Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Aug 28 2014 11:22:16

eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay's system is mistakenly blocking buyers in the U.S. from purchasing items from U.S. sellers, who reported the problem on Wednesday morning, according to users.

"Buyers are being blocked from bidding or purchasing items on eBay due to a glitch that states "The seller does not ship to your location,"" said an EcommerceBytes reader. "This is happening for US customers on listings where the seller ships to the US.  We spoke with CS this morning and they said it is a major global issue."

In a thread started on the eBay discussion boards on Wednesday, a seller wrote, "I am in New Jersey and a buyer from Texas purchased two fixed priced items and then went to bid on auctions from me and got a message saying she was blocked from doing so because she lives in a country I don't ship to."

Sellers said they are being told it is a known issue with auction listings - and possibly fixed-price listings. One seller speculated eBay's system might be confusing state codes with country codes. EcommerceBytes sent an inquiry to eBay for more information.

eBay has a new outage policy, which it changed without notifying sellers, in which it says it will post about problems on its announcement board, but it has yet to post about the current problem or how it intends to compensate sellers.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Aug 29 17:41:31 2014

@ rexford

No I'm not surprised, but it is no excuse to call other names or talk about those that still sell on Ebay as if they are idiots or somehow of lower stature they they are.  

One would hope that those that participate here are smarter than the average "dog".  

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 29 18:22:56 2014

btw...based on what we are experiencing, this issue is FIXED - most people don't want to look at the other side, from my experience, can only tell you, that it is not always easy to have perfect programing and issues will occur - Bottom line, ebay got it and fixed this one very fast, so ''thanks!'' form us at least :)  today is a Extra Soup day!

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Aug 29 18:27:40 2014

@tango

When did they fix it?  And how do you know it has been fixed?

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 29 18:43:09 2014

@tango

John Donahoe & Co. gives sellers a ''defect'' for an inadvertent duplicate listing, often set off due to John Donahoe & Co's failure to send ''Your ebay listing is Confirmed'' emails having a seller think they'd missed listing the given item.

John Donahoe & Co. gives ''defects'' for much else that is beyond any point of control by the seller. Is it your stance that because this issue has been fixed per you is ok and not deserving of a ''DEFECT'' and/or should not be held to the same standards?

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Fri Aug 29 18:49:02 2014

They deserve a big defect. It is 2 days later.

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Aug 29 19:03:46 2014

@agenda

You do NOT get a defect for a duplicate listing.  You get a policy violation.  They are NOT the same thing.

I didn't take Tango's point the way you did.  All sites have issues from time to time.  They were talking about glitches, not policy changes or addition.  They were talking about software glitches.  

Glitches will affect may affect different sellers differently.  The glitches that happen with the Shipping Wizard affects many sellers when it acts up, yet other sellers are completely unaffected because they don't use that function.  

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Aug 29 19:21:42 2014

Speaking of glitches: Unable to edit wording of return policy today in either firefox or chrome.  I could change from ''returns'' to ''no returns'' but I could not edit the policy textbox at all.

So glitch? or are they messing with returns already in anticipation of herding sellers into their hassle returns program. It is almost as if their desired outcome is for sellers to STOP taking returns altogether!

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 29 19:43:07 2014

@Marie

You can place trust in the fact I am in full understanding of your not having taken what @tango had stated the way I did.

With respect to Policy Violation or defect, just what in your mind is the difference with respect to what eBay labels the two? Policy Violations can and has cost a seller as much or more than Defect Rate so I fail to grasp  your reason for having to break all down by definition, I further fail to understand why you don't wish grasp what was in fact my point. We sellers or better said the brand John Donahoe & Co. no longer have any use for, the type that made what was ebay get punished and/or taken from for what is now a multitude of reasons they have no control over with a good sum of it coming as the result of John Donahoe & Co. system glitches.

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Aug 29 20:00:42 2014

@agenda

They are two completely different things.  A policy violation is just that, a perceived breach of a policy.  It also has levels, low and high, not sure if there is a medium or not.  The low level ones you have to rack up a few before it threatens your account.  The one's rank high could have an immediate affect on your account.  Policy violations drop off after 90 days or they are suppose to.  Now that Ebay no longer lets us see how many policy violations we have or at what level, only Ebay knows as it is top secret info now.

Defects are completely different and are related to transactions you have with a customer.  They are also how a seller is evaluated for their search and/or TRS status.

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Fri Aug 29 20:09:29 2014

Another thing...A seller's items should never be hidden or lowered in search. When a seller pays a listing fee, that seller has paid for and deserves to have their items shown. To not show the paid for listings is theft.

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

by: Charmers* This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 29 20:54:12 2014

So far I'm not aware of anyone not being able to bid --however, sales have totally tanked--all summer long starting in June.  However, I DID have trouble with several buyers who purchased items and were unable to use ebay's check out system--after many tries.  On one of them I had to separately invoice them through PayPal. ((sigh))

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Sat Aug 30 02:08:58 2014

Lack of search exposure (and lower sales) is not just Cassini being broken, almost every category on ebay has reached it's saturation point.

