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."
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.
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.