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eBay Sellers Get the Shaft Again Say Canadians

“We Canucks got the shaft again” was just one of the negative responses from eBay sellers in Canada upon finally receiving their coupons for eBay-branded shipping supplies this week.

The coupons were designed to take the sting out of higher eBay Store subscription costs that recently went into effect, but the coupons appear to be having the opposite effect now that they have become available to Canadian sellers beginning Monday.

On Monday, eBay Canada posted an announcement explaining how sellers could find their coupons. On the same day, a seller said they received their coupon for CAD $35. “I scoured the 18 listings available in the eBay shipping supplies store and the least expensive item is US $50. And the only items I need start at US $70. And the coupon expires July 1 so I can’t “save up” coupons to buy what I need. Very disappointing.”

Note that each Store level (Basic, Premium, Anchor) gets a different coupon value.

Another complaint from a seller: “Canadian sellers do not get free shipping…. US sellers get free shipping,” wrote a seller on the eBay Canada discussion board.

One reader told EcommerceBytes that eBay is over-charging Canadian sellers for inferior products – “eBay is either knowingly or through patently ignorant incompetence openly ripping off sellers,” they wrote in an email on Wednesday.

“This whole promotion claiming these coupons are a bonus we get with the higher store fees, is obviously a scam,” the seller continued. “I think this time it might even be legally actionable given the obvious disparity between eBay’s prices and real world prices but I will have to look into that further. I really hope you see fit to post this as it really needs to go public in a big fashion.”

Reaction to the new eBay-branded shipping supplies was mixed in the US, where sellers got access to their coupons earlier and have already received orders for such things as boxes and packing tape.

Some sellers had been unaware that the messaging on boxes included the pitch to buyers: “Put this box to good use: Start selling on eBay.” As one seller wrote, “I want to encourage more buying – not trying create other sellers.”

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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/.