|Tue Oct 12 2010 17:44:14|
You're Not Crazy - eBay Shipping-Flip Caused by Bug
By: Ina Steiner
eBay did not intentionally change the order of shipping options on the invoices sent to buyers (called Send Invoice) - a bug has caused them to appear out of order. Because buyers are used to the first shipping option on invoices being the least expensive method, some buyers who automatically checked the first option became angry for being charged higher shipping costs than they expected to pay.
On Friday, AuctionBytes published two letters from sellers who were seeing invoices that displayed the most expensive shipping options first - as one seller wrote, "buyers are used to the first option being the cheapest and aren't reading and just selecting the first choice."
A third letter came in from an AuctionBytes reader who said they offer buyers the choice of selecting Media Mail for $3.99, or Priority Mail for $7.99. "Three times in the last week the eBay invoice that goes out to the buyer has placed the most expensive shipping option first (Priority Mail) and the least expensive shipping option second."
They went on to explain that one of their buyers became angry because he thought $7.99 was too high for a record that cost $7.99. "When I checked the invoice in My eBay that was sent to him, both shipment options were shown as normal, but the higher cost Priority Mail shipment amount was the first option offered instead of being the second option offered."
eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff said Monday that eBay had not changed the shipping order. Upon further investigation (and reviewing a discussion on the eBay boards), she wrote back on Tuesday to explain that shipping options were previously ordered in the same way as they are on View Item and Checkout, which is based on the order in which sellers list them. "Right now the shipping options appear to be ordered somewhat randomly, which is a bug that we are investigating," she said, adding that eBay appreciated sellers flagging the issue. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.