Life is never boring or dull because just when you get complacent something happens unexpectedly and without warning. Some of these unexpected events are sad, some are challenging, and some are exciting.
Or, as my wife and I recently experienced, some unexpected events are all three things – sad, challenging, and exciting.
On October 30, 2019, an unexpected email from PayPal said our account had been permanently limited due to a violation of their Acceptable Use Policy. Since this PayPal account was tied to our eBay store, PayPal’s action effectively closed our store. The eBay store had steadily grown over the past seven years into a very successful and rewarding venture. The eBay store was also our primary source of income.
Our immediate reaction to this devastating news was to learn how we violated the PayPal policy so a correction could be made and our account reinstated. Over the next four weeks, we initiated numerous communications with PayPal ranging from the customer support team to CEO Dan Schulman. At every turn, PayPal refused to tell us how we violated this policy.
We have no idea how (or, even IF), we violated PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy. No changes in what we sold were made to the eBay store in the past seven years. No changes in how we process payments were made in the past seven years. No attempts to violate any PayPal policies have ever been made. PayPal says they “do not have an obligation to make the reasons for their decision public”. In other words, PayPal can destroy a business and the livelihood of two hard-working adults and refuse to provide any details of why they did it.
Even while we continued to seek answers from PayPal, the reality of the situation settled in and we knew we had to roll-up our sleeves and move on. We had to learn what life after PayPal and eBay could and would be.
Fortunately, in the early summer of 2019, we had decided to develop an independent web store as a means to reduce our dependency on eBay. By the end of October, the store was nearing completion. We had to secure a credit card processing company and the store lacked products. Both of those tasks were tackled soon after we realized the PayPal issue could not be quickly resolved.
AW Sex Products opened for business November 10 and we received our first order November 11. The store opened with about 100 different products. Eventually, the store will offer over 3000 different products. Not a day goes by that we are not stocking the shelves of our web store. It is exciting to see the new store grow.
There have been many sad moments over the past thirty days as we deal with this unexpected event. The challenges are great and seemingly never ending. Yet, it is exciting to learn new skills as we build and stock the store. It is certainly exciting when orders come in.
We know there is life after PayPal and eBay. We are just not exactly sure how long it will take to recover from our sadness and financial loss. Until that time, we focus on the positive and keep putting one foot ahead of the other.