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Sun Apr 15 2012 21:38:20

eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sellers

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Dear Ina,
Re: No more emails in Offer/Counter Offer messages.

eBay is slowly removing ways to communicate directly with the buyer. They just took it one step further.

I just got a pop up saying I was not allowed to include an email in a message in a counter offer asking the buyer to email me for more details about the item. The paranoia and control continues.
Best,
K.

Reading EcommerceBytes Letters Blog: eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sellers
Comments (18) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: NullApps This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Apr 16 02:18:16 2012
If you are negotiating back and forth on a price for a product I don't blame eBay for telling you that you can't give them an email address to discuss it further.  Why can't you just message them through eBay with the details?
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY
       
Mon Apr 16 10:35:18 2012
To send photos for primarily.  I would also prefer to talk to buyers on the phone rather than exchange lengthy emails, but they try to stifle that as well.
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 16 10:39:39 2012
They have a problem with paranoia.  
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Mon Apr 16 13:41:42 2012
Steevo correctly observes: ''They have a problem with paranoia.''

Indeed they do, Steevo! And I'd guess that their paranoia is justified. These days, although eBay does their best to limit, censor, and filter direct communication... the Sellers will ultimately find a way to steer sales AWAY from eBay.

Even if the initial ''first contact'' sale ends up being on eBay... it many cases, the follow-up and repeat sales will happen OFF-eBay.

eBay's paranoia is SO obvious... and so EMBARRASSINGLY PETTY. Their priorities are completely backward, and all of their efforts to squelch and filter and monitor communication with buyers will ultimately backfire.

By doing these things, eBay is merely responding to a symptom... but NOT addressing the root cause of why it is that so many sellers are determined to take sales (and future sales) OFF-EBAY.

As eBay continues to become a more hostile, and more expensive venue... and as their policies continue to become more confusing, needlessly complex and tedious, and undoubtedly ANTI-SELLER... it's NO WONDER that so many sellers want to take their customers elsewhere to complete the transaction!!

Back in the day, I was SO PROUD to be an eBay seller. I was loyal to a fault... and when given the opportunity to take a sale ''off-eBay'' I'd always decline. ~ I lost count of how many buyers would send me a message asking if I could ''invoice-them-directly''... but I wouldn't do it.

Now? I positively JUMP AT THE OPPORTUNITY whenever a customer asks. Or I'll just direct them to my web store as an alternative.

So, yes... eBay's paranoia is justified. The things that eBay wants to prevent from happening ARE INDEED HAPPENING. It's just that there's very little that eBay can do to effectively put an end to it.

Whatever short-term benefit eBay might realize (ie: a *SINGLE* sale that takes place on eBay is saved)... the LONG TERM effect will always be a negative one for eBay. The more they try, the more it REINFORCES and AMPLIFIES the overall negative perception that everyone has of eBay... and the more creative we sellers become at being able to use eBay as little more than a ''signpost'' to bring the buyers directly to us.

eBay uses me... I'll use eBay. Quid pro quo.
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 16 17:29:26 2012
Sales are slow in a lot of areas on Ebay - overall I don't think they are doing very well....hence the paranoia on possibly losing a sale here and there.
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Mon Apr 16 18:23:03 2012
BTW... I routinely include my email address and web site address in my communication with buyers.

eBay's primitive filtering will catch only the most obvious and flagrant attempts to include email and web addresses.

The easy solution is to simply mix things up a little bit... and do NOT use the standard email or web address formats, and the information goes right through.

This gets filtered: www.annieswebstore.com
This gets through: www dot annieswebstore [.] com
This gets through: 3-w's + ''dot'' + ''annieswebstore'' + ''dotcom''
I think this works too: www*annieswebstore*com

This gets filtered: annie@annieswebstore.net
This gets through: annie (at-sign) annieswebstore [dot] net

Some customers my be totally baffled with the cryptic talk... some may not visit at all. Others can easily piece together the ''puzzle'' and will head right over to your site... or they'll email you right away.
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: cupcakesalicious This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 16 22:59:48 2012
So when I go to print a shipping label and leave a message in the message box for the buyer, is that considered communicating?
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: adrian44 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Apr 16 23:24:16 2012
It's almost like eBay is practicing to become a communist! Again, I don't understand how you sellers can put up with their day after day of carp! Thank God I got out before it got too bad! Especially those who are only making a little extra money. If you are making a living from eBay I can understand a little bit. However, I had a job one time that the stress was driving me crazy. When it started to affect my family you can bet I found another job!  
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: Tracktronics This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Tue Apr 17 00:19:02 2012
I always follow eBay's  rules by the letter, but I have been concerned about where they are driving the sellers. Yesterday I noticed that I am no longer allowed to thank the customers for their positive feedback. This has been something that has worked for me for many years, it's a polite way to gently remind them to come back and visit, and hopefully buy more. I have always gotten about 30% return from doing that. Yesterday I noticed that the option has being removed. Sales continue to drop on my eBay store even though I pay Google to advertize my eBay store, and I advertize in trade magazines, plus all the traffic from goolge+, twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you would think they love this, it only makes more money for eBay. So why block simple ways to increase the sales on the site? Things that make you say Hmmm??  :o)  
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus
       
Tue Apr 17 05:37:44 2012
Wow, you're just noticing this? For the last three months eBay has been just deleteing any email or urls in private messages.

