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AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Mon Jan 21 2008 20:23:33

eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels

By: Ina Steiner
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There have been issues affecting eBay sellers' ability to print labels through PayPal. I received one letter on Sunday that demonstrates the friction glitches can cause between sellers and their buyers, particularly when there's no documentation of a problem:

There is an issue affecting sellers who use UPS shipping through their Paypal account. Many folks, myself included, are unable to print UPS labels and get only an error message "PayPal Shipping is not available. We apologize for the inconvenience". I would like to stress that the most frustrating part of this technical issue is that neither Paypal or Ebay has posted this issue to their system announcements board. When a buyer asks why their shipment is delayed sellers have no official bulletin to reference and the buyer must be thinking that it's just an excuse the seller has fabricated.

Included with this were links to 3 threads:

First, started December 13, 2007, in the Technical Issues board.

Second, started January 10, 2008, in the PayPal board.

Third, started December 8, 2007 in the Packaging & Shipping board.

I also received a letter on Sunday from a seller of bullion who says it's almost impossible to use PayPal shipping labels for non-PayPal funded transactions.

Dear Ina,

Here is a software glitch that has been going on for many months. I won't bore you by recounting my many attempts to address it.

I am a seller of bullion. High price, low margin. I successfully talk most buyers into not using PP (really effective when PP is not an option).

Here is the glitch. I quickly clear the buyers check, go to print shipping label using PP shipping only to be told that my ebay and PP accounts are not linked. If it were just a matter of hitting the link button in PP, that would be the end of it. Too bad said button fails to stay green once that page is left.

OK, I will detail some tries to resolve. Nine emails to PP, zero responses. 5 phone calls, some claimed to write a tech report, others nicely claimed I was computer illiterate, and one rep suggested I use another shipping service like USPS.com. Discussed with power-seller rep. He replied that he has heard of this before and feels bad but has no influence to report (come to thing of it, he has no influence in just about any matter discussed.)

I would have switched to USPS.com however, their minimum service is Priority Mail. If I make $2 on a silver bar and charge $2 to ship, using Priority Mail Flat envelope at $4,60 it doesn't take a Harvard MBA to see the result.

This glitch is using IE 7.0. If using FireFox, I have a workaround that works most of the time so I will share it here.

Open ebay page to print shipping link - Open second PP page and turn on shipping link button - dash back to ebay page and hit ship button. Works most of the time.

Final thoughts. Ironically, this issue first appeared last year when ebay was pushing and promoting using PP shipping with a big prize.

Conspiracy theory is that this is not fixed to discourage sellers taking payments other than PP.

eBay posted an announcement about the problem on Monday at 11 am, and pronounced it fixed an hour later. Feel free your comments on eBay's handling of the problem.




Comments (28) | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: ElPhantasmoBlanco
       
Mon Jan 21 23:37:06 2008
Not sure what people here are trying. For all my non-paypal stuff, I go into PP Merchant services, then ''Multi-Order Shipping''. You can import or create, I usually create. Don't use UPS, but I know all USPS shipping methods are here including media. Worked fine for me this afternoon.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Millie
       
Tue Jan 22 03:52:13 2008
Canadian sellers have this problem too. I get around it by buying an item from myself.. something really low price and using that repeatedly to ship for 3 months. Once it falls into the black hole.. I repeat the process.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Fred
       
Tue Jan 22 08:02:17 2008
I have had similer problems but I am also when UPS is saying pending I always get charged twice. I have decided not to ship bigger items due to this. Paypal will not respond to e-mails and when you talk to someone(w/limited English) they say there is no problem I would love to see if it is just me. Thanks Auction Bytes we love you.
Fred
fredmjparker
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Janet
       
Tue Jan 22 08:11:03 2008
I run into not being able to print my USPS with pay pal alot, it charges my account, but states it is not available at this time.  Go into view the details on this purchase, and down below it gives me the option to reprint my label, which I do with no problem. You have to be careful when reprinting the label, once I was double charge for 4 labels, which was very costly on my part. I have called Pay Pal on this and got no where also.  They act like they have never heard of this problem before.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Lisa
       
