EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 157 - December 18, 2005 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 7

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters from Readers

In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From feedback to payment services, from increased fees to posting policies, AuctionBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.

Hi Ina!
Something's been on my mind recently, and your most recent newsletter brought it out.

Ebay's fees are noted quite frequently, but I don't hear enough mention about PayPal's, which for me are higher. My sales are about 90% vinyl LP records, and at least half of them go to non-US buyers. PayPal really socks it to me for overseas sales and, as you know, they don't allow you to "outwardly" charge the buyer for their fees to the Seller. Since they won't present you with any kind of "conversion rate charge" listing, you have to guesstimate what the overall fee is going to be. Hands-down, PayPal fees generally turn out to be at least twice what ebay's are. If a PayPal fee increase is on the horizon, I (and I suspect many other small time sellers) will bid a hearty sayonara to PayPal.

PayPal is used increasingly by my buyers and I'd hate to discourage or inconvenience them by accepting only checks and money orders and BidPay, but another round of fee increases will simply be too much for guys like myself.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Holidays!!!

PS: It's not so much that PayPal is charging fees that tend to be a little, shall we say, obscured to some extent, it's that they are charging not only for the item sold, but also for the postage and insurance as well.


Re: Sellers Raise Concerns over New eBay Shipping Features

Dear Ina,
eBay tells us, "The Get It Fast feature highlights items that can be turned around quickly by sellers and sent via overnight delivery methods." Then why does eBay publicize estimates of transit times for slower and unguaranteed delivery methods?

Why do transit times appear on all listings and not just those of sellers who choose to commit to rapid shipping and overnight delivery?

"eBay changed the feature from "Shipping Delivery Date" (which was based on shipping and handling times) to "Service Transit Time," and they added the words "as soon as" to the Get It Fast date."

How are shoppers given confidence to purchase by ambiguous coined terms like "Service Transit time" and "Domestic Handling Time?" What do they mean? Of what value is it for a shopper to read that he MIGHT get his widget "as soon as" the Get It Fast date?

If the purpose of the Get It Fast feature is to extend the holiday buying season, will it be eliminated in January? I don't think so.

Many irresponsible sellers currently list starting prices of 1 cent with patently inflated shipping charges. These same sellers charge for Priority Mail and ship Parcel Post. These same sellers will have NO qualms about listing one-day "Domestic Handling Time" and overnight "Service Transit Time." It matters not to them if a customer never comes back, or leaves a negative. They can always find more naive buyers on eBay.

The result will be even more bitterly disappointed buyers and wider perception that eBay is an unreliable source of time-sensitive purchases. eBay made an ill-conceived and presumptuous change that was made worse by committee-speak like "Domestic Handling Time." This interference in sellers' terms of service decisions should be reversed immediately.


I sure hope Bill Harris had nothing to do with the E-Bay Tool Bar. I find it interesting that a tool that was designed for Security was written to ONLY install and run on the Most Un secure and Never to be Secure Browser.

I also find it hard to believe that Big Internet Companies like E-Bay and Yahoo gust cannot get the point that over 80% of internet users have win95,98,ME as there OS. These users either will never have the resources to upgrade their OS or are smart enough to know if they do Keeping their INFO in will be 1000% harder than keeping bugs of any kind Out!

PC mag among others gave Yahoos new Beta Mail great reviews. Guess what, They Missed a Big problem. It will only work if you are running win2000 or winXP. Darn I wounder Why?

Yahoo also has a great mail upgrade for $19.99 per year. I along with 10s of 100s had to wait for Yahoo to re-write the code so all the bells and whistles worked on Browsers Other Than IE from Hell.

About 3 weeks ago I sign on to Yahoo and jumped for joy. I had what basicly was Word as my mail program. I could change fonts, font size, color back ground color or use wall paper.

Well I along with 1000s of us that had been waiting , paid the $19.99 so we could keep the above.

Guess what, LOL, Yahoo, a week after 1000s had signed up for Plus mail, BLOCKED ALL BROWSERS EXCEPT "IE" .

One other point is that 99% of Online Companies- Web Sites have Not been told about or do not care is that Microsoft has made it very clear that IE will Only Be Supported for win2000 and winXP in the very near future.

The Internet is now Big Business. What would Googles Stock be worth a day after they announced that Only computers running win2000 or winXP would be able to access Google on xx-xx-06, or that everyone Had to use Windows Media Player to listen to Music, like Sirius Radio has. They lost me business!

I sure would be nice if someone, anyone had the gutts to report and keep reporting to the world that any Web Page, Internet Service or company that requires the use of M$ IE, WMP, any form of OUTLOOK and a few other M$ programs, do so for ONE Reason.


Have a Great Holiday and Better New Year


Hi Ina,
I am a faithful reader! Thanks for all of the great information that y'all provide!

I am wondering if you have any articles or insight on how the new ProStores are going over at eBay? I checked the archives and did not see too much written about them.


Do you have a conversion tracking software that you would recommend? A program that will track sales from the search engines naturally, paid search engines, banner advertising, other advertising on niche websites.


Good afternoon,
Don't know if you have heard anything about this, so I thought I would send you an email.

Past couple of weeks the chatboards on Ebay have been real slow, causing double post or postings being lost forever. Also it has been a very slow process to even access the boards.

Several userids have contacted live help and have been told that they were unaware of any problems. Now they are instructing users to clear their cache and cookies, also to access Ebay through and not use a bookmark. This has been going on all chat boards and seems that not that many users would have the same issue at the same time. Checkout the pottery board for some of the examples.

Maybe Ebay doesn't realize there is a problem, or they are changing something that has caused this situation to occur.

Anyways thought I would let you know. Love your site which offers a lot of information and is user friendly.
Happy Holiday,


I loved your section: Looking for Life Beyond eBay. Have you seen any auction sites for crafters/sewing/quilting?
Thanks for your time.


It really amazes me that ebay is still as popular as it is despite all the problems and fee hikes of late... Guess those sellers are more patient than I am....

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