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Thu Nov 10 2016 21:33:04

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay informed sellers it had under-charged them last month for commission fees due to a "system error," and sellers are both skeptical and furious. The letter includes a link to a page on the eBay website, but it's simply a general help page about account fees. 

"There's NO explanation about what's going on and or why this happened," one reader told us. "How/why did eBay make a mistake? Is it specific categories? Is it only some people (or only me?)"

And due to lack of detail about the error in terms of when it happened and the source of the mistake, the seller was skeptical: "How can anyone know if eBay tells the truth about this? (since they lie about lots of other things)!"

It's not clear how this will impact sellers who sell on consignment who may have undercharged their clients as a result of eBay's mistake. eBay said it would provide details by the end of next week.

Today's email from eBay came with the subject line, "Due to a system error, some of your final value fees were not accurately collected."

Hi (REDACTED),
During the month of October, we experienced a system error that under calculated some of your final value fees. To adjust for this error, you will see the missing final value fees listed on your next invoice. Click here for more information and to view your invoice.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. At this point, there is no action that you need to take. However, you will be able to see the accurate final value fees reflected on your account status page in approximately 3-5 business days.

As always, thank you for selling on eBay.
Sincerely,
eBay Selling Team

Another eBay seller emailed us and said they were furious, since they often find eBay errors result in costing them extra fees they are unable to recoup from the company. Asked for examples, the seller wrote:

"Regularly eBay re-lists already sold, one-of-a-kind items. Two so far this month, in fact, and two last month. Their platform also occasionally double-lists one-of-a-kind items. 

"Over the years this has happened hundreds of times and has cost me thousands of dollars. I've learned to work around these problems to minimize the possibility of getting low star ratings and defects from buyers, but doing so typically involves not being able to recover FVFs, send MORE than enough money via company check to cover the shipping return of a substitute if applicable, and refund the buyer in full if substitute is returned. 

"Some buyers won't go through the return process, and I have to refund through alternative methods that also prohibit FVF recovery.

"I reported these two listing glitch problems for years and gave up a couple of years ago when a CSR arrogantly said and I quote, "I supposed you expect eBay to refund your fees every time this happens." I told him that I expected exactly that. He said "it's not going to happen" and it didn't. These problems occur in clusters."

In our own observations, eBay often fails to compensate sellers when glitches make sellers' listings unavailable, such as instances of outages or glitches, which can be particularly devastating to sellers listing in the auction format. 

In fact, two years ago, eBay changed its outage policy so it is not accountable for compensating sellers when a technical issue impacts them unfavorably.




Comments (51) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: skyhooks This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 10 23:46:04 2016

I find this appalling and confusing because my fees last month jumped more than $150 higher than I have ever paid and my 40 free listings this month were gone in the first 4 days.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: cash4clothesbozeman This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 00:01:53 2016

I concur.  I was told it is a cost of doing business.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 00:07:25 2016

I'm the OP on this one ...

As usual, when eBay THEFT is involved - somehow, they find me and I get to experience their "world class ecommerce solutions" LOL

PLEASE PRESIDENT TRUMP "MAKE EBAY GREAT AGAIN!".

I called the dopes over at eBay. For the love of GOD YOU STUPID WENIG - HIRE SOME INTELLIGENT ENGLISH SPEAKING AMERICANS!

Slack Jawed Yokel from the Philippines .... with nary a clue in her small mind.

"Why are there new fees - adjustments ?" .... ummmm "no idea".

"What PART OF THE FEES was miscalculated?" .... ummm "no idea".

"are there any notes in the system on this and/or has anyone ELSE gotten this email?" .... ummmm no this is the first time Ive ever seen this email".

OK its easy to make fun of eBay, GODS stupidest creations - run by morons - its no wonder sales only increased by %3 (vs Amazon at %58!).

Another day at the looney bin that pretends its an ecommerce company.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: dasw This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 00:42:35 2016

1) Will ebay charge me the extra final value fees on items that were returned and transactions that were cancelled?
2) I'm still waiting to be reimbursed for when ebay undercharged my buyers for International Postage.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Nov 11 01:31:38 2016

This is how these criminal ecommerce platforms work. They steal.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 01:58:16 2016

wow! Ebay just entered the outright criminal.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Nov 11 06:33:11 2016

eBay have never been known for transparency, but this takes the cake.

