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How to Scare an eBay Seller: Free-Shipping Display Glitch

How to Scare an eBay Seller: Free-Shipping Display Glitch

eBay found out how to scare sellers: display “free shipping” on their listings where they don’t offer it. Such a scenario played out on the app on Friday but, luckily for sellers, it appears to be a glitch that only impacts items that have already sold and for which eBay had actually collected shipping charges from buyers.

A seller who reached out to EcommerceBytes wrote, “On the mobile app, it shows that all my orders sold with FREE shipping. I about had a heart attack when I noticed it. I checked my orders and saw the buyers paid shipping. Do you know if the app is glitching?”

Panicked sellers also discussed the problem in a thread on the eBay boards titled, “Free shipping when I don’t offer it!”

“I just noticed all my recent Solds had free shipping,” the seller wrote. “I never do free shipping and I didn’t notice when I printed shipping label. Has anyone experienced this?”

Another responded, writing “If I look at my sold items on the app, it shows the sold price which is correct then underneath it says: “+ Free Shipping (Free for buyer, you pay $3.99).” My listing had shipping as $3.99. I’m not sure why it’s doing this. It seems to be a new thing because if I look at older listings, it doesn’t say that.”

One seller was so concerned that eBay might not be collecting shipping costs from her buyers that she considered putting her store on vacation mode until it was fixed. She returned to the thread to report that eBay had collected shipping despite eBay showing free shipping on her sold listings.

The thread was started on Friday morning on the Technical Issues board, but no eBay moderators had responded as of Sunday afternoon.

eBay “free shipping” glitches are not unprecedented. For example, in 2014, then spokesperson Ryan Moore told EcommerceBytes eBay was working to fix a problem in which eBay showed an erroneous “free shipping” designation on the view item flow for listings containing calculated shipping with multiple quantities, though the actual shipping calculation on the checkout page was correct.

In a roundup of glitches posted to the top of the eBay Technical Issues board on Sunday, eBay listed numerous ongoing issues. Among those displaying as not yet resolved were “Offer sent by seller is showing incorrect amount to buyers (July 23, 2022)”; and “Sellers are reporting when printing shipping labels suddenly print incorrect and always shows sideways (July 25, 2022).” Check out the thread for the full list.

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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/.

3 thoughts on “How to Scare an eBay Seller: Free-Shipping Display Glitch”

  1. This is not a little problem. Buyers see this when they go to pay and demand the free shipping pointing to the listing AFTER it ends. I had to deal with this about 2 years ago and many Buyers left negative feedback stating I offered free shipping but then charged them. I got Ebay to remove the negatives but all the time involved to get Ebay to do something about this, and it was their mistake, was some effort. I am convinced there is no way Ebay can repair its system as there is so much poorly written code, it would take less time to just scrap it and start anew. Yet – investors still flock to Ebay and chase good money after bad. There will be a day of comeuppance and Ebay will be forced legally to drastically change – or just go under.

  2. It is such a shame how people still get attracted to these marketplaces to order products when they can order directly and mostly for a better price at the website of the seller.

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