Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed July 4 2012 10:39:15

eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

When eBay sellers printed out shipping labels beginning late last week, they were surprised to see a very different looking format. Some were concerned they might encounter problems at their local post office when dropping off their packages with the new label.

eBay made changes to the format of shipping labels without giving notice to sellers who purchase online postage through eBay's system. "There is a lot of confusion amongst eBay sellers as this change started appearing with no notice and no explanation," explained an EcommerceBytes reader. "There is also an inconsistency - the system appears to be switching back and forth from the old format to the new format for the last couple of days."

The reader, a Top Rated Seller, provided the following image of the new shipping label (we've obscured the seller and buyer information).



He described how the new label is different from the old one:

- Font size for addressee is smaller as is the return address.

- The class of mail letter designation now prints in an outline instead of a solid block letter. This will save ink/toner.

- The term "Delivery Confirmation Number" Has been replaced with "USPS Tracking number."

- Barcode is smaller and the "tracking number" underneath the barcode is smaller too.

- The detail at the bottom of the label is blank where it used to print "Electronic Rate Approved # XXXXXXXX."

- eBay and PayPal logos appear slightly larger.

Some sellers report they are having problems printing the new labels on certain printers.

"Sellers were promised advance notice of policy and system changes yet somehow not only was there no advance announcement, there is no information period," wrote a seller on the eBay discussion boards.

Some sellers like the new label because it uses less ink, others complain they are too big for the size of their packages.

Let us know what you think!

Comments (54) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 5 12:02:15 2012

One would think that since the labels are part of the Pitney Bowes system, the USPS would know about the changes. However, leave it to eBay for changing something and not informing people about it.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Jul 5 12:24:10 2012

Why continue to pet the dog that turns around and pees on your leg?

There are a lot of 3rd party shipping services out there and the best one we've found is ShipStation. They auto-download your order, auto-upload tracking (they have a 100% record on the tracking upload),  you can customize your own packing slips, customer emails, shipping notices, etc. We use them for our own site plus Amazon, Etsy and Zombay (the Amazon-esk walking dead at eBay). If they haven't added Bonanza, it doesn't take more than asking to have them added in. Plus you get a free Endicia and Express1 account.

If you want a free 30 day trial, just use the following link:

http://mbsy.co/btm

Just so you know, we are not an employee of SS, we just like them as a service.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: Bullet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 5 13:37:15 2012

To those sellers that do not see the value of having the word 'eBay' on their label and call eBay all sorts of bitter names, you should realize that eBay buyers love eBay and the eBay experience and are waiting for the 'eBay' package to arrive.  We sell and shop on eBay and know the value of the eBay platform and the excitement of shopping on eBay.  I also worked for eBay for a couple of years and understand the complexity of the site and the effort and $ it takes to maintain it.  There is always 'The Ordeal of Change' for those folks that cannot cannot adjust to change such as the ones unable to adjust to font changes.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: jazzbaby73 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 5 13:48:12 2012

Excuse me mylifeisgood and Susan Averello
Wow. Yes, it was upsetting.
I printed a large group of labels at one time. Some came in the new format, others the old. And YES, I was worried that some of these would not be accepted by the post office, or returned.
It all could have been avoided had ebay notified sellers of the change. I've had missing packages in the past, and received negative FB because of it. Yeah. I was worried.  

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Jul 5 13:57:49 2012

Bullet tries to convince us: ''...you should realize that eBay buyers love eBay and the eBay experience and are waiting for the 'eBay' package to arrive.''

Thanks for the laugh, but this is the most absurd thing I've ever read. Absolute nonsense!

My customers aren't buying the packaging or the logo on the shipping label. They're buying the MERCHANDISE, silly goose!

If buyers are smart enough to be able to check feedback and DSR's to judge the SELLER'S worthiness... and if buyers are smart enough to go back to eBay and leave feedback and DSR *FOR* the individual sellers... then they also know that they're not buying their merchandise ''from'' eBay.

They bought it *from* me... *ON* eBay. ~ If I'm to be held personally responsible for even the slightest USPS glitch, or eBay error... then I want to emphasize *only* MY name, MY store, MY website, MY merchandise.

The kind of thinking expressed by Bullet is exceedingly naive. While I do agree that many eBay shoppers lack a certain amount of sophistication at times... they're not *that* dumb.

