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EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
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Wed Nov 9 2011 15:53:16

Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping-Labels

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Note from the Editor: We've been receiving letters from sellers up set about eBay taking over shipping label processing from PayPal - see this October 27th letter, which includes a response from eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff. Today, we're printing two more letters about eBay's new practice.

Dear Ina,
I'm not sure if this has been covered by I realized this a few week ago. Recently, eBay started handling ALL the payments to the USPS for the postage labels. Before, when we printed the labels on ebay, WE paid the post office directly via paypal.

As a top rated seller, eBay is now offering 20% discount for priority postage.

That's when it hit me. eBay is getting A DISCOUNT for volume postage from the post office while they charge most sellers normal postage rates. That is why they decided to take it over. They pass on the discount to Top Rated Sellers only, pocketing the rest.

Ridiculous and immoral and should be illegal.
Food for thought.

********

To the Editor,
When processing an eBay order this morning I was surprised to find that PayPal is now forcing its shipping service through eBay. After processing the label I contacted PayPal and was informed that PayPal is in the process of transitioning all shipping over to eBay's system.

The change will allow eBay to report higher revenue volume levels when the transition completes and all shipping is eventually forced through eBay.

This is more of the same smoke and mirrors that is synonymous with eBay under its current mismanagement, and is part of eBay's ongoing deceptions aimed at impressing investors through revenue shifting as opposed to genuine sales growth.

As a seller this unannounced change is painful on several levels.

First, eBay permits buyers to rate sellers on communication as part of the DSR process, yet for some reason, eBay allows fewer characters for messaging buyers when processing labels than did PayPal.

The significantly smaller character limit in eBay shipping messages was a primary reason why we refused to use eBay shipping when it was first introduced. Shorter message space serves to significantly reduce the amount of information sellers can communicate to buyers as part of the shipping process.

The abbreviated communication space allotment illustrates how eBay intentionally imposes limits on the ability of sellers to communicate with buyers, thus reducing the effectiveness of seller to buyer messaging. This amounts to another restriction eBay imposes knowing full well that it can negatively impact seller ratings.

If eBay is going to force sellers to process labels through eBay shipping, then eBay's shipping flow should allow sellers to include a longer message to buyers that is equal to what sellers were able to send through PayPal and thus offer a consistent experience for both buyers and sellers.

Second, there is an obligatory glitch resulting from this change. After processing the label on eBay because I had no choice, PayPal did not automatically pick up the tracking information and it had to be manually inserted. This may not be a major concern for a single transaction, but with the holidays coming and sales expected to increase, the need to manually insert tracking information into PayPal will be extremely frustrating, painful and time consuming.

As usual, eBay's forced and unannounced change is obviously not fully tested and is not ready to perform as expected - nothing new there, sellers know full well eBay does not care how policy and system changes negatively impact the sellers efficiency.

Third, with PayPal shipping retired, as a multi platform seller we have zero interest in processing shipping labels through eBay for non eBay transactions.

In the past, we did not mind using PayPal to process labels for non eBay transactions (even though they are the same company), but the concept of eBay getting revenue flow out of non eBay transactions is a non starter.

As of today, we will remove PayPal as a payment option from our non eBay listings and will exclusively offer Google Checkout, checks, money orders etc..
 
Additionally, we are now looking at other shipping label services for all of our shipping needs both on and off eBay. We formerly processed 100% of our shipping labels through PayPal so we could keep our expenses all in one place to make bookkeeping easier. Since this edict from eBay/PayPal is forcing us to sign up for a third party shipping label service, then we might as well get our moneys worth and process both eBay and non eBay shipping labels through the new service provider.

By their actions, eBay has assured that neither eBay nor PayPal will benefit from the revenue volume generated by this seller with regard to shipping. PayPal will also now lose transactional revenue from our non eBay sales due to the company's attempts to shift revenues and deceive investors.

Sign me,
"Tired of being handcuffed by eBay and beaten with their stick"
 



Comments (42) | Permalink
Readers Comments

Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Sparklements
       
Wed Nov 9 16:27:01 2011
You end your letter saying you are ''Tired of being handcuffed by eBay and beaten with their stick''...but will you actually leave eBay, i.e. close your account and take up shop elsewhere? If not, then you are part of the problem.

