EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 154 - November 06, 2005 - ISSN 1528-6703     8 of 8

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters from Readers

Re: eBay Puts Competing Listings on Sellers' Closed-Item Pages

Below are links to two threads where sellers are discussing this issue. I'm a little surprised how little discussion this change has caused. Not sure but I suspect sellers have not yet grasped that it is happening and the possible negative effect on them.

Those sellers posting in the threads are certainly annoyed. The Opt-Out procedure is causing a lot of confusion

eBay Store Board thread:

OTWA thread:



While I understand the motivation that drives ebay, with so much more information coming out about the loopholes in Paypal (I suffered from one of those loopholes, but did not get burned, but there are many other times when I did suffer from Paypal loopholes that enables dishonest sellers to keep your money and not need to ship you items), more and more people are drifting from Paypal and finding alternate methods of payments.

Having said that, I cannot think it impossible that more and more people will take advantage of the loopholes within Paypal, and with no one responsible enough to really investigate ebay's claims of fraud, I can't help but think that these claims will increase over the next year. With more and more buyers getting frustrated with ebay's high fees and lack of service, and the point that was made about ebay's guidelines becoming stricter would tend to reinforce the belief that ebay is more than just a venue.

Now, taking all of that into consideration, is it unwise to think that ebay is driving away more sellers? Like, fraud runs rampant on ebay already, and ebay really is not taking any steps to manage said fraud, it just seems that ebay is driving away more and more people and "career" sellers are seeking out alternative selling venues. Further, many people want to see what is out there before selling, since ebay's problems are certainly not a secret among sellers.

Your take?


Re: eBay Compromises on Shipping Policy

Hello Ina,
I have about 360 books listed on - very convenient for the price, zero. Only cost is when the books sell.

Two weeks ago change their email exchange with sellers upon sales. We used to have to confirm that we had the book (or CD, DVD, or game - I only do books) - we no longer have that option - we are assumed to have the item in stock. I think that was a good change.

But with that change came two that were not so grand in my view. One was that Half no longer includes links to the "Item Sale" page in that "You Sold an Item" email. So it takes a few more steps to bring up "My Account", then "Sales" and finally plect to "Item Sale" page to get the detail of the sale.

Another one, of which other sellers have complained, and that (on its ebay forum) has promised to fix soon is that they have dropped a key datum from both that email and the "Item Sale" page. That datum is "Date placed in (Half) Inventory". I used that for two reasons - to differentiate multiple books of the same ISBN in my inventory, and to compile statistics in how aged my inventory is, and the "how long before typical sale" chart. Many sellers use "date in inventory" to mark boxes of books as they place them in inventory. With a few dozen or hundreds of such boxes so labeled, "date placed in inventory" is a critical item needed to find the book!

I wish ... I wish ... would include "date placed in inventory" in their great inventory list, that could-be wonderful CSV format file they will send a seller as often as once each day upon request.

I also wish that the pricing information gives me in that inventory file when I list books was trustworthy or useful. It isn't trustworthy to my experience, for I have bought books on and a few months later find that those books show a "$0.00" in the "Last sold" fields. I wish would give up some sales history to us small fishes ... like at least have ANY of that title sold, or have any sold in the past year. Without that I'm caught wondering if it is worthwhile to list some titles.

Thanks again for all you great work, yours is a wonderful newsletter!
Best regards,


Re: Auction Software FAQ: eBay Passwords and Third-Party Services

Hi Ina,
I was happy to see your coverage of the auth & auth. process by Andy Gelman. Given the significant customer confusion we are seeing on this, I think eBay users would greatly benefit from you further clarifying it in a couple of ways (suggested below).

The main issue is: because 3rd parties need to email users to renew their tokens, the email can look like a "phishing" email because it requires a somewhat bizarre set of actions of the user in order to renew their token, including logging into eBay from a link on the 3rd party. Making matters even tougher, eBay has no mention of this process anywhere on their site to clarify to users. So many find the email/process very "phishy" indeed.

Users are then hurt because if they delete the email without acting upon it, their token expires and they can't get the benefits of services.

I think your readers would greatly benefit if you provided more clarity here, if you agree:

  1. Further highlight that third parties have to contact users via EMAIL for this auth&auth process and clarify how to distinguish if such an email is legitimate, e.g.,
  2. the email should be from a 3rd party service that the user has already registered to work with
  3. user to needs to first go to the 3rd party website.
  4. user should be expected to click on a link within the 3rd party website that will direct them to the auth&auth process on eBay (this is required for eBay to know what third party is requiring the token)
  5. List this content & Andy's article at an easy URL for 3rd parties to reference to direct users there if they have questions.

An eBay-certified developer



I read nearly every word of every issue, and find a major problem in one area. The publication is enormously useful, and could be far so if one area were recognized and fixed.

That area is that nearly everything mentioned in Auctionbytes, and what brings this to mind is the Nabit article, you assume that 100% of your readers have and use Microsoft products and services, and especially software.

I read with huge interest and desire to try Nabit, but find after agreeing to the use terms and the features that it too is M$-ONLY software, with no prior warning.

Quite simply, David, not everyone uses Windows ... and the numbers of those who don't is growing, especially with the vastly improving instances of Linux available and compatible, and far less prone to all the bad things that happen to Windows users.

Linux has grown up, what with SimplyMEPIS, Linspire, Mandiva and several others that are actually easier to install and use than Windows and far cheaper ... as in FREE.

Simply recognizing we all ain't M$ devotees and reporting that everything you or your authors write about is useless to those of us enlightened with non-M$ products.

Thanks for listening.


Hi Ina,
Haven't written in a while, but this thread turned into a MOST interesting discussion about Paypal denying a customer the right to fund a payment with his credit card. It's something about risk assessment modeling...... It sort of surprised many of us.

With all the talk about google payments & ebay's new payment policies.... I thought you might find this thread interesting. The good stuff starts at about post 9 or 10.



Re: eBay Users Have PayPal Shipping-Label Problems

Don't know if you'll get this, but just quickly an idea. USPS website uses Acrobat and when the newest version was released there were problems with conversions. I believe it was Acrobat reader 7 and the fix was 7.1 or something. Anyway, all was well after I updated the fix.

You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to and either link to the original article or to
All other use is prohibited.