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The feature, which provides details such as shipping and handling charges, tax and insurance, as well as a shipping address, drew harsh criticism from sellers who said it cluttered up their auction pages, made dealing with customers less personal and created confusion for winning bidders, not least because the Billpoint method payment, which some sellers do not use, was compulsory with Checkout.

The fervent opposition to the feature became evident when an online petition against Checkout drew more than 3500 postings on one of eBay’s discussion boards.

Those opposed to the original configuration of Checkout noted that there was no way to keep information about the program off their auction pages, even though Checkout was promoted as being optional.

Although the use of Checkout was optional, graphics for the program couldn’t be turned off. Now eBay has promised that sellers will be able to turn off the feature if they do not want to use it.