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.
Thu June 5 2008 17:07:33

The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

I've received a number of emails from people reporting problems they've been having with eBay and/or PayPal. Here's a roundup. Seeing it all in one place is pretty interesting. I think industry observers forget that sellers have lots of issues to deal with on a daily basis (though many problems often affect a subset of users). If you are having problems or if you have constructive suggestions or workarounds, please post a comment below.

eBay Store Search Decreased Visibility: A seller wrote: This may be old news, but I just learned that if you have an eBay auction or BIN listing, and an eBay store listing for the identical item, that the store listing will no longer be displayed in an eBay search of that item even if you are the only other seller. The search result will include the store item in "X items found for (item) in eBay stores", but the store listing won't be displayed unless the looker clicks on the item link.

International Site Visibility Reported Broken in UK: A seller in the UK writes: On eBay UK there are issues with the new international site visibility. I have just had emails from the eBay Trust and Safety Department telling me that they removed international site visibility from my listing. Please note, they added, that the fee for this feature will not be credited back to your account. I have sold all these items on eBay before, many times with no problem so complained bitterly to eBay. I had a reply, in relation to one item: Thank you for taking the time to let us know that an item you listed with International Site Visibility appears to have been incorrectly ended by eBay. We are aware of an issue which is causing certain items listed with International Site Visibility to be ended incorrectly, and are working hard to resolve it as soon as possible. Please allow me to reassure you that any fees charged for this item have been credited, and that there is no negative mark on your account as a result of this error. I apologise for any inconvenience and thank you again for your patience.

This was two days ago (the seller continued), and I was satisfied until yet another item was removed from international visibility today with the same warning. Apart from the work involved in relisting, this has the potential to affect my dashboard ratings so I am beginning to think that the new system is heavily weighted against the seller if there is no court of appeal although, on a positive note, as I currently qualify for a 20% discount on invoices and feature near the top in searches I am in favor of the new system, in general terms.

As a related issue I have seen an increase in non-payers and late payers since the new feedback system started. Maybe this is a co-incidence but I would be interested to know if other sellers have seen a similar increase.

Trusted Selling with Identity Confirmation: A seller said there is a problem with eBay's new Verified Identities program. Sellers in countries outside the US can't be verified because eBay's phone system can't dial numbers outside the US, according to a caller who left us a voice mail message.

PayPal Notification Emails: I received this email on June 3rd: 3 weeks ago they did something that caused two pieces of information to be dropped from their email notifications. This creates extra work for me having to login to paypal and hunt down the transaction and find view the details page to get the info that was included in the email until about 3 weeks ago until they broke it. They told me 3 weeks ago the problem was escalated and today they tell me the same thing and there is no time frame as to when it is fixed. Nice customer service isnt it ? It would take a programmer 5 minutes to fix the problem, rest assured. Imagine introducing a bug and then saying there is no time frame as to when it will be fixed.

Problems Accepting Visa and Mastercard through Paypal: Another user said he was unable to accept Visa and Mastercard through Paypal because PayPal is requiring users to click on a link to accept an agreement - but they are not providing the link. Failure to click on the link and accept results in your Paypal account being unable to accept credit cards through Paypal. He said the notice he gets reads like this, and he provides a link to his blog documenting his efforts to get his problem resolved: We've noticed you still have not agreed to the Credit Card Processing Services Agreement. If you do not agree to the new terms by Jun. 1, 2008, your PayPal account will no longer be able to receive MasterCard-funded credit card payments.

Debit Card Cash Back Program: Seller says: We've got 2 PayPal accounts, both of which I noticed today were unenrolled in the Debit Card Cash Back program PayPal has offered for years. We have not received cash back credit for any purchases since May 31st and did not receive credit for debit card purchases made prior to that date, but posted to our account today. One account was still getting the grandfathered 1.5% rate, while the other (a newer account) was getting the 1% rate. While trying to figure out what happened I ran across a brand new page (image attached) that seems to be using different rule for the cash back program than the user agreement currently allows. We've lost the 1.5% for several and weekly and monthly bills that hit over the weekend, but are showing credits for items that posted last week.