Tue Jan 22 09:14:28 2008
I have used the USPS site for First Class mail all the time. You just stick it in the mailbox as they have to pick up your First Class.  You will not beable to ask for a pick up as the lowest package you can have is Priority Mail-so they don't know they are actually picking up a First Class large envelope. My mailman asked me why he wasn't getting any 'pick up' slips on these. I told him that the site doesn't allow for me to do First Class stuff. He asked if I could start sending Priority as he would get a pay hike at the end of the year for the amount of packages picked up.  I told him, buyers don't want to pay that amount anymore.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Lisa
       
Tue Jan 22 09:19:56 2008
BTW If Paypal gives me a problem, that's when I go to the USPS site. When I have called Paypal for the charge of a failed label, they tell me it's the USPS site fault.  I get tired of talking to them and I end up eating the loss. Does anyone know if Google has a labeling area?  I haven't checked them out yet.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: april whittaker
       
Tue Jan 22 09:43:13 2008
This does not surprise me in the slightest.

For years now, I've written to PayPal support, posted on eBay's bulletin boards, asked for help, even offered help on work-arounds and other issues with printing for eBay's ever-growing Apple Macintosh computer users.

For years now, eBay and PayPal have turned a deaf ear.

I had to come up with my own work around to even be able to print Domestic US, USPS labels using my Mac browsers etc. Unfortunately, I have been unable to come up with any work arounds for printing INTERNATIONAL USPS labels. I get an error message and then my browser freezes up.

Again, I have written and voiced my opinion on the matter several times over the past two or three years. I have other Mac-heads contact me for help when they read the posts I have left on message boards. Of course I don't mind helping as I know how frustrating this is, but really, this is not my responsibility.

I feel this issue should not be such a headache. After all, I just want to give them my business you know? What ever 'help' I have ever been given felt more like a slap in the face. I got the, ''Oh she must be computer illiterate or just plain stupid'' feel from their so-called tech support. Why eBay and PayPal ignore SO many of their customer's well voiced needs is beyond me. It's almost as if they are completely oblivious or just really do not give a flip about resolving known issues.

I do love selling on eBay and using PayPal, but sometimes these companies make me want to pull my hair out. It's ridiculous really.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Jeff
       
Tue Jan 22 10:05:27 2008
There has been an ongoing problem with printing UPS labels for months. The label prints in the center of the 2-up label sheet, half of it on each label. I reported this to Paypal in November and it still isn't fixed. I finally reported it to UPS and they were very concerned. Last night I went to print a UPS label from Paypal only to get the message that my account wasn't linked to eBay. When I followed the instructions to relink it, I find it is already linked to eBay. Another stupid error, and it still doesn't work. I eventually just went to UPS.com and printed the label there.
Paypal took two weeks to answer my report, and with a canned reply telling me to print on plain paper and use the clear pouches. USP responded to my report within hours and put me in contact with a supervisor. Although it still is not fixed, you can see a clear difference in these companies.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: DAJ
       
Wed Jan 23 01:51:10 2008
PayPal uses Pitney Bowes for their shipping program for USPS. I have not had a problem w/either the labels nor the customs forms. Security software can cause a problem. The firewall settings, the url whitelist, the banner allow or not, safe site list all have to be taken care of in order for you to get & print the labels. Then there is also the Explorer defaults that have to be set. Maybe you have Google popups blocked? so unblock. Haven't printed a UPS label in a long time cause I use DHL which I like very much. Hope I have helped - been shipping for over 7 yrs.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: gcarr
       
Wed Jan 23 11:07:35 2008
My original problem, failure of PP to allow shiippig of ebay items not paid for with PP has (for now) been fixed. Yesterday I di 25 lables for customers paying by check and all worked.
I am sure your blog got PP's attention
Thanks Ina!
G Carr
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Gary
       
