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EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – January 14, 2018

Letters to the Editor column

Letters to the Editor columnIn every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From shipping issues to payment processing, from fees to online marketplace policies, EcommerceBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.


Dear Ina,
I had no idea I’d be back so soon, but I have discovered something astounding, thanks to prompting from another EcommerceBytes commenter.

eBay has been dropping/ending my listings without notice or reason. Today, I picked up ten or eleven pieces from listed inventory, checked them against what appears onscreen at eBay, to find that five had disappeared. I listed them anew. Then I grabbed a handful of items, checked them against my published eBay listings, and found that eight are missing.

I have more than 1,200 pieces that are showing up, but what of the others? I will now go through all of my items and check them against the published ebay listings. I do wonder how many sales I have lost because of this. Things are bad enough on eBay for any number of reasons that have been discussed at length here, without eBay’s adding fuel to the fire. Curiously, I am not terribly outraged, but rather resigned to the situation.

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I remember Thanksgiving, about five years ago, when I discovered that more than fifty of my best items had disappeared from my eBay listings; I canceled my dinner plans and spent the day relisting. Another curiosity: a few months ago, a couple of pages of “unsold” items showed up on my screen, all with pretty old end dates; before I could begin the process of renewing the listings, they disappeared forever.

This needs to be reported to someone. FCC? United States Attorney General? The President? I have no idea of how to proceed, so if anyone has any suggestions, please post. IF THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME, IT IS PROBABLY HAPPENING TO OTHERS, although I would not put it past eBay to have singled me out for whatever reason. I do not want to become paranoiac, but what the heck is going on?

I knew that eBay technology was in trouble (as pointed out by Ming earlier), but I did not realize the extent of the problems. Good grief.


Dear Ina,
Re: Etsy & their new ‘calculated shipping’ debacle

Don’t know if you have been following the “calculated shipping” debacle on Etsy, I can’t recall seeing an article about it. Etsy has fubar’d things up quite a bit.

Seems they rolled out a change with no notice about two weeks ago, Dec 17, I think, and are closing up forum threads as quickly as they appear. All while refusing to answer any questions, stating everything is working as planned.

Seems Etsy wanted to “fix” a problem they were having with allowing folks to offer upgrades to “free shipping”. So they “fixed” calculated shipping.

Now the upgrades to free shipping still don’t work, and neither does anything else calculated shipping related.

Long story short: if you have different shipping “profiles” on your items, say a book has media mail and a heavy (over a pound) pitcher has priority, if a customer adds both of these items to their cart, Etsy’s calculated shipping will offer media mail on BOTH of them (illegal on the pitcher) because that is the cheapest option.

If you have first class and priority offered, and even if the customer selects priority… calculated shipping divides up items into multiple first class shipments; rather than ONE priority pkg… just to save a few cents on shipping. Adding to sellers’ work load and cost with multiple pkgs, multiple labels, etc. Many sellers (especially shipping overseas) rely on priority to offer insurance and tracking.

Etsy suggests getting rid of all shipping options except priority to “fix” the issue. Or, sellers can cancel one of the multiple labels, add everything together to a priority label, yet be shorted on collected first class postage costs.

Or, of course….. offer free shipping.

Here is the only allowed open “bugs” thread with the moderators explanation of “everything working exactly as planned!” explanation.

Here is the only allowed open “discussion” thread.

The old adage “follow the money” seems to be in play here, either Etsy is making money off multiple shipping labels, and/or pushing free shipping as the extra cost will be added to the ‘transaction fee”. (They currently are not charging transaction fees on the shipping costs.)

Feel free to use any of this email, and happy reading.


Dear Ina,
Millions of eBay SELLERS-BUYERS feel huge destructive impact on their families and income related to eBay changes implemented.

We eBay sellers who build you are left behind. It will be a big backslash soon. You don’t respect us we won’t respect you.

Where is the inventor who build so great idea? Tell Piere to get rid of all fake CEOs!!! They all in last few years are AMAZON COPYCATS !!! IT IS NOT FUNNY !!!


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Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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