EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor - March 17, 2013
By Ina Steiner
In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From shipping issues to payment processing, from fees to online marketplace policies, EcommerceBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.
You are my "Bible" for selling news on the internet. Your last newsletter featured a problem sellers are having getting into promotions. One comment you had was:
"We get into the reasons why you may never have received an invitation in Friday's newsletter - "technical difficulties" at eBay is one of the culprits."
I can categorically confirm your suspicions!
For more than a year, I receive a message after signing into eBay. The message tells me I have a negative balance due to a refund eBay gave to one of my buyers. Not so. Never happened. The page then directs me to continue to eBay.
Finally fed up, I called. Rep told me it was a "glitch" they were working on resolving. Mind you, this has been appearing on a very regular basis. It is like having a bill collector calling your home daily when the account has a zero balance and your credit score is high!
If eBay cannot repair a small problem like this, you can bet your bottom eBay Rewards Buck sellers are getting shafted in numerous and random manners in every area of eBay.
If you are not in on special eBay promotions, you should be shuddering at what else is wrong with the site, i.e. your store, your listings, your messaging, etc.
I have accounts with eBay and with Etsy. I don't leave money in my PayPal account or my Etsy sellers account. Something that I believe should be questioned and investigated is the fact that if I request a withdrawal from Etsy, my money shows up in my account the following day. If I make a request from PP it takes 3 to sometimes 5 days for the funds to reach my bank. It would seem to me that PP is creating more of a "float" than is necessary in order to gain interest on funds that belong to their sellers/customers.
Until I began selling on Etsy I didn't question PayPal's long "transfer time"; however, it is now apparent to me that PP is being less than ethical with their customer's funds.
As an example: On Monday I made two withdrawals from my PP account. This is Wednesday and only one, the smaller of the two, has shown up in my business bank account. On the same day, I requested funds from my Etsy account. They arrived on Tuesday.
Seems strange to me that two transactions on Monday via PP - only the smaller of the two is now in my possession - and, at the same time, my Etsy withdrawal was in my account in 24 hours.
Something smells and it smells bad. That float of PP's is illegal, if I'm not mistaken.
Have you heard about the latest long running glitch in eBay's system? If a seller has BIN items rolling over from month to month, the system is "unticking" the Gallery Plus feature on rolling over. This has been going on for weeks now with ebay denying there is a problem.
Well, according to myself and many other sellers here in Australia, there is a problem. There are two threads on the AU powerseller forum about this problem. I have contacted eBay several times about this, all I received was denial and asking me to prove there is a problem!
They asked for item numbers where the problem showed itself, Well, of course, I had revised them! Even though the gallery option is still ticked on the problem listings, no gallery picture is showing so why would I delay revising a listing???
This is so wrong yet eBay will not admit to it and will not offer compensation. This is affecting my (& others) sales!
I have to constantly keep a check on my inventory to keep up with missing images.
Pity eBay do not offer customer service to keep their customers happy as they demand we sellers do!
Just wanted to thank you for writing Playing the eBay and Amazon Arbitrage Game.
I and several other eBay powersellers have been watching and competing again ShoppingspreeLLC for the last two or more years. Make no mistake, SS LCC is by far the largest Amazon drop shipper on Ebay.
SS LLC is also the most sophisticated drop shipper. Someone has invested some serious money into hiring programming for price scraping and inventory tools.
1) The prices and availability of SS LLC's items move almost instantaneously with those of Amazon or it's FBA 3rd party sellers.
2) and SS LLC's repricing against eBay competitors is continuous, more frequently updated vs any other repricing tools available on line.
They went away for awhile at the end of 2012 into 2013 but now they are back. I had assumed it was bc Amazon Prime was either cracking down on their prime shipping abuse.
I've even contacted Amazon directly about SS LLC's Prime abuse, and they didn't seem to care enough to do anything. A drop shipping operation this large, would be easy for Amazon to detect. It's a little surprising that they haven't try to stop the largest abuser, given their other steps to lower the high cost of the prime service.
PS: Forgot to add,... also, there would be serious personnel requirements to fulfill all these orders (ie this drop ship operation isn't just a few people but dozens). This need is highlighted when you consider that 100's of orders (think of very in demand video games, at the peak Nov-Dec season), that must be placed before a) Amazon's price moves b) the product sells out.
It would be highly unlikely that software tools exist that could scrape order info from eBay, and then directly input it into amazon (considering 100's or 1000's of Amazon prime accounts would be necessary to maintain an operation of this size,.. especially in peak Nov, Dec months)
Given the razor thin arbitrage profits (esp on video games), most logically, these "order fillers/processors", who take the eBay purchase and place the Amazon order, are foreign based / outsourced.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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