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Mon June 25 2012 11:29:15

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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EBay announced on Friday, June 22nd, that it was automatically syncing your email address associated with your user id to your eBay "Messages" folder.

"WE’RE MAKING COMMUNICATING WITH FELLOW EBAY MEMBERS EVEN EASIER!" the brief Announcements page post was titled. But some sellers have some confusion around the announcement, as reported by Ina Steiner in this NewsFlash story from today.

A Letters to the Editor blog post from January about the change brought almost 100 responses. And a Sunday June 24 letter to the editor, "What Does New eBay Email Policy Mean for Sellers?" wondering what the implications would be, brought worries from readers about the privacy implications of it, and how it was yet another change sellers would have to take into account.

"While they say they will only access things coming through my messages, do you really believe that...By doing this they would now gain access to all my vendors, my other customers, my family, my everything.  This is too much and the lack of real notification is just part of the plan in my opinion," wrote one seller.

"Please eBay. STOP MAKING CHANGES ALREADY!!!" pleaded another reader.

But is all this much ado about nothing? Will the change make your life easier in not having to login to "Messages" as often? Or might this bring new concerns about email phishing attempts, if more eBayers are attempting to access their "official" eBay messages via their personal or business email accounts? And is there some cognitive dissonance here in trying to make communicating with buyers easier, when in the Spring 2012 Update eBay discouraged communication by saying "no communication between you and the buyer" would be among the factors giving a seller an an automatic 5-star DSR for Communication?




Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 25 12:51:58 2012

No, Ebay is not allowed to do this. A lot of business and sales are conducted via email. Customers contact me all the time for customized items and other items  that I do not sell on ebay. Ebay made the policy of "as described", buyers do not undertand that ebay has created a problem.  This is a complete invasion of everyone's privacy. Are my customers from my website going to get a message from ebay stating not to conduct business off ebay? What about past customers who do not want to buy on ebay? They contact me. I am sorry but is this optional? I do not want ebay looking at my emails that do not pertain to them. Ebay want to see all of your email??? It is none of their business. What government agency handles privacy concerns? I am not going to allow this to happen and I hope nobody else will either.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: GazLanNaThai This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 25 12:52:38 2012

I reckon those translators of the Book of the Revelation of St John got it wrong ... "and the number of the beast shall be eBay" is what it actually said.

There is no way in hell I'm letting eBay into my corporate and private mailboxes - this may well be the final straw leading me to close all my eBay and PayPal accounts and move onto something else.

Apart from anything else, such a move contravenes so many UK & EU privacy and data protection laws, and Lord knows how hosting services are going to react to these intrusions into their hosted mail servers.

I had to check the calendar and make sure the start of April was not just around the corner.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: rqtball This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 25 13:19:24 2012

This is a great idea...they started this a while back where they allowed you to reply to an email in your personal inbox (which I do ALL the time) easier than logging into ebay all the time while not at home

BUT then I had an inbox full of messages I didnt know were read or not.

All they are doing now is marking the message read in ebay when you do this....how can this be a bad thing?????? makes it easier for sellers and takes away a step that I and everyone else had to do.

I believe amazon does the same thing...you can reply to messages directly from amazon emails to their inbox


What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jun 25 13:25:01 2012

Obviously, smart sellers were using this loophole for post transaction communication to benefit from the automatic 5 star DSR rating for communication while still sending post transaction emails to their buyers.

eBay is closing this loophole to make it harder for sellers to maintain or achieve 20% Final Value Fees Discounts via automatic 5 star ratings for communication while spinning the change as a convenience for sellers. In reality, any convenience is mostly going to eBay.

Smart sellers will no longer use the links in the email notices to send post transaction emails and instead send those messages directly to the sellers email address using the buyer email address displayed in PayPal.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: Susan Averello This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jun 25 13:37:59 2012

So far in both articles, I've seen specuaation by sellers on all sides on what does this actually mean. What can Ebay access, how can they actually access email?
I think before getting everyone all stirred up, it would be nice for one post with all the details. For me, I want to the facts firsts, then opinions or else it just sounds like E!

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: 16mmfilmseller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 25 14:31:37 2012

I think people are misunderstanding this... Without your password, ebay cannot do anything with you email account.

Rather - what they are saying is that *if* you hit "reply" on an email message, it will automatically update your "my messages" area to reflect this... They can do this because they force the email to go through their system anyway... BUT - it only affects messages that you specifically reply to. It will not affect anything else on your regular email account.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: Greybeard This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 25 20:01:57 2012

Ina's classic precision is noteworthy in the News Flash piece linked above:

''eBay would not store the password to your email account, but rather use a secure protocol to allow for authorization, with your permission...''

The correct answer to ''authorization'' is NO: eBay does not have permission.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 26 23:58:56 2012

