eBay said it had placed 340,000 sellers into its Managed Payments program as of the end of September. It's possible the majority of those sellers have no problems. But there are many reports from sellers who are encountering problems, and they can't rely on the normal customer support channels eBay provides.
With the new Payments program, buyers pay eBay, which then disburses the funds to sellers through regularly scheduled "payouts."
But numerous sellers have complained of payout delays, or worse, a cessation of payouts, resulting in a cash-flow nightmare for sellers who must pay their bills and continue to fulfill orders.
Another problem is reconciliation. A friend contacted me last week wondering how she could tell which orders eBay was collecting sales tax - the payout report she received had no such details, and she wasn't able to find a more detailed report in her account. The information was available, but she found it hard to find without assistance.
On a help page, eBay states
, "Your Transaction report provides a detailed breakdown of all your account activity for a specific date range" and provides instructions on how to access it.
It also provides the following "tip" that every seller should pay attention to: "You should download your Transaction report every quarter since the report only goes back 90 days. This will ensure you don't lose any details."
That's a pretty remarkable shortcoming for a payment processor.
"Last three days the Payouts page Last Payment Sent number has not marched the actual payout my bank has received. Actual payout running around 50% the payout ebay shows. Payout email correct when it finally comes often day late. What a mess!"
Sellers who reach out to eBay through the seller discussion boards or through social media channels like Facebook are being told to go to the eBay website and request a callback from eBay.
In an example from Twitter this morning, a seller tweeted, "@AskeBay Having trouble with receiving payouts from ebay managed payments. Need help please."
from @AskeBay: "Hey there, sorry you're facing this issue. Sounds like you would need to reach out to our Managed Payments team directly. You can request they contact you at bottom of this page> https://ebay.to/35NBtWE. We're not quite up and running here for this yet. ~ Amy H"
On the one hand, eBay separated from PayPal 5 years ago, so it's had plenty of time to develop its own payments offering. On the other hand, these reports may be coming from newly-transitioned sellers learning to navigate the new system as the migration continues.
That doesn't explain the issue of excluded categories
sellers are facing. Sellers who list in restricted categories are out of luck once eBay ports them into managed Payments. Those categories include Adult only items, Bullion, Coins & paper money, Motor vehicles, Tickets for travel, events, or experiences, and Wine. A seller explained his concerns in this letter to the editor
published on Tuesday.
In the tweet referenced above, the eBay rep had stated, "We're not quite up and running here for this yet" when referring to the fact she could not provide answers to questions about Managed Payments.
But during the transition is exactly when sellers need the most support. If eBay isn't ready to offer it on every platform convenient to sellers, including social channels and its own discussion boards, is it ready to roll out a program that has the potential to be so disruptive?