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eBay Entices Sellers to Use Translation Service for International Listings

eBay Promotion WebInterpret

eBay Promotion WebInterpretUpdate 5/4/18: Sellers are reporting problems with this promotion, see comments below and proceed carefully when dealing with this eBay promotion. Another Update: See WebInterpret’s response on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

eBay sent an invitation to sellers touting “Zero fees on 3000 international listings” as part of a deal with third-party firm Webinterpret. “Reach more buyers around the world,” eBay advised sellers in the invitation.

“Sell Worldwide With Zero Fees – Let Webinterpret expand your reach on international eBay sites, and pay no fees on 3,000 listings. (See terms).”

It went on to say that Webinterpret means simple international sales, calling it, “Your free solution for translating listings, converting prices, and updating inventory across eBay sites worldwide.”

One reader who forwarded the promotion was quite confused about what exactly eBay was offering in the promotion. “It is not well explained. Nor implemented. (so, this is a surprise???) Is EBAY giving me 3000 free listings? Is Webinterpret giving me 3000 listings free of THEIR fees? Both?”

According to the terms of the promotion, invited sellers who participate in the promotion by listing on one or more of six international sites (www.eBay.co.uk, www.eBay.de, www.eBay.fr, www.eBay.it, www.eBay.es and www.eBay.com.au) will pay no insertion fees and no final value fees on up to 3,000 listings per site during the 30-day promotion:

“This Promotion will begin on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 00:00:01 PT (12:00 AM plus one second), and will end on Thursday, May 31, 2018, at 23:59:59 PT (11:59 PM plus 59 seconds) (the “Promotion Period”). Items that are listed on at least one of the six eligible sites will receive the promotion for a 30 day period. After the 30 day period has elapsed, the seller is responsible to remove the listings on all sites otherwise incur the applicable charges associated with each site. eBay will not be held responsible for charges incurred after the promotion period.”

The promotion is not applicable to sellers in the eBay Global Shipping Program. Be sure to read all of the details and restrictions if you received the invitation.

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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/.

10 thoughts on “eBay Entices Sellers to Use Translation Service for International Listings”

  1. Did not receive it but I am probably glad I did not. It seems like some sort of cockamamie idea that can get you trapped into a lot of money that you will have to shell out. The wording makes no sense and who ever set up this promotion would normally be fired if this was a regular company. Typical crap from eBay and they wonder why the sales are way down.

  2. (Edited for Clarity and Grammar)
    This was a nightmare of the first order. I didn’t actually sign up. I pressed the sign-up link to find more. I thought there had to be more information before making a decision. As soon as I saw the details of the program, I wanted no part of it. Little did I know that pressing the sign up link was my ticket to two days of pure hell.
    Here’s a list of the problems with the most egregious at the top:
    1. They transferred my free shipping listings to 5 EU sites and Australia. EU Buyers saw “free shipping” on all the listings that were US based.
    2. The listings looked like they were local. The location information was in 4 PTs of type- very small. It was easy to mistake them as a local listing.
    3. They took each one of my listings and duped it 6 times and 6x the inventory. Now I had thousands of listings while my inventory count + sales and listings reached the top end of my limits.
    4. There was no easy way to group them together to end the listings. It took hour after tedious hour and I still didn’t get them all. I had to go back in the next day. Even worse, I ended listings by mistake that had decent sales history, perfect feedback and loads of watchers.
    5. One buyer in Ireland saw the free shipping and ordered an item from me. He didn’t realize he was setting himself up for a 60% duty and a $25.00 administration fee. I had to call eBay to get it cancelled without a defect. The offshore CSR wasn’t going to do it. The attitude I got was nasty even for a eBay CSR. I finally “convinced” her by explaining the buyer didn’t realize he was subject to Duty and Admin fees.
    6. The Buyer contacted me, angry that it had been cancelled. I had messaged him earlier and asked him to cancel explain the reason why. The buyer thought he was getting some deal and didn’t answer. Imagine if the above had happened dozens of time in different languages. I’m surprised he didn’t give me negative FB.
    7. I had a big load of inventory land the same day. As I was updating listings with zero quantity to plus quantity, the listings started to auto duplicate and went out to the various sites.
    8. You couldn’t update listings via bulk listings. Each listing required a separate login to the foreign site just to update quantity. I was trying to zero out listings that weren’t in the USA until I could figure out was what going on.
    All in all, to return to a state of normalcy took 12-16 hours and I have a low listing count. If someone with 1000+ listings signed up, it would have taken several days to back it down. I asked the eBay CSR to take me out of the program. It took 24 hours.
    This is one of the most ill thought out programs yet. There was so many things wrongs with there is no way one could find a redeeming factor. If they had their developers actually work on the transfer to default to calculated shipping, large noticeable location type, auto-logins during bulk updates and 1 listing per SKU with a expansion sign and a group by country column, it may have been workable. But in true eBay fashion , the post it first, fix it later mentality was on full display and at my expense.
    Don’t do it.

