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Tue Oct 2 2007 12:19:46

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

By: Ina Steiner

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A seller wrote to tell me of an apparent glitch with eBay's shipping calculator that removes the Priority Mail option and leaves only the Express Mail option showing. She sent me an example that showed a small item listed with a BIN price of $10.95 and a shipping price of $18.25 - Express Mail. She said she only discovered the problem after someone emailed her as to why she only offered Express shipping. To be clear, she does offer Priority Mail, but eBay's system is not displaying it.

She said her sales were down by 30% in mid-September and believes this problem may be the reason why. She said it is sporadic and affects both auction listings and eBay Stores listings.

"Normally I would remove express but at Christmas we need it. On the one Item where we removed express during the glitch, the calculator indicates to buyer delivery is not available in their area."

Anyone else having this problem or have a fix?

BTW, the eBay Announcement Board in the UK posted an update to the ship-to glitch that had presented sellers with the wrong postage information: "the problem related to eBay transactions completed with PayPal has now been addressed."




Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Another Wronged Seller

Tue Oct 2 13:58:20 2007

I had a similar incident yesterday. I had an ebay invoice sent to a customer showing  overnight shipping at the rate I charge for first class mail ( standard flat rate shipping). Item only weighs 7 ounces. I don't offer overnight shipping in ANY auction or store listing. I caught it before the invoice was sent but why would it offer a service I have never offered and keep the price from a different ship method? It looks like I have to start scrutinizing the invoices more closely.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Cliff Aliperti

Wed Oct 3 03:27:17 2007

I haven't had any problems invoicing, but I did have a customer contact me yesterday asking if I offered anything other than Express Shipping.  I've also noticed the Express Option displayed when I searched my own items a couple of times recently.  Assumed it was a glitch, hope it's not still going on though!

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Jennifer

Wed Oct 3 07:25:06 2007

We have noted the same problem.  We use calculated shipping.  We had multiple auctions showing the Express rate which caused a huge decrease in sales for the past month.  It was brought to our attention by a potential buyer.  We then removed via bulk edit, all express shipping options.  They will need to be added again for holiday sales.


I would also like to note a problem in which the Parcel Post rate is showing up at nearly twice the amount of Priority.  Anyone else seen this?

Jennifer
PrecisionBluingPlus

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Gary Morris

Wed Oct 3 08:51:30 2007

I have been having major problems with calculated shipping.  Sometimes it charges as much as $5.00 too little and sometimes it charges as much as $10.00 over.  I have been having to do postage refunds on about 50% of my sales and have noticed a sharp decrease in sales, about 40% and feel it is because of the postage rates.  We have gone to adding the shipping into the opening bid price and showing free shipping to see if that helps, but this irritates me because now Ebay gets a portion of the shipping in listing and final value fees, and it prevents me from low starting bids.  This has been a problem for a while and I've talked to other sellers having the same problems.  I should would rather Ebay keep the core functions working as constantly adding new features!

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Ed Dugan

Wed Oct 3 08:54:33 2007

I noticed that a lot of people have been sending me ebay messages asking for the shipping cost and saying that the shipping calculator wasn't working. I don't offer express, only priority, so I guess they didn't see anything. What's funny is everytime I went into the item and used the calculator it worked fine.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Leslie M

Wed Oct 3 10:54:23 2007

I too have had a rash of inquiries for rates; some buyers have commented that the calculator isn't working for them.  Sometimes I have to open & close the listing page several times to get it to work for me.  A few times, I've had to go to the USPS site to get the quote.  Often, my second shipping choice - usually parcel post doesn't work or show, yet when I revise the listing, it's there.
I no longer bother to report bugs like this to eBay - the responses I get are useless, and sitting on hold is a waste of my valuable time.
I know this glitch is hurting my sales.  Although I respond to requests for shipping quotes as soon as I get them, I'm sure for every buyer that takes the time to ask, dozens more just don't take the time - and I can't blame them.

