Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Oct 7 2014 21:41:47

UK Press Are Covering eBay User Issues

By: Ina Steiner

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News sites in the UK seem to be doing much more reporting on eBay issues that impact buyers and sellers than here in the U.S. For instance, BBC has been covering outages and security vulnerabilities of late, and this week, The Telegraph covered a seller issue. In the U.S., mainstream news sites seem to rarely cover user issues, never mind seller issues.
 
The Telegraph wrote about a seller who sold his used tablet on eBay and was then on the losing end of an eBay Money Back Guarantee claim.

"The buyer asked if he could send the mobile to a different address to the one registered on their PayPal account," it explained. The seller complied with the buyer's request, and when the buyer told eBay he never received the tablet, eBay allegedly took the money from the seller's account.

Unfortunately some facts are unclear. Could eBay see that the buyer had requested the address change? Had the seller verified that the new address was indeed associated with the buyer's PayPal account? Could eBay see that the item was received by the address associated with the buyer's PayPal account (if that was indeed the case)?

The seller said he could not reach eBay to find out why it had refunded they buyer, calling the contact process "impenetrable." But he seems to believe it was because he sent the phone to a different address than the one supplied him by eBay.

The Telegraph quotes him saying, "EBay's buyer refund policy looks to me like an open invitation to fraudsters, and the fact that the company is impossible to communicate with plays into the criminals' hands."

Interestingly eBay's current marketing campaign is focused on encouraging casual sellers to list their used cell phones, a category that attracts fraudsters.

If a buyer requests an address change, should eBay stand behind the seller if they comply? What would you do in that case, and what did each party do right, and wrong?

Does eBay make it difficult for sellers to get help with disputes?

And why do you think U.S. reporters appear uninterested in covering the problems eBay buyers and sellers experience these days?

Comments (33) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Thu Oct 9 01:01:55 2014

If an ebay buyer requests a different shipping address; you'd better comply with the buyer and make them happy, or you might end up with negative feedback and a defect! =0

Just a couple negs and defects, and your ebay career is over. Who cares if you get scammed? The main thing to be concerned about is the 'Buyer Experience'. Are you experienced? Well, I am.

End of my ebay sales = 11/18/14

There's lots of fish in the river!

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by: fishinahat This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 04:05:15 2014

I saw someone say '' why are you still here?'' - I think this links in.  In the UK there is less choice about where to sell - and the search engines are slanted to ebay so much that even own website stuff is an uphill struggle; there are far fewer other small marketplaces for us to use; we don't have Jack Ma ( yet).  We have much less choice and option to get out.  So - we stay inside the tent and protest.  The UK has the highest per capita spend on the internet in the world; it is not insignificant to ebay - or shouldn't be.  As sellers - the level of dissatisfaction is higher than I have seen in nearly 9 years on the site - 310 ''kudos'' to one post on the PS board demanding a stable site to sell on - for example.  Buyers and sellers in the UK are being ignored, and are annoyed.  CS phone queues were up to 8 hours for the Powerseller line at the back end of last week.  I have to say I am pleased this is now reaching the mainstream press; it is long overdue.

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by: miss peachy This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Oct 9 04:38:07 2014

Ebay have zero seller protection in place and no customer service whatsoever - its only lip service at best Im afraid

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Oct 9 06:29:43 2014

@Basset, that Bloomberg reporter approached me last night in an email (which was obviously a mass-mailed form letter) asking for my reaction as a seller to the eBay/PayPal split. Since I don't think that's where the story lies, obviously, I have not yet decided if/how I will respond. There are now 1,400 members in my two Facebook groups who may wish to respond, but they care about as much about the eBay/PayPal split as I do, a moot point that has been adequately covered already and NOT where the focus of a story should be. For anyone here who wished to email the Bloomberg reporter, it's Spencer Soper: ssoper@bloomberg.net

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by: fishinahat This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 06:32:38 2014

Just one more point that has occured to me; having read the Telegraph article and waded through the vitriol in the comments.  Most o fthe 200+ people posting comments there are actually totally wrong about how ebay works - even though many claim to use it all the time.  The myth of the "paypal confirmed address" still lives - and most people think they are posting ot the paypal address; when in fact what they see is the ebay address transferred - or a guest address input at checkout....both acceptable to paypal and ebay for dispute.

