Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed May 9 2018 21:36:07

eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay finally acknowledged today that a seller promotion conducted last week in conjunction with WebInterpret had gone awry. eBay blamed a "technical error," and included its apologies in the subject line of the email sent to sellers: "Our apologies, you were auto-opted into the Webinterpret trial program."

The company offered no compensation for those sellers impacted by the mayhem that resulted from its error.

As we previously reported, eBay transferred seller listings to six of its international marketplaces without sellers' approval - a potentially costly problem since some offered free shipping that was meant only for domestic orders.

And because eBay/WebInterpret took each listing and duplicated it across multiple sites, some sellers showed thousands of extra listings and reached their selling limits as a result of the duplicate listings.

One reader who forwarded eBay's email today included a comment: "eBay sends this note just now, apologizing, but not saying we did this (to fool the investors). It's so clogged up now it takes 5 solid minutes for my relists to appear!!"

Another reader said he was unable to figure out what eBay had done exactly and which listings had been duplicated.

WebInterpret's Herbert Knibiehly responded to our inquiry about the promotion last week, but the company has not responded since. eBay did not respond to several inquiries.

You can find more information about the tremendous problems some sellers faced in this blog post.

Here's the letter eBay sent to sellers today:

Dear (redacted),
We want to inform you of a recent technical error that occurred when you clicked on a promotional banner advertisement in Seller Hub between May 1, 2018 and May 4, 2018. 

The promotional offer is for a free trial of Webinterpret and zero fees on up to 3,000 listings on each of eBay’s six international sites. Our intention was to direct you to an informational sign-up page. Unfortunately, when you clicked on the banner, you were auto-opted into the promotion, and your ebay.com listings were automatically translated and listed on eligible international sites. 

The promotion was offered to you to increase your listings’ visibility and grow your international sales. Webinterpret automatically translates, converts currency, and lists your ebay.com listings on eBay’s international sites where you had already enabled shipping. You may in fact have already seen an increase in your international sales.

If you do not want your ebay.com listings on eBay’s international sites as part of this promotion, you can remove them by opting out. To opt out, click here and fill out the form on the page. 

If you do not opt out, Webinterpret will continue to post your listings on eligible international sites during the promotional period and your Webinterpret trial will automatically end at the end of the promotional period, at no cost to you. 

If you continue with this promotion:

- You will not be charged fees during the promotion period (no insertion fees or final value fees on eligible international sites, and no cost for Webinterpret).

- Your items will remain listed on eBay’s international sites based on the shipping destinations and return policies you had already enabled in your ebay.com listings.

- Webinterpret will remove all of the listings that were created during the promotional period, on or before July 1, 2018. No action is required from you.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. 
Thank you for selling on eBay.

Comments (32) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu May 10 13:06:00 2018

@Pace

CNBC Powerlunch?

How about a feature on 60 Minutes??

The public needs to be informed about how this so-called ''Technology Company'' has gone from the penthouse to the outhouse.

When DW is interviewed for the story, he of course will deny any wrongdoing, and that there is a minority of ''haters'' who just like to create false stories.

Us ECB readers know better. I also believe that those who dislike eBay are in the majority. There is just too many problems that can be fixed which are not handled properly.

And I agree with others that this is not just a ''Technical Error''- there is a method to the madness here. Since eBay cannot gain the needed increase in business organically, they had to create a glitch to do so.

LIke the old saying goes: ''If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull s**t''.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu May 10 15:32:58 2018

@Ric

"South Hoboken Institute of Technology"

Hahahaha!!!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 10 16:34:59 2018

eXtinctBay ... I only mentioned CNBC Powerlunch - because until someone with some "juice" calls eBay out - no one believes it - its all "the haters ..."


Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 10 16:39:33 2018


once again, great job fleecebay. whenever someone thinks the delusional ceo can't get any worse, he proves them wrong, he does get worse.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 10 17:15:21 2018

#don'tOPENanyEBAYlink

But seriously...has ebay EVER taken ownership of a problem, instead of just acknowledging it?

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

by: wilburnet This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 11 08:35:28 2018

@ExtinctEbay
"Us ECB readers know better. I also believe that those who dislike eBay are in the majority. There is just too many problems that can be fixed which are not handled properly"

Thanks for this comment, which is so true.  

In the UK 2 big companies Zavvi Outlet and Currys have both suddenly closed their Ebay stores in similar ways as Target in the US did. Another big company called Gameseek have went to liquidation, and they had their own marketplace as well.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Fri May 11 09:37:38 2018

Unbelievable.

So buyers are getting fatigued from the frequent mattress-store-like sitewide percent-off flash sales, so these clowns had to drum up some other means of boosting GMV for Q2.

Won't be surprised if we see more desperate unethical tactics in the next couple months.

"Technical error," indeed.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 11 21:44:08 2018

Investorplace.com or Motley fool would run this, as would others.  

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

by: Chapterthree This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 08:58:25 2018

Ina,  Thanks for the follow up post. Its May 12th and there are still plenty of us who were affected still in a nightmare. Ebay is not lifting a finger to help us, just the bogus link to a form that does not work or the option to give this bottom feeding company access to our accounts again. Which many of us are refusing. This does need more attention this is something that should not be swept under a rug. They gave instant access to a third party to take over our accounts/listings by the deception of an Ebay Promo. Who knows what other type of information they are leaking they just got caught this time.This is an outrage. I still have the same level of anger as day one.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 10:20:11 2018

"The company offered no compensation for those sellers impacted by the mayhem that resulted from its error."

because there's no money left in the kitty - Wenig got it all

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

by: P.Dorf This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 17:06:26 2018

Like the "technical error" during the boycott, when thousands upon thousands "SDC" extra listings showed up to keep the numbers up for Wall St

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu   eBay Blames Technical Error for WebInterpret Snafu

by: wheredidebaygo This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 13 13:30:15 2018

Why on Earth, in the heart of Silicon Valley can eBay not find competent programmers? we lived in SV for 30 years (husband a software engineer) and still have many friends in IT. According to many, no programmer worth his/her salt wants eBay on their resume. When will companies learn that going the cheap route never works out well at all.

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