Invoices for Multiple Items: There may be several issues on the limitations of dealing with invoices for multiple items (including the fact that Seller Protection doesn't cover multiple items shipped together, as far as I know). Here's the latest email I received today: I have been trying to get EBAY to fix their invoicing system with regards to insurance amounts for multiple items for quite some time. They have not been fixed going back to 2 postal increases ago. For example, under $50 insurance still resets to $1.30 with multiple items won. It is now $1.70 with a $.40 cent loss for each invoice set and paid by buyer or not corrected by seller. A lot of money to lose on a $.99 sale item! The $100 insurance amount reverts to $2.40 instead of the actual $2.15. This at least is in favor of the seller, but might result with feedback problems for shipping amounts. EBAY is directly controlling that negativity!

eBay Motors Security Feature - Problem Acknowledged: A reader points to a forum thread where an eBay Motors seller is getting emails from shoppers who can't see his photos. An eBay moderator responded, explaining "The iframe is part of a security measure we're testing on Motors, to help prevent user-provided description content from affecting the rest of the View Item page (either accidentally or maliciously)." The moderator goes on to explain the problem and what eBay is doing to fix it.

Please feel free to document your problems and offer suggestions, I would ask readers to keep it constructive.


Comments (40) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Tired

Thu Jun 5 18:23:58 2008

PayPal eChecks..... 3 weeks + to clear

Buyers are pissed and I am getting many emails from buyers wanting to know where their stuff is.  So far through much work on my part making sure the customers know it's Paypal I have still received a poor shipping time on at least on of these transactions.

Based on everything else I hear I give PAYPAL a NEGATIVE FEEDBACK!

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Lisa B.

Thu Jun 5 19:51:24 2008

Ina-This is serious business. This company will not communicate with it's users. My constructive suggestion is to contact a gov't agency and report these abuses. Something must get done. This is not normal business activity. Hopefully, someone with some knowledge about this sort of corporate incompetence (fraud) can answer where to report these abuses. All users of Ebay/Paypal are now at risk.

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Jim S.

Thu Jun 5 19:59:46 2008

Regarding the search issue at the top of this bolg:

My eBay rep reports that it appears as if those of us that are still under the old (previous) eBay search engine (no opt-out option on the search results screen) are having the problem of store listings not being properly displayed in search results. Users under the new search engine (opt-out option on the screen) are apparently not having this problem. According to eBay rep, It wasn't supposed to happen this way as users are migrated to the new search engine, and it has been reported within eBay. No idea on how long it will take to resolve.

It is a serious issue for those of us with store listings, but apparently not affecting 100% of searchers.

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: healthyjerky4u

Thu Jun 5 20:29:44 2008

How about the removal of BLATENT retalitory negative feedback?...I had this happen to me in April...

I complained and provided LOTS of proof...But, eBay did NOTHING, but take an entire week to email me a CANNED response and REFUSE to remove the feedback...They CLAIMED that I did not provide enough proof?


eBay's NEW mottos...

To help improve shopper confidence:

*Sellers will no longer able to leave negative or neutral feedback about buyers.

*Buyers will ONLY receive positive feedback.

*Important NEW seller protection s will be added.

I am really HATING the NEW eBay...The only ones "they" are protecting are themselves and the Buyers good and bad...

Karma is coming around to you eBay...Hope your ready...

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: bernard jutras

Thu Jun 5 21:15:00 2008

I was doing a search recently to see how my items faired in the new best match and imagine my suprise when a seller with much lower feedback and dsr ratings was listed ahead of my item on the first page of the search results .I have a 99.4 feedback with 4.8 , 4.8 , 4.7, 4.7 dsr .This seller had a 95.5 feedback with dsr 4.3, 4.3, 4.1 , 4.1 quite poor by ebays new standards ..I thought the whole point of this new system was to give better sellers better exposure .By ebays standards this seller should have probably been on one of the last pages of the search results . So much for improving the buyer experience .No wonder all the top execs are selling out all there stock options  

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Tired

Thu Jun 5 22:08:41 2008

@ Bernard.....

I did the same thing a couple of weeks ago and came up with the same results you did... I even had a friend do the same search and he came up with EXACTLY what I came up with... So I called the powerseller line and asked how the whole best match worked so I could try and raise my standing and was told ''there are many factors and dsr's are just one, all the others you can't control''  I asked what they all were and was told even they don't!  I guess I could have answered that one myself.  There stock closed a hair over $30 today... It will tank soon.  Beware of the eBay nazis...

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Jill

Thu Jun 5 22:25:54 2008

This is in reference to shipping using paypal. Paypal has been showing  ''amount paid includes insurance'' when the buyer did not purchase optional insurance. This necessitates double checking the transaction page on ebay to keep from short changing yourself. Extra work to be sure.... And expensive if you dont double check.

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Matt Price

Thu Jun 5 22:30:21 2008

The numbers of complaints that I get from my buyers have driven most of my business from ebay to Proxybid.  (eCommwire 06/05/08)

The buyers are leaving eBay NOT because of the fraud, but because they are simply not having fun on the site like they used to.

Most if not all of the people are leaving timed auctions for platforms which they can purchase the item immediately.  As long as the price is lower than retail with shipping included.

