transfers 
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Post All you need to know about Bank Transfers
One of the most useful guides I have read on eBay (besides my own of course...!) and provides all the information you need to know about buying or selling using Bank Transfer. I found this after a Slovenian buyer offered to pay, and asked for my IBAN & BIC number. As a seller, this is possibly the best way to receive funds from international buyers outside of the Paypal Seller Protection zone of UK, USA & Canada.

Bank Transfer in the UK

Also known as:
BACS payment
Bank Account Clearing System Payment
Wire Transfer
Direct Bank Transfer
IBAN payment
(Bank Deposit) – see note on bank deposits below

What is it?
An electronic payment direct to or from your trading partner’s bank account. The payment is funded by cleared funds in a bank account (in other words a bank-to-bank transfer/payment).

You can also pay cash or cheque over the counter at your own bank.

You can also pay cash or cheque or at any branch of the seller’s bank (this may attract a fee – so check first). This is termed a ‘Bank Deposit’ by eBay.

Is it Safe?


When you send someone a personal cheque/check, that has your bank account number, sort code and a copy of your signature. Have you ever been defrauded by sending a cheque?

When you give someone your bank account number and sort code, there are only two things that someone can do with them

a. Make a payment to your account. They cannot access your account directly to remove funds unless you also give them your internet banking password, security details etc – and why would you want to do that?

b. Set up a Direct Debit. You are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee against unauthorised Direct Debits. In the very unlikely event of this happening, inform your bank and they will return the funds and recover them from the fraudulent party. They will also pass on the fraudster’s receiving bank details to the relevant Law Enforcement Agency.

When programs like the News and Watchdog refer to ‘Bank Details’ they are not referring to the account number and sort code, but ALL the details necessary to access funds in your account. They have a propensity to scaremonger.

What do I Need?

As a seller – To make your Name, Bank Account Number and Sort Code available to your buyer (IBAN, BIC/SWIFT and possibly your bank's and your postal address for international payments).

Your IBAN and BIC numbers can be found on your bank statement, either/or paper/electronic statement. If you can't find them, ring your bank and ask them to tell you them.

As a domestic buyer – Your Seller’s Account Name, Account Number and Sort Code

As an international buyer – additionally, IBAN and BIC, bank name and address

Access to telephone or internet banking

How Long Does it Take?

Domestic transfer
– between accounts of the same bank: instantaneous, or near instantaneous.
– between accounts of different banks: up to 3 working days.

International transfer
- Variable: check with your bank for incoming payments, but likely 3-5 working days

How Much Does it Cost?

The below statements apply to a Personal bank account. There may be fees involved with bank transfers to/from a Business bank account – check with your Business Manager.

UK domestic transfers – FREE for both buyer and seller

Receipt of Euro Zone to UK international transfer – A few pennies on the exchange spread of currency conversion from €Euro to £GBP, as long as buyer selects ‘shared charges’ (default option) and pays in €Euros.

Sending a Euro Zone to UK international transfer – Probably free, but check with your Bank, as long as buyer selects ‘shared charges’ (default option) and pays in €Euros.

Receipt of Non-Euro Zone International transfer – Variable. Check with your bank. Ask for the International Transactions Department.

Payment of non-£GBP international transfer – Variable. Check with your bank. It is likely it will cost at least £10-£20+ through the bank’s RELAY or SWIFT payment system. It may be possible to make an IBAN payment at a lesser cost – ask your bank. There is a third party payment service that can make the transfer for you, run by a well known, established eBayer. Although currently not approved as an eBay payment method, it's safe and will likely be cheaper than direct through your bank (please email me if you would like further details - there is an email link on my me page. eBay sometimes block me from responding to eBay messages).

Due to EU regulation, EU and EEA countries are not allowed to charge more for a cross-border payment made in €Euros with ‘shared charges’ selected than they are for a domestic transfer.

UK banks are allowed to charge conversion fees from €Euro to £GBP

Some UK banks will attempt to charge you ~£1 for a ‘letter of advice’ on receipt of a cross-border payment (Natwest and RBOS at least). If that happens, tell your bank you do not want a letter of advice, otherwise you will close your account and move it to another bank.