When we first started selling on ebay about 9 years ago, a search in the category we sold in returned around 16,000 items found. Now, the same search returns 115,000 items. Time is the most critical factor when it comes to auctions. There is a finite number of seconds in a 24 hr period. Items are fighting for time slots within that period. As the number of items in a category increase, the time slots narrow (less exposure) This problem is inherent to ebay being an auction site. Many sellers are listing multiple auctions of the same exact item (especially international sellers), thus returning a zillion exact items in search results. This conundrum is why ebay no longer gives out "Free 1 day auctions" (If every seller of a certain category used ALL of their free 1 day listings, search results would render the site useless- too many results of the same item)

It is much easier programmatically to manipulate 16k results, versus 115k. Basically, this is why most sellers are seeing a drop in sales. The gap between the number of items listed and eyes/dollars chasing those items are widening. It is evident that "top tiered search" sellers are getting sales at the expense of the "bottom tiered search" sellers.

This fact alone tells you that ebay WILL self destruct someday, we are already seeing signs. The greatest statisticians, scientists, tech geniuses, etc cannot fix this problem. The limits of time (only 24 hrs in 1 day) and space (per item exposure slot) will not let them. There is simply no way around it, unless ebay limits or removes auctions altogether. To make it worse, ebay's executive geniuses are all but accelerating the widening gap by offering "Free listings" to every Tom, Dick and Sally.

Amazon will never have this problem because they don't have auctions.

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sat Aug 30 08:16:47 2014

@Charmers - ''-however, sales have totally tanked--all summer long starting in June. ''


These glitches and search issues Island Sam describes sure don't help an already bad year!


I just took a gander at my numbers and am seeing about the same as others report - Q1 was actually up from last year, Q2 ended down 23% with April and May taking the biggest hits, and so far July ended down 40% with August hovering around being down 52% with 2 days left.

In spring/summer months, routinely I would have a couple customers each month buy several items and combine shipping. This year is marked in that it barely happens at all, at most with someone buying two items now and then.


I would love to have REAL data - like how many sellers have left eBay or quit buying. On August 19 / 20 I had a couple drop off my ''follow'' total. Guessing that indicated a customer leaving or taking time off, but I thought the timing told the story.


The economy and the national/world news has to figure in, too. Feeling like the world is having a war that is 'coming soon to a city near you' does not help matters. I just feel like downsizing even more to be ready for anything - so no real motivation to buy more 'stuff'.  

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Sat Aug 30 08:48:40 2014

Yes, the United States is a foreign country if you're home is in Mumbai, India. What's actually being reported and discussed here is yet another obvious ramification of eBay policy and technology being managed from Mumbai, India. Think this is just another rant? Read eBay's home addresses for various functions. What do you think they're doing in Mumbai, popping bubble wrap?  

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Sat Aug 30 09:01:46 2014

http://jobs.ebaycareers.com/in/mumbai-jobs

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear

Sat Aug 30 13:22:30 2014

Basset, I also have not been able to change the wording in my return policy.  After trying about 5 times, I finally gave up and put the wording into my checkout instructions instead.  Might not be where it is supposed to be, but at least it is visible.

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Aug 30 15:05:50 2014

I agree that name calling as it relates to sellers is not right.  However, I have no problem when it comes to how people here address eBay management because I think that they are incorrigible.  I fully understand the rage that eBay have induced.

I personally view eBay management as anti-small business and anti-American.  The story of how they provide data from eBay to the Chinese so that they can manufacture hot selling items (even  fake war metals) is in my mind reprehensible. The site is full of Chinese fakes, and management do nothing. Any violation by a small seller and that seller will be smacked down.

 

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Aug 30 17:40:59 2014

Yes, I wasn't talking about Ebay or it's management if you can call it that.  I too understand the rage directed at them.  But calling sellers that remain selling on Ebay names is not acceptable to me.    

I personally don't know what to make of them.  They sometimes make such bone headed decisions that it completely defies logic.  I try to remember they are a for profit company, but they often to act that way.  

Now I think I've discovered yet another new change from Ebay.  Another unannounced change.  I emailed a bunch of information to Ina on it.  So we will see what she comes up with.

But it appears that Ebay isn't going to removed negative or neutral FB anymore.  If there is cause because of what the buyer says in the FB, then Ebay will willingly remove the comment, but NOT the negative or neutral FB.  

All the policies on that I can find on Ebay have been changed.  The old policy that clearly listed out the reasons you can get FB removed has gone POOF and it directs you to the defect policy.

I sincerely hope I am wrong.  I WANT to be wrong.  All this came to light when I was assisting another seller in the effort to get some FB removed.  

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 30 18:47:06 2014

@Marie

John Donahoe & Co. will take any and every action available to strip any remaining TRS of their discount as they possibly can and if they missed something that could have been utilized for this intent in a Seller Update, they will apply it with no shame and/or explanation after the fact.

Negatives & Neutrals Explode during the Holiday season, not a chance of John Donahoe & Co. missing such an opportunity.

It's all about Wall Street now, desperately so and last but not least

AgendaSwallowsAll  

Perminate Link for eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding   eBay Glitch Blocks Buyers from Bidding

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Aug 30 18:58:24 2014

It isn't like this is the first holiday season they have ever had.  While I understand their need for the bottom line to look as good as possible.  That does not make this any less annoying or important of an issue.  Nor does it excuse it.

And as I said, I'm hoping I'm wrong.  It is a bit too soon to tell for sure.  More research needs to be done.  In the next couple weeks we should have more answers than questions.  Right now we just have the questions.

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