But, hey... if a seller has convinced themselves that it's working, and if it makes them feel happy, then more power to them, and good luck!

And, frankly, I think the folks who read this blog are much smarter than Bullet (or eBay) gives us credit for. :-)

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jul 5 14:30:21 2012

@bullet

Annie did a great job responding to the post you made here which is beyond myopic [lacks forsite or long term planning].  It's pathetic.  If you actually worked for Ebay, then you know better.  And if you were really paying attention here you would see that you don't even understand what the root of the problem is.

Ebay touts over and over and over again.  That they WILL and DO give sellers written advance notice of changes to the site that affect them.  They say this is many ways across many different medias, and they have been saying it since about 2009.  Almost from the moment of this so called "policy", Ebay has broken it.  If my memory serves me it honestly only lasted for about 2 or 3 months before they broke the promis the first time.

And now they break it just about every month or so.  And announcing something the day before it goes into effect is not a notice.  As they have done that a few times too.

So really it's not the fact the labels changed, it's the fact that it is yet another unannounced change that Ebay felt we had no need to know about.  It's our business we are running, but we have no right to know apparently when a change is going to happen to how we conduct business.  This just shows yet again the arrogance of Ebay.  They are all important and we are just to fall in line and accept everything as an improvement only to help us.

You further stated "There is always 'The Ordeal of Change' for those folks that cannot cannot adjust to change such as the ones unable to adjust to font changes."  Now this statement of yours clearly shows how you completely miss the point and actually does give evidence that you did in fact work for Ebay as it certainly shows their lack of respect for others.

**********************

As to the topic, I'm only guessing here, but maybe they aren't done yet with this label change.  Maybe they are restructuring the label and eventually will reduce it's size so that it will actually help some sellers that have a problem with how big it is.  I have absolutely no clue if this is what they are doing.  But I can tell you it sure would be nice to know if they are.  As I know I'm stocked up on labels and I bet many other sellers are too.  So are they going to change it on us without notice and then we are out the money for the old labels that no longer work and have to buyer new labels that will???????

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: salesrep1 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 5 17:18:17 2012

The problem with the other vendors other than Ebay and paypal usps. They all have monthly fees to add to your postage . For a small seller not worth the $10 -$30 monthly to just get away from ebay. The ones vendors that are free only do Priority. The problem alot of times is with the person behind the counter. Their interpetation of the label. Overall the post office is so busy from being understaffed to really care. The other problem is a bigger problem the international shipping not getting the right final commision.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

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

Thu Jul 5 18:59:16 2012

While I have no longer been able to stomach selling on ebay as of about 6-8 months ago, I have a link that gets me directly to the Paypal shipping label page so I'm able to print labels for my Etsy and yardseller sales. When I encountered the new first class shipping label I thought the link had failed. There was no zip in the tracking number which did have less numbers and the F was open among the other things mentioned. So I naturally thought this package would go nowhere and who wants to take chances like that. I cancelled the label and I'm waiting for a refund. I think now I will just try a free trial of endicia and get away from anything with ebay or paypal's name on it. I've done a cost analysis and think it will be worth it. BTW, the next time I tried to print postage the page was back to its original. I always cut ebay's logos off my labels too. If you still sell on ebay then more power to you. If you can use USPS to print labels great, but those of us who sell elsewhere and ship mostly first class have to use other venues. For me putting up with ebay for 10 years is enough and now I'm enjoying selling in other venues. Good luck everyone!  

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 5 20:38:29 2012

I know this will get me some flak but---

My simple solution to the whole label dealie is--
The good 'ol fashined Sharpie.

I have never had a label that I hand wrote go astray.  I can save printer ink and headaches from my way out in the country DSL service sometimes allowing me to connect to print---and sometimes--not.  

And yes I probably DO pay a few cents more---I am not a big enough volume seller to make subscribing to a service worthwhile---for most packages I just use the box or poly wrap or whatever surface is plain.  For re-cyled packages I either use a plain section of cheap printer paper and tape over it laminating it to the box or envelope or I buy labels when I find them on sale and use those sparingly.  

But I DO see the point that Fleece Bay has once AGAIN failed in it's responsibility to follow it's OWN RULES and inform the sellers that it has once again changed something that WILL affect the way they do THEIR business.  NOT EBAY'S BUSINESS.  The SELLERS business.  