But - if so many apparently regular users are so basically ignorant about the way the site works and the issues current for buyers and sellers, then how would a serious mainstream journalist  write about those issues?

It would be like trying to describe nuclear physics in a similar article.  The issues about the shopping basket, managed returns, site glitches, markdown manager, DSRs, feedback, stars, defects, disputes, and on and on and on - are another world, even to a casual user.  

Finding a way to bring the issues to the general public in a way in which they would be understood - must be a real problem.

I think shortly some of them will be trying harder though - because where most UK sellers stand, there isn't going to be an ebay by Christmas if the site continues to "glitch" at its current level - and we continue to see no customers visiting it.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Oct 9 06:35:46 2014

"I am sorry for the poster who made some crack about how we can't seem to stop complaining (as we are whipped and tortured)  but "REFUSE" to leave."

Yes, some people can't stand the fact that some people feel that something is worth fighting for. Wasn't it Mother Jones who said "If you are too cowardly to fight, I will fight"?  Glad Erin Brockovich didn't throw in the towel.

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by: wonderswhy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 07:47:48 2014

The news is mostly controlled by its advertisers, maybe some of the media has invested $ in ebay.

We constantly hear about Ebola all day, every damn news show, they like to scare people to death. Why wasn't there a quarantine, next they will suggest to get shots to benefit the drug companies.

This country always does things after something happens, the USA seems to only listen to what congress says and they are controlled by their contributors, we are not free anymore, don't kid yourself

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by: DJBrady This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 15:31:13 2014

It seems ever since the OJ case which started in mid 1994 tv news has more often than not focused on one or a few stories at any one moment which causes it to miss everything else. I've never understood why news has changed that way. Here in the US if there's nothing else going on in headline material it goes right back to the political polarization stories.

For us it's usually not difficult to get ahold of someone at Ebay but it's impossible to get a straight or informed answer. Sometimes the rep doesn't have a decent command of English. If they do they don't know Ebay rules. Even when you get a good rep on the line usually it ends up being the customer is always right.

On Ebay we're just cutting back what we sell to what we never have problems with and shipping to only where we know it'll get there with delivery confirmation.

The list of reasons we're doing everything we can to make Ebay sales unimportant to us just keeps getting longer...

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

Fri Oct 10 08:56:33 2014

"For Matthew Wright, it did, and he was left out of pocket by £160 and locked out of eBay indefinitely. The giant online marketplace also sent him threatening emails."

Seems to me the US media either holds eBay in their portfolios, or has friends that do. Reporting negative eBay news would cause the stock to go down. Maybe not but it makes sense anyway.

Whatever happened to the trust and community Pierre founded eBay under? John Donahoe was hand picked by Ma Meg to cover her tracks by disrupting the company even further!

Just my two cents worth :)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Oct 10 15:28:49 2014

The New York Times will give eBay a bagging from time to time ...

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/ebay-to-spin-off-paypal-ado
pting-strategy-backed-by-icahn/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1


114 reader comments, mostly negative ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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by: reproretro This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 12 01:30:56 2014

Sometimes on eBay I get a buyer with two addresses - one on eBay, and a different one on PayPal. And both eBay and PayPal say you must send to the address registered with them  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Oct 13 14:09:51 2014

"Honestly, I don't know how Zappo's can offer 365 days."

Easy. It's all about costs. Zappos has access to Amazon's buying power and so gets great supplier pricing on their products. They also have access to Amazon's super-cheap shipping rates. Throw in the higher pricing they charge for their products and the sheer volume of sales and they make enough to handle the cost of returns. Little guys just can't compete with that.

Amazon is very very fussy about costs. In their offices, things are very minimal. You don't get fancy expensive desks. No, the desks are all butcher-block style tables with small file cabinets tucked under them. They negotiate huge discounts with vendors like Oracle, using their products in such a way that they can easily change vendors if the pricing doesn't suit them. That and their enormous volume gives them cost benefits that few can match.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Oct 13 14:15:08 2014

@reproretro:
The only time I ever called a buyer was when I had an incident of the Ebay and Paypal addresses not matching. The Ebay address said the buyer was in Texas, but the Paypal address had an address in Vietnam with a different name. The poor buyer's account had been hacked and they were unaware of it until I called. Since then, I always check that the addresses match, since I'm the one who will end up on the hook if the buyer doesn't get their product.

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