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EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – December 8, 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.

Hi Ina,
I’m not sure if you have heard this, but over the last three weeks our sales on eBay have CRATERED, I mean dropped by at least 50% or more for reasons I have no idea about. I’ve spoken to other sellers I know and they have experienced the same thing for no reason they can see.

I don’t know if eBay has changed their search engines or what, but if you have heard anything I’d love to hear about it, because it’s starting to hurt very badly.

In addition this whole MANAGED PAYMENTS nonsense I feel is going to be a total disaster for sellers because everyone is used to using paypal and this switchover is gong to confuse customers and cause major cash flow issues with sellers as far as I can see.

If you have any information, I’d love to see it about this issue with eBay

Hello Ina,
I want to provide an update to my previous letter about PayPal permanently limiting our account (“eBay Seller Devastated after PayPal Suspends His Account“).

After a few more attempts to have PayPal tell us the exact reason they closed our account, it became clear they would never voluntarily tell us.

We met with an attorney yesterday to learn our options. Not surprisingly, the PayPal User Agreement and the Acceptable Use Policy allows PayPal to do pretty much whatever they want in terms of deciding who has an account and who doesn’t. Of course, if PayPal made a mistake, or in anyway violated the terms of the user agreement all PayPal customers agree to follow, then their security blanket gets pulled back a bit.

The attorney told us there is a legal mechanism to compel PayPal to provide all investigative information related to our case. This would be the first step in preparing for a lawsuit. We have to decide if the cost of litigation is worth the possible outcome. At this point, we are leaning toward moving forward with the first step.

After a very long process we secured a credit card processor and gateway for our new web store. We are working hard to stock the store as fast as possible. At the same time, we are doing our best to take the appropriate steps for SEO.

We received very positive support from many of our former eBay customers. In fact, several of the former eBay customers have already bought from our new store.

We are continuing to research other platforms such as eCrater and Walmart. No decisions have been made yet.

More and more, we realize the road ahead is going to be challenging. The challenges are both financial and emotional. The emotional stress is driving our desire to take legal action against PayPal. Financially, we suspect 2020 will be a rebuilding year with little or no profit.

Establishing a new web store in a competitive industry is not an easy feat. Our weakness is SEO. An SEO expert may shorten the time it will take for our store to gain exposure and traffic. We launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds for an SEO expert and to help with our legal fees.

Finally, we are closing the eBay store this weekend. That will be a very painful task.

Thanks for everyone’s support and suggestions. It has been very helpful.

Dear Ina,
The best, and most frightening documentary I’ve seen in years!

Watch how software is slicing, dicing, and controlling you and your future. And how you can fight back. (Link to PBS Frontline “In the Age of AI”)

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/.