I'd really like to see eBay focus on getting their basics right before offering new, glitch filled enhancements.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Bill Affeldt

Thu Oct 4 17:19:17 2007

And it continues.  I was sent a payment that was $10 too low based on calculatated shiping priority. So I was going to eat the costs rather than impune my reputation. When I tried to print a lable for priority it came up with an incredibly high number. So I checked the USPS direct calculator.
Actual priority shipping costs for my priority package should be $16 per usps site.   The Buyer paid about $6.  The three times I tried to print via paypal .. The charge was different each time and ranged from $22 to $28.

 Sooooo  like a good boyscout I called PayPal suppport.  The person who answered the phone was not immediately aware of any problems, but after checking did confirm there were issues.  Thier advice to me was to try later and see if the rates look ok.

 I asked if they were going to post this problem so people would know if they were potentially paying too much for shippping. The answer was ..  We will send you an Email when we think the problem is fixed.

( please note that the problem is VERY inconsistent in both occurence and over charge % )

 It seems to me that the only way people will know if they are paying too much for shipping is to try Paypal  and then go directly
to the USPS site and verify the cost. Which is a 'little' time consuming to say the least.  

 PayPal was polite however just as Ebay is always polite and they did apologize for the inconvenience.  I explained to them that it was a bit more than an 'inconvenience'  that it was costing me and other sellers both sales and actual $ in costs.  

And yes I have noticed lately that I seem to be eating a dollar or 2 on several shipping charges.  I however did not try the USPS driect shipping calculator to verify.  

 The question really is  How much do Ebay and Paypal owe us sellers for over charges and lost sales ?
( I continue setting up my store on TIAS because I am getting fed up with EBAY )


To my credit ...  I did not use any 4 letter words when speaking with paypal.  I saved them all to yell to no one in particular after I got off the phone.

 I have heard that Trust and Security is changing their name to 'Trust us to be Incompetent' or is it 'Trust us to make money at your expense'  or 'Trust us Cover our Butts'  or maybe 'Trust us to only tell the truth when it looks like it might hit the press'

 I do have a lot of trust in Ebay and PayPal ...... to do all of the things I just listed above ... and they reinforce my trust every day.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: jsicolts

Fri Oct 5 03:01:30 2007

eBay heavy handed tactics at it again. IT WAS INTENTIONAL. Who benefited frim its - THE POSTAL SERVICE and the buyers in most cases. Sellers at eBay and Half get screwed again.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: JL

Fri Oct 5 03:30:06 2007

Bill, add "Trust us NOT" to your list.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: pat

Fri Oct 5 07:54:44 2007

Those are not the only issues with shipping lately. I have been in contact with several seller friends in the US whose auctions show up on the search results pages as "pick up only" - which also is a sales killer. Their inputs in the shipping fields are correct on the syi form, but certain combinations of shipping locations and methods seem to trigger glitches. Pick worldwide shipping and show an amount for US and when the auction goes live, the default will be set to pick up only. One poor seller had all his auctions like this for several days, then it seemed fixed and L/H told him the glitch was fixed. A couple of days after that he found quite a few examples of OP's auctions that also had "pick up" only. This is not a recent occurance. It has possibly been happening randomly for well over a month. Talk about a sales killer. Someone searching will likely not even bother to open a listing that says pick up :(

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Marsha

Fri Oct 5 11:12:28 2007

I've been reporting errors in UPS shipping calculation to eBay for over three weeks.  My listings all show the standard UPS rate, not the daily rate I have specified (and that buyers should be charged.) Since the difference can be as much as $10, how could this not be hurting my sales?  I've been told this is a PayPal problem, a UPS problem -- in short, it's everybody else's fault, as usual. The first eBay rep I spoke with was courteous, although unhelpful, but the most recent woman was rude and nasty on top of everything else, so I haven't contacted them again.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: tracy

Fri Oct 5 15:09:58 2007

And reasons such as these are why Ebay's new star rating hurts sellers and effects their business.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Mary Ann

Fri Oct 5 16:49:57 2007

There is another problem with the shipping calculator on ebay that needs to be addressed.  Priority Mail rates to zone 5-8 in a box larger then 12x12x12 are charged a higher rate at the post office (large package oversize 1) which is a much more expensive than a smaller package measuring 12x12x8 weighting the same amount.  They is no way to calculate the different size box to different zones in ebay shipping calculator. This glitch is hurting sales. I spoke with ebay about this problem and was told nothing would be done until enough seller reported the problem to them.  

