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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 309 - April 15, 2012 - ISSN 1528-6703     6 of 6

EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor

By Ina Steiner

April 15, 2012

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In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From shipping to payment services, from fees to online marketplace policies, EcommerceBytes 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" 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 April 1, 2012 to present:

eBay 12-Month Evaluation Period Too Long for DSRs, April 13, 2012

USPS Gives eBay China Sellers Competitive Advantage, April 11, 2012

eBay Android App Not Showing Seller's Other Items, April 10, 2012

Seller Gets 1099K from PayPal 9 Days Before Tax Deadline, April 7, 2012

PayPal Red Flag Warning Greets eBay Users, April 5, 2012

eBay Gives Preference to Diamond Sellers, Not TRS, April 4, 2012

eBay and Amazon Could Discourage Bad Buyer Behavior, April 3, 2012

eBay Sponsored Links on My Listing Page, April 1, 2012


Here is perhaps an interesting topic for discussion: eBay is like a runaway train. They have lost site of who is making money for them- small sellers. It shows in their flat sales while Amazon is growing 30% annually and passing them.

For example, eBay should have opened fulfillment centers years ago when they saw how well Amazon was doing with them. All they had to do was copy Amazon to compete and for some reason they have not.

It shows they are out of touch and don't know what they are doing.


Recently eBay has banned my selling account, because they say I have an account linked to mine.

I asked for more information on the account that I'm linked to and they reply with, it's against our policy to give out any information about that account, but yet they want me to somehow get in contact with this person and get them to fix their account before I can begin selling again.

Don't know where else to turn, please help.


I read your newsletters with interest, but find one thing very frustrating. Many people are complaining about how badly they are treated by eBay on this, that or the other thing, but most of the time they don't mention what category of goods they're selling.

It would be helpful to know this information. Maybe not the specifics, since folks might be paranoid they can be traced by eBay and retaliated against, but at least some broad category like "men's clothing", "women's accessories", or "collectibles" or "books" or whatever.

Having this information might enable us to discern trends in what eBay is doing. Thanks for thinking about this.


Hello Ina,
I've noticed that my AddThis Tweets are defaulting to a generic eBay promotion line rather than the actual one line description of my listed item. For example if I tweet my listed item "Mad Dog Souvenir Plates" via the AddThis add on, instead of "Mad Dog Souvenir Plates" showing up on the tweet, eBay substitutes the following generic tweet: "eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices."

In other words, if I wish to use AddThis to promote my wares as tweets, I have to copy and paste the item description, removing eBay's self promoting line. This began about 12 hours ago, after successfully using AddThis as a promotional vehicle for the previous two days.

As one of those struggling, non-TRS sellers who gets no visibility from eBay, I have to self promote. Now, eBay has made it that much more time consuming and painstaking to do so by rendering the benefits of AddThis unusable.

Of course, eBay has an embedded Tweet button but I just do not trust eBay enough to use this. Apparently, eBay is removing my freedom of choice in that matter. If I use AddThis to promote via Twitter on other auction sites such as Etsy and Bonanza, I have no such interference from the auction site.


"Expedited shipping and must be rec'd in 4 days??"

Well, I keep getting emails and notices and the good 'ol phone calls from eBay customer service, reminding me and suggesting I do free shipping and expedited shipping and upload tracking/delivery confirmation,...and I'm guaranteed 5 star on my DSR's.

Well first, I have always offered this on my 500 plus listings and ever since offered. I print every shipping label thru ebay/PayPal...but I have yet to get the 5 star rating...yes I a top seller good ratings...but I do everything they ask and still doesn't show.

So I did the unmentionable stupid thing this morning - I called customer service....yes, yes I know...just shoot me please.

Well, he explained and fixed the free shipping to 5 star, but on the expedited shipping I offer, and tracking uploaded, it figures it on if package is delivered and rec'd. in 4 days???????? Yes, unfair he said, but how it's figured, even if mailed on a weekend or holiday.

Now I have looked at the emails and newsletters they keep sending and seller dashboard, etc. Show me where it says offer expedited shipping and upload tracking, but it has to be rec'd. in 4 days..?? I can't find it.

And if I have to depend on post office getting it there in 4 days....then I cant win. As I said, just shoot me...


Is something wrong with mail delivery in the UK?

I send lots of small 2-3oz small padded envelopes to my UK buyers each week. Most are taking 3-5 weeks to arrive. (Some do arrive in 10 days or so). This slow delivery has caused numerous questions from the buyers as to lost package.

Two questions: Is there some issue in the UK?

Second: Why does the US tracking info only show acceptance at mailing PO and not tracking to foreign departure point (as it has in the recent past)?

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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