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EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
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Sat Mar 31 2012 08:44:03

eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Dear Ina,
This was the craziest phone call to eBay I just had to share it. Been selling for many, many  years. Performance is above standard, policy compliance is high, account is current, etc.

I have limits on my account of how much I can list plus every time I log in a screen pops up that I am below performance standards. I called eBay (big mistake) to ask that this screen be removed and my limits possibly be removed also.

The first customer service person I spoke with reviewed my account and said my account is in great standing and there is no reason limits should be there or performance screens should be coming up. When I requested they be removed she said she had to transfer me to another dept. for review.

When I got to that dept. that is where the craziness began. The customer service person began by telling me that my account is in excellent standing and my performance is above standard. She also informed me that there is no performance screen popping up on my account (I must be imagining this).

She then aggressively went on to say that we needed to "talk about" my account and what I was planning to do with it in order to remove any listing limits. She said she wanted to know where I get my merchandise and what type of seller I am.

I asked her what she meant by "where do I get my merchandise?" She said "Are you selling things that are just lying around your house?, Are you buying to resell?, Are you selling your own personal items?, Are you buying from a distributor to resell?"

I asked why she needed to know and she responded that she wants to know where my items come from and we needed to discuss my account further.

I was feeling very defensive at that moment but decided not to let her know it because I don't know what she was going to do to my account.  I told her these are things of my own (not true and really none of her business). She said again that she and I needed to "discuss" my account and what I was going to do with it.

I told her I wanted to talk about the listing limits and she responded to say that there is a listing limit on every single person on eBay whether it is shown or not. Now, of course I know that is not true. I have more than one account and there is not a limit on the rest of the accounts but again, I did not tell her that I have more than one account.

She repeated that every single seller on eBay has a listing limit and mine could be raised but never removed. She said some may not be shown but they are there. I told her to "never mind" and just to leave my account the way it is.

I eventually hung up on this nonsense call. I have had some crazymaking calls to eBay but this one takes the prize of all time.
Thank you,
JoAnn

Note from the Editor: We asked eBay if it is telling its reps to ask sellers where they source their merchandise, and if so, what eBay is doing with the information, we are awaiting a response.

Reading EcommerceBytes Letters Blog: eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
Comments (25) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: EssexEstateServices This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Mar 31 09:33:34 2012
I had EXACTLY the same conversation with eBay 6 months ago. They put such rediculously low limits on my account that I was hitting them in the first week of the month. In addition, they started holding my Paypal funds for, at times, 30 days.

The conversation was "we need to know what you are selling and how much you plan on selling so that we can adjust limits."

Just another way for eBay to tell me how to run my business. We got our limits raised but to a level that wasn't near what we needed.The end result was that we focused our sales efforts on other venues and have eBay as a less significant venue going forward.  
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Mar 31 10:29:54 2012
I usually sell collectibles, but when my sister gave me  some of her designer purses and suits to sell, I suddenly got a pop-up that said I had reached my limit and had to wait a month.
This was after listing only  4-5 bags.

At the time I thought it might be because of fraud in that area, but I now think  in order to get the  large sellers onto the site, eBay promised them that they would limit their competition.

I am one small seller, but combined with the other small sellers we can be a real threat to the big merchants.
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: florida33549 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sat Mar 31 15:10:29 2012
Sounds like things are just as goofy over there as usual.  Why the small sellers stays is beyond me.
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: SusanT This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sat Mar 31 15:33:30 2012
I agree it is none of their business where you get your inventory. Your inventory source is a business secret. I have heard of this kind of behavior on Amazon and never imagined it would happen on the bay. Guess they want to micro manage sellers yet again. Just seems to me that they have motive to this sneaky questioning.  
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sat Mar 31 18:48:26 2012
Unless eBay expects someone to admit that everything they sell has been shoplifted or swiped from the loading dock... what LEGITIMATE reason would they have for wanting this information?

eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Mar 31 20:52:45 2012
''but I now think  in order to get the  large sellers onto the site, eBay promised them that they would limit their competition''

BINGO!

eBay doesnt want or need you (or me). We are the pain that they experience daily. They prefer that we werent here.

They court the large dealers and PROMISE them there wont be competition.

They did it with me and Skullcandy. Skullcandy honestly believes that NO ONE has the right to sell THIER items on eBay. If you as a small seller dont leave - they use VERO (eBay leg breakers) to MC019 yo untill your account is in poor standing so they can kick you off OR until you say ''uncle'' and leave on your own.

Say it aint so? Sony, Denon and others do it as well DAILY.

I've quoted the lines by Noah Hershman 50 times here, yet NO ONE pays attention. They want the large dealers ONLY. They dont want to be known as ''that auction site''.

Just wait until they add a tag ''authorized'' & ''not authorized'' ... its comming and its comming SOON (again it was in the same TWICE article. That distinction further removes small sellers - they become persona non grata, and they loose sales to the ''authorized'' sellers.

eBay isnt afraid of anything except 1) loosing money 2) loosing face and since small sellers cant do either to them - they operate with impunity.

eBay - its not your business what people do! Stop meddling in business thats NOT yours.

Wouldnt you know it ... all of a sudden ''you have a NEW business partner ...eBay!''
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: kilogirl78 This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Apr 1 02:00:05 2012
Everytime I call Ebay, they ask me where I'm getting my items. One rep said my listing limits were based on where I am getting my items from.

I got a survey a few days ago with questions about how I feel about Ebay holding my payments and do I understand its to help me build my business. Hah! How does holding money so I can't buy more inventory help me?  I get that holding my money means you get to collect some interest on it. I predict that we'll be seeing some accounting scandal in ebay's future.  

