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eBay GTC Changes Throws Some Sellers for a Loop

eBay GTC Changes Throws Some Sellers for a Loop

Some eBay sellers were thrown for a loop by changes eBay made to GTC listings this month, as we reported in Monday’s blog post. eBay changed the renewal dates of fixed-price listings so that sellers wouldn’t be charged twice in a month for the auto-renewal fees. The concept was good – a fix to change a shortcoming in its unpopular GTC mandate. But as is often the case with eBay, its execution was poor.

Some sellers said as a result, eBay over-billed them this month. A reader explained what happened to their account: “On July 20th, hundreds of .35 cent GTC automated relists hit 7 different ID’s,… Now we watch each account for the last few months daily, there is no way a thousand or so listings were ending and relisting on July 20th.”

It appears that some sellers didn’t want all of their GTC listings to renew but weren’t given the opportunity to cancel them before eBay auto-renewed them, unaware that this month, eBay would be changing the date on which it would auto-renew their listings.

It’s easy to understand why they were taken by surprise – eBay announced the “fix” to the GTC renewal dates at the end of April, and it failed to issue a reminder to sellers.

In this April 30th announcement, eBay announced a “new calendar-month renewal schedule for Good ‘Til Cancelled listings.” As you can see, it was just one of a flurry of changes eBay announced as part of the Spring Seller Update.

If you did some clicking, you would have found the following FAQ that states:

How can I find out when my Good ‘Til Cancelled listings will renew?
You can find out when your Good ‘Til Cancelled listings will renew by looking at the “Time left” column on the Active Listings page in Seller Hub. You can also customize the Active Listings page in Seller Hub to show the “Start date” column. Starting July 1, 2019, Good ‘Til Cancelled listings will renew once per calendar month. When listings renew in July, subsequent renewal dates will be based on the listing start date. For example, if the listing was originally created on the 1st of the month, from August onward, it will always renew on the 1st of each month.

On another page, eBay provided some examples (which we found easy to miss – and easy to forget, since it was published in April), including the following:

EXAMPLE: Listing created prior to July 1, 2019
A Good ‘Til Cancelled listing that was created on January 30, 2019 and has renewed every 30 days (i.e., March 1, March 31, April 30, May 30, and June 29), will renew on July 29. When it renews on July 29, subsequent renewal dates will be set based on the day the listing was created (January 30), using the new monthly calendar schedule. Thus, the next renewal dates will be August 30, September 30, October 30, and so on.

Clear as mud – and some sellers remain convinced this week that eBay changed their renewal dates arbitrarily – we cannot confirm if that’s the case or not. But reading the paragraph above, it seems eBay is saying it would keep the renewal date the same in July and change it in August.

Compounding the problem is the fact that some sellers are still using the My eBay interface, which doesn’t have all of the information that is available through Seller Hub; apparently it’s difficult to check listings’ “start dates” on which eBay is now basing the renewal dates.

Sellers are also concerned about the impact of GTC listings on free-listing promotions, and other GTC-related questions are bubbling up, such as one about Gallery Plus fees on GTC listings asked about in this thread on the eBay boards.

We asked eBay to help shed some light on the confusion over the GTC listing date changes and asked why it hadn’t issued a reminder to sellers before making significant changes to GTC renewal dates. We have not yet received a response.

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/.

3 thoughts on “eBay GTC Changes Throws Some Sellers for a Loop”

  1. eBay claims they are refunding all the fees from these phantom automatic relists that their GTC fee generation script created fraudulently, but they never gave a reason to us on how it happened, they claim as always it was a ‘glitch’ and they mumbled about the new GTC policy changes.

    I told them the items were never close to ending and want the reason that their GTC fee generation script renewed thousands of listings that never were close to ending.

    They will not get back to you Ina, eBay is hiding something very large here from the seller community.

  2. For anyone reading this now, eBay is working on this and sellers will be credited for any accidental relists.

    Not sure why it happened to begin with – don’t they do QC on their changes? But at any rate, a resolution is in the works.

  3. @bargainzbabylon

    So does this mean that Ebay is going to AUTOMATICALLY give these overcharges back to the Sellers, or is it another one of these, “If you catch us and call us out on it” we will refund you? My bet is that if a Seller does not call and have the exact information on what they were overcharged on, Ebay will once again do nothing but gladly keep the Sellers money. They can easily discover who was overcharged and refund that money, but that is just not how Ebay operates. They operate using the “GOTCHA” method of billing unless you catch them and call them out on it. Ebay depends on all of these so called glitches to show any kind of growth.

    These things happen with every change that Ebay makes because they no longer have a Beta Testing Department in house. They use us, Their Sellers, to do all the QC work on their changes because they are to cheap to do it themselves. They also make more money this way because as funny as it sounds, every glitch that happens seems to favor Ebay making more money. Purely Coincidence? I highly doubt it, as Ebay has been showing their true colors for many years now. The one glitch that I remember that was in the Sellers favor happened a couple of years ago and Ebay had not invoiced many Sellers for all of their FVF’s. Funny how Ebay caught that error and had it corrected in about a day where all of these other “glitches” rarely if ever get fixed and Ebay gladly keeps accepting the stolen money month after month.

    Despite all of the “glitches” and other problems that Ebay continues to have, they continue use the offshore programmers whose work is shoddy at best and bring in more and more H1B Visa employees because they can pay them less than a US citizen would be paid plus they have so much control over them. If any of them were to ever disclose or say anything about Ebays practices you can be sure that Ebay would terminate them immediately and they would be required to go back to the poverty stricken country they came from. Also many of them come from countries where these types of practices are considered SOP.

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