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.
Wed Dec 30 2015 11:31:14

Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

A rogue postal carrier dumped 3 bags of mail in the trash right before Christmas, making headlines and prompting one EcommerceBytes reader to ask, will eBay blame sellers for this too?

The New York City mail carrier is accused of stuffing 1,000 letters and packages into garbage bags because he was "overwhelmed" by the increase in mail, according to the New York Post which cited federal court documents. 

There are other reasons for undelivered packages - in 2014, the USPS Mail Recovery Center (MRC) received over 2 million parcels, books and media; over 85 million letters, flats and manuals; and over 4,000 military items, among other items that couldn't be delivered.

The center, which is the Postal Service's official lost and found department, opens packages in the hopes of finding address information that will allow the delivery or return of items valued at $25 or more.

But the Office of Inspector General found problems with the way the MRC handles the items and the way it handles customer inquiries. For instance, the Postal Service routinely tells customers to delay submitting search inquiries for lost packages for as many as 3 to 4 weeks, when the request should be made within 5 days of the mailing date for First Class mail. The MRC only retains items for a minimum of 30 days before sending items  to auction. 

We'll have more on this in this week's Newsflash, but one point I didn't know - there is threshold of $25 before the Postal Service will deliver or return items to customers (or send to auction). It's unclear how the MRC determines the value of items, but if your low-cost item ends up in the Postal lost-and-found department, it may be the USPS who dumps it in the trash.

Why are eBay sellers worried about such reports? The marketplace holds sellers responsible for fast delivery of orders, and unhappy customers can wreak havoc on a seller's reputation.

Rogue delivery drivers and mail carriers are not the norm - how did your packages fare this holiday season?



Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 30 12:19:46 2015

So far, so good. I have had a couple returns from Amazon buyers but that's about it. Of course for eBay, how can you have returns if you don't have any sales? LMAO I did however, have one disgruntled eBay customer because her FREE SHIPPING parcel took 4 days to arrive instead of 3! How can you complain about something that's free?

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 30 12:40:24 2015

Of course they will blame the seller for that. Ebay will tell you that you as the seller had full control over the delivery of your package. Its not their or the buyers fault if you shipped by USPS. You should have shipped by either FedEx or UPS.

How many times does one have to have this drilled into their head. Ebay accepts no responsibility for what carrier you use. Its your problem if it doesn't get delivered.

As for the question how did our packages fair this year. We closed our 5 stores the Sunday before Thanksgiving and have spent our time with family and friends and of course reading about all the perceived problems of all the sellers.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Dec 30 12:54:28 2015

I had 6 orders over the weekend, packed them up Sunday night.
Put them out for the carrier to pick on Monday, the carrier never came.
I took the packages to the Post Office on Tuesday morning and had them scanned as received.
Will eBay punish me for the post office not doing their job?

YES, and that's not fair. . .

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Dec 30 14:19:28 2015

Yes, according to the metrics this creates, they will.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 30 14:59:40 2015

I was the OP of this ... since as usual - Im the poster child for bashing eBay.

#1) Sasi is correct A) eBay takes no responsibility FOR ANYTHING - its all the bad mean nasty sellers fault. Didnt get your present? Sellers fault, lets ding him. Didnt get what you wanted? Sellers fault there too, ding him! Got what you wanted but are just an internet troll? eBay says DING HIM! B) she is also correct that sellers should have 3rd party insurance, since its unfair for people to pay for things and not receive them.

HOWEVER, how eBay handles this matter is the point of conjecture. eBay should give those effected sellers enough time to sort it all out and get a handle on the issue. Just to rush and dump on them isnt the right way to do business.

THANKFULLY (and Im in NY so anything is possible) I havent been/am not to the best of my knowledge have been effected by this issue.

Again - its all about how eBay management views sellers - when known problems exist and are not in a sellers control aka shipping metrics and the effect(s) on your account.

Creating a label and then not shipping for a week is one thing .... having issues beyond normal control is quite another.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 30 15:51:24 2015

Yes they will. When asked about a shipping issue outside seller control employees will read from the cue card in their FAQ database that says something to the effect of

"You are responsible for the loss because you hired the shipping company" as if there are actually choices.

Don't get me wrong here. I agree that as a seller it is your responsibility to deliver the item, but that doesn't mean the seller should be stuck with the defect or FB where the seller was not actually responsible.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Dec 30 19:21:31 2015

When the Postal Service miss routes a package causing delivery delays, and it can be seen in the tracking report that it is clearly the fault of the Postal service, who does eBay blame?  THIER SELLERS

When the carrier understaffed and was unable to complete Christmas deliveries on schedule who does eBay blame?  THEIR SELLERS

When blizzards or tropical storms, or flooding rains hit, closing roads, highways and airports while preventing carriers from moving packages per their normal schedules, who does eBay blame?  THEIR SELLERS

When those issues are published in newspapers and reported via national media, will eBay show sellers any consideration?  NO WAY

When the carriers computer network is down and scans are not updated, who 's reputation takes a hit?  THEIR SELLERS

eBay management wonders why sellers abandon their marketplace. Yet, not one over paid MBA on the management team considers for even a second that eBay's penchant for destroying their sellers reputations over issues which even a child can see is beyond the individuals ability to control is driving sellers to make eBay a secondary outlet or even abandon the marketplace entirely.

eBay investors need to hold management accountable for the issues which drive sellers from the marketplace on a daily basis, driving down volume and profitability.

Then again... if investors were to question management, we know they will say IT's ALL THE SELLERS FAULT.



Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 31 08:35:38 2015

So far my shipments via USPS whether "standard" [formerly parcel post] or "Priority" have all gotten there. Some delays, but most on or before scheduled delivery date.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Dec 31 21:55:36 2015

What happened to, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night...."? And how could this man not realize that what he was doing would adversely affect thousands of people (senders and recipients). I hope the prison time will make him less "overwhelmed."  

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: Charmers* This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sat Jan 2 09:23:52 2016

USPS has been a total disaster now for about 6 months. Items lost or take weeks to travel from west coast of Florida to East Coast of Florida (about a 3 hour car ride).
One package destined for Albuquerque, NM ended up in Portland, OR. --then finally weeks later made it to NM. These are only 2 of many now.  No wonder USPS is losing money.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 01:03:18 2016

No one ever covers the story about all the mail getting "lost" in customs. I've had REGISTERED packages from Europe get lost in NYC customs and NO ONE will ever help you trace something like that down. The post office says it's not their problem and the customs office won't talk to you on the phone or do anything to try and track down a lost package. I was basically told registered mail coming into the US is actually treated as First Class Mail once it hits the shores. In fact, my post office rarely asks for signatures on foreign registered mail being delivered. They just throw it in the mailbox with all our regular mail.  

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 01:15:33 2016

@Charmers I agree with you. Only it seems like it all started around March of 2015. Coast to coast used to be a very reliable 3 business days. Now it's 3 to 7 or so. Lots of misdirected packages for us.

The Priority Mail labels say 2 days, but we've found that to rarely be the case. When an Amazon customer orders 2 Day Expedited, I don't dare use USPS Priority as chances are slim it will make it.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 02:06:14 2016

I believe those under $25 items are bundled with like items for box lot auctions, not trashed.  

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 02:19:20 2016

USPS is losing money due to the onerous pre-funding pension plan that was mandated in 2006 and which plunged them into debt, not through regular operations. According to an NALC report in 1Q 2013, for example, they posted $100 million in profits but are bleeding money because of this ridiculous pre-funding.

Getting rid of this 2006 ruling and reverting to a more reasonable plan or shorter duration would make a huge difference. That ruling needs to be struck off the books to bring the USPS back to its former profitability and service, and why there is all of this panicky cut in services instead of a simple revision is beyond me. That's probably why I sell old stuff instead of being in politics. :-s

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Mon Jan 4 04:16:55 2016

This new scan/shipping metric is problematic to be sure.... Next month, we will have at least one account that will NOT be Top Rated because of USPS, even though we have a daily commercial pickup account, and even ship on SATURDAYS... Just another Brian Burke inspired "The Sellers are all evil" policy. I mean, who sits in a room and thinks up this crap??

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 05:08:35 2016

So far, since September -
1 - package was delivered to the next door neighbor.  Took the buyer 30 days to get the package and by accident, as she was visiting the neighbor and saw the books.
2 - first class package never got to buyer.  October.
3 - December - it took the PO 22 days to deliver a first class package.  Buyer got it after Xmas.

In each case, I was on the PO a** writing Washington, my Congressman, the local post office, anybody I could about those packages.

So considering, I guess I'm lucky that more wasn't mis-delivered.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 05:11:57 2016

One last comment - I foresee more and more postal workers going "postal" because of the amount of packages they have to carry.  AMZ is a big reason why package delivery has increased.  People don't want to go to the store or order online and have it delivered to store anymore.  If you have it delivered to store, more than likely (like Walmart) it's delivered via their trucks, not the USPO.
I often see postal workers with (50%+AMZ) packages and actually want to cry for them.  Our lobby is  filled with packages & boxes that have to be cataloged by the front office, and they are overwhelmed.  So please have some sympathy for these workers.  It's too much.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

by: annimae This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 10:23:45 2016

About 2 weeks before Christmas, I had put 2 pkgs in my rural mailbox to be picked up that day on my way to work. When I got off work and checked my mail box on the way home, the mailman had not only NOT taken my 2 pkgs, but had stuffed that day's mail in ON TOP of said pkgs (after shoving them back into the box), shut the door and put our flag down! How do you NOT notice that the box is already stuffed when you open the door??
So the first thing I did was go home and contact those 2 buyers that my guy had failed in his job that day and to expect a delay. That way, my butt was covered as far as any complaints went; then I reported this to the mailman's super the next morning when I took my pkgs in for mailing. At least now he checks before stuffing stuff in there! I KNOW they are overwhelmed at that time of year since he never made it before 4 or 4:30 every day until after Christmas, but that was uncalled for! There were also times when I wondered if he even made rounds on our street several times because we very seldom miss of day of junk mail! Not surprising! I sure do miss our former ''retired'' mail lady - had her for 20 years w/out mishap! She really spoiled us!

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Mon Jan 4 12:38:12 2016

A few years ago I had an interesting problem with a delivery.
I shipped a package from NJ to Oregon. The package was marked as undeliverable (missing Apartment Number) and returned to me (it took 9 weeks for the return as it was a media mail item).
The buyer was all upset explaining that 'everyone knows which apartment I live in'! Turns out this was a 10 story 220 apartment building (more than likely 500 to 1000 residents).

This is why packages are lost... So many people are set in their own world that they think everyone knows where they are or will spend the time to find them so they leave off important details on their address.

Perminate Link for Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?   Will eBay Blame Sellers for This Too, Seller Asks?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Mon Jan 4 12:44:01 2016

How about buyers who use abbreviations that they know but no one else knows?

100 CRH W24 S45
Was
100 Carl Roberts Heights, West Rt 24, Stop 45

(Note: no, it was not in Wisconsin, which has addresses that can look like that).

I had to email the customer since the postal software, me and my wife could not figure out the address (I know that package would have been lost).

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.