EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 268 - August 08, 2010 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 7

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor

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In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From shipping to feedback, from fees to payment services, AuctionBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views. Send your letter to the editor by emailing ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line. (Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear.)

Visit the Letters to the Editor Blog, here are links to letters published from July 26 to present:

eBay Sellers Slack Off Off-eBay (August 07, 2010) - Link to letter

eBay Testing Item Specifics in Search Results (August 05, 2010) - Link to letter

PayPal Only Allows Full Refunds in Some Cases (August 4, 2010) - Link to letter

Creating New eBay Accounts after Suspension Can Be Done (August 3, 2010) - Link to letter

Amazon Postage vs. PayPal MultiOrder Shipping (August 3, 2010) - Link to letter

Collection of Articles about Online Fakes (August 1, 2010) - Link to letter

Sellers Beware of Free Shipping Error on eBay (July 29, 2010) - Link to letter

Challenges of Building Own Website for Small Seller (July 28, 2010) - Link to letter

eBay Tools for Tracking Keywords (July 27, 2010) - Link to letter

eBay Testing New Watch List Options? (July 26, 2010) - Link to letter

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Ina -
I read your online publications and have a story suggestion for you, primarily since I haven't been able to find out any information on this topic.

Topic: Now that eBay AdCommerce no longer accepts ads from eBay sellers for their eBay products, how can we place pay-per-click ads on eBay for our off-ebay sites?

See this interesting thread on Seller Central:

I have called the phone number here and left messages, but to no avail. It appears that some sellers are being given the opportunity to use the former eBay AdCommerce to now direct users to off-eBay sites. My experience with eBay AdCommerce was very successful and I would very much like to now direct buyers to my off-eBay site. But I can't find out any information about how to accomplish this.

I think many of your readers would like to know the answer as much as I would!
Susan

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Ina,
I've been selling on eBay USA for 10 years. Their site penalizes sellers for buyer mistakes. Buyer makes a purchase by mistake, seller lets the buyer out of the purchase using eBay's Mutual Withdrawal functionality. Buyer leaves seller "neutral" feedback saying "Mutual Withdrawal". Seller account is now penalized. No money has exchanged hands yet "unknown" buyers can put sellers out of business.

eBay's infrastructure design is poisoning good intentioned sellers; policies allowing buyers to impact seller accounts when no money exchanges hands like the one described above must be eliminated. eBay needs to continuously remove contamination on its site.
Dan

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Ina,
I really enjoy your AuctionBytes newsletter. I found this site about PayPal, you probably know about it but in case you don't you might like to have a look. http://paypalwarning.com/ It is probably just a front for the merchant services listed and endorsed but it is interesting. Loads of wonderfully bad horror stories that fuel the flames of discontent....lol.
Thanks for all the good (and bad) news!!
Steve

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Ina,
Do you know why it is that Canadian's cannot sell books on Half.com? Do you know if Canadians will EVER be able to sell books on Half.com?!
Regards,
Lesley

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Good Morning Ina -
Thank you for running my last letter highlighting the "Please take a look at this Topic with over 5,000 posts on the Seller Central Board" - Letter titled: "Sellers Report eBay Sales Are Flat-Lining" (link to letter).

We are now at over 7,000 posts, picking up additional posters everyday as they look for reasons why their sales have fallen off a cliff, nothing has changed, actually getting worse for many.

All pretty much have the same story, started March 30, 2010 when Ebay made the changes and all store listings were dumped into the core search.

The thread goes off target once in a while in the heat of peoples frustration, but always comes back to the point that sales have Flat lined.

I find it ironic that this article was put out by Ebay http://www.ebayinc.com/profile/ebay_foundation and talks about how Ebay works to alleviate poverty and support economic development, yet at the same time, is causing the disruptive destruction of thousands of sellers businesses on their own site and these people - sellers, are now sinking into the poverty levels, food stamps, welfare, loosing their homes, health care, and no where to go - I'm talking Americans - I challenge Ebay to BRING IT BACK HOME and help build us back up again - bring the site back to what its good name was at one time - Help the economy here, if you don't, your destruction will come, too.