What happened last weekend with the ''close your Bank of America account'' event is what needs to happen with eBay sellers like us, but unfortunately nobody is interested in joining me (note the snide comment my letter received).

There IS life after eBay.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Wed Nov 9 16:48:26 2011
If “PayPal is in the process of transitioning all shipping over to eBay’s system”, you would have to consider the possibility that eBay’s Chief Headless Turkey is thinking about an IPO for PreyPal as a stand alone “NOT a payments processor”, “NOT a supplier of credit”, or maybe even “NOT a bank”. But, who then can possibly imagine what delusions swirl about in the feeble mind of this congenital imbecile?

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: another side of the coin
       
Wed Nov 9 19:17:25 2011
Also Paypal would send a confirmation email with complete details including the buyer's email address, shipping address,tracking number and details of the eBay transaction.

With this change eBay just sends the tracking number and postage charge but NO, NOTHING, NOTTA of the buyer. In addition, if you are overcharged or there is an error, good luck in trying to figure this out.  
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Wed Nov 9 19:25:25 2011
Indeed they are pocketing the savings for everyone except top-rated sellers.

The folks who are not TRS should consider using any one of the other postage services. Personally, I use Stamps.com, and even though there's a monthly fee, I ship enough items that the discount in postage MORE than covers it.

The whole thing is kinda sleazy if you ask me (''but nobody asked you, Annie!'') and it suggests to me that eBay must be hurting if they are resorting to this type of sleight of hand, deception, trickery and SKIMMING!!

A nickel here and a dime there... I guess it adds up over time, but if they're (LITERALLY) counting pennies, then something isn't as rosy as they would have us believe.

Joanna Hoff's non-response in which she (intentionally?) avoided a direct response to a straightforward question is another clue to all this as well.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Nov 9 21:58:56 2011
Hi, I got news for you. you weren't paying the USPS directly, the email address was usps@paypal.com, it hasn't been paypal@usps.com for many years.

What they are doing is an accounting slight of hand, they are moving the funds from offbalance sheet (via Paypal) on to the books of ebay inc. Legal or not, that will grow their receipts. They are simply trying to give the appearance their dino site is still alive.

Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Rebootvintage
       
Thu Nov 10 02:34:03 2011
I have found that inkfrog's new shipping system works for me for eBay as well as non-eBay orders and the discount is the same as the PowerSeller discount that eBay gives.  Shipping labels print out on the same page as an invoice that you can customize.  I am going to try to go google checkout only on my etsy listings. I'm really bummed about what eBay is becoming. Those of you looking for a new shipping solution, check inkfrog.  
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Thu Nov 10 11:07:18 2011
We contacted eBay twice yesterday regarding the unannounced change. Customer service agents there could not have been more ambivalent, dismissive or condescending.

On the other hand, PayPal CSA's we spoke with completely understood our point of view, and were much more attentive, even stating that our concerns would be escalated to their supervisor. Escalation in and of itself does not mean a whole lot will happen unless they get a significant number of calls and complaints.

Sellers unhappy with this change should take the time and call PayPal.

John Donahoe has instilled a culture at eBay corp which goes something like this... If one person complains we don't care. If a hundred people complain it is nothing more than ''noise''. If thousands of people complain, take a survey, skew the result to justify the corporate position, and have a spokesperson release a statement. If tens of thousands complain, then there might be a problem.


I did a little research and find that thus far in 2011, we have spent over $2400 on shipping labels. Including postage increases, our spending on labels is up is up 22% over last year at about the same time.

While we are not a high volume seller, I am sure that any provider outside of eBay corp would be happy to have our $2400 dollars in  shipping business flowing through their accounts.


We have informed PayPal that if eBay corp does not reverse course and restore shipping to PayPal, we are going to sign up with a third party processor and take our label business away from eBay corp permanently.

We also pointed out that since the various other services PayPal for payments, it means we will be significantly reducing the amount of our average daily PayPal balances. Since there will be no shipping processed through PayPal, we will sweep our accounts biweekly, and will only maintain a balanace equal to the value of orders which have shipped in the last 14 days in our accounts.

Additionally, we will be removing PayPal as a payment option from our listings on all non eBay sites in favor of Google Checkout.