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: scott

Sat Oct 6 04:03:13 2007

Well it is great to see someone else is having problems with PayPal.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Penny

Sat Oct 6 09:44:36 2007

I use the Flat Rate shipping options on the SYI form.  I have one  flat rate for USA, another for Canada and a higher flat rate for Worldwide.  
eBay is charging my worldwide customers the (very low) Canadian rate, so my bottom line is hurting.  So far I emailed eBay 5 times and every time the answer is different and they pretend to have no clue what I am talking about.  This is so frustrating, I hope it gets fixed soon!

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Frustrated times 2

Sun Oct 7 15:48:46 2007

The shipping calculator (and the ''shipping wizard'' on the SYI form) are completely screwed up.  (Or were?)

Last night an auction of mine closed that went to a Canadien buyer.  The option for shipping internationally on the auction was originally setup as USPS Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes, which for Canada would have worked out to $9.  Yet the buyer was charged $16.  Luckily I noticed right away this was odd.  And I corrected it on the invoice that I sent him.

Then I went and checked all my other open auctions.  And every single one was screwed up in a similar way!! None of them were returning the correct international rate for ''flat rate envelopes''.    All of them were overcharging.  

So I looked at them via the ''revise'' option.  And here things got really wierd.  Some of the auctions showed that the ''USPS Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes'' had been changed to remove the ''Flat Rate Envelope'' part, and were set to simply ''Priority Mail International'', and that various strange weights were assigned to them.  Others actually still had the Flat Rate Envelope option on the form, yet when tested on the auction page were giving out NON flat rate envelope prices!!!

I found that I could fix my open auctions if I switched them to not use the calculator, then switched them back over to use the calculator again and enter the Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelope option again.  However at this point I have no confidence in ebay that my auctions will not get screwed up again.  There has been no satisfactory explanation as to what happened or what steps are being taken to prevent it from reoccuring.

And to make matters worse - with one of my open auctions that is affected by this, I cannot fix it!!  Since there is already a bid on it I cannot change its crazy shipping calculator option.  So I simply tried to add some text to the auction page to explain to international bidders that they would be overcharged by the calculator but that I would fix that for them in their invoice.  But guess what?  That addition to the auction won't take!!  Because the form comes back and tells me that the international shipping options are invalid!!!  Yet it won't let me fix it either!!!

I contacted on-line help about this but that was a complete waste of time.  They actually thought that the rates shown on the pages were right!!!!!  Finally I was able to convince them that they were not correct, however they could not help me fix my one page, and told me to end it early and redo it!!!!!!  What kind of advice is that?  To end it early, cancel the bid I have on it, piss off a buyer, get charged fees for ending it, etc??  This just sucks.

And in ADDITION to all of that - domestic first class postage options are also screwed up (as reported b4).  And for me, they are not consistent.  Handling charges do not get added in sometimes - but sometimes do, with no rhyme or reason.

And the shipping ''wizard'' on the SYI form?  Don't get me started on that one.    I've never seen anything so poorly designed and buggy in my life.

Ebay needs a complete overhaul.

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Nick

Thu Oct 11 15:10:26 2007

I too am having multiple inquires from my buyers about the shipping calculator not giving the proper rates.  It also is not offering priority mail first class international on the calculator.  This is causing incorrect shipping for international sales and refunds having to be issued.  Can anything be done about this????

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: morten

Fri Oct 12 16:06:11 2007

An other great paypal fee calculator is http://www.calculatepaypal.com, I like this on allot better the the one above..

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Joe Bloe

Thu Oct 18 21:09:48 2007

Paypal shipping has a much serious problem. Paypal shipping overcharges as much as 100% when calculating priority mail shipments. Apparently there is a bug related to the package size data input.  

eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?   eBay Shipping Calculator Glitch Hurting Sales?

by: Lee

Wed Nov 28 04:37:27 2007

I have not yet completed my first sales, but I am having great difficulty witht he shipping calculator.  When I have all my info entered in and click the final ok it locks up and never finishes.  Several attempts finally gets a result.  Much time wasted.

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