Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Nov 12 2018 21:49:39

eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

By: Ina Steiner

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Imagine the bidding for your eBay auction has reached over $250, but eBay tells bidders they can buy it now for $200. What?!

A reader sent us an email she received from eBay today showing a diamond ring on which she had bid. eBay sent the email to remind her that the auction was ending in 3 hours, 31 minutes, and 41 seconds. But in its email (underneath the title and next to the photograph of the item), eBay displayed  the following text:

"Current bid: $257.00 (or buy it now for $200.00)."

Expressing sympathy for the seller on whose auction she had bid on, the reader wrote to us, "Thank God you really can't do it." Not every bidder would feel that way if presented with a way to save money on something they thought worth bidding on.

Looking at the auction listing's bid history, it showed the auction had a starting price of $150.

We checked later and the auction ended for $433 - no thanks to eBay's blunder.

Unless a bidder informs them, sellers would have no way of know this was happening to one of their listings. If any bidders approach you about a "buy it now" price for one of your auction listings that's lower than the current bidding, this may be why.

Comments (18) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 23:47:25 2018

Looks like sloppy programming or a really stupid action on the part of a marketing analyst.  The auction probably had a buy it now price of $200 before any bids were in place, since the buy it now price has to be at least 30% higher than the opening bid of $150.  I can't imagine what flawed logic caused them to reach out to someone once there were bids in place.  Especially since the recipient was already a bidder and the buy it now price was no longer valid.  

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 01:36:11 2018

"Please try unplugging your modem"

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 05:55:59 2018

And you people want to trust ebay with collecting and sending you your money. HA HA HA

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 07:16:57 2018

And as usual, you will get lip service telling you that they cannot recreate this problem, therefore it doesn't exist, sweep sweep. They are off inventing some other bell or whistle that no one wants, rather than fix what is really broken.  The inmates have taken over. And ebay couldn't care less about any of this.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 07:35:32 2018

glad it ended well, hopefully the buyer likes it,

the old ebay saying has never been so true even to this very day,

"'' if you can't afford to loose it, don't list it on ebay "'

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 09:06:28 2018

This is the 'restless' part of the experimentation Kraken eBay unleashed in their haste to boast the next best thing.  In this case, it's their most recently, apparently yet again unfully tested, auto race to the basement functionality upgrade.  Haste leads to lack of attention to detail.

And they're in a bit of a hurry to do the next big thing too....


Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 10:07:39 2018

ebay has become a sanctuary city for glitches.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Nov 13 11:33:01 2018

@smallstuff

The auction was a straight auction without any Buy It Now. Started at $150 and that was it.

No one would put a Leo Schachter (think The LEO Diamond) 3/4 carat ring on with a Buy that low.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 12:53:18 2018

just another reason to not run auctions

on the other hand - could this have possibly been something like the seller had more in stock and was willing to take all the $200 offers he/she could get?

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Nov 13 14:56:08 2018

@Whatever

There never was a buy it now on the auction from the start.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Nov 13 19:14:31 2018

eBay decided without my approval that my listing needed "Best Offer" added to it. . .

I revised and removed the "Best Offer" feature they thought was best for my listing!

I had the item listed at $150 and lowered it to $100, I have NO intention on taking anything less then $100, yet eBay added the "best offer" to it without even asking me. . ..

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: 1st Armored Division 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 21:59:04 2018

Most likely the email was sent but was delayed for what ever reason and did not arrive till the auction price was past $200.

As a seller I normally get emails from ebay hours after an event starts such as listing sales.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Wed Nov 14 13:04:19 2018

@1st Armored Division 1971-1973

Since I was on the count down with this item, it was well past $200 when I received the email. Something is very wrong with their pushes to finalize sales at the expense of the seller. It shows how miscalculating their programming code is.

Everyone needs to be vigilant with their listings now or lord knows what will see for too little next.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 15 06:26:51 2018

Note to Ebay:  Start a separate auction site (like Goodwill has).  Call it Ebay Auctions Only!  

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 15 06:54:05 2018

This should be brought to the attention of the OOTP - Devin Wenig's office.  In my message folder I'm constantly in communique with the OOTP rep and complaining about stuff.
But if the OP will write a letter to Wenig & Cutler, like I do, they will get an answer.  Just include your email.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: JWsax This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 15 12:44:38 2018

I sometimes switch items from BIN to auction. If the BIN had the Best Offer feature engaged it has to be manually disengaged when going to auction otherwise you end up with an auction with best offers accepts which is truly an asinine idea.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: songe-d-automne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 15 12:44:57 2018

@toolguy I too found the "Best offer" on auctions feature to be annoying at first until I saw how it could really work.

I do think a lot of people are having trouble understanding that it doesn't work like the "fixed price" best offer where you offer less than price stated.

How it is supposed to work is - A buyer can offer you a ballpark price that they'd like to pay and get the item earlier. IMO had they left 1 and 3 day durations alone they had almost the same result - decent price, less stale listings sitting around for days, but since they want to charge a $1.00 for those now, everybody stopped using them.

How it Best offer can work, and should:
I had some napkins listed with a start price of $9.95. A buyer offered me $32.00 and I took it because it was ballpark for what they'd have gone for had I let it ride.

Conversely, I had a ceramic XMas tree listed at $19.95 start bid and buyers offered me $10, $15 and $16...those buyers obviously had to think that best offer meant under the start bid and that wasn't going to happen, lol.

People will learn. As usual ebay starts testing crap and doesn't bother fully explaining exactly how it works.

Perminate Link for eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder   eBay Makes Major Pricing Gaffe in Email to Bidder

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 15 15:23:08 2018

@Songe- as sellers we should be able to choose the options.  I don't want to UNCHECK "buy it now" which is what I do everytime now.  It's more work.



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