Some will say move on, but that is not always possible for everyone, not everyone is computer/Internet savvy and this is/was thee Big Auction House - Make it great again!
Thank for listening,
Lynne

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I don't know if many eBay sellers have been reporting similar problems but more and more I am finding that the sales records in "My eBay" display completely the wrong information.

My concern is that how can we trust that eBay is correctly charging us when there are so many glitches like this. I don't have time to check hundreds of transactions every month as I am sure most sellers to now. (1) Buyer purchased an item for $32.50, shipping was $14.00, total $46.50 which is what the buyer paid me.

(2) But when I look in My eBay for this transaction, in my sales list eBay displays a total for this transaction of $93.00 (See screen shot 1, the top item in the list, a bit small but you should be able to make out )

(3) Then when I go to View the sales record it displays a different total again of $60.50 (See Screen shot 2) Shipping shows as $28.00 !! - completely incorrect, the shipping is set to $14.00 as paid by buyer)

I can't show eBay anomalies like this as when you speak to customer support they will not accept emails with attachments so you can only verbally tell them the problem.

Obviously please treat these emails in confidence as customer personal details are on the sales record but I thought you might be interested in seeing an example of this kind of thing.
Kind Regards.

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Hi Ina,
Got a letter this morning from eBay to leave buyer feedback for an item I sell and they showed me the item and its item number. Have they flipped their lid? It's supposed to get sent to the BUYER!

I've copied and pasted the message. Nice how they automatically assume that sellers get low points on their DSR's rating in the areas of "item as described" and less than perfect in "shipping charges". By the way, those DSR's scores below are NOT mine! Mine are MUCH BETTER than that! Where do they get them? Pull them out of a hat?

Another thing. I have a facebook page to promote my eBay items and you'd look and look on Google and nowhere to be found. But the other day, I went to Bing and Yahoo search and was shocked to see my Etsy store that has been empty for 2 yrs for lack of sales and it's on the FIRST PAGE about 8 listings down! I will be loading that store up today!
Susan

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Hi Ina,
We knew that eBay intended to cancel the AdCommerce accounts of eBay sellers. But take a look at the way they chose to do it!

Of course, the only "misleading targeting" in my ad campaigns, which have all been running for many months or even years, is that I am an eBay seller. Have you ever seen a company that treated its paying customers with such disdain?
N.

Dear (name withheld)
We wanted to inform you that after review we have decided to deactivate one or more of your Campaigns in your AdCommerce account due to misleading targeting. Please refer to the Ad Creation Guidelines and Advertising Policies for guidance. This means that your ad will no longer be displayed in relation to those keywords or categories. For your reference, these categories are marked as "Inactive (Terms Violation)" in your Dashboard.

Thank you for your help in making AdCommerce a better and more relevant place to shop.
Sincerely,
The AdCommerce Team

Followup letter:

Hi Ina,
eBay says "Never Mind" We didn't cut you off because you are a bad customer. We cut you because you are a no longer valued customer.
N.

Dear (name withheld)
Earlier today you received an email alerting you that one or more of your AdCommerce campaigns have been deactivated due to misleading targeting.

Please disregard this email. It was sent out in error through our automated system. We apologize for the inconvenience. There is no further action required on your part regarding this communication.

As you may have heard through our communication earlier this month, AdCommerce has beem discontinued for eBay.com and eBay.ca as of yesterday, August 4, 2010 in order to deliver the most relevant listings from sellers providing the best prices and service are highlighted in the search results.

If you would like more information on this specific change to the AdCommerce program, please see our blog: http://www.adcommerceblog.com/en/?p=532.
As always, thank you for selling on eBay.
Sincerely,
The eBay AdCommerce Team


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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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