The novelty is over - the dance is done.  eBay is no longer the bellweather of the economy.

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: 1busyman

Thu Jun 5 22:33:26 2008


Let’s talk about these ebay coupons for a minute. This is great idea and I received one and used it myself. The only issue here is it actually creates a horrible buying experience for many buyers. You see ebay coupons do not with 3rd party checkout and as you know a large portion of ebay sales are done through 3rd party checkout. I must have received 40 plus angry customer emails that the coupon does not work. It has led to negative feedback for me the seller, me reporting item as unpaid and leaving unpaid item strikes, and killing the entire buying experience.

I contacted ebay 1 high level manager and my TSAM, my TSAM did contact me after 2 days and apologized and offered no solutions other then the usual spin we are making improvements to the site blah blah blah the same ole same ole I have heard for years. The manager never contacted me back.

Of course this is just another example of ebay putting the entire burden on the seller’s and running before they walk. Such a good concept will back fire on them. They need to stop talking and spinning and lead by example. They want sellers to improve the buying experience yet they cannot get their own house in order and have millions of holes in the damn to plug up start leading by example ebay

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Rod

Thu Jun 5 22:40:39 2008

Mark me down as a very unsatisfied eBay seller with eBay's new feedback

It seems clear to me that when someone 'publishes' an untrue statement in a
publicly available format, the recipient of those false statements should
have some recourse. eBay has precluded due process in this instance.  I
would think eBay would be in a very indefensible position if this were ever
challenged  in a court of law

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Boomerang

Thu Jun 5 22:49:13 2008

No business and I mean no business should run as wreckless as Ebay. This monopoly needs to be reined in. I have never seen such a nightmare in my life.

One thing to note is sellers have learned about the PRINT SCREEN button on their computers and now it's almost impossible for Ebay to conduct business without hundreds of sellers clicking away with their virtual cameras. There is so much evidence of tweaks, mishaps, wrong billings, and abuse. If sellers ever get their day in court, I feel sorry for them.

Ebay has built so much distrust in their system, that you can cut the air with a butter knife. Ebay is wrong to think that sellers don't want Ebay to make a profit, they just don't want to be thrown under the bus in the process.

I think the outcry is worldwide, not just Ebay US.

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: V

Thu Jun 5 23:03:41 2008

Be aware that when re-listing items there have been some bugs.  

Check the shipping and check-out instructions, primarily, as the shipping on some of my listings reverted to rates that are $12.00 over what they should be.  I used to send First Class International by registered USPS and I no longer do that.  Actually it has been over 4 months since I last listed an item with that form of shipping available.  

Second, the text area for the check-out instructions is blank.

When I contacted eBay I was told they were aware of the problem and were working on it.

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: ma

Thu Jun 5 23:11:09 2008

Ok I typed this whole thing and it deleted, frustrationnnnnnnnn. lol.
I too found I cant combine my customers orders if they pay separately. Also my dsr went down on sh time w last 6 fb and these people received items within 3 days of purchase and payment, some in 2 days. And 3 out of USA in a week. What is with that ? And ebay wont discuss feedback or DSRs and they are misleading the buyers because in the real world, the Likert Scale, 1-5. 3 is average, 4 is a B, 4.5 B+. Where did these people go to school? Did they FAIL a class with a B. I dont know anywhere in the world where that would happen. How are we going to correct our dsr if the system is flawed, are there tech errors? we dont know and they arent looking. Also I dont get any emails from paypal when I pay. this has been since March. They cant seem to fix it. Or wont go there. Or dont care.?? Thanks Ina for keeping us informed. ma

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Scott

Thu Jun 5 23:21:09 2008

Let me see if I understand the new search perameters correctly. If I list an auction, identical items in my store do not show up in the search but items in other stores do. Sounds like they are trying to stop store owners from listing auctions.

As for all the changes is such a short time. It seems like every few days, I find a new things to either be angry or paranoid about. This not the way to encourage your sellers to list more items and trust eBay that you will have an ongoing concern in six months. I am surprised that the stock has not lost value more rapidly.

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Keith

Thu Jun 5 23:40:50 2008

It's been going on for over 6 weeks now.  Missing emails from PayPal, both for eBay and website sales.  They acknowlege it is a sitewide issue, yet when I ask 'Why is it not on the PP announcement board?'  Half of the CS staff @ PP don't even know it exists: finally after a month of complaining, they put a note up 5/30/08.  The problem still exists.  I can't do my job unless PP/eBay does theirs, yet they threaten to throw me under the bus due to THEIR lack of performance.  Give me a break.

