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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 310 - May 06, 2012 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 7

EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor

By Ina Steiner

May 06, 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 15, 2012 to present:

Amazon Won't Speculate on AmazonSupply Geographic Expansion, May 2, 2012

eBay to Update Mobile App for Sellers Listing via the iPad, May 2, 2012

Etsy Seller's Sales Plummet in Wake of Wedding Category Changes, May 1, 2012

eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder, April 28, 2012

Feedback Changes Turned eBay from Fun to Fearful, April 25, 2012

Should Buyer Pay Return Shipping for eBay Seller's Mistake?, April 24, 2012

Seller Reports Delayed and Missing Funds with PayPal Sweeps, April 21, 2012

Do eBay Ads Hinder Mobile Shoppers?, April 19, 2012

Longtime eBay Seller Subject to PayPal Holds for Low Volume Sales, April 17, 2012

eBay Controls Communication Between Buyers and Sellers, April 15, 2012


Hi Ina,
eBay is starting to enforce a policy driven by the Motion Picture Industry - Link.

Sadly, no notice was issued by eBay as a caution to sellers so now sellers are being hit with policy violations against their account.


Ebay was once a great place to sell, but no longer. I sell antiques and collectibles and have opened a store on icollect247.com. It is an Only Vintage site and support their dealers. They do not play games and it is a flat monthly fee. I am selling lots and it is easy to list items.

I still use eBay for my items $15 and under and figure if with their new policy I have to give money back, I won't lose a lot of money.

I have settled for the fact that if you don't like a selling venue like eBay, to just find someplace else. No need to continue to complain while there is so many other places to sell now days.
Irene - Creek House Antiques


eBay is really frustrating. A few weeks ago, they kicked all of the big patch sellers out of the Collectibles/Transportation/Motorcycles/HarleyPatches category if the biker patch they were selling didn't specifically have the Harley Davidson logo or name on it.

Okay, fine... except now a bunch of Chinese sellers have moved in and are selling non-HD-related items in that category. When I called eBay about this, they said to simply report the items and they would be removed. We reported them... and eBay did nothing.

This got me thinking - what other prohibited items would eBay ignore if reported. So I went into the eBay policy pages and looked for items that were SPECIFICALLY mentioned as being banned. Some of them (1936 Olympic Medals, for example) came as a surprise... but they were specifically banned nonetheless.

So, I decided to spend a few minutes searching for and reporting items that were in violation of eBay's most specific banned items policies. I reported them. And, yes, they are all still available for sale. Clearly, eBay does not enforce its policies at all.


Today I was working on revising my listings to meet the new requirements. Thought it was a good time to go through and update old listings and reprice items as needed. After a few hours my mind was getting a bit mushy so decided I should take a break.

Just as I tried to do the last listing before stopping, it came back with an error message: Email address cannot be used for PayPal payments at this time. I thought maybe the eBay system was being in a foul mood as it has been so much lately. So I went into my eBay summary and this same error message was indicated with all my live listings under Listing Improvement Recommendations.

And then I received an email from a buyer who said that PayPal was not accepting her payment for our item. So I called eBay right away. (I have to confess, I didn't think to call PayPal - just thought it was the eBay system - remember mushy brain). The rep told me that it was definitely not an eBay issue and I should immediately call PayPal.

When I phoned PayPal, my call was answered by an account limitations specialist. He told me that they detected failed logins to our PayPal account from an unfamiliar ISP so PayPal immediately locked our account. When I logged into our PayPal account we had to verify info and reset password and security questions.

I have to say the PayPal person was extremely helpful. Of course I did the necessary steps ASAP, and the account was promptly unlocked.

I always read EcommerceBytes and appreciate hearing about incidents others have encountered - it helps so much to keep my awareness up. I just wanted to share this situation - thought it might be helpful to others. Embarrassed by my mushy brain, so please sign me anonymous.

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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