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EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – June 10, 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.


Hi Ina,
Here is something for you. eBay has changed up the title/description in their emails again. Now when you open your inbox to see emails of sold items eBay cut the title off so you can’t read what sold.

I used to look right at the email in my inbox and know what sold without opening the email. Now you have to open the email to see. Really annoying and backwards for saving time.

Typical eBay, always moving backwards.


Hey Ina,
I was just reading up on the PayPal – eBay buyer email removal discussion. I really doubt PayPal did that as any part of some discretionary ‘collusion’ with eBay or on their own volition. Like the spokesperson told you, it was eBay’s requirement.

PayPal has been beaten up quite a bit since the eBay announcement and they have every reason not to want to tick off and annoy customers further. My guess is eBay required PP to remove the emails as part of eBay’s rights to its customers’ personal information as part of the eBay/PP operating agreement.

It would be interesting and helpful if your PP spokesperson was able to give a stronger statement and clarify this a bit.


Dear Ina,
eBay posted a new user agreement last night, here are the highlights:

“Seller fees don’t purchase exclusive rights to item exposure on eBay, whether on a web page, mobile app, or otherwise. We may, in our sole discretion and without consent from, or payment, fee reduction, or other credit to, sellers, display third-party advertisements (including links and references thereto) or other content in any part of our Services.”

That means they can display ads in your listing and in your store, if they want to!

“eBay can’t guarantee exact listing durations”

Ummm… what?!

“To drive a positive user experience, a listing may not appear in some search and browse results regardless of the sort order chosen by the buyer.”

How exactly, does that ‘drive a positive user experience’?!?!

“Some advanced listing upgrades will only be visible on certain Services”

Don’t pay for additional listing features, eBay may not display them!!

“you agree that we may display the sales and performance history of your individual listings to those of other sellers”

Ummmm… what?!

“When providing content using the Services (directly or indirectly), you grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise any and all Intellectual Property Rights (as defined above) you have in that content in connection with our provision, expansion, and promotion of the Services, in any media known now or developed in the future. To the fullest extent permitted under applicable law, you waive your right to enforce against eBay, our assignees, our sublicensees, and their assignees your Intellectual Property Rights in that content in connection with our, those assignees’, and those sublicensees’ use of that content in connection with our provision, expansion, and promotion of the Services”

Basically… anything you put on eBay (photos, description, etc.) is no longer yours!

“We offer product data (including images, descriptions and specifications) that are provided by third parties (including eBay users). You may use that content solely in your eBay listings.”

You now have eBay’s permission to steal images and text from other sellers.

“To protect eBay from risk of liability for your actions as a seller, eBay has at times recommended, and may continue to recommend, that PayPal restrict access to funds in a seller’s PayPal account based on certain factors, including, but not limited to, selling history, seller performance, returns, riskiness of the listing category, transaction value, or the filing of an eBay Money Back Guarantee case. This may result in PayPal restricting funds in your PayPal account.”

eBay may have PayPal restrict your account if you fall below their seller performance, have too many returns, sell an expensive item, or for any reason they see fit to!

Section 14 is very long, but states that they are not responsible for:

– your use of or your inability to use our Services (ie outages)

– delays or disruptions in our Services (ie outages… again)

– viruses or other malicious software obtained by accessing or linking to our Services

– glitches, bugs, errors, or inaccuracies of any kind in our Services

– the duration or manner in which your listings appear in search results


Note from the editor: See also, “eBay to Sellers: All Your Listings Are Belong to Us


Visit the Letters to the Editor blog for more letters from readers published recently.

Send *your* letter to the editor by emailing ina@auctionbytes.com with “Letters to the Editor” in the subject line (remember to include your name as you would like it to appear).

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). 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/.

One thought on “EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – June 10, 2018”

  1. Regarding the letter from Bill, in essence eBay is saying they can take your money and in return do nothing. Oh, and they can infect your computer, too.

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