AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Fri Mar 7 2008 10:19:02

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

A glitch in eBay's shipping calculator caused buyers to see incorrect shipping charges when purchasing items from sellers. According to seller comments in a discussion forum post, the buyers were undercharged.

Sellers must decide whether to eat the loss or try and explain to buyers why they must now pay more in shipping costs - and risk getting negative feedback as a result. Either way, eBay's glitch is going to cost sellers.

eBay did not offer to reimburse sellers, nor did they offer to credit selling fees. Rather, eBay's advice to sellers: "you can send your buyers adjusted invoices and point them to the RESOLVE AB post, so they understand it was an eBay issue. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience."

If that's eBay's advice, will the company adjust the Shipping & Handling DSR ratings these sellers get for these transactions?

Update 3/7/08: eBay will credit sellers for undercharging their buyers shipping costs. eBay initially posted a description of the problem on the Systems Announcement board, then replaced it with the following message:

For a few hours on Thursday, 3/6/08, listings using the shipping calculator to determine United States Postal Service (USPS) Parcel Post and Priority Mail costs were calculating incorrect amounts. This may have resulted in some buyers being undercharged for shipping between 4:30pm and 7:45pm PST. The issue was caused by a bug which has been corrected.

This issue impacted a very small number of listings and sellers. Sellers who were impacted will automatically receive a credit from eBay for the missing postage. The credit will be issued to sellers’ eBay accounts in the next few days.

We regret any inconvenience this issue may have caused.

 




Comments (29) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: DISAPPOINTED AGAIN

Fri Mar 7 10:49:22 2008

When is ebay going to do something good?

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Jeremy

Fri Mar 7 10:56:20 2008

Our User Agreement clearly spells out all risks, and what our responsibilities are to rectify matters such as this.  Sellers only need to read and understand.

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: sgttbone

Fri Mar 7 10:59:04 2008


"Are you a good glitch, or a bad glitch?"

"Why, I'm not a glitch at all. Glitches are mean and ugly."

-------------------


Just one more in a string of mean-spirited, arrogant eBay attack on their customers.

With the new anonymous one-way feedback,  sellers are left with no real choice but to eat the costs. Ebay admits this is entirely their fault,
yet they do nothing to step up to the plate and make it right. Why not?

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: AN EBAY BUYER

Fri Mar 7 12:12:36 2008

I'm a buyer and ebay's shipping glitch yesterday would have OVER charged me, NOT undercharged me.  My shipping should have been just under $2.00 and ebay's checkout page was telling me that I owed my seller a little over $37.00 in shipping.

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: mike

Fri Mar 7 12:16:04 2008

eBay don't care if sellers lose money all they care about is how they can charge more outrages seller fees they don't fix any problems if sellers ask them about it all they want is the money

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Bart

Fri Mar 7 13:30:38 2008

eBay has revised the announcement to include the statement

''Sellers who were impacted will automatically receive a credit from eBay for the missing postage. The credit will be issued to sellers’ eBay accounts in the next few days. ''

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Kelly

Fri Mar 7 13:47:12 2008

Is it just me or does eBay have MORE glitches than they did 5 years ago?

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Jeff

Fri Mar 7 15:40:55 2008

This is nothing new. The UPS shipping calculator isn't even correct. UPS computes shipping amount based on dimensional weight over a certain size. eBay's shipping calculator doesn't ask for package size, and still uses the old OS1 and OS2 size designations. UPS changed this over a YEAR ago. I've reported it so many times to deaf ears. It's a waste to try to tell eBay they have a problem.

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Mar 7 16:45:41 2008

Sellers using USPS are also SOL if the total exceeds the insurance ceiling ebay has arbitrarily set.

I've probably lost $2500+ over the years covering the difference between the ebay insurance celing amount and the much higher actual amount.

I have reported this problem dozens of times -- so many times that I've lost count -- and ebay does nothing.

They do nothing about incorrect shipping calculations because most of them result in lower shipping costs for our customers, and ebay could care less that the difference comes out of our pockets. In fact, they encourage it.

It's just part of their overall strategy to deflect as much ancillary costs and liability away from them and buyers and onto sellers.

Never give ebay the benefit of the doubt abut anything. Their default mode is shaft the seller.

The only things that ever succeed in modifying this behavior endemic within their corporate culture are

1. NEGATIVE PUBLICITY aka accurate information about their sleazy business practices
2. BAD REVIEWS FROM THEIR BED PARTNERS ON WALL STREET
3. UNCHARACTERISTIC RUMBLINGS FROM WITHIN THEIR SWEETHEART HANDPICKED, RUBBER STAMPING BOARD OF DIRECTORS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF STOCKHOLDERS. THEY'VE DONE A GREAT JOB IN RECENT YEARS, HAVEN'T THEY?

NEVER trust ebay about anything, ever. Just keep lifting their slippery rocks and shining bright light on the photophobic, slug like creatures living underneath.

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Empires

Fri Mar 7 16:54:18 2008

Bottom line is that it's up to us as sellers to make it right. After that, well... oh well...

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Randy Smythe

Fri Mar 7 17:12:13 2008

Empires, please check Ina's update to the post above.

"This issue impacted a very small number of listings and sellers. Sellers who were impacted will automatically receive a credit from eBay for the missing postage. The credit will be issued to sellers’ eBay accounts in the next few days."

