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Sun Mar 14 2010 22:04:54

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers are reacting to eBay's announcement regarding a process for dealing with deadbeat bidders and buyers. The company told sellers on March 10th it would be making the Unpaid Item (UPI) Assistant available to all sellers by the end of the month. The announcement has had a mixed reception.

eBay first introduced UPI Assistant on a limited basis last summer, and it also generated confusion and controversy back then (Here's a link to a post on the AuctionBytes Blog from November.) Here's how the process works:

Unpaid Item Assistant automates the process of opening and closing unpaid item cases. Sellers can set it up to automatically open a case after a specified time, and the buyer then has up to 4 days to pay; when they do, the case closes automatically. If they don't pay, the case closes automatically, you get a final value fee credit, and the unpaid item is recorded on the buyer's account. You can then relist your item at any time.

However, on one of the boards where sellers are discussing the new Unpaid Item Assistant, someone writes, "Some sellers are complaining that the assistant closed the dispute automatically on day 4 and they couldn't accept a late payment. Others have been forced to accept late payments. A lot of sellers are getting negative feedback after refunding the late payment."

What do you think of UPI Assistant, and have you had any problems using it?




Comments (36) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: RANDY JOHNSON

Sun Mar 14 22:12:02 2010

AGAIN EBAY IS CLUELESS. WHAT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA FOR THE SELLER IS AN ATTEMPT FOR EBAY TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS A SELLER CAN TAKE. THEY ARE GETTING A PERCENTAGE OF THE OTHER ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS ACCEPTED ON EBAY INCLUDING PROPAY. THEIR GREED WILL BE THEIR DOWNFALL AND THE CEO SHOULD BE FIRED.WHAT USED TO BE A FUN SITE HAS TURNED INTO A NIGHTMARE INCLUDING THE FEEDBACK FIASCO AND THE FORCED PAYPAL PAYMENTS.NO WONDER WHY IOFFER,ECRATER AND BONANZLE ARE GROWING WEEK AFTER WEEK.RANDY

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: mickeyfinn This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 15 02:19:56 2010

I have never had to deal with it - but the simple fact that it is structured the way it is shows an absolute naivety about how the real world works, corporate arrogance and IT 'ivory tower' mentality of gargantuan proportions and utter disdain for the humble individual.

If a buyer and seller come to a mutually agreed arrangement, then (to quote Mel Brooks) ''What in the wide, wide world of sports'' is eBay doing with this idiocy?

Venue...?  Don't get me started!

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: pete

Mon Mar 15 05:06:57 2010

We have been using the system since it started and to be honest it has drastically lowered our non payers..BUT, the way it is designed upsets many buyers (I don’t understand when buyers bid; clearly they must have an idea to pay? not in a few weeks time)
The UPI closed case is far too restrictive as the buyer is totally blocked from making payment (unless they send money via PayPal a manual send not checkout linked)
We have already received some neutral feedback and the comments are usually “seller very pushy for payment” etc
Something we found is DON’T re-list until the Case is Closed (you won’t receive the final fee and the buyer will not be recorded as a NPB…a very messed up procedure but the general idea is good

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: Fed Up

Mon Mar 15 05:13:35 2010

I think it's ridicules that eBay allows buyers to leave negative feedback over an UPI case. eBay allows this feedback abuse. They do nothing to protect their sellers from the dead beat buyers.

I think eBay had dug its own grave. It's just a matter of time, before eBay looses a majority of their sellers to other venues.

eBay will soon become the new Asian .99 cent dollar tree. 你好 lol

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: Jim S. This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 15 07:17:35 2010

If I read the announcement correctly, the last para states: ''To find out if it’s available to you, towards the end of March go to My eBay or Selling Manager > Account tab > Site Preferences > Selling Preferences, and look for the link to opt in.''

It would appear then that a seller would have to opt in for the automated UPI to take effect.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 15 07:40:23 2010

It would appear then that a seller would have to opt in for the automated UPI to take effect.

