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eBay Glitch on Mobile App Pits Buyers against Sellers

eBay has failed to fix an ongoing problem with its mobile app that is frustrating buyers and costing sellers money and goodwill. Shoppers who view listings on the eBay mobile app are seeing free shipping even on items where the seller has specified shipping costs.

Company employee Jim “Griff” Griffith acknowledged the problem as recently as March 30th, writing, “The Incorrectly Showing Free Shipping In Accepted Offers in Mobile issue has been reported. No Updates,…I will post any updates that I receive in the next week here.” (There has been no update since that post.)

On April 3, a seller described how serious the “glitch” is in this thread on the eBay discussion boards titled, “How to convince customer that the Free Shipping viewed on cell phone is only an eBay glitch?”

“I had a customer make a Best Offer using their cell phone that showed Free Shipping at the time it was viewed, but this was not a free shipping item. I accepted the offer, but there was no mention of free shipping in the Message section of the offer.

“The customer is pretty upset with me. I am aware from the message boards that this is a glitch, but how do I convince the customer of this? … and hopefully doing this without making them even more upset.”

Posters debated what a seller who finds him or herself in this situation should do – options include eating the shipping costs (which other sellers have reported doing in other threads); and cancelling the order and blocking the buyer.

One poster wrote, “If anyone should EAT the shipping cost it should be eBay, it is their mistake and GLITCH for the mobile app NOT working properly IMHO!!! At the very least eBay should be the one apologizing and explaining to the buyer ,this is eBay’s FAULT, NOT the seller!”

eBay set up a Systems Announcement board to report known problems with its site, but these days it only uses it to announce its weekly site maintenance schedule.

The problem was reported on Ecommerce EKG on March 23rd:

“eBay Mobile Device Apps showing “Free Shipping” on items that do have a shipping cost. Called eBay and they said this has been happening since March 1st and their technical team is “working on it” – Said it should be fixed within 90 Days!”

Scrolling through recent Ecommerce EKG, it becomes clear eBay has also experienced related glitches in which buyers were undercharged, one of which Griff also acknowledged: “The Shipping Amount Not Showing In Sent Invoices issue has been fixed (resolved),” he wrote on March 30th.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.