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Keith

Thu Jun 5 23:43:56 2008

And can we talk about shipping information?  Too many typos ... missing First and Last names, the list goes on..  I spend more time editing info that does not mesh with the USPS database.  What we need is a report button for PP/customer review to streamine this process.

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Sue

Fri Jun 6 00:15:21 2008

A customer who never paid for an item she won recently left neutral feedback for ME, complaining that she couldn't pay for it because of a problem SHE was having with Paypal. I asked eBay to remove it, and after a series of canned messages saying they would not do it, they finally said that the deadline for filing a unpaid item notice--apparently the only way to have an unjust feedback removed--had passed.  They said they do not remove feedback once it is posted online; somehow this policy helps maintain the ''integrity'' of the feedback system.  My feedback percentage has now fallen from 100% to 98.2%, all from that one neutral!  Why does eBay permit people who haven't paid for their item to even have access to the feedback page for that item!!!???  They shouldn't!

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Diane

Fri Jun 6 00:46:37 2008

eBay needs to roll back these changes immediately and stop the one can work under these circumstances.  eBay is just not listening to their sellers and sellers are getting hammered.....A company's bottom line rises and falls on leadership and Mr. Donahoe is showing his true colors as a leader.  when I wake up tomorrow morning I will be facing more new problems and stress.....and will somehow try to fit in some time to run my business......

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: ebay flunky

Fri Jun 6 01:35:27 2008


I have had (2) of these above problems to deal with, plus a heads up on something you may not of heard of yet?

The first and biggest problem has been the ebay shopping cart has not worked correctly on ''my specific account'' for at least the last 8 months.

I have written ebay on at least 6 occasions, each time I get a different response, generally it has nothing to do with my origional question? How odd is that, that a company allows such unprofessional, benign answers to such an important problem? I've had 4 of my customers complain hoping that would make more of a difference?...none!

Did it get fixed?! Has it gotten fixed?! Do they care? I really don't think so. Doe it still give my customers the wrong total on multiple items? ...yes! Does it sometimes quadruple the insurance charges? ..yes!

Have I gotten neutral feedback as a direct result of ebay's flagrant incompetence? ...yes! Do the cronic ebay problems suprise me?! Will it ever get fixed?..I don't think so?
Is it just my shopping cart that is acting squirrely? ..I don't know?

I've also had about 15 missing paypal invoices come through my system. And I've had another dozen that lacked a customer's shipping address, yet another dozen that only contained a customers name, but lacked the address.

Ebay has always been a bucking bronco, bur lately I don't know if I want to continue to ride this crazy horse!

My sales are all over the map. I'd say the new search function has helped me ''temporarily I'd guess'' but I'll take it while it lasts.

I've got one customer that broke his purchase, and wants to return it for a full refund. And an international bidder that expects a free replacement on an item he claims got destroyed in the mail. Does ebay care about me the same way I'm supposed to hold these buyers hands? I really don't want to provide this level of service on items that are already reduced 60% of the wholesale price. Ebay is a bigger gamble than walking into a casino.

I use seller manager pro and I've noticed that it is now linked to the paypal site. Once I check a customers payment via SMP, I am no longer requred to enter my paypal password on each successive entry to the paypal site. That freaked me out a little!

Ebay freaks me out everyday, and it get's crazier by the minute.

Ebay Flunky

Perminate Link for The AuctionBytes Complaint Department   The AuctionBytes Complaint Department

by: Michelle

Fri Jun 6 04:40:48 2008


I want to thank you for starting this topic.  I think it is a great idea to post  all of these complaints in one place...a place where eBay pays more attention to than they do their own boards!  I know that most of us store owners don't take the time to tell you just how appreciative we are of your efforts.  Thank you for all that you do!

I agree with the complaints noted above and could add many more.  The bottom line, however, is that eBay has lost all trust from us sellers and an increasing number of buyers due to 1) unfair policies, 2) glitches that are getting more numerous by the day, 3) search placement criteria makes every glitch much more devastating to our business than ever before, 4) eBay has pitted the buyers against the sellers big time which has made the atmosphere very hostile, 5) add another truckload of hostile feelings resulting from mega sellers like ''buy'' getting special deals, and finally, 6) eBay has left us sellers feeling like we no longer matter and that we are no longer valued here.  

My one wish for eBay:  Please stop turning a deaf ear towards us sellers and treating us with such disrespect.  I am a powerseller with 100% feedback and all DSRs are 4.8 and above, yet I feel like I am no longer wanted here.  I am the type of seller you are losing...those of us who have always placed customer service as number one in our business (long before DSRs) and have too much pride to risk our public reputations on some unscrupulous buyer .  Don't you get it?!!

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.

 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.