Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Nov 22 2017 19:39:36

New eBay Practices Vex Buyers and Increase Returns

By: Ina Steiner

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Let's say you're looking for a holster on eBay, and you need to know if it will fit your Colt 1911. The seller didn't include the words Colt 1911 in their description because eBay told them that is "brand misuse," so you send the seller an email through the eBay messaging system to see if it will fit. 

Instead of an answer from the seller, you get a notice chiding you for trying to take the transaction off eBay, because eBay's Artificial Intelligence bots can't distinguish between a legitimate inquiry and a solicitation. According to users, the bots think model numbers are phone numbers - call it Artificial Paranoia.

You probably either buy the holster hoping it will fit (and return it if it does not), or you move on to another seller or perhaps another ecommerce website.

eBay's new practices will inevitably lead to an increase in buyer dissatisfaction and returns, which are costly to sellers.

Online seller, expert, and author Skip McGrath has taught many a person how to sell on eBay, Amazon and their own websites over the past 2 decades. He's a person eBay should be paying attention to for two reasons: his expertise, which could help improve the marketplace, and for his reach and influence with sellers and would-be sellers.

But it's clear he's feeling more than a little frustrated these days. The example above was inspired by Skip's experience. "If eBay wonders why Amazon is eating their lunch, this is an excellent example," he told me. The subject line of the email notice he received recently for a listing takedown: "Your eBay listing has been removed: Brand Name Misuse."

Skip said he asked eBay Trust and Safety if it was acceptable to put the words "Fits" or "Compatible with" in such listing, but was told no. He pointed out, "If you are looking for a case for an iPhone 8, you would type that into the search bar - not "iPhone case."" (Nor, for that matter, would a typical shopper type "smartphone case.")

"Just for the heck of it, I typed iPhone 8 case into the search bar and got 1,380,699 results for iphone 8 case. Should eBay cancel all of those listings also?" he asked.

Another reader shared a similar experience recently in this letter to the editor

If eBay isn't going to let sellers fully describe their items, and at the same time is cracking down on the communications between buyers and sellers through its messaging system, it's a recipe for disaster.

Comments (24) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for New eBay Practices Vex Buyers and Increase Returns   New eBay Practices Vex Buyers and Increase Returns

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 10:29:10 2017

the paranoic policies enacted are because eBay is losing market share

Perminate Link for New eBay Practices Vex Buyers and Increase Returns   New eBay Practices Vex Buyers and Increase Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: weber796
Web Site

Mon Nov 27 10:35:13 2017

SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW WITH EBAY. ALL THEY ARE DOING IS LOSING SELLERS AND BUYERS WITH THEIR NEW INNOVATIONS THAT DO NOTHING BUT ESTRANGE THEMSELVES BY BEING JUST PLAIN STUPID.
YES,
FORMERLY WEBER796 ON EBAY

Perminate Link for New eBay Practices Vex Buyers and Increase Returns   New eBay Practices Vex Buyers and Increase Returns

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 27 12:36:40 2017

ebay is a **great** place to buy stuff. Prices are depressed and there are more than a handful of sellers who seem to be selling off stuff at bargain basement prices.  Unfortunately, that SUCKS for sellers.

Perminate Link for New eBay Practices Vex Buyers and Increase Returns   New eBay Practices Vex Buyers and Increase Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Tue Nov 28 17:36:55 2017

Afraid I must agree with pace306:

"eBay as usual is WRONG.

Its NOT "brand misuse" - its FAIR USE under the DMCA.

Stupid eBay - they know little about ecommerce and nothing about IP.

NEVER listen to eBay about anything - they simply just DONT KNOW."

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