EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 274 - November 07, 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 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.)

Visit the Letters to the Editor blog, here are links to letters published from October 25th to present:

eBay Requires Automatic Payment Method for Seller Fees - Link to letter

eBay Allows Keyword Spamming of Vintage Style Items - Link to letter

Does Free Shipping Help Increase Sales off-eBay? - Link to letter

Amazon's Product-Page Changes Bad for Apparel Shoppers - Link to letter

eBay Adds to Delivery Confusion with New Holiday Countdown - Link to letter

Forged Stamps on eBay to Pollute Market - Link to letter

PayPal Not Sending Payment Notification Emails - Link to letter

eBay Protection May Not Work for Travelers - Link to letter

eBay Makes More Changes During Holiday Quiet Period - Link to letter


Wow. New info. Evidentally when you are logged onto your ebay and check to see if one of your auctions comes up in best match it does come up if you are logged in but it does NOT come up if you go to another computer! very bad.

Love what you do and keep up the good work.


Dear Ina,
I have often wondered why I have to pay paypal commission on shipping. Why is that? I do not profit in shipping.


Dear Ina,
I just wanted to write to you and see if anyone has given you a heads up regarding the new "revised" ask a seller links for buyers on ebay. They have now, in my opinion, kicked sellers to the curb again, with this change, by throwing buyers into a 3 ring circus in order to be able to ask sellers questions about their listings or items. This new change is going to have another detrimental effect on sellers, and we're afraid it is going to also effect sellers dsr's in the long run.

I wanted to give you a heads up on this, so you could investigate this if you hadn't heard. There was no announcement about this change.


Ina, Wonderful informative article on etsy and its growth and plans - link "Rob Kalin on Crafting Etsy's Next Move."


It seems that eBay "new" send a message to seller system doesn't work at all - it comes back with wrong verification code even if the code is correct (I tried many times) - please see screenshot here. Without ability to contact a seller, many buyers will simply go away.

It looks like a major problem and yet another major screw up (do they EVER test anything before they add it to the live site????) - I am pissed to say the least, because I buy antiques and frequently have condition related questions.


To the editor,
I am wondering if there are many PayPal debit card holders whom are experiencing the following problems that I have had happen in the past few months. On August 1, I found I could not withdraw any of my money from my PayPal account. Called them only to be told that my balance was zero. Upon getting an agent on the phone and looking at my computer screen at the same time, I found that someone had used my PayPal account and charged $998.00 worth of computer equipment from an online computer company.

There were also inquiries from another company that I did not recognize. The agent immediately canceled my PayPal debit card as he said that the purchase was on my debit card.

In trying to get further information regarding this charge, I was told that they couldn't give me any information such as names or delivery of the products, etc as this was "confidential information".

The next morning I contacted the company that sold the computer equipment and was told that they too would not release any information regarding the transaction as it was " confidential". When I spoke up and stated that it was my debit card and my information used to purchase something fraudulently, I was told that there was nothing they could do, that I should file a police report.

PayPal did reverse the charges after 2 days and placed the money back in my account. At the same time I noticed the second company had inquiries at my regular bank as well so I contacted them and had to cancel my credit cards and debit card with them as well. The bank told me the inquiries are normally used to see if you have an account and if there is any way to make a charge to your account. I called the second company and received the same story about confidential information, but I took it a step further and would not let the guy off of the phone. I threatened to sue his company, demanded to speak to his supervisor, etc.etc. and finally he gave me a name of the person who was trying to buy web services with my debit cards. I didn't recognize the name and I was told where as they sold web hosting services, they didn't have a physical address to this person.

On September 3, the same thing happened again. And October 26th once more. All computer items purchased on the web using my debit card information.

Upon closing my bank cards again this past week the bank manager made a comment that I have been thinking about. He said that PayPal has my bank information for back-up funding but the bank doesn't have my PayPal information, so it has to be through PayPal that this is happening. In thinking about it, PayPal does have all of this information.

I called PayPal and tried to discuss this with them but they became very defensive from the beginning. They said I had made the purchases-and I practically jumped through the phone to shake some sense into the agent on the other end of the phone.

Then he told me that PayPal is one of the safest places to keep your money. It is monitored like no other banking institute and that I must have let someone use my debit card or I gave it to a waitress, etc, etc.

None of this is true. I don't use my PayPal card to dine out, I didn't give my card to anyone. I did use it for taking money out of my PayPal account and I did use it to make purchases with. But I do that with my other cards too, and this just seems too coincidental that it has happened 3 times in 3 months. I am tired of finding my money disappearing and having to deal with PayPal on these issues, and I am tired of having to close out my bank account once a month to protect my families money from being wiped out. I have to have PayPal to sell on eBay and I need the PayPal debit card to withdraw my money.

Is anyone else experiencing something similar to this with their PayPal card? I sure would appreciate hearing what others might know about this issue.
Thanks for any help!


Ina, In regards to "eBay Flat Rate Undercharges Shipping on Multiple Quantities" - link, this just happened to me also. I called eBay & they blamed it on me for having it listed as calculated rather than flat rate & the price. I had it set at calculated & then flat rate in the drop down box which should be the same thing. He told me to change it to flat rate & put $10.70 in the box & $10.70 in each additional. I told him what if it happens again & he said to call back & we would look into it.

I am sure it will happen again, because either way it should have calculated it the same. Just thought I would let you know my results with the problem.


Has anybody had problems with the new "timesaving" photo uploading on e-Bay? Hardly timesaving. I have time to play and win at lease 1 game of solitaire while I wait for photos to upload! Another case of e-Bay fixing something that wasn't broken.


Hi Ina,
Received a robo call featuring the voice of Jim Griffith. The call was pitching the ten cent auction listing sale announced by eBay yesterday.

Is eBay so desperate that they need to first email sellers with announcements, post the announcements, then robo sellers too?

Ten cent listings for auctions may be a value price, but certainly not a great price, and it should be noted when the free auction listing promotion ran not too long ago, there were no phone calls supporting that promotion.

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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