Marie, I'm waiting on your take on this one. You always manage to stay positive (don't know how you do it) but would love your thoughts. Find the silver lining on this one.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Nov 11 06:36:40 2016

"Regularly eBay re-lists already sold, one-of-a-kind items. Two so far this month, in fact, and two last month. Their platform also occasionally double-lists one-of-a-kind items."

Oh yes, I've had that happen many times. They deny it, but on one occasion when I escalated it several layers up the IT chain at eBay they noted that the duplicates were not even being listed from my IP address.  Of course they would not admit that it was theirs.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 07:49:32 2016

I don't know how Marie does it, but I now just consider eBay's stealing the same as shop lifting in my retail store when I had it -- just another cost of doing business.

Of course it is getting tiresome, as the shop lifting, percentage wise, was lower.

To stay sane, I pretend I'm on tranquilizers and not notice or be bothered.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 09:15:53 2016

Never mind the actual lunacy of the email - what, your bazillion dollar computer system "just happened to malfunction" and OOPS charge me too little? BS.

Its all a program - percentages charged against sales + shipping charges - why is it so hard?

The bigger question is - if WE as sellers make a mistake - we get killed. We get lowered in search, we get hidden, we get defects etc - WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EBAY MAKES A MISTAKE ????????

Al Capone made a mistake - he killed people for their funds - he should have just did what Wenig does - WHITE COLLAR CRIME.

Ive said it 100 and Ill go to my grave saying it - eBay makes La Costra Nostra, the Triads, and the Yakuza look like mere children when it comes to money grabs. Why visit someone and break their kneecaps with a tire iron, when you can just lie and say we miss-invoiced you?

Shameful.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 10:05:36 2016

So... eBay... take it as a loss...

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 11:30:19 2016

TI mean for massive lawsuits

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 12:19:24 2016

Most companies, even most banks and big box stores eat it when stuff like this happens, provided it is noticed after the damage is done.

As a long time seller, i know the value of taking one for the team. You usually end up with a customer for life. I guess ebay truly hates it's  real customers, it's sellers. So on that note, when my goodies roll off ebay, that's it.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Nov 11 12:39:08 2016

Undercharging? It's YOUR cost of doing business, ebafia.

Eat it, Wenig!

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

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

Fri Nov 11 13:13:28 2016

Have to make those 4th Quarter numbers somehow.

It's not easy getting a 3% growth rate on ecommerce nowadays.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Nov 11 13:15:57 2016

@rexford

I don't always find the silver lining and I certainly can't see on in regards to this.  IMHO they are dead wrong on doing this.  

When Ebay makes a mistake like this, own it, fix it and move forward.  If Ebay has issues with the shipping calculator, it is OH OOPS, sorry about that, but they still expect the seller to cover the money.  And there are plenty of examples where Ebay screwed up but they don't reimburse the seller.  Sometimes they do, but it is more common for them not to.

So Rex, in a nutshell, I feel Ebay is WRONG in this matter!

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Nov 11 15:40:17 2016

I'm going to switch the method of ebafia fee payment to one of my credit cards. When these mysterious charges appear, I will file a charge back case with the credit card company.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Nov 11 18:21:19 2016

Hey, eBay, you make a mistake in your calculations, it's on you to take the loss.

If I make a mistake with regard to a sale, I do whatever it takes, at whatever the cost, to make it right. I don't expect my buyer to pay extra because I wasn't paying attention and sent the wrong item. If eBay has such rotten programmers and can't make their super-computers bill the correct amounts to their customers, then they need to take responsibility for their incompetence.

If I was a seller who got one of these letters, I would be reviewing every transaction and every penny eBay charged me, and if they tried to take even one more cent than they were owed, I would filing complaints with every governmental agency I could think of.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Nov 11 19:54:13 2016

Marie, well said.

eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees   eBay Sellers Shocked by Notice of Surprise Fees

by: amazedndazed This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 12 08:37:13 2016

I read about this a few days ago, & I just now received the notice. If I called eBay to try to recover all of the combined shipping refunds I have issued, I would not get anything else done. Cost of doing business eBay! Eat it or leave a very bad taste in your sellers mouths. They know how busy we are this time of the year too!

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