Introducing Escrow Services to United Baristas Marketplace

Making buying and selling even safer as we grow

We always working to improve our services, just like many baristas are always working to lift their coffee quality.

The New Escrow Service

Buyer and seller protection

Today we have introduced a new escrow service for transactions on United Baristas Marketplace.

As the marketplace has grown in size and volume, the degrees of separation between buyer and seller have also increased. There may be six degrees, or less, of separation between you and Kevin Bacon, but that’s not sufficient to build trust and ensure security when you find out he’s wants to buy your item, especially if it is a higher priced item such as an espresso machine.

There are, apparently less than six degrees of separation between everyone on the planet and actor Kevin Bacon. But we needed a more robust system for United Baristas Marketplace as we continue to grow. Image: Gage Skidmore.

How the escrow service works

When the buyer pays, they can use pretty much any debit or credit card, the funds are taken and held in an account managed by our payments processor Stripe. When the buyer receives the items, they mark the transaction as completed, and the funds are released to the seller. If the buyer fails to mark the transaction as complete, the funds are automatically released to the seller after 30 days.

Roll Out

Register to use the escrow service

To use the escrow service sellers need to update their account details to include their bank account details. Simply:

  • Go to Profile > Settings
  • Select ‘Payments’
  • Add your bank account details
An example of the bank account details set up.

The buyers’ experience

Buyers will see a buy button on your listings, with the Visa, Mastercard and Amex logos along with powered by Stripe.

The buy button for payments which will be processed using the escrow service.

Once they click buy, they enter their shipping and payment details and the transaction is processed.

Escrow fees

There is an additional cost incurred by United Baristas to offer this service which we need to pass on to our users.

We have introduced the escrow service at 2% of the transactions value, or £1, whichever is the greater. We will review these fees periodically to ensure that we are covering our costs. These fees a significantly cheaper than transaction fees currently incurred by our users for receiving funds with PayPal. We encourage all users to transfer to the new system as soon as practicable.

PayPal will be depreciated in due course

Until recently, all payments were processed via PayPal.

Sellers required (and still do) a verified PayPal account. We understand that PayPal verification has been a more cumbersome process that some users would like, and we want to reassure them that the new escrow system with Stripe is much easier. It’s also more robust.

PayPal offers buyers and sellers various protections, but these differ between personal and business accounts.

PayPal has been a useful stepping stone for building the marketplace, but the combination of a) not all users having verified PayPal accounts, and b) United Baristas not being able to make more clear buyer and seller protection statements because of the peculiarities of their system means that we are no longer recommending using PayPal when buying and selling on United Baristas.

United Baristas recommends all sellers transition to the new escrow system as soon as possible.

The PayPal payment option will remain in place for a transition period, but users should expect us to depreciate this option in the foreseeable future.

Buying options over the transition period

Please note that the buy button appears on all listings, regardless of whether Stripe, PayPal, or neither payment option has been set up.

  • Stripe payments benefit from the new escrow service.
  • PayPal payments will continue to be processed, but do not benefit from the United Baristas escrow service. Buyer and seller protections and obligations remain in place as part of the respective PayPal user agreements.
  • If a seller has both Stripe and PayPal payment details entered, the buyer has an option of payment processor — but we encourage them to use Stripe.
  • If no payment details have been entered by the seller, the buyer can contact the seller for payment advice. Payments made off the United Baristas Marketplace platform are not recommended and do not benefit from the escrow service.

The journey continues

We are delighted that so many baristas find the marketplace useful and want to thank you for being involved with United Baristas. We have updated the marketplace’s terms to reflect the new payment processes. And if you have any questions, please let us know.

Update your details now

https://marketplace.unitedbaristas.com