Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun July 8 2018 23:35:36

eBay Fails to Halt Test Showing Inaccurate Info to Buyers

By: Ina Steiner

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An eBay moderator acknowledged a problem with a test the marketplace is running and offered a painstaking workaround. He also said eBay plans a "major release" next month in order to address a lot of the problems the test was causing.

He was responding in a thread, "Are listings now product pages?" where sellers discovered that eBay was displaying incorrect information on their listings. A screenshot shows that eBay is displaying a new title for the generic product at the top of listing pages, above the seller's listing title.

The immediate problem: the information in the "product title" doesn't accurately describe the product featured in the listing. For example, a seller posted a screenshot that shows some reading glasses with a strength of +2.50, which is correctly displayed in the listing title and description, but that includes another "product" title at the top that incorrectly identifies the glasses as +2.00 strength.


The moderator wrote, "Issues related with Items being associated to the wrong product or products having wrong information has been reported by concerned sellers like you multiple times. I am working hard to address these issues. In fact we're planning a major release next month to address a lot of these problems."

He provided a workaround, but one that sellers would have to apply one listing at a time. In response to sellers who pointed out the burden of having to fix each of their listings, the moderator responded: 

"I realize that reporting these issues one by one is not practical. I'm just giving you a way to address these issues in the immediate term until I can address this issue more holistically."

However, sellers called for an immediate end to the test. One wrote, "I don't usually get blunt @syedmhaq but what you should do is halt the test, and fix it.....many sellers aren't going to know that they have the problem until they see their listings at some point, buyers question it or until a SNAD comes back at them and then they probably will NEVER know what happened..."

Another said there was no reason to continue running the test when it was plain it was harmful - "There's nothing more to be gained from this test except more buyer and seller ill will, anxiety and confusion."

The problem comes after eBay executive Bob Kupbens apologized to users for technical problems and promised to do better. 

Sellers in the thread also pointed out that the errors would likely increase returns from unwary shoppers - just as eBay is making returns more costly for sellers.

Even supposing eBay can fix the problem, the new formatting will likely cause sellers serious concerns. The screenshot shows eBay is prominently displaying links to other options directly on individual listing pages, above the seller's title and description - in other words, eBay is directing buyers on a listing page to visit other listings.

A screenshot provided by a seller showing a Disney DVD listing page shows product info at the top with links to "Brand new," "New (other)," "Pre-owned," "Make an offer brand new," and "Auction" - with prices displayed for each option.

Another problem: Included in the Product section at the top of listings being tested is the product review information - often buyers don't understand when leaving them that those reviews are strictly for rating the product and not the seller. This could have enormous repercussions for sellers if shoppers think negative ratings left for the seller's colleagues reflect that seller's performance. 

Whether or not you agree with those practices on Product pages, most sellers object to eBay sending shoppers away from individual Listing pages.

Update: There's some good news and some bad news. The test has been halted, but eBay plans to proceed with the changes. The eBay employee came back on Monday to write: "The test has been turned off. You should not be seeing the Product title on the listing page anymore. Please let me know if you're still seeing it. There is a broader fix still needed to fully address the problem, which I'm still working on."

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Perminate Link for eBay Fails to Halt Test Showing Inaccurate Info to Buyers   eBay Fails to Halt Test Showing Inaccurate Info to Buyers

by: Carol Is Here This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 02:25:56 2018

They stopped giving tech contracts to American tech companies, sent American jobs offshore to foreign companies like those in India, and everyone experiences one failure after another. These offshore tech contracts all blow up.

But Wenig cuts costs the Wall Street way, and the company pays. The sellers pay. Shell games don't work, except for those at the top pulling millions out.

They reduced the tech department to nothing in the US.

The BUSINESS side (Wenig's department) which should be testing before implementation, does nothing.

The failure at Ebay is from the top down.

Bring in an experienced business leader with many years proving him/herself, and strong background in marketing and advertising, Bring all tech contracts back to American companies that hire Americans, and move Ebay from California to a state where people who are smart and work hard can turn this mess around.

