EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 264 - June 06, 2010 - ISSN 1528-6703     8 of 8

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor

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

Send your letter to the editor by emailing with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line. (Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear.)


I used to have the number 2 or 3 slot in the most watched item on the ebay pulse for 3 years. Well last week I noticed my auction stopped showing up in the pulse section on the ebay top 10. I called my account manager and he said ebay was discontinuing the pulse. Have you heard anything on this?


Hello Ina,
I came across your website and have enjoyed reading the posts. Great source of info! I am curious as to whether you have written about the high volume of fake flash drives being sold on eBay. We are an eBay power seller and have been bringing this to eBay's attention for quite some time. Unfortunately, eBay has not addressed the problem. The core issue is that eBay is being flooded by Asian sellers who are selling counterfeit flash drives (the majority of flash drives on eBay are fake). Ebay rewards these sellers by giving them top Best Match positions (the Best Match algorithm is obviously weighted toward price). This encourages more counterfeit listings and the cycle continues.

Curious as to your whether you have seen any posts on this matter.
Best regards,


Re: ebay policy on payments accepted

To the Editor:
I wonder if you have ever queried eBay on this subject. Their policy is that you aren't allowed to state in a listing that you accept checks or money orders but you are allowed to do so. You just can't say so.Of course we know the reason..... paypal fees.....

What about when potential buyers who use the "ask the seller a question" feature and ask a question like "Do you accept money orders?". Is there a rule that you aren't allowed to answer the question ? Are you not allowed to check the box which puts that Q&A on the listing page for everyone else to see ? I see nothing in their rule in this regard.

If you are allowed to answer that question and you are allowed to have that answer displayed on the listing page then isn't their rule just creating work for sellers having to answer these type of questions rather than just stating that you accept checks and money orders?

I'm doing some selling now after taking a long time off and almost all my listings get a question like that and I make the answer so everyone else viewing the listing can see it. Sure is unproductive...

I'm tempted to put in my listings "by eBay rule I am not allow to state whether I accept checks or money orders but that doesn't mean I don't". Think they would shut down that listing? Why ? I merely stated their rule...


Hi Ina,
I've been a huge fan of auctionbytes since I started selling on ebay when I was in college in 2002. You guys are the best!!

I'm wondering if you've come across an ebay listing tool that supports listing in multi variation format in bulk, and is less expensive than channeladvisor? Or a method of adding the same variations to different items in bulk?

We are poster sellers and custom framers. We began listing our poster inventory with an option to purchase the item unframed and also with several framing options. We've been listing in multi variation format through turbo lister one by one. I'm just looking for a way to do it much faster.
Thank you!


To The Editor:
Regarding the new Google algorithm- (Link)

I discovered this quite by accident about May24th- I have been making sure to use the new tracking code on any new listings and changing previous listings as I can.

My issue with Google is..why don't they let people know in advance about things like this?! If I missed it somehow I'll take back my exclamation point but I don't think I did- I just realized when picking up my tracking code to paste in my listings that it looked different. I even went to the "help" forum and asked about it but never received any reply from Google or other members.

I can only hope that it is a "quality improvement" because it has turned into one heck of a lot of work!

Monopolies are dangerous things- I am reminded every time I read receive and read your NewsFlash how glad I am that I got off eBay as a small business seller. Google is now just as bad in their capacity in my opinion.
Thanks for all you do.


Hi Ina,
In response to the "Survey Reveals Negative Impact of eBay Stores-in-Core Changes." (Link) My sales have been obliterated on Ebay. Are you hearing more of this? Is there any talk of reversing this policy?


Re: AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor - link

I had to open a case against a buyer today that did not pay. What I got in return from ebay was, my seller rating was down.

What incentive is there anymore to sell on ebay?


Hello Ina,
I was doing a little research on selling Magazine Subscriptions on Ebay - when I found a bit of a discrepancy about the policy directly on the Ebay website.

This link takes you to the "Magazine Subscription Policy" on Ebay:

Ebay states that Magazine Subscriptions are not allowed on Ebay.
Magazine subscriptions (which are considered presale items) aren't allowed to be sold on eBay because the first issue generally can't be delivered within 30 days of the purchase date due to the publisher's processing time.

I was researching this issue on Google and found the following page:

The page is direct endorsement to purchase Magazine Subscriptions through the Ebay marketplace. Its just another example of how one of Ebay's hands does not know what the other hand is doing.

Other information that I found off site from Ebay backs up the policy stating that Magazine Subscriptions are NOT allowed to be sold through the site.
Thanks again,


Re: USPS Will Help eBay Sellers in China Ship to U.S. - Link

This creates a very disturbing one sided situation and actually makes it easier for China sellers to perpetrate crimes using the the U.S. Mail. Fraud upon US citizens will increase:

You order from China, they could send you anything. They have proof of delivery so they are covered. But!, suppose what they send you is an empty package, broken, fake or not what you ordered? If you send it back to them (at a cost of $11.50 registered mail) odds are you may never be able through USPS to verify they got it so you are not covered.

The only options you can get on any shipment to China by USPS are certificate of mailing (means nothing to ebay or paypal), registered mail ($11.50) or pick up on demand. A China seller however gets in-process and proof of delivery.

