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Mon Apr 21 2008 09:31:52

Communicating with eBay

By: Ina Steiner

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My friend, who has been selling on eBay for a long time, wrote me this letter, and I thought it would make a great blog post:

eBay will only know how much is wrong and how often it is wrong is sellers begin to send them information and questions about every thing that is not working.....I rarely send a message about all the stuff that I see that's screwed up because it seems to be hopeless.....maybe it would be less hopeless if everyone reported everything. At the very least sellers would feel like they have done everything they can do.

In addition to reporting problems directly to eBay, users also have the option of posting to the Discussion Boards. I know it helps me figure out the seriousness of a problem by seeing how many people are discussing it on the boards!

Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: Laura

Mon Apr 21 10:42:49 2008

I felt my blood pressure rise at the just the thought of it.

The few times that I even tried to communicate problems to ebay wasted too much time (waiting on live help, getting redirected to other pages, or trying to find where to report….)  and it wasn’t even productive.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: LH

Mon Apr 21 11:04:34 2008

eBay uses canned answers they do not read the messages they receive. So it is wasted time waiting for help. The problem/question is ofter not addressed.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: Gravy

Mon Apr 21 12:20:26 2008

Communication and Ebay? The day Ebay gets it's own DSR's is the day they may change their own ways.

I have had the opportunity to use their live help and their email system. I have gotten canned answers that have nothing to do with my problem. Their response time is horrible.

The live help was even worse. I had a problem where my On Sale items were not coming off sale even though the sale expired days ago. I was told to cancel 450 listings and to repost. They said they would need the listing numbers for each listing to credit my account. Are you kidding?

It turns out there was a known glitch that worked itself out.

As of today, I have only used customer service about 4 times and have NEVER received the help that my customers and I deserve.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: joan

Mon Apr 21 12:33:18 2008

Reporting suspicious email purportedly from ebay [spam]to Spoof gets you two more emails from eBay. They just tell you that they are not from eBay. Of course you knew that anyway...

Three spams for the price of one.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: The Squeaking Wheel

Mon Apr 21 12:35:26 2008

Operating under the premise that eBay pays attention to the Discussion boards is like assuming the President actually reads your local newspaper -- it just doesn't happen folks.  If he does get info from your local paper, it's been filtered thru so many 'yes-men' that it's completely unrecognizable by the time he gets it.

Same with eBay - if the Discussion boards are read, they are read by underlings who then put a spin on what they read, pass it up the line, where it's respun and passed up a few more times.  By the time it reaches anyone who can actually do something -- it's more sugary that cotton candy and just as highly spun.

If you want to get greased, you gotta become the loudest squeaky wheel.  Buyers have done it for years, complaining - thru channels - about all those nasty sellers out there... and eBay heard that.  Yes, some of it is due to their buyer-selective hearing... but they got that way because only buyers were taking the time to report their 'issues'.  So in the face of a lack of contrary information, eBay assumed the buyers were the only ones having problems.  Hence the buyer-centric listening and buyer-centric approach to fixes.

If sellers want to be heard, they have to fill those same channels with complaints.  File complaints every time a buyers tries to get you to misrepresent the value of an item on a Customs form, and again if they then ding you in your feedback for the Customs fees.  File complaints every time a buyer asks for a 'partial refund for this defect' but refuses to return the item, even if you offer to pay return postage.  File complaints every time a buyer demands a refund or they'll file a chargeback with PayPal.  File a complaint for every demand for a bigger shipping discount, when you've already cut their costs below actual postage!

Fill the eBay system with seller complaints about the bad behaviours of the buyers.  Even with the canned replies, there's an upside... a percentage of all complaints received get to fill out a survey on how well eBay Customer Service handled the complaint.  Be hontest -- if you didn't like it, tell them, but do so in a way that they will listen to.  Pretend you are speaking to a child - no yelling, no angry threats, just small words that are easy to understand and hard to misinterpret.

And keep it up.  Yes - it's a pain in the arse and it takes time.  But we're on the short end of the stick here folks -- if we don't start speaking up, loudly, in places where we can assume someone is at least counting the raw numbers, pretty soon there won't even be the stick -- we'll just be so much fodder under the heel of the buyers.

Be Heard.  Squeak.  Get Greased.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: joan

Mon Apr 21 12:40:11 2008

"Communicating" and "eBay" are mutually exclusive terms. Their specialty is "spin."

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: Patricia

Mon Apr 21 13:23:04 2008

Ebay should be well aware of exactly what's wrong.  They have the information on their own discussion boards and all over blogs like this and even financial articles that accept comments.  Overwhelmingly, ebay users are complaining about the new policies and the new path ebay wants to take. - and ALL falls on deaf ears as ebay pushes forward with its own goals.  Is it any wonder users just give up and go somewhere else?  There's a reason ebay's auction figures are pretty much stagnant and wall street is even beginning to see it!  Yeah - keep paying Mr. Donahoe to destroy a company that once was unique!

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: Auctionwally

Mon Apr 21 13:29:03 2008

eBay just isn't interested in listening, furthermore they've made it clear that they are not interested. I've had several occasions to call as a Powerseller who was granted special phone support and ended up with my blood pressure spiking!
What a sad and pathetic joke this once great company has become. I used to list about 100 items a week and now list about 5.
On the other hand, I've been having a LOT of success with Amazon lately.
I'd like to see eBay bounce back, but I don't see it happening.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: steve jay

Mon Apr 21 13:44:02 2008

EBay has been reading the power seller board

I did post a thread on there stating all the problems with seller manger pro and had asked others to post issues but not much became of the thread. Some of the issues were cleared up

The title of thread was

To the eBay executives reading this board please fix these issues

There was a thread on there a couple of days of ago with complaints about random item specifics it seems eBay has corrected this issue or turned it off. I had mentioned this in my earlier thread too which sank to the bottom.  

