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eBay Sellers Ask about Nuts-and-Bolts Issues

eBay Sellers Ask about Nuts-and-Bolts Issues

eBay sellers turn to the company’s weekly chat session to ask questions and raise issues they see as problems or opportunities. On the August 25th chat, sellers had some words of thanks to the moderators who respond to their questions, and they also asked about some nuts-and-bolts issues.

One issue was the ease with which sellers said buyers could go right to their credit card company to dispute a transaction instead of going through the eBay claims process – you can read more about it on this EcommerceBytes Blog post, “Does eBay Payments Have a Chargeback Problem?” where we delved into the issue sellers raised.

Another topic during Wednesday’s chat session was quite timely with the Labor Day holiday approaching. A seller asked why eBay marked an item shipped as soon as a seller purchases a shipping label, explaining:

“If I sell something on Friday evening (or even Saturday afternoon) and issue the label right away, the buyer immediately sees that their item has been shipped. Allowing for my 2 day shipping, it could be as late as Tuesday (or Wednesday, if Monday is a holiday) before it has to be scanned accepted by the carrier. During this waiting time, the only thing the buyer will see in tracking is that the label was purchased. A few days of that and eventually the seller will start seeing “are you going to actually ship it, or not?” messages.”

A moderator responded, explaining that buyers receive several notices from eBay: “one that their order is confirmed (but not yet shipped), and another when the item is ‘On the way’. We do advise that it can take time for the tracking number to update, and list the estimated delivery date range as well.” The moderator said he could see that an eager buyer might not necessarily understand or appreciate that, so would forward the sellers’ suggestion to the appropriate team.

You can read more about the issue the seller described and the full response by clicking through to this post on the chat thread.

Another seller requested an update on a problem they had previously reported in which sellers can no longer change the sort order of listings on the Manage Store page.

“Were you able to get an update on this eBay stores question- was this an intentional change or an oversight- and will the feature be restored,” the seller asked Wednesday.

The moderator indicated it was an unintended consequence of a change eBay rolled out to Stores. “We’re working with teams to get an update, but the last we heard they were working on a solution!”

Another seller requested eBay fix the “Request Total From Seller” function on the mobile app, explaining, “It is a daily problem and frustrates buyers when they buy multiple items and have to pay multiple shipping charges, and then hope for a refund on the overpaid shipping charges.”

The poster said it was also frustrating for sellers, to have to refund the overpayments without eBay refunding corresponding fees.

You can find the full August 25 Weekly Chat on the eBay boards – and consider turning to the weekly chats held each Wednesday to get your problems resolved.

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/.

4 thoughts on “eBay Sellers Ask about Nuts-and-Bolts Issues”

  1. I logged on those weekly chats but waste of time, all you hear is “we’ll pass it along” doubt they do. I’ve asked about combine shipping on their app, “oh something new” NO, we been asking for over 3 yrs and another moderator responded they weren’t working on it, all in the same chat. Brag about 40-50% sales are off the app yet its not up to standards. I’ve lost hundreds of sales in the last couple of years but ebay won’t add it most likely because their making money on the overages.

    1. Ebay never fixes any so called “glitches” where they are making money on it. The few times that the error was costing them money like not billing sellers for certain sales, those problems were fixed immediately as heaven forbid that Ebay not get every penny they have stolen from Sellers. Ebay has known about this combined shipping “glitch” for years and have never fixed it as they make a lot of money on the overcharges even if the seller steps up, fixes it and refunds the difference to the buyer as Ebay still keeps their 12.3% on the overcharges. This problem will never get fixed because it would once again cost Ebay to much money that they are really not entitled to, just more theft by the San Jose Mafia.

  2. For multiple-item purchases, we explain to buyers that we ship ’em as they buy ’em – basically, if purchase AND PAY FOR multiple items, eBay doesn’t let us change dollar amounts, so if they’d like a discount on shipping multiple items (which we’re happy to do), they MUST follow eBay’s procedure – add the items to the cart and during checkout, click on “Request Total from Seller” BEFORE PAYING. We point out that this option is ONLY available on the desktop/browser version and NOT on eBay Mobile, and that’s that.

    We do not try to figure out eBay’s myriad fees and gamesmanship to refund paid orders where the buyer ignored these instructions, but we’ll upgrade shipping from First Class to Priority, for example, to ease the pain. Buyers who ignore the instructions to add all items to the cart and request the total will have items shipped as they bought them – i.e. separate transactions get shipped separately, and so on.

    Since our shipping costs aren’t inflated at all to start with, that’s usually the end of it, but we may block the buyer if it’s a PITA “customer” so further transactions can’t take place under THAT user ID. But we’ll try and work with the buyer.

    As an aside, sometimes even refunding $5.00 or less is sufficient to soothe the savage buyer, sometimes not. That helps us know, along with viewing their “Feedback Left”, who we’d like as a future customer and who, uh, we don’t.


  3. BTW, the “unintended consequences” seems to be a common excuse by eBay reps these days. We’ve seen an “Exclude Shipping Locations” problem come and go for at LEAST 2-3 years, where changes eBay made screw something up. They finally get around to fixing it and six months later, it’s back. As a 40-year IT veteran programmer, I believe eBay’s overseas programmers aren’t employing “Version Control” software, and thus often pull code to “enhance” using older, buggy code from before the initial problem was fixed.

    Thus we see the same issue again and again, as today we found the “Exclude Locations” isn’t working again, and we got an order from Norway despite having checked Norway as a location we DON’T ship to, and clicking on “Also apply to current listings” before saving the update to the list. Just a few moments ago we checked to see that Norway was in fact excluded, but even “re-saving” the tables DID NOT UPDATE ANY OF OUR LISTINGS, and Norway (as well as others we’ve “excluded”) still appears as a valid country we’ll ship to.

    I understand eBay’s desire to gain more sales, but doing so when countries DON’T provide tracking is A) supposedly against eBay’s “door to door tracking” mandate for shippers, and B) puts SELLERS ONLY at risk when a dishonest buyer claims the package wasn’t delivered and there’s nothing we can use to prove that it WAS delivered.

    Ebay setting up sellers to take the fall isn’t anything new, but COME ON, eBay, if you can’t resolve this, how can you be trusted elsewhere, like “Managed Payments”?

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