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 02:27:46 2018

Once again this just shows that Ebay just spouts out what they need to get the Sellers off their backs without ever meaning to do anything about it.  Kupbens apologizes and issues an announcement that Ebay is going to get better and stop doing these things and yet they continue to allow it to happen with nothing done to correct it !!

Ebay should have taken that test down immediately and continued to work on their next release, but we all know they are leaving it up so they can continue to see all the problems and rather than PAY for Beta Testers, continue to use Sellers as the Beta Testers with not only NO PAY but at a cost to their sales.  All Wenig cares about is the easiest and cheapest way to do something without any  concern for the ramifications it has on the sellers, buyers or even Ebays long term vision as he knows he will be gone by that time and it can be somebody elses problem.

I really hope that somehow Karma comes back to bite him financially for what he has done to Ebay as a company, its Sellers and Shareholders, who i do believe woke up at the last Shareholders meeting and blasted him which is why the Q & A  session has never appeared even in writing anywhere on the net.  I would love  to see him lose all the profits he made on that stock purchase and resale when it was over $40 and he and Fisher both converted a ton of stock options using insider information because the stock dropped right after and has never recovered.  These 2 knew it was going to happen and took advantage while they could.  

In the past Syedmhaq  has been been very helpful and really tried to work with both Sellers and buyers to get the catalog working correctly, but I do believe his hands are tied now also as their is a rush to get this entire new product Listing nonsense up and running in finished condition by the end of September so that the 4th quarter shows the results that Wenig has promised.  Of course I am sure he never mentioned that Ebay was going to steal 4% FVF from sellers by basically forcing them to offer free returns or not get any sales on Ebay and then punish the sellers for having to many returns.  Ebay does all it can to encourage the buyers to return items and most of the choices for reason just default to SNAD which is what they want.  If it turns out that it is a mistake, tough luck, as once it is filed it is an after sale bad buyer experience and now counts as a SNAD against the seller no matter what.  Ebay is determined to get as many sellers up to their false 40% increase so they can once again show Wall STreet and the Shareholders false growth information that they will believe because there will be nothing else showing that these people know how to look for.  If they understood where to look, Ebays stock would have tanked a couple of years ago, not just recently.

Heaven help us all  !!!

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 05:06:04 2018

@Carol Is Here

I agree with everything you say except that last sentence.  California has lots of talented, well educated and able personnel.  But those cost money and Ebay would rather import the talent they hire from other countries and pay them considerably less than one that knows what they are worth and will not work for nothing just to escape the country they came from.  If you were to review their personnel files I am sure you would find a very large number of their staff are working at Ebay on an O-1 visa which covers the following:

The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.

Unfortunately the large corporations like Ebay are able to abuse these visas and where it used to be that they had to earn the same amount that a US counterpart would, I believe some of the rules have been loosened and there are now ways to get around that requirement.  So Ebay just states that these people are needed because they have a special qualification that nobody locally has and they then bring them over.  I can already think of one such case where I know the person is over thought of qualification wise as they have been shown up so many times that they rarely make any comments anymore.  

You have a lot of great universities that are located right in the vicinity of Ebays home office, which is either in or very near Silicon Valley ( I just do not remember if their location is considered part of it).  But again that kind of talent requires that you pay them and as you kept alluding to, Ebay only wants to pay those at the top that are siphoning the life out of the company.

Yes I am from California and was a hard worker and was very smart, which is another reason I see through most of Wenigs smoke and mirrors.  But very few of the programmers, if any, are in California.  They are either offshore or in Utah if I have my geography correct.  Most of them worked on Turbo Lister until Ebay decided that they were going to eliminate that over a year ago.  But of course the programmers they hired offshore to fix everything have no clue how to design Sellers Hub to do any of what Turbo Lister was able to do, especially allow the Sellers to keep their items for sale stored on their local Hard Drives where Ebay cannot get their grubby hands on them.  Ebay wants these items to be stored on Ebay, supposedly indefinitely, so they can invoke their UA change that they are now the owners of any and all IP that is posted on their site.  That was supposed to be completed by June 30 last year and from what i understand is no where near done and now they have the Turbo Lister Programmers in Utah working on how to make Sellers Hub have this capacity as well as fixing (yes that is your team of programmers trying to fix all the mess that is Sellers Hub) all the glitches and errors that continue to plague Ebay as they continue to roll out the untested code and let the Sellers find all the errors for them.  I guess that the offshore programmers are only paid to add code to the platform, not fix what they screwed up in the first place.