I think people are more interested in bashing and playing feedback poker.

They should make a sticky thread so serious users could post issues

This is the only way there are going to know about site issues

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: Ansgar

Mon Apr 21 14:01:44 2008

There are positive exceptions:

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: Crabby Patty

Mon Apr 21 14:08:05 2008

Using the Stores board as an example, I've been extremely dismayed that apparently no one at eBay reads it.  We have been assured, time and again, that the Stores Team reads the board daily, and that they are aware of problems, questions, concerns store owners may have.  Also, we have been assured that any emails sent to the Stores Team email are read daily and responded to within 24 hours.

HOWEVER -- you probably guessed it -- Emails go unanswered, threads are never responded to, and when the monthly Brown Bag Lunches occur, no one on the Stores Team is even vaguely aware of any of the concerns raised on the board.

At this point, I'd actually be MORE happy to hear them say something like "eBay doesn't care - we don't have to!"  At least, it's closer to the truth.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: RichardC

Mon Apr 21 15:19:22 2008

Communication with eBay? You usually know how they will answer prior to asking the question- So why bother asking.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: JustonceOnline

Mon Apr 21 15:21:25 2008

I agree with everything that is posted above...but I think you are missing the telling eBay every thing you see that is wrong they may see that there's lots more they need to be attending to than they realize.  By saying nothing eBay gets lulled into their usual it's-not-so-bad position.

I have seldom had a good answer from eBay....and I sometimes wonder if anyone in their Customer Service even understands what those two words mean....but from now on I'm going to send them a message every time something is amiss....and not care what their answer is, just satisfied that I told them, that they had a chance to do something about it and then forget it.

Posting to the boards may get you some information but it may or may not be helpful or right and is usually laces with all kinds of stuff you don't want or need to know...and eBay does not generally read the needs to be directly to eBay through one of their Customer Service channels...eMail, phone or Live chat...the boards aren't a substitute for Customer Service.  With all the money eBay makes their CS should be the best on the web, world class....instead it stinks.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: chris r

Tue Apr 22 01:06:35 2008

I am not one for taking the time to respond or comment on the rantings of small minded business people but I cannot resist. People hate change and more often than not all these people see is me me me how does it impacts me.  Complaining about changes and not taking the time to learn or read up on eBay's proposed strategies designed to improve the overall experience for the majority of its members.  I would like to see anyone who complains on this site to suggest another business strategy that they think would improve the buyers and sellers while at the same time trying to increase EPS for its share holders. I think its funny when I see a solid company that offers so much to the community and that not only listens to its customers but make changes based on feedback.  Has anyone gone to eBay live?  

Try going there and then come back here to complain that big bad mean ugly ebay is picking on me.  Oh and try using spell check before you post.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: Adam Morris

Tue Apr 22 03:29:12 2008

Speaking of the discussion boards...  More often than not we can corroborate an eBay or PayPal issue with the eBay Seller community way before eBay or PayPal admit it's a problem.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: Henrietta

Tue Apr 22 03:31:53 2008

Chris r

I started selling on eBay 1999. I have seen plenty of changes good and bad. How about you?

Do a little reading. Your ignorance is showing, hitch your pants up.

Previously suggested solution to issues here and in eBayINK, on the boards, in workshops, written to Griff:
1. Retaliatory feedback: Ban automated like for like programs, 90% solved. Most long term small sellers will not do neg because it reflects so poorly on them.
2. NPB - require verified ID on everyone
3. NARU sellers returning see 2 above
4. DSRs - rephrase and remove balloon thing which blocks 5th star
5. Customer service, retrain bot, hire more live CSR
6. Hijacked accounts, dedicated report button
7. Newbies who use feedback for communication, require all neg from under whatever FB# to go through automated dispute process & meaningful cool off period.
8. Best Match, allow sellers to know how to use it, its not working. Bring back the keyword tool.
9. Ignorant sellers, require passing a written test before any selling is allowed. If suspended for violations, retest.

I could go on but it is truly pointless

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: Howmanyhorses

Tue Apr 22 03:35:11 2008


Can we spell o x y m o r o n

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: BeBopDeluxe

Tue Apr 22 06:20:30 2008

Sorry, but I've tried all those suggestions repeatedly over the years and got nothing but canned auto-reply and big runarounds.  Customer service does not exist at ebay and the discussion forums are populated by ebay employee gangsters who will verbally abuse you and mess with your auctions.

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: BeBopDeluxe

Tue Apr 22 06:23:47 2008

Chris R......Are you an ebay employee??????????  Or just such a newbie as to believe everything you are told??

Communicating with eBay   Communicating with eBay

by: RippedOffByEbay

Tue Apr 22 07:53:09 2008

Joke. I got ripped off. Paid, never got item. Got unpaid strike and negative. Spent 3 months trying to get through and get my money back, get things straightened out. Finally it was more time and stress than worth. Ebay does not want you to communicate with them.  If they did, they would have a phone number and human beings. They do that on purpose because they know people will give up, especially if it is a small amount. (mine was not too small)
Buyer and seller since 1999.  Paid with pp, got ROBBED by one of ebay's biggest sellers, who had help from ebay and paypal. Then got called thief and liar by people who must work for ebay-pp on their dirty little rigged paypal forum.
Screw ebay.  
But you can bet your @ that I will be sure to let everyone I can know what a ripoff and a scam ebay are,  every single chance I get.
ebay lost-will lose a lot more than they gained when they decided to scam and disrespect me. Filthy pigs.

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