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EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – March 15, 2020

Letters to the Editor column
Letters to the Editor March 2020

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.

Good morning, Ina.
I’m not sure if you’ve already mentioned this in a previous posting, as the topic didn’t come up in a search, but one part of eBay’s new managed payments system is that there are categories of items that you can no longer sell once you sign up.

I didn’t see anything at all mentioned about that in any of the messaging until after I was forced into signing up earlier this week (I was one of the join-by-March-3-or-forget-selling cohort).

Per eBay:

Sellers enrolled in managed payments are not allowed to list the following items:

Adult only items, including movies and video games
Airline, rail, and cruise tickets
Auction services
Coins & paper money
Event tickets
Gift cards & coupons

Lodging, timeshares, vacation packages, and car rentals
Memberships for campground and RV parks
Motor vehicles

Listings that don’t follow these rules may be removed from the site or from search results. Other actions we may take include lowering a seller’s rating, charging additional fees, limiting buying and selling privileges, or suspending an account.

I did some Googling and found various forum posts going back to last fall with coin dealers who’d at that point been forced into managed payments especially freaking out about those prohibitions.

If it hasn’t been highlighted before, you might want to warn sellers who haven’t yet gotten eBay’s ultimatum, so that if they deal in such items they can sell them off before they hit the deadline to join – or can start looking for an alternative venue.

FWIW, I’ve been selling on eBay for almost 22 years (joined early enough that I have a 3-letter user name – feedback 8,000+), more a casual seller than a dealer, most recently trying to sell items from the many collections of a friend of mine from high school who died 18 months ago.

Other than a small commission (insisted on by the lawyer) to cover gas, boxes & packing materials, the proceeds of those sales go to his elderly aunt (he never signed his will, so the house had to be emptied and is on the market, everything to be split 50/50 between the aunt and some distant cousin the lawyers unearthed).

Not sure if managed payments is creating any sort of widespread seller exodus yet. But for myself, I will now be winding down the bulk of my eBay selling. Not sure yet where I’ll go to move the rest of my inventory – possibly a table at a toy show, maybe consignment somewhere, or I may take a stab at a BIN-only site like Bonanza. Probably all of the above. (I will NOT be joining Facebook to use its selling groups.)

IMO, eBay ought to be taken private. It’s just not a good fit as a public co. The BIN side of big dealers is never going to be Amazon like eBay wants to be. The auction side will never provide the growth that shareholders insist on (thanks to the bar set by the late, unlamented Jack Welch). eBay began as the world’s online flea market and that is probably its true best destiny.

Higher and more fees, outsourced “customer service” that has long been a bad joke, sellers not allowed to leave neutral or negative feedback even to warn the community about deadbeat payers or scammers – the question isn’t why am I leaving but why would I stay?

There’s no more blood left in this stone.

Note from the Editor: See this recent EcommerceBytes Blog post: “eBay Coin Seller Unnerved by Managed Payments Policy.”

Hi Ina,
Newegg recently changed their return policy for 3rd party sellers. It is supposed to meet the minimums that Newegg has for their own sales.

However, there are many items that Newegg won’t do a return, these are consumables, software etc. Some items they will do a replacement only and some they have the option to refund or fix.

Customers, can now do a return without contact the 3rd party sellers and thus not have a possible solution that would help the buyer and 3rd party sellers, lose the sale, pay shipping both ways and now have distressed merchandise.

It does appear that they actually have to speak to anyone with Newegg to do the return.

With Newegg 3rd party sellers selling expensive tech items with little margins, sellers may have to pull many of their items from the site as it becomes easy to scam and or manipulate the system and the 3rd party seller will lose out.

Newegg is supposed to offer marketplace support for 3rd party sellers but they have either been slow or nonresponsive to many issues with regards to returns and the return process.

Many sites will actually let you speak to someone if a seller has a real issue. Newegg is saying they are too big. I hope you will reach out to them and/or me for more information. Many sellers appear to be unhappy.

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/.