And I am so tired of looking on the daily deal and seeing SKULL CANDY.  Ebay, I get that you are so proud that Skull Candy sells on your site, but please give us something else on daily deals.  
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: fadedglitter This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sun Apr 1 07:45:58 2012
thats why i left ebay for good! started my own website and have been making LOTS of sales on ETSY!! ETSY gets tons of traffic and no stupid best match like ebay!!
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
This user has validated their user name. by: basset
       
Sun Apr 1 11:35:35 2012
If eBay asks where I get my inventory of pre-owned clothing, I'm ready:

1) collect leftover clothing thrown at popular performing artists - minus the undies
2) provide collection service at beach for men who want to go shirtless & get too burnt to put the shirt back on.
3) follow people home from the book store after they purchase "de-clutter" books & offer to get them off to a good start.
3) provide valet service at local nudist camp
4) have donation drop box in parking lot for "help the poor eBay seller"

You too may be asked to fess up on your sources. Like a good scout - Be prepared!
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Apr 1 11:56:40 2012
@ Basset

Very funny!!
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: tb This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Apr 1 12:05:27 2012
I think it IS true that everyone has set limits. One time when eBay was running one of their free 50,000 item listings promotions, I read the fine print and it said "50,000 or up to your allowable account maximum.". Not knowing what my maximum was, and fearing that if I listed 10,000 items, I wouldn't get the discount, I called eBay and they told me my limit was 26,000 listings. I asked where I would find this information, and she sent me to a place that just plain didn't exist. So who know what's going on over there?
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: GrandmaJoey This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Apr 1 17:19:53 2012
Yes, I've been asked the same thing.  I feign ignorance and give them chirpy little answers that don't really tell them anything.  You can get around the limits by having more than one account, but that's a royal pain.  And while I no longer have holds on any of my accounts, the long holds on MY money were infuriating.  If they ARE going to hold funds, why can't they release them once positive feedback has been left?  
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Apr 1 21:44:12 2012
While I have never been asked by ebay where I get my items, I guarantee you that it is true about seller limits. I have been selling for almost 13 years and only in the last year and a half have I run into this road block.

The first time I was stopped from listing more items, it took me days to get through to a rep who would even discuss it with me.

The company line I was given was that the limits are to protect buyers....naturally. I don't sell in suspect categories like electronics and designer goods where I can see the sense of limiting new sellers simply because of all the hit and run fraud.

I'm a 12 year seller in the antique/collectable/glass,china,pottery area - powerseller as well and have no compliance issues so I could not understand why my "monthly" limit (which was a secret to me) was so low.  It took me a week to get it raised by a whopping $500.

Turns out that the problem was not really with the dollar limit at all, but the number of items I had listed. If I put a set of china in my store, it may only be 7 or 8 listings, but each one may have a quantity of 10 so each piece counts, not each listing. Stemware, dinnerware, flatware with multiple quantities add up fast.

I have had to get the limits raised twice more since I discovered this rather hidden ebay policy. It is a giant PITA, but one more thing we have to deal with.

There are times when I have to delete items from my store in order to list new stuff, wait till enough items sell before I add items back.

It is all a game to ebay - they toy with us, use us, and will discard us when it suits them.  If  ebay is a major part of your business, and for many of us it is unfortunately still a necessary evil, you just have to learn to deal with it.
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Apr 1 22:02:42 2012
If you want to see what your limit is, go to your myebay, summary, sell, all selling and you will see your monthly report and your limits.
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: yesterdaygirls This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 3 00:01:48 2012
I do believe that virtually every account has listing limits.  A few years ago after having posted 20,000 items a year for at least 7 or 8 years out of the blue my account was limited to 3k listings a month. It took a couple of phone calls to up the quantity...which i believe i requested to be at 10k listings a month...way above what i might list and ebay agreed...no such hassle (of course many other different ones) since.  YG
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: dmg61 This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 3 07:18:55 2012
I'm getting ready to leave eBay by June. They just notified me my power seller status was in danger (big WOO). I'm moving over to ETSY. They HELP Sellers there. FREE video seminars. I've also found none of the questionable buyers there (eliminated through low priced items too). But I never did many auctions, either, so this is fine with me. If eBay asks me where I got stuff, I can always tell them: dead parent, curbside shopping, generous men...but nothing from their Chinese darlings....
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
       Web Site
Tue Apr 3 09:19:48 2012
@sickandtired
>>>myebay, summary, sell, all selling and you will see your monthly report and your limits.

I can't find this report for my limits.  Is this a TRS thing?
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: bacpro This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Tue Apr 3 11:15:13 2012
I've been on ebay for 12 years as a small vendor and enjoyed the experience but as time goes by it's getting very difficult to stay, recently I reduced my listing from 300 to about 80 and going to eventually lower that. Three years ago I went to Bonanza but still after 3 years it still a lousy place for traffic.Recently I listed some software on Bonanza and I was shocked that they removed it claiming it was reported by software company's. They just assumed it was pirated or fake. I am Considering due to the slow traffic from Bonanza closing my booth. Man, it sure is getting hard to sell on these websites.
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
by: Just My Humble View This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 3 13:07:16 2012
@Nan - not a TRS thing. I cannot find limits, either. I only find performance statistics there.
eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory   eBay Grills Seller on Source of Inventory
This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
       Web Site
Tue Apr 3 17:09:33 2012
@JustMHV  Thx for checking. The only thing I can think of is that the 'Monthly Selling Limits' module only activates when the seller has a limit placed on their listing.



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