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eBay Tries to Make Amends after Costly Glitch

After going 5 days without acknowledging a glitch that was costing its sellers money, eBay finally posted an announcement on Wednesday. In it, eBay explained the problem and detailed the measures it would take. In its own words – it was “working diligently to make things right.”

The technical problem and its impact on sellers’ bottom lines were detailed in Wednesday’s Newsflash – eBay’s Markdown Manager function that sellers use to run sales and promotions on their listings had a problem that prevented sales from stopping when scheduled to end.

Sellers began noticing that their sales were not ending beginning on October 17th. Despite many complaints from sellers – and our attempts to reach eBay on Tuesday, the 20th, there was no acknowledgement of the problem until an announcement board post on the evening of Wednesday, the 21st.

Some sellers have been experiencing the problem for 5 straight days – in Wednesday’s announcement, eBay promised to have the problem fixed before midnight.

Here’s what eBay said went wrong: “On Friday, October 16, we updated the eBay Stores Markdown Manager feature. Due to an error within the update, price markdowns and free shipping offers that should have ended between 8:30 PM PT October 16 and 6:30 AM PT October 19 did not end as scheduled.”

Here’s what eBay says it is doing now:

    • All active promotions that should have ended during this window will be fixed by 11:45 PM PT today, Wednesday, October 21.


  • All impacted listings will be protected from receiving defects for cancelled transactions—if this error caused you to lose money on a transaction, you can cancel it, without penalty.


  • Affected sellers will receive refunds.

And here’s an explanation of which sellers will receive refunds:

    • If you had an impacted listing that ended in a purchase after your intended scheduled end date, you’ll have your final value fees refunded for the transaction.


  • If you ended and relisted an item in order to solve this issue, you’ll have your insertion fees refunded, as well.


  • We will communicate with sellers receiving refunds by the end of this week.

We asked eBay to provide more color on the way it handled the incident, and how sellers should reach out to eBay if they were impacted but don’t receive a FVF credit or refund. We’ll provide an update if we receive information that proves helpful.

You can read eBay’s full post on the eBay announcement board.

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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/.