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Tue Apr 3 2018 21:29:20

eBay Hampers Negotiations of Luxury Goods

By: Ina Steiner

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When you're shopping for items that cost tens of thousands of dollars, you expect to be able to communicate with the merchant and perhaps engage in some haggling - especially if it's on a site like eBay.

But a reader who sells luxury goods said he's been swept up in the eBay crackdown on buyer-seller messaging. "I can barely conduct business on eBay," he told me.

He submitted an example of a recent transaction that he almost lost due to the "message robots."

He wasn't able to send the message to the buyer and it took him 15 minutes of X'ing-out certain words in the message before eBay would let it go through.

Some of the words he's found to set off eBay censors: cash, fees, resale, shipping, offer, purchase, insurance. For example, he was unable to include this sentence in one of his messages: "I also offer full credit back if you want to change your mind for something else."

He said it's also a problem that eBay doesn't want buyers to speak with him on the phone - who wouldn't want to talk to the buyer when purchasing a high-ticket luxury item?




Comments (17) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 21:39:43 2018

What a nightmare ebay is. Time for all to jump ship

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 22:23:19 2018

Then Ebay wonders why their Average Sale continues to drop and why they don't grow.  They keep driving off high end sales where their commission would be huge, all because they are worried about a seller taking their items off of Ebay.  It is so simple to beat their system if you put a little effort into it, that its not even funny.  i have no need to but definitely figured out how as that is just my nature.  I used to design systems and policies to stop theft and other company problems and Ebay is so naive on how to effectively stop buyer communication its not even funny.

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by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 23:28:24 2018

Not to mention that their bots do not apply these "rules" consistently.

Even with their newer draconian systems in place, I am still having people send me their phone number and email address, and they come through - usually 2-3-4 a week.

I gave up trying to send out any of my email addresses several months ago, as I got tired of playing the guessing games trying to get around the bots.

That, and the success rate of concluding an off-eBay sale from a questioner (usually on a just-ended item) has now dropped down to about 5% for anyone who is not a previous customer, so it's not worth my time any more.  I just re-list the item.  Sometimes I contact the potential "customer" who questioned me on the item, sometimes not - depends on how busy I am.  75-80% of the time, that questioner never bothers to bid anyway, even if I give them the auction number (to paste into the Search box) of the re-listed item.

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Wed Apr 4 00:32:36 2018

I sell luxury goods and I can attest this is true. You have to very carefully craft your correspondence.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Wed Apr 4 00:49:00 2018

I had a buyer state in his EBAY message "Will you take $60 directly through PayPal, no ebay fees?"  No bots caught it.  I had to respond with the usual "No, it's against ebay's policy to conduct business off ebay." just to protect myself from being accused.  Probably get accused anyway.

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by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 05:57:12 2018

I was recently contacted by a former customer who wanted to conclude a deal for her private collection which she was selling. We have conducted several such transactions to our mutual benefit via Paypal. This person has never sold on Ebay and is not interested in learning how to do so. She had lost my email address and could only contact me via my Ebay shop. She wanted my email address so we could communicate. There are ways around Ebay's ludicrous rules (which I am not going to post here) but you have to exercise considerable ingenuity. Had this customer contacted me via my Etsy or Ruby Lane shops she would not have had the same problem since these companies are not paranoid.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Apr 4 06:26:12 2018

I don't like those emails from buyers. Some sellers do.

There is risk involved with these types of messages from buyers even when a seller shuts it down.  You have brainless bots causing issues for sellers, even when sellers are playing by the rules.

And remember, it isn't the buyer that eBay will go after, it is the innocent seller who did not invite the correspondence.  If there is no best offer on an item the buyer should not be contacting the seller asking for a lower price.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Apr 4 07:58:39 2018

eBay's "have to go through eBay" brainwashing seems to work pretty well on toy shoppers.  None of the mooks that come begging for cheaper prices will do a transaction off eBay.  I had one in particular, where I was selling a case of figures (at a loss, mind you), that would not use Best Offer and would not take the hint about eBay fees preventing me from going any lower.  Nobody has ever thought to put a ".com" at the end of my handle to find my website with my e-mail address on it either.  Even a repeat customer refused to accept a 20% lower price for a related item he wanted but I hadn't gotten to listing yet!  These people love paying more on eBay I guess.