Wed Jan 23 19:42:33 2008
We fixed our paypal shipping problems a long time ago. We use Endicia/Dazzle and have never looked back. Endicia has awesome customer service and solid solutions for multi channel shipping.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Ray
       
Sat Feb 23 10:30:21 2008
This is still a problem as of February 23rd, 2008. I have not been able to use the system for about a week. It is unbelievable that this issue has continued for such a long time without resolution. This affects literally millions of transactions and users. I have sent out e-mails to newspapers, but I have not seen a story anywhere. How can we get this is issue noticed soit gets national attention? Based on all my support calls to eBay/PayPal, they only want to dance around the issue.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Jon
       
Mon Mar 31 10:50:59 2008
It is still happening. It's really hit or miss with the labeling..Ive tried multiple browsers, but as of 72 hours ago, i tried 10x...and same we're sorry error.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Raju
       
Fri Apr 11 08:19:45 2008
We're experiencing this exact issue. We couldn't print the shipping label during any time of the day. Initially i tried to print it at 9pm, and the error was raised i thought may be part of site is under maintenance, but its happening any time of the day. this is frustrating..
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Tim Sakach
       
Mon Jul 21 14:41:26 2008
This problem still exists as of July 3, 2008. After purchasing an item on ebay, the shipping address was correct in the end of sale confirmation sent by ebay, it was also correct in the paypal send payment form, as well as in my account information.

However, Paypal sent the wrong address to the seller, and the item was subsequently returned to the seller by the US postal service.

Paypal is dragging their feet on sending a refund for the original item plus shipping.

After this experience, I am certainly not going to make any more purchases through Paypal.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Paul M
       
Fri Oct 3 00:41:38 2008
After months of pain the PROBLEM IS SOLVED.  I was having the common Paypal crash while trying to print labels and tried everything to fix it.. reloading printer software, installing Firefox, Emails to Paypal and USPS, with no luck.  I have an HP computer running XP with a Cannon printer that needs an install disc.  I switched to a HP printer that was a plug and play.  I have printed hundreds of labels with no problems since.  After talking to a techie friend, He said that choosing a printer that is listed on XP's auto install list will work better than externally installed software from a disc.  
Hope this helps, Paul
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Jack
       
Mon Dec 8 20:53:46 2008
I've been having the ''Paypal Shipping Not Available,Sorry....'' problem for over a year now. It worked one day and not the next. I've called a few times, the latest person I spoke with was, I think, in India. He said he knew of no problem like this and he would make a note of it in my account. I kept repeating my problem thinking he may have misunderstood. I've had to open a paid account with stamps.com....Paypal gets their cut and we get the shaft, they don't care at all...someone will eventually get mad enuf to sue them, I bet
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: shon
       
Sun Dec 28 23:04:06 2008
My problem is a little different I think. I have an HP photosmart printer and all it will let me print is the page that the shipping labels are on, It won't let me print the actual label, and HP wants to charge me to have access to the customer service, to get the problem resolved.   I called paypal and they said it was a printer preference problem but they couldn't help me.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Morningstar
       
Sat Jan 10 22:52:08 2009
There has to be a technician, that can
narrow down what the root cause of this problem is with some conviction. I think that is does have something to do with printer's and settings...but that doesn't explain current events. I have been through this twice. The ''fix'' WAS using Mozilla Firefox as a default browser. Definitely try it! HOWEVER, I recently had to replace my printer, and the''fix'' nolonger works...oddly, not on the old printer anylonger either; not since the new printer driver was installed.
There is one thing, I would have liked to have known....does everyone use an HP printer? Those who write in to make yourselves feel good, by stating ''they don't have a problem'', so the rest
must all be fools...if you are so smart make yourself useful, and contribute something relevant.
eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels   eBay Problems with PayPal Shipping Labels
by: Dawg047
       
Fri Jan 30 00:07:18 2009
I am having problems with printing labels. It prints the sample but no matter what I click it still prints the sample. I just voided the label and will no longer use this service. Paypal is no longer good in my books. Nor is ebay. Maybe for buying but selling is a farst.
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