Now, I've complained a ton about what has been happening at eBay but I also feel the need to mention when they've done something right.

Twice in the past few weeks eBay has compensated sellers for glitches in their system: Once for the DSR glitch and now for this shipping glitch. This shows that it isn’t business as usual for eBay.

The old management team would have done absolutely nothing. I realize these are small gestures, but it is so much different than what former managers would have done that I have to acknowledge it.

If they screw-up, they are quickly addressing it and actually compensating affected sellers. This is a positive step.

They have a long way to go to win back trust from buyers and sellers but if they do it will be good for everybody.

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Self-sufficient

Fri Mar 7 17:42:45 2008

This is just one more reason NOT to tie into any of eBay's automated garbage.  I've been selling on eBay for 9 years and I'm still managing just fine by telling my customers in my auction text and ''me'' page what MY rates and rules are.  I don't even have automated checkout even though I do take PayPal. I don't trust eBay to do anything for me that I can do myself!  That was the beauty of the old eBay - we were allowed to handle OUR business by OURselves!

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Shatari

Fri Mar 7 19:28:54 2008

I don't know why they are claiming this is fixed. All of my listings are still undercharging or overcharging my customers anywhere from sixty cents to over ten dollars. I did get a nice little automated reply from their customer service though, telling me how valuable my business was to them. If I'm really lucky, I might even get a reply to my actual issue...

Meh. Maybe I'm being harsh, but the more I sell on Ebay, the less I want to.

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: vintagepostcards

Fri Mar 7 20:14:56 2008

Shatari wrote:  ''Maybe I'm being harsh, but the more I sell on Ebay, the less I want to.''

Yep, that's the point we got to.  We got to work on our website a couple of years ago, right about the time of the SIS debacle.  We're so glad we did.  Finally, last fall, we were just sick of eBay and closed our store there.  It was a relief!  

We might list during the occasional eBay listing fee sale, but that's it.  Although with ''smart search'' and the ''finding experience'' (why can't they just call it what it is - search? and leave it alone!!!) and the one-way DSR rating system, we're not really even inclined to list during listing sales.  

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Mar 7 20:43:11 2008

When ebay consistently and reflexively does the right things by its customers without industry and media spotlights trained on them is the day I'll say nice things about them.

And not one day sooner.

Two very public examples do not a new policy make.

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Advice to eBay

Fri Mar 7 22:22:18 2008

eBay is supposed to be a venue and must quit interfering with people's businesses.  If you think undercharging buyers is a minor glitch, their overcharging small sellers for Best Match sort results is a major glitch.

======

eBay's advice to sellers: "you can send your buyers adjusted invoices and point them to the RESOLVE AB post, so they understand it was an eBay issue"

eBay should take its own advice and adjust its sellers invoices for the best match fiasco!!
 

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: sojo

Sat Mar 8 00:49:06 2008

Ina -- once again, you prove to be the female Knight in Shining Armor. Honestly, these kind of concessions to error have NEVER graced ebay's announcements before the "noise" was amplified by the media. And we can count on you to get there first, succinctly and professionally. Thank you!!

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: steelescycle

Mon Mar 10 02:06:57 2008

what we get...we get threats of negative feedback from international usps buyers who get overcharged for shipping. and a demand for reimbursement. even though the shipping calculator is available for the duration of the auction, and the shipping price also available before any bid has to be made. aren't buyers agree to the shipping cost before bidding? why does it matter what it actually costs? buyers don't have to bid if they don't like the shipping cost. but they bid anyway, and try to negotiate after completion of auction.

what we don't get...we don't get offers to pay the difference from usps buyers who get undercharged. send a revised invoice? yea, right. that creates another opportunity for buyers to leave negative feedback about shipping.

the ups calculator is about a buck or two short on our items. we have to do that so that we can try to manipulate the usps calculator. neither calculator - ups or usps - works with the vendor's actual specs for pricing. with shipping prices being a dsr factor, you'd hope evilbay would resolve the long-standing issue.

i second the feeling...the more we sell on ebay, the less we want to sell on ebay. they've done nothing for us. not one helpful thing. in fact, they've treated us so poorly, we're looking to get out completely. we did about $380,000 in hard-earned sales last year. we don't rate, though. our 'service rep' was 'out of the office' when ebay shut down our store completely. this was during boycot ebay week, too. balls! the biggest i've ever seen. our rep still never called me back. never. i had to switch to a new rep. this is in the salt lake city office.

evilbay does not care one bit about their true customers - the sellers. ebay itself sells nothing. just shares in their company. sellers are their customers. no sellers = no ebay.

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Nick

Mon Mar 10 10:41:58 2008

We've been saying many of the same things at http://www.ebayfeehike.com Why does eBay continue to shaft the seller?

eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping   eBay Glitch Undercharges Buyers for Shipping

by: Just Me

Mon Mar 10 23:37:43 2008

I have noticed that many of the people who complain the most, are either no longer selling on eBay, or very little.  So why complain, it is not affecting you???   Just to hear yourself complain.  A serious seller, just works with change, there will always be change, things will not stay the same, so get over it....  Or just go away, and leave the rest of us seller to sell and make money, that is what we are here for.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.