If you contact the UNITED STATES post office in Washington DC as I have (not easy to do) regarding sending packages to China where you can verify delivery they will tell you they do not have any control of what happens when your package leaves the U.S. They will tell you to send it registered mail ($11.50) but there is no guarantee a paid USPS service on any package to China will be scanned, signed for, or make it through customs.

Yet the tri-lateral agreement with USPS, ebay and China allows Chinese imports coming into the U.S. to be treated as 1st class domestic mail.

I can tell you from personal experience it's not uncommon to mail a package to China by USPS registered mail and never have it show anything other than it departed the U.S.

eBay seems to have a knack for making agreements and getting by with things with the U.S. Government that other countries governments won't allow or agree to. Evidently the Chinese postal service is unable or unwilling to offer U.S. sellers the same ability to track their packages going to China as the U.S. allows China sellers to.


Re: USPS Will Help eBay Sellers in China Ship to U.S. - Link

What I don't get is with all the supposed small transactions going on where items are shipped from China to the USA they are getting around any inspections & consumer testing. The little 3 & 4 wheelers are not legal in the US but because they are shipped individually to the USA they skip customs & any testing or scrutiny for safety or any other regulations. You can see container loads of them grabbed in the ports by the US customs when they try to SNEAK them in, But being shipped in 1 at a time to an individual, they pass right through??
Thank You,

Not to ask another question, could eBay be pushing for Chinese sales so much & every purchase our currency leaves the borders, Does that get eBay any tax breaks as opposed to USA sales where the cash stays in the borders.


Well Ina, as of today eBay totally kicked me off the Powerseller status! No more invoice discounts for me. I have been on eBay for nine years......several buyers have left me 1's & 2's this week that dropped me clear out of any Powerseller discounts........figure that! Every time I ship I refund money not used on shipping costs and packing materials. I email buyers immediately after auctions, any questions are answered within several hours and my descriptions can not get anymore accurate.

I am so friggin' frustrated with eBay. Last year I paid PayPal & eBay over $75,000 and this is how I get treated.

I have signed up with Bonanzle, Ruby Lane, Ruby Plaze and Auctiva eCommerce. I am going to organize several new stores and eventually I am leaving eBay for good.
Thanks for listening.


Twice in a weekend ebay has decided NOT to deliver messages to members. I've got 2 customers who have told me they messaged me and they didn't hear back or I've messaged them and they didn't get it.

It is illegal for Ebay to intercept and drop the delivery of ebay messages to the mailboxes of members. Its a federal crime. Under no circumstances can ebay NOT deliver to the users email address. And that does not mean it can only go to the anonymous email address ebaywants to force us all to use


Why do eBay / PayPal no longer deal with issues via email? I cannot afford to give up my valuable time using a telephone (which appears to make life easier for them) to resolve issues. Especially during the day, or really, at any other time within a 24 hour period.

I mean, I'm paying THEM, not the other way around, right!
Please can you find out - thanks!


Hi Ina,
From the looks of things, the Buy acquisition (Link) will cost eBay their 5th highest worldwide seller.

What I have read so far seems to point to the desire of Rakuten to use the Buy acquisition as a foundation to build a new marketplace in the USA and Canada.

Losing their 5th highest volume seller will likely put tremendous pressure on eBay. I would imagine that this would also make a dent in PayPal profits as well given the volume of sales Buy generates.

It will be very interesting to see the implications for eBay, losing it's 5th highest volume seller and facing brand new competition is a swift one - two punch.

Sellers have been begging for an alternative to eBay and it looks like that alternative may be on the horizon.


To the Editor:
Just for fun. A while back I started having trouble getting some posts about eBay/PayPal past the Wall Street Journal's comments' filter. It took another poster to figure out why: the WSJ was auto-rejecting any comment containing the word "PayPal" with the response, "The language you used does not comply with community standards. Please re-enter."

It appears that even the WSJ accepts that the word "PayPal is an obscenity. How about that?
Phil Cohen

Also visit the Letters to the Editor Blog, here are links to letters published from May 17 to present:

Seller Sees Improving Experience on eBay (June 3, 2010) - Link to letter

eBay Eliminating Dedicated TSAM Account Managers (June 2, 2010) - Link to letter

Management Destroyed eBay's Value Proposition (May 31, 2010) - Link to Letter

Marketplace Seller Commits to Going Independent (May 30, 2010) - Link to Letter

Looking for eBay Blocked Bidder Lists (May 28, 2010) - Link to Letter

eBay Seller Files Complaint with NY Attorney General (May 27, 2010) - Link to letter

eBay Fails to Update Seller Performance Metric (May 24, 2010) - Link to letter

Another Casualty of eBay's April PowerSeller Changes (May 22, 2010) - Link to letter

Label-Printing Problem Drives eBay Seller to Distraction (May 21, 2010) - Link to letter

eBay's Blocked Bidders Are Going to Shop Elsewhere (May 21, 2010) - Link to letter

eBay Changes User Agreement (May 20, 2010) - Link to letter

What Are the Benefits of eBay Stores to Small Sellers (May 19, 2010) - Link to letter

eBay Seller Unable to Sort Good Til Cancelled Listings (May 17, 2010) - Link to letter

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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