On a related note, given the financial problems the Postal Service is facing, it is a shame they do not offer First Class Parcel label printing on their web site. I would be happy to move my business from eBay directly to the USPS website, but since the majority of the parts I sell ship FCM, that is not an option.

Stamps.com, Endicia, Inkfrog.... one of these companies will likely end up getting my business before the holidays, as it appears that eBay's greed will once again supplant their ability to make reasonable, intelligent business decisions.

Mr Donahoe's recent comments regarding eBay's fourth quarter performance being disappointing seem to be a self fulfilling prophecy as eBay's boneheaded management finds yet another way to drive away business.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Tired of eBay's Bullsh*t This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Nov 10 13:55:16 2011
OP writes "As of today, we will remove PayPal as a payment option from our non eBay listings and will exclusively offer Google Checkout, checks, money orders etc.."

I am almost there too (though not over eBay/paypal shipping, since I ship direct with my own UPS account).

But, I am seriously considering removing Paypal as a payment option at my non-eBay store. Google Checkout is better, for a variety of reasons that I won't list here, since it would be a mighty long post to accurately cover the complexity.

For me, days are numbered for accepting Paypal. eBay/Paypal did this to themselves.

Too bad.

- Tired of eBay's Bullsh*t
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Scotty
       
Thu Nov 10 14:48:42 2011
I use endicia which is generally good....no major issues in 7+ years.....until 2 months ago.  Mysteriously, the automatic feed to ebay that updates the tracking info into the sales record, stopped working.  Long story short, I worked my way through multiple tiers of support at endicia up to their top ''engineer'' level.  Finally, after almost 3 weeks of this issue, I was told ebay is bullying endicia and had cut them off with regards to this feed pending resolution of an issue at the corporate level.  I was told, ebay wanted to bring it all in house and was starting to squeeze out third-party vendors, in this instance the postage part.  To say I raised a stink to get this functional again is an understatement (with endicia as ebay would not respond to either myself OR endicia).  Finally, it starting to work again so some deal must have been struck.  No doubt ebay is squeezing their vendors as well as they want to make $$$$ on every singe aspect of everything.  They truly have become ''the company store'' which tells you where to live and how much the rent is, which tools to buy at the company store, etc.  JD should have really lived about 125 years ago as his management style is from that era.  Methinks they will begin squeezing other vendors such as Auctiva, Vendio, etc. shortly.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Thu Nov 10 16:31:21 2011
Scotty tells us:  ''I was told ebay is bullying endicia and had cut them off with regards to this feed pending resolution of an issue at the corporate level''

So eBay's little p155ing contest with Endicia was at the expense of honest sellers who would likely be penalized because the shipping information was not uploaded in a timely manner. Buyers had no (or delayed) confirmation that their item had been shipped. Concerned or annoyed buyers... or buyers who feel neglected are more like to be less generous with their DSR scores, and MORE likely to complain.

Plus, lacking any proof of shipping or timely delivery, eBay's automatic system that overrides the shipping-speed DSR would not kick-in, thus exposing sellers to additional risk.

The picture is clear. It's an ugly and cynical philosophy. eBay wants to profit at EVERYONE'S expense, rather than creating an environment that allows eBay to profit *WHEN* everyone else is successful as well.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Thu Nov 10 16:47:35 2011
@Scotty,

And what does that tell us?

That everything eBay says or does is performed with smoke and mirrors, and invariably with the competence of a third-rate conjurer, for the sole purpose to deceive; the purpose of any new eBay feature, including those purloined from its third party “partners”, are implemented for no other reason than to try to desperately squeeze a few more pennies for eBay out of the much-abused eBay “small” sellers and trusting buyers. You can be sure of one thing, nothing eBay does has got anything to do with creating any direct benefit for eBay users, not even for shareholders …

Another “boost” for eBay users: 1000 free auction listings for one day with 24 hours notice thereof. This can't be to attract more of those unwashed, smelly, "flea market" people, surely? No, more likely it’s just the sweet smell of utter desperation emanating from the eBay executive suite ... or maybe its just a raccoon that has crawled under the building and died ... but I doubt it.

Donahoe: “e-commerce is dead and buried … Retailers now face a choice either get on board [eBay], or face losing out on sales.”

Absurd statements like this from this ex Bain & Co turkey simply reinforce the reek of utter desperation that undoubtedly now pervades the eBay executive suite.

