EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 392 - July 10, 2016 - ISSN 1528-6703     5 of 5

EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor - July 10, 2016

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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.


I would like to bring your attention to a serious issue concerning reviews on eBay listings. The first problem that we've noticed is that sometimes all of the reviews from a certain listing literally disappear. In some cases they miraculously appear after a few days/weeks.

The other problem is that not all listings, even from the same category, have "leave a review" option. I have contacted eBay and complained about this, however they were not able to provide any explanation or assistance.

This is costing us potential positive reviews - several buyers have contacted us so far asking how to leave a review and we simply do not have an answer. Not to mention that the sales go down and never recover on the listings where positive reviews disappear without a trace.

I would really like to see this resolved or at least a glimpse of hope that eBay is looking into this.


Hi Ina,
I have been selling for over 10 years on eBay under more than one ID. Had more than one encounter with a scammer - including pictures of an item I did not sell. However, just encountered a new semi wrinkle.

Buyer purchased an item I have sold before on several occasions. Item is glass and fragile. It can, however, be shipped in a USPS padded envelope, Priority, braced with corrugated, bubble wrap and fibreboard envelope inside. Never had one arrive broken before - at least until now (?).

Buyer received and emailed within two hours of delivery item had arrived broken. Wanted a refund and then she would ship it back.

I emailed requesting a pic of the broken item. She replied with another request for a refund and stating she had not opened the padded envelope but could hear the broken glass.

I replied I did not wish to pay for return shipment and I knew she did not want to pay as well. Requested a pic of the broken item again and I would refund.

Buyer stated she wanted a refund and THEN SHE WOULD SEND IT BACK.

Again I replied stating send me a pic and I would refund immediately.

Then she became hostile, told me I had it insured (A Ha! I did not insure it) and I should contact eBay.

I did just so and called eBay, explaining the situation and stating the buyer refused to send a pic.

I have heard nothing from her or from eBay either. No emails, no calls and no return notification. No negative feedback either.

Sounds like she is shopping eBay for free. It is not like eBay to bite the seller's butt if it can do so.


Why does eBay and Amazon allow Chinese to mess up the online sales for USA Sellers and allow them to keep selling fakes? And nothing is done about it! Not to mention retailers all over America being out of business due to this. What is being done about it? Anything?


Hi Ina,
Just reading your article on eBay revising ads for mobile going to desktop and reminded me of a conversation with eBay "anchor store" customer service Monday.

On the each call, they said they are providing a top 100 list of items without recent sales. A helpful activity.

Also, the rep said I should start reviewing item descriptions and reduce the size of the description. Stating, "later in the year, eBay is going to request sellers do this and then eBay will start automatically reducing descriptions for sellers. This is being done so that mobile and desktop ads will be the same." The CSR gives your statistics of mobile sales vs. desktop to legitimize this mandate!
Keep up the good work. I look forward to your bytes!


Dear Ina,
Are some Etsy sellers being PAID to turn on DC (Direct Checkout)?

Link to Etsy discussion board thread.


Hello Ina,
I have been following your newsletter for years and it's very informative and I learned a lot of ecommerce news from here.

As I can see, I see a lot of mentioned marketplaces from your content like Amazon, Ebay and Bonanza. I am surprise that why Ecommerce Bytes does not have information or success story to sell in ecommerce site like Flipkart or Snapdeal? or Alibaba? Are they still not in the radar in the US?


Hi Ina,
Love reading your posts. I am really surprised that eBay sellers are talking about putting their stores on vacation in the event of a CPC postal strike. If you need a variety of options then check out another courier site that I use: If it interests you contact Deborah Hasted 1-877-399-JSIL or tell her I sent you!

Not only do you get competitive pricing, pick up at your location, you can still ship worldwide, send return labels to come back to you via the courier of your choice.

In regards to continuing eBay operations I say if Plan A didn't work, just remember there are 24 more letters in the alphabet! Keep selling, keep shipping! Thank you Betty


Visit the Letters to the Editor blog for more letters from readers published recently.

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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

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