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eBay Shorts Sellers by Failing to Collect Shipping Charges

Sellers are reporting that eBay is failing to collect shipping charges from their customers in what appears to be a major technical glitch. Reports are coming in from readers and on the eBay discussion boards.

Compounding matters is the information eBay customer service reps are giving to sellers who call in to the company for help with the matter.

One seller told EcommerceBytes that two Buy It Now orders that had flat rate shipping showed correct shipping cost on the invoice, but when the buyers actually paid for the items, “it gave them zeros, and they paid zero.”

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No seller wants to have to reach out and tell a customer they owe more money, especially on eBay where sellers live in fear of anything but perfect feedback and Detailed Seller Ratings. “Now I have to try to explain to the buyers why the sales must be cancelled or the buyers must pay the shipping, which could lead to other headaches,” the seller wrote.

Another reader told EcommerceBytes he had four orders and found they all were paid as if shipping was free despite having postage costs clearly showing in the listing.

In this discussion board thread, one seller said an eBay customer service rep said eBay would credit them an amount equal to the shipping costs. Another seller said a rep told them eBay can’t give refunds on lost shipping costs but can give sellers a Final Value Fee credit for the items.

After other sellers advised the original poster not to believe the rep had actually credited their account, they called back and discovered sure enough, there was no credit on his account.

Just got off the phone and my head is spinning. First of all she did not see any mention of credit for my earlier call but said she can authorize it. Then after being on hold again she said something about final value fees for the affected auctions = $32. I said that’s not right because the shipping they gave away for free will cost me about the 44 bucks I had charged the buyers. On hold again… next she told me to print the labels and to call back in 2 days to get my credit (actual shipping costs). I told her that it’s not fair that I need to pay & wait (and hope), and have to call back to get the credit. I mentioned to her that sometimes I have to buy brand new shipping boxes (1-2 dollars ea.) and figure that into my flat rate shipping. Then she….

Wait for it………………………….

Then she proposed that I should send the buyers paypal invoices for the shipping! lol I told her that ebay made the mistake and they should pay for it. I told her that one of the buyers actually wrote to me this morning explaining he wanted to pay the shipping but kept getting fast & free shipping on the invoices from ebay. Anyway, it seems I will just have to cross my fingers and hope that I will get the shipping credit. At least I got a case reference number this time.

Many thanks for all the replies, and an extra THANK YOU for the ones that told me not to believe the ebay reps. So glad I called back after seeing the replies. Will update in 2-3 days.

We sent an inquiry to eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore to learn more about the problem and find out what sellers should do if they were impacted. He did not reply by press time.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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