Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Mar 21 2013 15:47:27

Ten Thousand eBay Sellers Watch in Horror as Listings Disappear

By: Ina Steiner

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Ten thousand eBay sellers are living through a nightmare situation after receiving a letter on Wednesday telling them they'd reached their selling limits. The letter itself was not the greatest concern - it was when recipients of the letter discovered that eBay had removed all of their listings with the exception of listings with bids. (See today's Newsflash newsletter article.)

eBay said today the problem impacted approximately 10,000 sellers in global markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, and was caused by a software issue that was later resolved.

For 12 hours, sellers were left confused and uncertain as to what they should do. We pegged the earliest reports as coming in at midday on Wednesday (Pacific time), and in a rare occurrence, eBay used its General Announcement Board to notify users of the problem at 11:36 pm (PST) Wednesday evening.

Today some sellers have reported their listings have come back - one reader wrote at 11 am (PST) Thursday morning, to say, "My fixed price listings are back but not my auctions and no contact from eBay."

Remembering incidents of the past, some sellers were concerned for their colleagues who might have attempted to relist their items on Wednesday, telling me they worried that it could lead to duplicate listings that result in higher fees and policy violations.

eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff told me today that would not be an issue. "The issue yesterday caused some listings to be inadvertently ended, and some were temporarily hidden from search results. The hidden listings are now restored to view. The listings that were ended are in the process of being re-listed. This will not have any adverse impact on sellers' standing in Best Match search or seller feedback or standards, and it will not cause duplicate listings for sellers who have already re-listed any items on their own."

eBay has yet to disclose what compensation, if any, eBay would offer to sellers impacted by the "disappeared" listings.

Such incidents are a reminder of the importance of having backups for all your work, though it appears in this case, nothing was lost.

Thanks to all the readers who alerted me to this problem yesterday via email, Ecommerce EKG, and Twitter.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Ten Thousand eBay Sellers Watch in Horror as Listings Disappear   Ten Thousand eBay Sellers Watch in Horror as Listings Disappear

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Mar 23 03:06:17 2013

That is easy for someone else to say since you don't have to do all the work to create those listings all over again.  Or learn a new site.  Or inform customers where to find you.  Or hope the new site gets enough traffic.  Or the new site will support the types of products you sell.  And the list goes on.  It is so easy to say these sellers should just pick up and move.  Easily said, not so easy to do.  And that certainly would do nothing for their loss income in the short term.

Many of these sellers depend on their sales to keep the lights on and put food on the table.  While they are trying to fire up at a new site and get the traffic, how do you propose they feed themselves.

Changes such as this need to be gradual and well planned out.  There would be much to learn about the new site or sites and much to do.

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by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 23 14:23:51 2013

According to ebay there was no problem on ebay I spoke to a CSR twice this week once on Tuesday and again on Friday. My sales should be going up this time of year instead they are going down on ebay, my other sites are up. I questioned ebay they stated it is probably because you need to refresh your good until sold listings, they are relisted each month and I am charged for that. WHAT! I called again and I was told ebay cannot control sales WHAT! Ebay has the search rigged the TRS system rigged,and the feedback system rigged. Bad sellers are TRS and good sellers are not. The disrespect for small businesses by the executives of ebay is sickening. Facts are Facts sales are way down and yet ebay still denies it. Sooner or later wall street is going to figure this out if ecommerce is on the rise what are ebay sales down? Ebay marketplace is not healthy and ebay is living on paid ads and paypal. The profits should be astronomically higher but they have ruined ebay marketplaces. They instead choose to make acquisitions of companies that are profitable to mask their inept business decisions. A small seller is treated like an employee instead of a customer, small sellers are bullied by this company and we are started to see the results of fleeing sellers and ebay forgot to figure in that those sellers were buyers on ebay too! They have a bad taste in their mouths and they refuse to buy anything on ebay. Are you reading these posts investors? Wake up your being bamboozled.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Mar 23 14:32:36 2013

@Ebay refugee

Clearly the CSR was misinformed or it was in the question you asked.  You don't have to believe us here, you can go to Ebay's announcement board and it does stated there was / is a problem.  While certainly they could have been quicker and certainly more forthcoming, your CSR is incorrect.

We often complain about CSRs not knowing what is really going on, so this should really come as no surprise.

For what it is worth, I agree sales are down and significantly.  However that has nothing to do with the problems as described for this thread.  Which is probably why the CSR said there wasn't a problem.  

The problem this thread is talking about is known as it states in the OP and on Ebay.  But the problem you are talking about is different.  Very important for sure, but still different.  So don't blame the CSR.  They do know about this problem, but they don't know why sales are down.  For that you need to get someone in management to talk and that isn't likely.

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

Sat Mar 23 18:04:26 2013


Oh The Drama .....

Your are quite right, of course, Marie.

The CSR's don't have a clue because those that program their words don't know either ...

Same with Johanna Hoff .... she just says what she is told. It's accuracy is unimportant to the puppeteer.

As for some one in management talking, that definitely won't happen because they don't want everyone to realise that they don't have a clue either .....

Anybody who has been around ebay for a while will know only too well that the difference between an ebay user & an ebay staffer is that the user knows when he is lying .......

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by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 25 00:44:26 2013

omg, ebay pink beating on already stressed ebay seller again.  spinning all them time.  picking words and phrases. same sickening tactics used on ebay boards.

Bottomline, the horror continues and more surprises coming and frequent interruptions are to be expected.

These low level programmers are out of control as they tried to game on our listings each day.

Perminate Link for Ten Thousand eBay Sellers Watch in Horror as Listings Disappear   Ten Thousand eBay Sellers Watch in Horror as Listings Disappear

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 25 13:02:15 2013

@ejholden

Dramatic for sure.  Last week was quite a week.  For me, I had about 2400 listings that became ghosts for a period of them and about another 300 that were closed by Ebay.  The ghost listings were the first ones Ebay was able to recover and then were back in less than 24 hrs.  Still extremely upseting, but back without issue.

Now listings that have to be relisted can have a multitude of issues a major one being the quantity.  So everyone needs to look at listings that were literally relisted very carefully.  There could be issues.

Also know that on relisted listings, they are going to default to the Buyer Requirements you have in your Site Preferences, NOT the requirements you had stated in the original listing.

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by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 25 22:08:36 2013

I noticed something your listings disappeared and your listing fees/store front doubled immediately on the next billing .... any one caught this up charge I estimated they charged me $2.30 per listing and $50 for a basic store front??? I had to comment the calculations considering I print a list of everything I list as paper documents for tax purposes per item (dates listed, expense cost and etc)... they were dumbfounded too!

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by: SleepyTime This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 28 12:32:23 2013

Ebay raking in a bunch of re-listing fees right before the end of the financial quarter - things that make you go HMMMMM.

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