One of my product lines, domain names, requires the buyer's email address and their GoDaddy ID to transfer ownerership. A buyer of mine and I went through several miscommunications before were realized eBay was removing his email address from communication

F-Great. In that case, eBay was preventing necessary communication between myself and the buyer. Of course I was thinking the buyer was being a wise guy but both of us were extremely ticked when we figured out the miscommunication was eBay's fault.

eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus
       
Tue Apr 17 05:45:35 2012
@Tracktronics - If you're spending money or time to drive traffic to your eBay store, I just have to tell you, you're making a huge mistake.

Why not direct that traffic towards youw own site and offer an option to buy on eBay if the buyer wants to???

That's how I run my site and guess what? Only 5% of my site visitors click to the eBay option.

I make more money from people who have been banned, scammed on eBay or limited by Preypal, etc.

On my site, 99% of the buyers use my BOA merchant account  credit card checkout. 1% opt for Prepyal.

Beside, when you pay Feebay for listing fees, THEY are responsible for driving traffic to your listing.  
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: msquezal This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 17 07:02:13 2012
A few weeks ago i messaged a seller though eBay to ask if i could pay for an item she had up for auction with a money order. She said yes and was very easy to work with. I was thrilled with my purchase and decided that i would like to buy more often from her, but since i am no longer selling on eBay i have no money in my PayPal account (and refuse to use it anymore) i asked her if i had to ask in advance every time i wanted to bid and pay that way. I suggested that since eBay has the new "no communication"rule and she was a TRS i did not want to hurt her DSR ratings by emailing her to ask for permission. I sent her my personal email address, but when she went to send me hers it was censored. Talk about angry! She was livid!
I sent her an email just telling her to put the address in with the package when she shipped me my next purchase. All sellers have an opportunity to help themselves by adding this information along with a thank you note for purchases in all packages they ship.
You could include a business card with your name, mailing address, phone number, email address or web site information and let the customer know that you welcome any communications from them. Nothing eBay can do about that!
Problem solved. :)
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: Will This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 17 10:57:27 2012
I used to think that eBay was somewhat justified in limiting contact between buyer and seller, since they deserve to get their cut.

But when eBay began placing the affiliate links on the pages - taking customers away from the site - "all bets were off".

Now I will do whatever it takes to make the sale - if eBay loses the cut, too bad so sad.
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: bacpro This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Tue Apr 17 11:59:57 2012
Don't make it difficult to communicate with your customer, just included you email address like this joeblow at gmail or what ever. ebay will never catch it.
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 17 12:42:57 2012
For quite some time  had a template that was unuseable.  I was told --no matter what I changed or removed---that I had an EMAIL ADDRESS on the page.  I did not have any such thing!

It took me quite a while to discover that I HAD used the @ sign for something completely DIFFERENT than an email addy---and THAT was what the problem was!  

Soooo---I know nothing about programming---but they are not paying the Best and the Brightest at ebay.
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: Ed This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Apr 17 19:30:23 2012
This is really crazy! I had a CSR tell me to have my buyer open a Photo Bucket account so they could place some pictures of an item they bought a year ago so our service department could help them order a part to fix it when we ask for pictures to help him. The buyer was suppose to give us his Login and password.

The CSR told me the reason was that some seller are emailing buyer with out their approval. I was send the buyer our email address not requesting their email address.

We ended up telling the buyer to ask ebay if they could help them fix their item.

Its a sad day when a buyer can't send you a picture of a broken item and has to pay the shipping for a return.

Why have any DSR for communication when ebay ties our hands in back of our back, gets the buyer upset and then asks them if they were happy.

!!!!!!!!!!!??????
 
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: justpassinthru This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Apr 18 04:28:39 2012
''The CSR told me the reason was that some seller are emailing buyer with out their approval.''

Ebay management uses that smoke screen over and over again.  Any time you hear Ebay blah-blahing about a new policy designed to help out the buyer, reach your hand around behind your back and find the knife that's lodged there.

Ebay management's favorite formula is to first conduct a survey rigged to guarantee statistics to half ass support whatever act of seller abuse they have in mind.  They then brandish those bogus statistics to their CSR's to make the CSR's feel warm and fuzzy when they carry out the Hoe's business-killing dictates.
eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel   eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sel
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Apr 22 12:49:47 2012
>Steevo correctly observes: ''They have a problem with paranoia.''

>Indeed they do, Steevo! And I'd guess that their paranoia is justified.
>
There's quite a bit of potential liability for sellers in every ebay sale today.  Used to be sales were a happy thing.  Now, you might sell something and have the buyer give you negative FB or low DSRs which might cost you thousands of dollars in ebay fees.  The money you made on the sale is so much lower than the extra ebay fees you will pay for the next year it would have been better to just throw that item out.

The more sales you can divert from ebay the better since sales completed though ebay are so much worse, at least potentially.

If you can keep them outside ebay you have no liability.  

That makes much more sense to me.  

Why ebay would foster a system that results in sales through ebay being so potentially negaive for the seller I cannot imagine.  It sounds insane, doesn't it?  But it's what we got.  

We just lost our TRS and a couple weeks later lost our powerseller because of low shipping and handling dsrs.  This is after over 13 years and millions of dollars in sales.  

If I had been able to divert even 2 or three of those sales to outside ebay that wouldn't have happened.  

We generally use the ebay shipping calculator and sell big heavy items, and we sometimes lose money on shipping.  

Even that is not enough! It's a very weird system we are being forced into.  

The buyers are so much worse, so uppity and so much less nice than they used to be.  10 years ago we used to remark that everyone was so *nice*.  

I hate to say it but the interlocking FB was what made that happen.  Made people want to work things out.  

Now that is gone and we have buyers that we mostly dread hearing from!  Weird!  


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