  3. My experience was exactly as Dburn’s. I clicked through for more information, then woke up this morning to find my dashboard filled with international listings. I didn’t sign up for anything. This had the potential to create massive oversells, and, as stated, the shipping terms are not appropriate for worldwide shipment. Beware that link!!!!!

    1. It took them 96+ hours to get back to me when I went to their site to “cancel” . The response was a canned sales pitch enclosed here. My comments back to him were formatted as bold and underlined but you’ll see them. There is a long message to then that precedes all this, but in the interest of avoidng boredom, here is their response when you passed on directions to cancel.

      “This is a hassle-free turn-key solution (really, you send this to me and all the sellers that your exposed to business death?) proposed by eBay in partnership with Webinterpret which basically offers translation, automatic synchronization, and provides you with a perfect opportunity to increase your international visibility as a seller , and simply generate more money without any additional costs (OMG !!!!) related to the eBay insertion fees and final value fees.
      Your listings are scheduled for deletion and will be ended in few hours, however if you should reconsider your decision and would like to use this amazing opportunity – please do let me know ASAP. (******Only 96 hours late, don’t screw this up and delete listings that are currently live or I will sue you******

  4. Like I said originally this was a scheme that would no doubt backfire which it obviously did.
    As I stated before whoever came up with it should be FIRED!

  5. Use extreme caution with this “promotion”. I got signed up automatically just by clicking the “join now” button at the top of the seller hub, while trying to find more information. That link had basically no info and nothing about costs and I was certainly never informed I was signed up, or presented with any terms and conditions. I found out I was signed up about an hour or two later when I received an email from one of Webinterprets CSR. Within minutes of the email I looked at the 3rd party authorizations in Ebay and found 2 from them and one of ebays for the same date. I revoked all 3. I then called Ebay not knowing at the time they were part of it, stating adamantly it was a security issue, a company having access to your account without my express permission (just by clicking a link in seller hub). They said they would look into it, and that I was not signed up. So I thought that was it. Now I just got an email from the same Wepinterpret rep telling me to reinstate the authorization so they can remove the listings. I did a quick search on the Australian site and didn’t find any of my listing, haven’t checked the other sites yet. So I’m not sure what he is up to, and if there are some listed, I don’t want to incur any listing fees from these other sites.
    Ebay has been doing so many stupid things lately, I didn’t think they could do anything to surprise me anymore. But this is unbelievable and I would surely think illegal.

  6. I believe that they may have it backwards. It is doubtful that a translation service for fixed priced listings would be cost effective because motivated offshore buyers will, sooner or later, find items of interest on the US eBay site. On the other hand, auctions could benefit from targeted foreign country or worldwide exposure to increase the number of potential bidders.

  7. I already get bidders from foreign countries on my auctions. They seem to do fine as it is.

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