And if the Post Office ALREADY will refuse on a whim to accept packages for just about ANY reason up to and including the instant decision of a clerk that an item is NOT Post Office "worthy" even tho it is well within the published guidelines---then sellers --all people who ship ANYTHING---have good reason to be scared that the item will be TURNED AWAY or RETURNED TO SENDER.  

And not in a good Elvis sorta way.  

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jul 5 21:26:41 2012

I'm another seller who ships mostly First Class Packages so I rely on PayPal shipping labels since the post office doesn't offer that shipping for their online labels. And I don't have the volume of sales to justify going with another service.

I'm glad the label design change was discussed previously in the blog, otherwise I would have thought there was a problem with the browser I am using. There is one thing I noticed that no one else has mentioned: The tracking numbers on PayPal labels used to always start with "9101"; the new labels are starting with "9449".  

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 6 02:13:46 2012

Less ink is great as long as the labels work. I too noticed the change. I personally use my Laser printer because even though the ink is more expensive, I get a LOT more labels printed for the price than I do an inkjet printer; and I was tired of being ripped off re the inkjet cartridges.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 6 02:54:33 2012

@Bullet:
Actually from your tone, I'm guessing you still work for Ebay.  
Talking down to others is a dead giveaway that you are an Ebay employee.  A know-it-all just like the HO.
Only someone who works for Ebay would be so giddy about whether a package says EBAY on it.  Are you serious?  Did you actually equate the Ebay name with the word VALUE?    
Well, as a buyer for over 12 years, I have my own opinion and mine is that Ebay sucks.  I tell everyone who will listen.  
Having been shafted by Ebay as a seller, I don't enjoy buying on Ebay any longer.  What do you enjoy so much - is it the annoying flashing ads from big box stores?  Or is it the ads from your competitors right on your own page?  OR, could it be the part where you are shown ''what others are watching''?  Like I care what YOU or anyone else is actually watching!!  WHO in their infinite wisdom thought of THAT???  
So, when you say they have to spend time and $ to keep the site going, if they'd quit the stupidity and keep it simple, they could save an awful lot of money AND keep their old used-to-be-happy buyers!  As a long time buyer, I'm not so quick to go to Ebay unless it's something I can't find anywhere else first.  Ebay has become my last resort.  Thanks to people like YOU.  Don't know why you quit, sounds like you fit right in.  

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: TrentDep

Fri Jul 6 03:07:03 2012

I'm not at all happy that ebay now ( somehow ) circumvents the USPS shipping confirmation email, and instead just sends a Paypal receipt - which of course has pretty much no information.

It was nice to be able to just pull the confirmation out of a saved email file, sorted by date, whenever a customer had a question regarding shipping.

Now, one has to sign into Paypal ( ebay? ) for that info - I prefer not to have to rely on them in any regard really...

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: eBelly This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 6 03:21:46 2012

"you should realize that eBay buyers love eBay and the eBay experience and are waiting for the 'eBay' package to arrive"

When I receive a package as a buyer with the ebaY logo on the label, I feel sorry for the seller.

I too used to like shopping on ebaY until the look of the site changed too much and too often with goofy wasted space above the fold, and the seller descriptions shoved down below the fold, all the off-site spam ads are annoying. I also can't stand to look at that oversized stupid 'buyer protection' badge on every damn page, like something out of a kindergarten crayola coloring book.

Sellers now are so ultra sensitive, like a dog that's been beaten, with pleas like 'please give 5 stars because we can't sell if we even average 4 stars'.. the atmosphere is just too uptight, contrived, and nothing at all like it used to feel like when I knew I was buying from a winner who was actually successful and happy.

I don't even give feedback if I buy on ebaY because the whole experience just feels false. I feel like if I rate a product, I'm destroying someone's life if it's an honest critique of the product and I give it a 3 (average) on described. Search lately seems to hide the variety, and to get to the entire list of products, search has to be narrowed a couple of times; distance nearest, time ending soonest, and bingo! the hidden items then seem to appear.

ebaY is obsessed with constant change, so I wish there was a button at the top of the log-in screen to view the site in 'classic mode', the way it looked and 'felt' 5 years or more ago, with quick load times, more variety and happy sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 6 10:46:45 2012