When NOT to Pay by Bank Transfer

As with ANY other form of payment, when you do not have faith in your seller, but then again you should not have bid or BIN’d their listing in the first place.

It's probably unwise to pay by Bank Transfer when a seller has no or low feedback, or non-excellent feedback. As with all forms of payment, be choosy with your sellers. Check they have excellent feedback, look at the comments, look how they've obtained their feedback. It's easy to amass positive feedback through buying 1p ebooks.

If an international seller with a history of no feedback, or poor or fraudulent feedback record asks you to pay by Bank Transfer for a ‘hot’ item that is substantially under priced – ask yourself why the item is so cheap. The answer is that the item does not exist. If you send the money you will get scammed!

Are Bank Transfers Covered by eBay Purchase Protection?

No. The eBay Standard Purchase Protection Program has been discontinued. In the event of a problem, you will be relying on the seller to put right the problem. You can log Item Not Received complaints with eBay, but you will not be able to elevate to a claim.

However, a clearly identifiable audit trail is left, with proof of payment on your bank statement.

Why use Bank Transfer as a Payment Method?

As a seller, the money goes straight to your personal bank account with no fees deducted by your bank (Business Users, check with your bank for any relevant fees). The money can not be withdrawn without your permission, so there is no chance of a payment reversal (after the end of the current working day and then ONLY with your permission) or chargeback.

As a buyer, you may well get a discount as the seller will not have to pay third-party processing fees. The funds will be cleared within 3 working days (domestic) and likely five working days (international) - probably faster than a check, postal order, or money order. You won’t have to pay for a stamp, or an envelope, or post the payment. The payment will clear much faster then an electronic e-cheque made though a third-party payment service. For cheap items, sellers such as myself will post on receipt of a screenshot of the payment, showing the relevant details, so your payment could actually be pseudo-instantaneous.

More money will be kept in the accounts of buyers and sellers, not third-party payment services.

Source. Please show your appreciation by giving the guide a vote!

Reproduced with permission from the athor - A J Bottomley

Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:15 pm
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Post Bank Transfers
Hi Steve

AJ here.
I'm honoured to have my Guide up here and that you find it useful.

I'd also say that unless you are a high-volume seller that does not have time to check your on-line account for Bank Transfer payments (no more effort than checking in PayPal IMHO), payment by BT is preferable to PayPal any day, from all countries participating in the EU/EEC regulations on cross-border transfers made in €Euros (ie all the €Eurozone plus most European countries not in the €Euro.


Funds can only be reversed in the first 24 hours of payment and then ONLY with your permission. They can't be reversed or retracted after that, so there is no chance of a chargeback.

No fees on a personal bank account, other than pennies on the conversion rate from €Euros to £GBP. PayPal provides a convenient for service for sure, but don't you just hate paying their fees?

Funds straight to your bank account. Faster than withdrawing an instant PayPal payment to your bank account and no 25p if the amount is less than £50.

Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:00 pm
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Location: Durham
steve do you offer bank transfers as a way of payment? do many people do it?

i've had a online saving account for sometime now and got my bf to transfer some money accross from his account to it, as i didnt know if it would accept outside money. anyway it worked so now i'm thinking about offering it on ebay.


Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:31 am
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I don't make a big thing about it on my listings or my Me page, but a few buyers have offered BT which I have accepted.

Believe it or not, I have only recently signed up for online banking, having used telephone banking for the last 10 years as I like to be able to speak to a real person - normally a Geordie!

Once I get my online account up an running, I will be adding it to the list of options available for buyers.

No fees, and as safe as cash in the hand... I like that idea!

For local ebay bargains visit - Local Bargain finder

Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:54 am
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Internet banking is great! Beware of phishing emails though.

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Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:19 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:04 pm
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I've accepted bank transfers for a few items- I love it. :)

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Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:35 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:21 pm
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ive done a few bank transfers too, by far the best, quickest way, no fees to pay and deffo no charge backs either, not that im dishonest.
wish i could do more like it.
i wonder if the bank would pick up on it tho if you was doing a lot saying that you was running a buisness and paying into a personal account and you would need to open a buisness account.

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Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:55 pm

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Post BachJohann
This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! moonwalks

Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:20 am
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