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by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 10:08:50 2018

If eBay doesn't trust an eBay Seller,
why not just suspend them ?

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by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 10:24:15 2018

But remember this is due to some dirtbags taking sales off-site. we all pay the price for a few sellers who want to avoid the commissions.

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Apr 4 11:17:53 2018

I think eBay killed off most of their luxury goods volume when they stopped tiering the commission rates for expensive items.

When they started charging a straight 10% fee no matter how much an item costs, many sellers of high-end merchandise left.

The lack of seller protection against scams on eBay is another factor. Luxury items are often swapped out for counterfeits, or are claimed to be fakes when they are genuine.

And, no, the eBay Authentication Program is not the answer here. It just seems to be another avenue for them to take more money from its sellers.

There are other places (like 1st Dibs) to sell high-end goods for top dollar out there.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 5 09:38:52 2018

Today , Most companies, and even individuals sell  their products and items all over the internet. their own sites, distributor sites, everywhere, and in most cases, lower prices and better selection,

ebay seriously needs a reality check,,, they are not the only site on the internet, those days are long gone, and they will never ever return.

They continue to have this mental delusional dream that they are the only one, and continue spending truckloads of  money and time trying to protect something that is absolutely unattainable , at the same time upsetting their customers, (the sellers)  

The more ebay continues down this protection, paranoid path, the more ebay will loose, it's simply not reasonable thinking,

We make more '' off ebay sales '' then ever before, we continue to grow year after year, and there is absolutely nothing ebay can do about it, it's just the way people shop and buy online now, ebay has become  only one of millions of other places to buy.

Ebay needs to stop this nonsense, and wake up to reality asap, it's so wasteful and destructive to their company, their sellers, and buyers on so many levels ,  an impossible dream, that will never come true,  

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 5 09:44:54 2018

"But remember this is due to some dirtbags taking sales off-site. we all pay the price for a few sellers who want to avoid the commissions. "

After eBay steals from you a few times ... you learn that that statement means VERY little.

Turnabout is fair play. If you pay to be shown 24/7/365 and you arent - you are being stolen from. If eBay subsidies Asian sellers and not you - thats unfair competition - aka theft. If eBay allows fake SNADS, fake VERO accusations etc - thats fraud - aka theft.

"But remember this is due to some dirtbags taking sales off-site."  ... really?

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 5 11:27:09 2018

I am not exactly ebay's biggest fan but unless this seller got himself flagged I don't believe this.

I sell in an expensive category that has buyers emailing me offers all day long and they come though without issue. If I can accept the offer I just use the email reply "send buyer an offer".

In only one case did I ever get a warning from ebay with was bogus. A buyer sent me an offer 1/4th asking price. I sent him a reply I could not accept the offer. several days later I killed the listing to relist the item because it was a stale "no sale in 16 month" listing. Then ebay sent a warning telling me that I sold something outside of ebay and "may not have known" it was against the rules. I called support they clearly saw my messaged the buyer saying his offer was unacceptable and they noted that and took care of the warning......but this is not an every day struggle and I probably get more email offers then most. Ebay is making a fortune off of the "reply with offer" email feature and it gives me no problems. Maybe this person should just use reply with offer to solve his problem.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Apr 5 14:32:05 2018

My question: Why would anyone want to sell a luxury item worth tens of thousands of dollars on eBay when you can't trust them to do the right thing when some scammer steals your item? eBay would probably just recite "it's the cost of doing business."

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 6 00:57:34 2018

No No No way would I ever sell anything of substantial value on ebay! Ebay is for the cheapest of the cheap, and thats all it will ever be.

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri Apr 6 14:31:54 2018

@Geetar That is not true. Purveyors of luxury goods can do well on eBay.as coveted items sell out or buyers seek quality goods at a discount price. I have both purchased and sold with exemplary results.



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