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EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – July 8, 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,
Just wondering if you have ever covered the selling venue Reverb. I started listing some items there and although I have not sold anything yet, I have found the site to be quite a great resource for musicians and gear-heads. I think it may have some potential over eBay in that they appear to be working hard to cultivate a sense of community.

Note from the editor: See this article by Greg Holden who interviewed Reverb founder David Kalt in 2015.


Hi Ina,
Do you know why eBay has made it impossible to see the original listing of an item that has ended? It’s horrible!

The “See original item” link on a listing that has ended now takes you to a page that says, “The listing you’re looking for is no longer available. Check out this similar item we found for you.”

I’m not looking for another item – I’m looking for the one that was originally listed. If I wanted to look for a similar item I would use the Search function.
Thank you.


Dear Ina,
Think you have seen the worst of corporate greed and lies with ebay? Guess again! Take a look at this article. This is probably why ebay keeps trying their best to copy Amazon. They want some of that free tax money. It’s not enough to rip off all of the sellers.


Hi Ina,
I love these quick insights – I am older and have a hard time keeping up with what’s changing etc.

I sell on eBay, and it’s tedious with little results. Have your addressed the issue of how else a person like me (approx 100 items listed – women’s new and like new quality clothing) might try to sell instead of eBay?? Like starting my own website and how to learn how to do it??


Dear Ina,
I recently wrote to you about how from now on all SNAD cases will be decided in buyer’s favor, once escalated, even when they really are for remorse reasons (e.g. buyer opens a SNAD return request because an item doesn’t fit or when buyer failed to read the description and complains about something that was disclosed in the listing).

Now I have a confirmation of this in writing from an eBay rep. So, from now on seller has no chances of ever winning a SNAD case. This is outrageous. Please share with your readers what I was told. Here is a message from eBay rep:

I understand your concerns with this return. It is correct that we cannot change the return reason if a buyer opens a case for ‘Item not as described’. We’ve found that interpreting the messages between a buyer and seller hasn’t always been the best way to determine the reason for a return. Even when there have been possible indications that the reason selected was incorrect, we have later found that the request was in fact valid and should have been accepted. These kinds of errors create incredibly poor experiences for our buyers and as such, harm our community and the long term success of our sellers.

Our commitment to monitoring potential abuse of the eBay Money Back Guarantee allows us to more confidently take steps to protect our sellers. If you are concerned with one of your customers, we encourage you to report these concerns to us for review. While this may not change the outcome of this particular return, we do track of these reports closely and use this information to prevent returns from being opened when we’ve identified the potential for abuse. Additionally, if a buyer contacts us to let us know that they’ve made a mistake in the reason they selected, we can adjust the return appropriately. Without hearing from the buyer directly, we will rely on the return reason selected to make a decision if we’re asked to step in and help. Hope this helps clarify our return process. Let me know if you have further questions.


Dear Ina,
Interesting article that I figured would need more investigation into some more eBay related odd news. As if there isn’t already enough doom and gloom around eBay currently. Could this mean finally a change in terrible leadership over there? Or just more smoke and mirrors for Wall Street?


Dear Ina,
The new eBay store search results has an eBay banner at the top of results for “Featured” items. That link takes shoppers out of the seller’s store and back to a general eBay search.

Apparently eBay thinks it’s a good idea…an ethical practice…to direct buyers out of the seller’s store before they’ve even seen the search results.

It’s misleading to buyers and just plain wrong for sellers who are paying a fee to eBay for that store.


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

4 thoughts on “EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – July 8, 2018”

  1. As to the see original listing. If you look very carefully you will see the link to the original listing in the ‘new listing we found for you” part. It’s there, you just gotta read beyond the frustration.

    1. “If you look very carefully you will see the link to the original listing”

      Indeed, the link to the original item is so *intentionally* hidden that many people do not notice it at all.

      Another point: Think of how all the hits on the “New Listing We Found for You” are falsely elevating the view counts on the item you have absolutely no interest in.

  2. I’ll need more proof before I believe a seller can’t win a SNAD case. One CS worker’s opinion is likely not policy (there isn’t much policy actually. They might be acting in fear of being the next to be fired).
    If you let a case time out, ther computer always has voted in favor of the buyer. If you appeal enough times, I have in the past got them to reverse it and give my a refund (always out of eBay’s pocket since they would never have the nerve to take it back from the buyer). They have always figured that was cheaper than actually judging each case before making a decision, since waiting on hold is not something many people do.

    On the closed items new ‘feature’ isn’t that just like some marketing genius to automatically switch you from an item that has sold, to one that hasn’t? Forget the satisfaction of the one doing the searching: If you weren’t there to buy something, what were you there for?

    BTW, if it is was your item and you click on it, you can still look at it if you are logged in. But to the marketing guru who broke something that wasn’t broken, how about this loss of business:

    I have a friend that has a big collection of valuable items and he was interested in having me sell them on eBay for him. After a phone conversation, it was up to me to convince him how my stuff sells on eBay. What better way than to send him a few links to some sold items of mine in the categories he knew about?
    I sent him simple links that worked fine for me: https://www.ebay.com/itm/##########
    etc. I clicked on them before sending to make sure everything was perfect.
    I never heard back from him. Later I was logged in as a different user and learned what happened:
    First as the page comes up and you start to read, suddenly a bunch of ads pop up into your face and what you are looking for disappears below out of sight (I know, this has been status quo for years). But then once you scroll down to your ad and click on the link to open it in all it’s glory, you get a competitor’s listing forced on you with a tiny disclaimer at the top (which is real easy to miss seeing) telling you that the item has been sold and here’s something else for you to buy. It’s was real easy for him to not realize the bait and switch in this case.

    My bottom line question is this: If someone wasn’t purposefully looking for that item, or browsing through the sold items, how did they get to that page? Even from the watchlist it is clearly stated if the item is sold or out of stock. If a buyer still clicks on it, then there may be a good reason why he wanted to see it, not some pie in the sky subsitute that Cassini thinks is just right for you.

  3. Ebay profits from American taxpayers but sends jobs like tech offshore to other countries.

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