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Thu Nov 10 17:20:38 2011
Obviously, John Donahoe has brought eBay into a bunker mentality.

Holding third party service providers hostage to his will... revenue shifting to make falsely make it appear eBay sales are growing... reneging on his word that changes would be announced in advance and would not take place in the 4th quarter... deceitful statements to analysts... all are acts of a desperate CEO looking to beg borrow or steal in order to prop up eBays stock value while ignoring the simple solution.

If this CEO was not so busy giving keynote speeches to any organization that will have him and simply concentrated in growing sales, none of these deceptive maneuvers would be necessary.

Millions of dollars a year are wasted paying this CEO who ignores the simplest solution to what is ailing eBay. Instead Donahoe devises schemes that continually drive away buyers and sellers and then he spends time wondering why sales are declining as he travels in eBays corporate jet to spew more misinformed propaganda.

Donahoe is captain of a sinking ship, and his only solution to the problem is to drill more holes in the hull hoping the water will flow out instead of in.

What a buffoon


Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Pelsinthard
       
Thu Nov 10 23:02:37 2011
If it ain't broke, they will break it for the right price. I may go to Ponderosa for awhile, and sell at a much lower fee. It was bad enough when feebay added  FVF fees to our shipping costs. I'm vexed. They are scuttling the boat, and I feel like a rat.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Bill
       
Thu Nov 10 23:18:56 2011
This is the way wall street scumbags do, they steal from the poor and give to the rich. Donahoe is just one of many jerks and low life's ruining our economy at the expense of those who need it most. It is however a house of cards which is starting to fall and you will see the cockroaches running and hiding when it does, the occupy movements have just begun, guys like jd will be living his life in hiding until he is caught and hopefully he will get to share a cell with a very loving bubba.


Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Jane Dough
       
Thu Nov 10 23:47:54 2011
Ho hum. If you MUST sell on the rip-off site, then print your shipping label via the USPS.com or another alternative, and charge it to your PP debit card, and make a tiny rebate. When is enough enough?
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Fri Nov 11 02:09:18 2011
@Jane Dough

What are you doing with that PP debit card? Won’t your prudentially regulated and FDIC insured real bank give you even a debit card? Why on Earth would you want to feed the parasitic PreyPal, the biggest piece of faceted glass in eBay’s “paste” crown?

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Jersey
       
Fri Nov 11 03:17:19 2011
Why buy milk when you have a cow unless you are to lazy to milk it? If you are going to ship USPS deal directly with them and cut out the middle man.

@Philip Cohen
The few people I know with paypal debit cards can't manage money. They are always broke.
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: genealogyimagesofhistory
       
Fri Nov 11 07:14:41 2011
EBay continues to demoralize good sellers. When I talk to EBay representatives, they always claim that they do not own paypal - just that some of the owners are the same. BS
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: IwAsWoNdErInG
       
Fri Nov 11 07:53:04 2011
Another Side of the Coin wrote: "Also Paypal would send a confirmation email with complete details including the buyer's email address, shipping address,tracking number and details of the eBay transaction. With this change eBay just sends the tracking number and postage charge but NO, NOTHING, NOTTA of the buyer. In addition, if you are overcharged or there is an error, good luck in trying to figure this out."

* * *
I've used eBay shipping ONCE and was disappointed to see the same thing. If they haven't improved this, I'll be purchasing my postage online at some other site (where??) or even go back to standing in line at the PO. Anything is better than helping feebay when they're not helping me!
Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping   Sellers Object to eBay Takeover of PayPal Shipping
by: Moonwishes
       Web Site
Fri Nov 11 10:54:58 2011
I just don't understand why so many of you allow yourselves to be held hostage by ebay and PP. Since neither of them are in the postage business, why not be using a venue like endicia for postage as it is their full focus. I've been using endicia for years with no problems. While I take PP on my ecrater site, it is only for the convenience of my customers so that they have a choice between PP and GCO. All postage is run through endicia and I send my own shipping notifications to my customers myself as I consider them a part of my marketing effort. Endicia has saved me tons of money over the years, just with the e/DC alone. When I went to endicia, none of the other postage venues offered FCM and since that is the majority of my outgoing sales, I needed that. I went with the venue that suited my needs and have not found any reason to leave them.

Their are options folks!
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