I feel pretty much every small eBay seller has PTESD (Post Traumatic eBay Stress Disorder)from all of eBay's abuse. Since eBay's not going to change it is up to the seller to make the changes, which means they would need to leave just like in any bad abusive relationship. Otherwise it is just going to continue to get worse. eBay the abuser likes things the way they are so they are never going to make changes that stop the abuse; those days are over. So sellers are going to have to be the ones to rise above it and make the change for them, by leaving. Or by using them just like an abuser uses you which is what many sellers do now, sending their traffic off of eBay as they get it. I would never advocate staying in an abusive relationship or to use it because it is always so unpredictable, you could get killed. In this case killed financially, etc... At some point it is the abused persons responsibility to take action or they no longer should complain. Or if they have severe PTESD they may need some help. So find a place that is working for others to sell on, or if it's not going to work to sell anymore then why sell? eBay's already ruined it for pretty much all of the small sellers so why keep allowing yourself to stay with them? Because that's all you know? Because that's where you feel secure? Get rehabilitated, find someone that's selling similar items off of eBay and tell them that you have PTESD and you are seeking help to rise above it off of eBay. Ask them how they are successful that you need their help to answer some questions so that you too can set yourself free. Just like all abusive relationships; the longer you stay, the harder it is to leave.
You too can be a survivor, there's help and answers out there available you just have to want them and then go get them.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Jul 6 13:05:44 2012

This morning, all my shipping labels are back to looking like they used to. Did eBay revert to old-style labels because of seller complaints?

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Jul 6 14:24:29 2012

"This morning, all my shipping labels are back to looking like they used to. Did eBay revert to old-style labels because of seller complaints? "

Given their past history is appears unlikely that eBay responded to seller complaints, their corporate culture does not work that way.

More likely, they were told by USPS the new label format does not conform to their standards and the format will be revised only to be sprung on sellers once again with no advance announcement or explanation as is their practice.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: basset

Fri Jul 6 17:11:37 2012

@ebelly -  ''I don't even give feedback if I buy on ebaY because the whole experience just feels false. I feel like if I rate a product, I'm destroying someone's life if it's an honest critique of the product and I give it a 3 (average) on described. Search lately seems to hide the variety, and to get to the entire list of products, search has to be narrowed a couple of times; distance nearest, time ending soonest, and bingo! the hidden items then seem to appear.''

Ain't that the truth! Back to back weekends I've gotten stained & damaged clothing items from sellers that did not disclose it.  Then time is spent going back & forth with emails, documenting the stains, in one case reiterating that Yes, indeed, I DO see stains. Then working out a solution & spending time & money on special products to remove the stains myself. After all that, I'm certainly hesitant to leave neutral FB because I know what it will do to a seller. In honesty, the ''as described''  DSR should be lowered, but no good place to explain WHY & what happened. You hate to put in the FB section that any  seller issued a partial refund - they might just get pounced on by all the fraudsters. So I have not left any FB - still mulling it over.

The feedback system is simply broken.

On the subject at hand: my labels are back to the same ole same ole. Whatever they were doing, they stopped. The printer ink lobby must have got to them.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 6 23:26:08 2012

eBay should hire someone a little less obvious than Bullet.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: chargeback101 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 7 01:38:48 2012

FeeBay obviously wants the buyer to think the package shipped from feeBay, so they simply can't help themselves from programming the label to make the logo large, and the seller's return address teeny tiny small. I'm guessing there's a medical marijuana dispensary real close to corporate headquarters in San Jose? We keep hearing this esoteric term 'Buyer Experience', as if buying is like doing magic mushrooms; some sort of mind blowing journey through China.. yah..

How's the 'seller experience' going for those struggling to put food on their table now that feeBay plays favorites with mega-sellers who have their own set of rules? How many Silver sellers used to be Gold, and lost sales volume through feeBay's trickery and favoritism yet maintained perfect feedback and DSR ratings? How many of those sellers even care to buy on feeBay anymore, now that search is flooded with mega-china and Diamond level sellers with special deals and feedback/DSR immunity? I've spent more on Craigslist in the past 2 years than I spent on feeBay in 8 years!

FeeBay beats up the little guy, then expects them to keep loyal to the logo? Any seller printing USPS labels through feeBay with that logo must have very low self-esteem. If the feeBay logo represents the crushing of the small seller, what's the difference between their logo and a swastika to the sellers who are starving due to the corporate greedy culture in San Jose? Direct market your customers and take your market back. It's YOUR business, your box, your label, your item, your sale, your customer.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.