That's how it would appear - except that's not the case. ebay support has given instructions on how to opt in/out - but those pages DO NOT EXIST and nobody at ebay will even look at the stuff. I spent 20 minutes with ebay chat support. The guy wouldn't answer my question as to why the web page does not exist. All he kept saying was 'show me where in the policy that sellers can refuse to accept late payments'.

SO MANY of ebay's problems arise because nobody at ebay uses it; they just look at pretty powerpoint slides...

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: John

Mon Mar 15 09:08:36 2010

I, on the other hand, have been using it since it was available to a few, early users, and have found that it saves me a ton of time on the rare occasions when I have a UPI. I think when users learn how to use it correctly, they'll find the same.

John

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: RicRoe This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 15 10:23:58 2010

eBay has long stated that a buyers only obligation to a seller is to pay for their purchase.

Fact remains, eBay should count a UPI as a negative against buyers in their feedback, then the process would have some real teeth and value.

eBay will not address the issue of negative feedback after a UPI.

Since this usually results in negative feedback and score lowering DSR's for sellers, eBay is motivated by profit to assure the system is buyer abrasive.

No good comes for sellers when eBay has the option to improve their bottom line.

To protect their profits, eBay will leave buyers to believe that when they are unhappy with a UPI being opened against them, their only revenge will be negative feedback and low DSR scores.

The seller abuse will continue, and eBay will protect profits by eliminating sellers from 20% discounts, and preventing many more from being eligible for even 5%.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 15 10:49:18 2010

I like how eCrater.com does its orders. The item is not deducted from inventory until the payment is actually made, so if someone just says they are going to pay, and then drags their heels, they run the risk that someone else will buy the item before they actually pay. It's a much more natural way of doing business.

With Money orders, the seller can choose to "hide" the product until the payment arrives.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
Web Site

Mon Mar 15 18:33:23 2010

It's my opinion that eBay has become FAR too involved in each individual issue, consequently creating a generation of sellers that are unable to act in a professional manner with regards to a failed transaction.

I believe that if they (eBay) backed off, their newby sellers would actually learn how to deal with issues rather than running to an UPI Dispute every time someone doesn't pay in the first 24 hours after the listing ends.

And they (again, eBay) would then be free to concentrate on the issues that once made this a great selling market.  LIKE FIXING THEIR STUPID SEARCH ENGINE.

Etsy says it best in thir TOS:
''Etsy acts as a venue to allow users who comply with Etsy's policies to offer, sell and buy certain handmade goods within a fixed-price format. Etsy is not directly involved in the transaction between buyers and sellers. As a result, Etsy has no control over the quality, safety, morality or legality of any aspect of the items listed, the truth or accuracy of the listings, the ability of sellers to sell items or the ability of buyers to pay for items. Etsy does not pre-screen users or the content or information provided by users. Etsy cannot ensure that a buyer or seller will actually complete a transaction.

Consequently, Etsy does not transfer legal ownership of items from the seller to the buyer.''

Source: http://www.etsy.com/terms_of_use.php

Now THAT ^ is 'just a venue'.

 

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: Anything for a buck!

Mon Mar 15 18:46:19 2010

eBay do not want to return those final value fees, even if means selling the seller out with guaranteed negative feedback.  Believe me, in this case a seller WILL receive an automatic negative from the buyer.

You are supposed to be able to opt out but as another poster above mentioned the opt out does not exist.

This company thinks that they are the only game in town.  Listen eBay "A good thing doesn't last forever".

eBay have clearly made it clear that they the only thing they care as it relates to sellers is sellers' money.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: USE eBay

Mon Mar 15 18:57:40 2010

Nan, I don't think our eBay could take a hand's off approach to ANYTHING!  After all, if they did do a hand's off, how could they force all of their sellers to use ONLY Paypal and some minor sites?  How could they control their millions of sellers by twisting the feedback noose tighter and tighter with every half yearly change?  And not allow sellers to answer their accusers back?  I could go on, but it's just depressing.  Ebay is only a 'venue' when it serves their purposes to step back from a situation.