Even though eBay would like us to communicate less, and said that if we don't we will get 5 stars, I right away rec a bad score from a couple buyers when I chose to apply eBays rules by not contacting my buyers after their purchase to thank them. So now I automatically continue to contact the buyer to thank them for their purchase through the regular eBay emailing system, and ignore eBays rule re 5 stars... I am doing what I did before eBay came out with this and it has continued to be the same as it was before, no problems what so ever; usually. I pretend I never even heard eBay's announcement. As long as I give the best service I can I usually don't have a problem. I am a top rated power seller and have been selling to a lot of newbies, more than I have seen in a long time. I just continue to thank my buyers and make sure they know how much I appreciate their business etc... I think some of eBay's rules have more of a psychological effect on some people to see what we will do when we would not necessarily need to change what we are doing at all. So to me eBay likes to also play a lot of mind games. I have to have some sanity and control over my business and I am not so willing to go along with things if it is counter productive to business, and frankly unethical. Doing what is right is more important to me that 5 stars. As far as the emailing goes, as long as my privacy is not breached I'm fine. Otherwise I will contact the buyer through 'their' user ID and forget about contacting them any other way re email. Or you can get their phone contact if they offer it and leave them a personal message of how much you appreciate their business etc if they don't answer... Perhaps that would be an even better option; calling from a cell if you can afford it... Or just send them a card along with their purchase with an extra gift saying this is in place of a thank you email because they are extra special :) I add a little gift with every buyers order anyway and they love it. I think eBay needs to stop changing things unless it is going to be for the good, and stop making so many rules. It is getting really old and continues to be extremely unprofessional. Anyways, this is my 2 cents for what it is worth.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: hzATL This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 00:00:59 2012

No brainer. The email address provided on my ebay account is for ebay messages only. I maintain separate email addresses for personal business, family and friends. It takes less than 5 minutes to set up separate email addresses with your provider. Anyone who is not willing to take that 5 minutes to set up a separate email address dedicated to ebay only is a fool and has no reason to complain.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 00:06:12 2012

To: hzATL, yes, another good point; provided you have that many accts to have another email address... I have two eBay stores and eBay doesn't allow you to use the same email address for both, and so here again another email address on top of two would be needed if I were to change my personal email address. I don't especially want to have to be logged into three different accts all day and night long checking emails...so one less email acct would be nice.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 00:35:06 2012

A lot of people have expressed dismay and concern at the very THOUGHT that ebay might somehow get ahold of their PERSONAL email and --even using bots--read it.

And the next thing they believe is that ebay will "spank" them for daring to communicate with friends and family and customers--be they former ebay customers or others--that ebay deems a THREAT to ebays "business".

And correct or not I think the very fact that we find ourselves FEARING ebay this way--this "Big Brother" approach to what is OUR business not ebays;  the "Fear Factor" that if we say anything that might be remotely viewed as negative towards ebay we will be sanctioned;  the assumption that our email is a PRIVATE area of our lives ---this is all very well planned by ebay to drive off yet MORE sellers.

Why?  I dunno. I just know that everytime I go and look thru feedback or my Saved Seller list there are fewer and fewer SELLERS left standing.  After every "improvement" to the site more long term high number sellers vanish.  So---it's not "just" the small time auction sellers who list 50 items a month.  It is also those with tens of thousands of feedback who have vanished.

Seems like once again JD and Co have shot themselves in the foot and can't see their way to make a clear concise explanation of this.

It's almost like we are those flat worms we used in HS bio.  And ebay is the Evil Scientist playing with our brains.  

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 00:52:31 2012

Ebay can not just magically get someone's email password.  

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 05:42:31 2012

In the Golden Age of eBay--when it was a ''venue''--we could reply to any message from an eBay member via our own email program. Then eBay hid the user email addresses, and forced us to reply via the eBay Message Center (a black hole). If they have decided to restore our ability to reply from our own ''mailbox'', eBay must be doing it for a reason not explained. eBay certainly is not interested in making a seller's work easier. I have to go reread Ina's piece.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: Done This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 27 08:57:50 2012

There is no such thing as private email, phone conversations, or social networking any more.  Government agencies and data miners can get into all these things with no permission at all, so why not eBay.  A good book on this topic is  

''I know who you are and I saw what you did : social networks and the death of privacy'' by Lori Andrews.  Nevertheless, I now have a dedicated ebay only address.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Wed Jun 27 13:31:17 2012

@Susan Averello : I agree. I'm waiting for details before I comment about privacy issues and such.

I will say that eBay cannot access any of your email *that does not route through their system* without you giving them access. Also, for the reply issue, the only way they can know about that is if the reply gets routed or CC'd to them somehow. When I reply to customer emails or payment notifications, I use their direct addresses (unless they've used eBay's message system). I also do not have html turned on for my emails, so ebay will not get any sort of graphic logging/tracking info from me.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jun 27 13:37:09 2012

eBay can read my e-mails posted to the account I used to use for eBay all day long if they want because it's only used for eBay and and some other places that I've purchased from and my Yahoo groups. My eCrater e-mail account is totally different.

@cayenna - I have three different browsers that I keep open all day, each with a different e-mail account: Safari for Windows, Firefox, and Chrome. During the day, I check each e-mail account at least once an hour, and then shrink them off the desktop. It's not hard to have three e-mail accounts going at once.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 28 23:18:19 2012

Ebay will now have an easy time of seeing if we are making deals outside ebay or encouraging buyers to use our regular email addys with a meATzoomailDotcom type of communications. Spying am ebay.

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: MADandCracked This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Jun 29 11:21:06 2012

All my email accounts are routed to Microsoft Outlook. There is no reason to have a ton of email accounts open. I will be closing my selling account there. I haven't sold on ebay in about a year anyway. :D

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

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

Fri Jun 29 12:47:44 2012

Ebay has apparently initiated another step in the attempt to hide buyers email addresses from us.

As I understand it eBay is simply sending a copy of your messages to your email address and routing your replies back to eBay with an anonymized address . The upside is that is that it will make it a little easier to save messages of interest.

I wonder how long it will take eBay to discover that the sig line in my email messages encourages people to visit our Yahoo store.

All my best,

Don

What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?   What Do You Think of eBay Syncing Email with Messages?

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 29 17:54:32 2012

Amazon is already doing this and has been for quite some time. The original message is routed to your personal email box. If you respond to the message its routed back to the buyer through their system.  

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