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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 290 - July 10, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     6 of 6

EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor

By Ina Steiner

July 10, 2011

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In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From feedback 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.)

Also visit the Letters to the Editor blog, here are links to letters published from June 25, 2011 to present:

Seller Warns Etsy to Leave Search Alone (July 8, 2011) - Link to letter

Marketplaces Need to Focus on Getting More Buyers (July 7, 2011) - Link to letter

eBay Seller DSRs at Risk Thanks to PayPal Delays (July 4, 2011) - Link to letter

Is eBay's 21-Day Hold on PayPal Accounts Legal? (July 3, 2011) - Link to letter

Has eBay Changed Checkout to Encourage Individual Payments? (June 30, 2011) - Link to letter

Canceled eBay Orders Due to PayPal Problems (June 27, 2011) - Link to letter

Check eBay Combined-Shipping Charges (June 26, 2011) - Link to letter

Buyer Only Sees Four Stars in eBay DSR Feedback Form (June 25, 2011) - Link to letter


Dear Ina,
Just heard about this today. I am hoping its not true but if it is I would love to hear an explanation because when they raise the FVF's it goes on ALL my current listings but when they lower it like now it only goes on new items which I don't really do??????

Looks like ebay pulled a fast one on everyone...hoping you can find out what is going on and if this is true this is almost as low as they could possibly go.

Looks like all 600 of my store items will always be charged the higher fee and only new items will get the lower fee (I don't put up lots of new items)

So now I will be paying fees on my shipping fees for auctions AND still paying higher FVF's on my store items. I kept getting emails from ebay and a few phone calls saying based on what I sell in auction and store my fees will actually be going down.

Hoping that when they automatically relist I will get the lower fee but knowing ebay I am not counting on it. So my great fee decrease is turning into a massive fee INCREASE.

Note from Editor: see the EcommerceBytes Blog for more information including clarification from eBay.


Is anyone getting their SELLING ACTIVITY Limited by eBay?

I'm a 14 year veteran on ebay. Got a recent letter from eBay telling me my selling activity is now limited to XX amount of listings and a total of $XXXX maximum selling price for the month. whichever comes first.

Letter goes on to say, this is NOT punishment. And if I want to increase my limit, I can go to an eBay link to do so. Going there you end up with this:

"This feature is currently available only in limited release
Thank you for your interest. We'll let you know when it's more widely available."

My DSR for the last three months is clean. I'm a 99.6% seller and had a couple deadbeats back in 2010 ding my DSR with 0s or 1s, and eBay then took away my 20% discount.

I'm at 4.77, 4.83, 4.83 and 4.77 so they have deemed me a BELOW STANDARD SELLER. I have to wonder how anyone can maintain a business with this kind of seller abuse from above.

Anyone else getting this SELLING LIMIT stuff going on ? So let me get this straight...they now want me to sell LESS stuff ? Hellooooo!! what is going on here? Info appreciated

I'm migrating away to other venues, probably playing right into eBay's hand. Perhaps that is their goal. Hassle the better sellers til they leave.

Not only disgruntled, but now thoroughly confused ...

Note from the Editor: We wrote about this issue on the AuctionBytes Blog.


If a dishonest seller defrauds an honest buyer out of money and eBay collects fees from the dishonest seller transaction doesn't that sort of make ebay an accessory to fraud?

If eBay truly cared about the buyer getting taken then why not reimburse what the buyer paid instead of fattening their bank accounts and instituting a BIASED rating system that clearly is making ALL sellers look like frauds.

If I deserve a negative and low dsr's so be it, but I'll be damn if I am going to sit on my Donahoe and be rated low for a transaction that allows no defense. If a buyer believes there maybe deception in the description or charges too much for shipping, then why buy it? Because ebay allows them to purchase then complain in the form of a biased rating system that has the potential to remove all the GOOD PROVEN sellers. Makes more sense to me that the potential dishonest listing should be reported NOT PURCHASED unless of course the buyer is a fraud themselves.