If eBay exercised some of its iron-fisted control in this matter, it would not allow retaliatory feedback from BUYERS! And that's what we see when the Buyer is not happy about getting a UPI, or any other transactional sanction. They would not allow buyer feedback when the purchase has not gone through for whatever reason.  But that only happens in a place where sellers are respected.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: betty*blackbent

Mon Mar 15 19:47:15 2010

I'm one of the sellers who first began posting about this on the Clothing and Accessory Board...
what no one has mentioned yet is that not only can you not opt out of UIA, I and many other sellers had it forced on us with no notice at all...the first I knew of it was when an overdue payment was automatically accepted and the UID closed, with no possibility of giving the "buyer" a strike.
eBay refuses to acknowledge that they have done this...no one will admit responsibility for unleashing UAI on unwilling and uninformed sellers.

As to "where in the rules does it say sellers can refuse late payments..."
eBay does not set the payment period, the seller's TOS does. Once that period has passed, the seller is under no obligation to continue with the transaction...the UID notice buyers received even used to say "the item may no longer be available"!


To add insult to injury, even if you DO opt out of UIA as you are supposed to be able to...manually opened UIDs will still be automatically closed when late payment is submitted within four days of UID filing, directly against eBay's position that the seller is the only one whose time frame for payment is enforceable.
I do not accept late payments without prior arrangement, period...I give four days from auction end to pay, which is more than ample time for a responsible adult to mosey over to their PayPal account and press a few buttons.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: Just One Seller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 15 20:12:55 2010

I cannot believe how negative almost every post is here regarding this new feature.

We just started using it and find it is great if you actually read and understand the process.

If a seller ops-in they can select the number of days allowed for payment to arrive (4, 8, 16, 24, or 32 days) before an automated UPI case is initiated by eBay.

If after 4 days from the time the case is automatically opened the buyer still has not paid then eBay closes the case.

If a case is closed without payment then the buyer CANNOT leave any feedback or DSR's at all.

Sellers can still accept all the payment option they want like Money Order, which certainly should arrive within 32 days if the longest option is chosen.  Or a seller can just completely opt out of the process and continue to do all UPI's manually as they do now.

Here is a link to a screen shot of the eBay page that may not be fully rolled out to all sellers yet:

http://tinyurl.com/ykcbyoe

You can see all the options for time and the option on the bottom to opt-out.  The system will even email you in real time when a UPI is opened or closed if you want.

Back in 2002-2003 our Non-Paying Bidder rate in some categories like video game hardware and laptops was almost 25%.  In just one month, Nov 2003, we had over $77,000 worth of product sold on eBay that was not paid for.  That is when we really started to get on eBay to do a lot more to solve the problem.

While it may have taken then far too many years to get this far at least they are moving forward, be it at a snails pace.  Our UPI rate is now about 5%, a vast improvement from years past.  

This new system is a great step forward and most of you here just want to spout off a bunch of nonsense and BS about how you hate everything eBay does.  They are making things better and you cannot even acknowledge that fact.  I am happy to not have to constantly manage this process and that once a UPI is closed without payment I NEVER have to worry about a bad FB from that buyer.  The only thing that would make this change better is if eBay added the buyer to my Blocked Bidder List automatically as well.

So bitch and moan all you want about eBay if you must.  But in this case eBay is making things better, maybe not perfect, but surely better.

JOS

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: zaja

Mon Mar 15 20:28:32 2010

To JOS and others who think this is a convenience to sellers:

It is!  Unless, like me and many of my peers, you don't want to be paid eight or 24 or 32 days after the end of the auction.  And certainly not without the basic courtesy of the buyer contacting the seller beforehand.

My biggest issue with the new system isn't so much the inability to receive FVF but the lack of ability to issue a strike.  eBay has taken away almost all seller protection; unpaid item strikes are about all we have left to use as a filter.  

