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Why eBay Pulled Shopping Cart from Longtime Category

Buyers began complaining in July that eBay pulled the shopping cart feature from the adult category, leading to higher shipping costs for them as well as complications for sellers. We reported on the issue on the EcommerceBytes Blog last month.

“When you use the Buy It Now option, you can continue shopping by choosing “add to cart,” but this option has been removed on the adult section,” a large seller in the category explained. “Since you have to pay immediately, you are no longer getting any shipping discount on the adult section” – leading to a poor buyer experience.

The seller told EcommerceBytes an eBay customer service rep blamed the issue on privacy issues pertaining to children – if products are left in the carts by adults, children could possibly view those items in the cart.

There is a fix, according to the seller. “The “commit to buy” feature was how eBay functioned before they added the cart,” the seller explained. “You would be able to use the Buy It Now on items and then pay for them all at once in order to get the shipping discount.”

However, the seller continued, the customer service rep said eBay is in the process of rolling out a change this year requiring immediate payment on all Buy It Now items.

The fact that when buyers place orders for items in the Adult Only category there is no way for them to receive combined-shipping discounts is leading to lost sales, sellers report – one seller said their sales were down 25%.

eBay’s solution: it recommends sellers manually refund the buyer – though that assumes the sale has taken place. However, an eBay seller told us that not only is manually refunding each buyer a hassle, “each of us sellers is now paying an extra .30 fee per transaction through PayPal because the items are not being combined into one payment.”

The seller said that if the situation continues, “I suggest all sellers to contact eBay and request to speak to someone that is on the Leadership Team of General Service, but if they do not allow you to speak to them, they should request to speak to High Value Service first.”

eBay did not respond to our inquiry about the changes made to this category and whether eBay had considered ending its requirement for immediate payment for fixed-price items in the Adult category so that shoppers could buy multiple items and qualify for discounted shipping rates.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.