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EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – November 10, 2019

Letters to the Editor column
Letters to the Editor column

In 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.

Just a heads up, the new tax rules that eBay is collecting on are now finally in effect. But the taxes that are collected and added to PayPal transactions are also getting fees charged on the taxes by PayPal.

That just means that sellers now have a new fee to worry about with the new tax laws in effect about online eCommerce.

Note from the Editor: We covered that aspect of the change on this October 2nd EcommerceBytes Blog post – see what sellers had to say, and leave a comment of your own.

Dear Ina,
I had a buyer who bypassed my Block Bidder List 5 times, left 5 negs, and opened 5 inad disputes (Item Not As Described). eBay does nothing, they let this scammer scam me 5 different times.

Dear Ina,
Regarding eBay’s 3rd quarter. This comment on MarketplacePulse.com was stunning to me:

“”Younger customers don’t have misperceptions of eBay – they don’t have any perceptions. We’re not even in their awareness at all,” said Suzy Deering, eBay’s chief marketing officer in an interview with Racked.”

Per her linkedin page, Suzy Deering has been eBay’s Chief Marketing Officer since 2015. So what has she been doing for 4 years?

Hi Ina,
You might be interested in this. I have noticed a significant decline in detailed descriptions in my niche buying category (vintage watches) lately. While there have always been lazy sellers who do not provide sufficient detail, I have begun to suspect that eBay is now encouraging the lazy description.

Is eBay, likely on mobile, auto-filling the item description field for sellers with their listing title, shipping method, etc?

Have a look at these brief, one sentence descriptions, from 2 different sellers. (There are plenty more, these are just the easiest two for me to find right now.) For watches, and I am sure other categories, relying on this auto-fill only, and not mentioning other details – including whether the item is working – is a serious omission encouraged by the auto-fill.

“Hamilton Vintage Watch Titan White Dial, 10kGF, c.1958, Electric. Condition is Pre-owned. Shipped with USPS Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box.”

“vintage lady elgin watch 14 K Gold Filled. Condition is Pre-owned. Shipped with USPS First Class Package.”

Notice the incorrect cap on “Pre-owned” on both listings. That error is a sure give-away it’s an eBay-provided sentence and not one typed by the sellers! LOL

This is just another example where eBay thinks their technology trumps human input, to the detriment of the site, IMO.

Please don’t use my name if you post this, thanks!

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/.

2 thoughts on “EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – November 10, 2019”

  1. About the PayPal fees paid on sales tax, you should check to see if your state allows a deduction for that. With the way they have things set up now, states are going to end up paying sellers refunds for fees on taxes that somebody else collected and remitted on their behalf.

    This whole thing is an utter mess.

  2. Maybe this explains why I see so many listings in my buying categories with the only description being a repetition of the title and: “Condition is Used”. Sometimes only “Condition is Used”. Drives me nuts. I usually just move on rather than emailing the seller to ask about any flaws or damage. Condition is very important to most collectors, and you can’t count on just the pictures to reveal the true condition. I want to scream at these sellers that Used (or Pre Owned) is not a description of condition! But then I’d never have time to buy anything….

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