I'm sure many buyers have been taken by Fraudelent and dishonest sellers. I'M NOT ONE OF THEM!! I don't appreciate being treated like one!!!

Does eBay profit from Fraudulent transactions?

Seems to me that by weeding out the Good proven sellers makes no difference because IF they profit from the Fraudulent ones who needs the good proven ones?

I cannot believe that this has not been jumped on by the Ambulance chasers. I guess it will take louder sirens.


Hi Ina,
I'm not sure where to post this, so you can stick it in "letters" if you want.

Skrill's planned pricing is so close to PayPal that it is an irrelevant difference. A tenth of a point here, a penny there. Who cares!

The only thing that could make it useful to ME is if the people who hate PayPal use it and thus gives me an additional benefit to those customers of mine.

I am NOT a fan of PayPal. I don't trust them and don't like their attitude any more than eBay's. However, my experiences with PRE-Skrill Moneybookers point out to me that MoneyBookers customer service and attitude was HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE. The quality of their service made PayPal look like perfection. Even the owner of a large auction venue that had MoneyBooker payment built into their site told me that he found them EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to work with and even he (with tens of thousands of buyers/sellers) could not get any attention from MoneyBookers when he needed to discuss some issue with them.

If Skrill USA operates with the same attitude that MoneyBookers UK did, it is doomed.


Dear Ina,
I was wondering if you could shed any light on what is going on with eBay Australia and why eBay no longer removes listing violations.

A couple or three years ago eBay deleted our unique Australian Motor categories and made the categories generic (such as "cup holders") so that all the Chinese listings could seamlessly appear on eBay Australia. There was a lot of dissatisfaction at the time, and eBay countered this by removing any and all listings for keyword spamming if you stated a make and model without using the words "for" and "suits" in your title. So as an example, you couldn't say "Chevy Camaro SS Steering Wheel" (to Americanize the models as illustration), but instead you had to say "Steering wheel FOR Chevy Camaro SUITS SS"

Before these generic categories were introduced ("cup holders") we had specific categories for our makes and models. To Americanize again, this would be similar to:

1967-68 Camaro
1969 Camaro
1970-71 Camaro

If you get my drift. In Australia we generally have 2 letter model series, and I small set of series so instead of "1967-68 Camaro" you would have for example "HK Holden"

During this period when they obliterated our separate categories for our car models they slapped a lot of very good sellers absolutely senseless for not having "FOR" or "SUITS" in the title, and many seller's accounts were put at risk for these "violations".

But now, a few years later it is almost impossible to search for a specific make of part because the whole Motors section is just riddles with keyword spam and eBay refuses to do anything about it. It appears that any report for spam is no longer looked at and is completely ignored. Similarly for many other blatant listing violations.

As an example, if you search eBay motors (cars, bikes, boats) Australia for the keyword "not" you will currently return about 1000 results. Here are some of them - a very small sample.




Ford Telstar TX5 (1988)not mazda laser .pulsar.corolla


Mitsubishi Delica 1995 Super Exceed LWB not tarago

pit pro sx 250 4stroke,not honda,yamaha,su⤋zuki,ktm

MITSUBISHI VERADA 2003 XI Not holden ford toyota.

Ford EB XR6 not XR8 FPV SS HSV Vn Vp Vr Vs Vt Vx

etc, etc, etc

I would like to ask eBay what in heck they are doing - why are they allowing this multiplicity of spam when we pay listing fees to appear in a specific title search and why nothing is done when any of these listings are reported.

There are very few people looking for a car part that does NOT suit their car, and I cannot understand why this is allowed to continue. It is getting to epidemic proportions now, where any search is just as likely to find something that you specifically do NOT want, and yet eBay continues to take our listing fees only to bury our listings in a sea of NOTs and Chinese cup holders.

Please Ina, can you find out if anyone is in charge of eBay Motors Australia and if so, why do they still have a job.
concerned seller

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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