I had someone pay one hour before the UID closed and that is not acceptable to me.  I refunded her payment and wanted to issue a strike to warn other sellers, but was unable to do so.  

In effect, eBay is enabling buyers like this again and again and again, in many ways, be it threatening negative feedback if a seller doesn't do what the buyer demands or allowing the buyer to pay... oh, whenever... or in any of the other ways the system is stacked against sellers.  

This was one of the last protections we had and to take it away from us in the guise of ''efficiency'' is just plain wrongheaded.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: One Eye Blind

Mon Mar 15 21:18:34 2010

Hey Just One Seller, what are you NOT GETTING about the complaints here?  EVEN THOUGH EBAY SAYS THAT YOU CAN OPT OUT THESE SELLERS ARE UNABLE TO DO SO.  They are trying to play by eBay's rules but they are unable to do so and eBay is doing NOTHING to help them.  CSRs at eBay are CLUELESS.  Processes being implemented are not complete.

Read before you go on your ebay kiss-up rant.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: betty*blackbent

Mon Mar 15 21:51:44 2010

"Here is a link to a screen shot of the eBay page that may not be fully rolled out to all sellers yet:

http://tinyurl.com/ykcbyoe

You can see all the options for time and the option on the bottom to opt-out"

How many times has it been noted that 1.
Sellers were enrolled in this "test" without their knowledge and
2. Your screenshot is of a page that does not exist for sellers who were enrolled involuntarily.

You may also wish to note there is NO option for "0 days"...once I have to file an UID, I consider the transaction over.  I will not accept a payment once it has been filed.
All a buyer who needs more time to pay than the 4 days in my TOS needs to do is contact me before those four days are over and make arrangements for delayed payment.
If they cannot be bothered to take even that simple step, why should I be forced to wait up to another four days for them to get their act together?

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 15 22:46:44 2010

It is ridiculous that Ebay is paying so much attention to this Automatic Attendant for the UID system when there are known bugs in the system that have persisted for over 6 months and they have done nothing to fix them.  I personally have reported the issues several times.

Watch your Resolution Center closely on your closed UID's.  When a buyer contacts Ebay to have a strick removed, sometimes Ebay charges you back for the FVF and you can no longer relist the item if it was eligible for a relist.  This process is manual and up to the customer service person helping the buyer.  So if the CSR deems it appropriate, they charge you back for your FVF.  If your green check mark disappears, check it out.  You can fix it, but you have to call Ebay.

Then if you watch closely, we are unable to relist items.  I'm talking about items that should be eligible for relist, but are not when you file a UID and close it for non payment.  If you relist your item and it sells, you can verify by looking at your current account activity, you will find no credit for the original listing fee.  This has been 100% on all my UIDs since October.  I have to call Ebay everytime to get it fixed.  I've given up on that as it takes so much time.  But I believe there are many other sellers out there this is happening to, but you just don't know it.  Be careful and watch your Resolution Center.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 15 22:54:23 2010

Oh, I forgot to mention something else very important.  If the buyer gets the strike removed by Ebay, Ebay gives them back the right to leave FB even though you have never been paid.  So look out for that too.  Now if the buyer does leave bad FB on your account you can get it removed, but you MUST CALL Ebay to resolve this properly.  Don't depend on emailing important issues to them, it almost always ends with you not getting the results you desire.  You need to call them and you can get it removed if they never paid you and you closed the UID for non payment.  But it does take time, CS is not fast at all.

eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats   eBay Sellers React to Unpaid Item Assistant for Deadbeats

by: Bobbi

Tue Mar 16 00:14:30 2010

I can't even try it because eBay still does not allow sellers to mark as paid those items paid with PayMate. For some reason when a buyer checks out and pay's through Paymate it shows as payment pending and no matter how many times you go in and change it to paid it reverts right back. Then in a few days it shows up as eligible for an unpaid item claim. So if I allowed eBay to do this they would be opening claims against paying buyers and maybe that's the plan all along. It could cause more hardship for those not using PayPal. They have known and had complaints about this for months but refuse to fix it.

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