But these programmers are also going to be the ones designing the programs and code when Ebay becomes the payment intermediary for all of us.  I have a feeling that the Federal Government is going to go broke investigating all of the payment errors that will be reported to them about Ebay.  They will have no way to keep up with the trash that Ebay is going to put out and then hand them as the backup for what we are doing.,  That will be the real beginning of the End for EBay and Wenig with Wenig hopefully being prosecuted for everything under the sun and moon under the RICO laws and maybe even tax evasion for under reporting his personal income taxes if we are really lucky.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 06:35:48 2018

@Carol Is Here, said,,,,,,
But Wenig cuts costs the Wall Street way, and the company pays. The sellers pay. Shell games don't work, except for those at the top pulling millions out.,,,,,,,,,


it's not just those at the top pulling millions......
the more the looser's at ebay screw up, the more my website and business grow, these ebay issues would have set off the panic button a few years ago, but now they are welcomed, the more the better,

ebay works for us,

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 07:45:26 2018

Hey people......THE BEST WORK AROUND FOR ALL THESE GLITCHES IS

GO SOMEWHERE ELSE AND STOP WASTING YOUR TIME TRYING TO BUY ANYTHING ON EBAY.

Most of us don't have the time or the energy to spend hours looking for something on Ebay when you can go to anyother site and in seconds find what you are looking for.

SORRY SELLERS YOU ARE SCREWED EBAY IS NOT YOUR PARTNER.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 09:09:12 2018

Like a bull in a china shop, eBay will continue to go "forward" and do what ever the no experience management wants them to do - with out regard to consequence.

After all, its really "all the sellers fault anyway" ... since they REFUSE to go along with the hair brained schemes. If they would "only listen" then all would be fine .... but they refuse! (how dare they!)

As mentioned above-  its easier to get sellers to work for free then pay developers. Lieing, cheating and stealing - not to mention FRAUD is the way eBay does business - Im suprised that theres anyone on the planet that doesnt see it for what it is.

The attornies general in NY and CA (the most active) are too busy with illegal aliens, banning plastic straws and dealing with suntan lotions to care what eBay does....

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

Mon Jul 9 10:03:46 2018

The only thing new about this is the format.  I've been dealing with this for about a year.  From the screen capture shown, it looks like now it's just showing a title, where before it was listed as a category.  For example, it would say something like: "Category: Music > CDs > xxx" (where "xxx" is a title similar to the one at issue here).  I sell a lot of collectible music, such as colored vinyl, and I can't count the number of times the color would be wrong.  For example, I would be selling a pressing on blue vinyl, and eBay's title would say "Red Vinyl."  Not only is this a problem because it is false, but in some cases, the color significantly effects the value.  For example, there might only be 100 copies on blue, but 7,500 on red.  So which one do you think is going to be more valuable?  eBay also frequently got the dates wrong.  For example, let's say an album was originally released in 1980, and I'm selling a 2016 reissue.  eBay may enter "2010" in the title.  Worse yet, I've literally had eBay reps tell me that this is a GOOD thing!  They say it gets listings shown on Google, and that placement on Google is more important than accurate information.  Funny how accurate information all of a sudden becomes vitally important when a SNAD claim is opened.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Jul 9 10:54:44 2018

Well, I think someone needs to get in Trump's ear and tell him how Wenig is throwing the American jobs overseas Let him go on a Twitter rant. Lol.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Jul 9 11:44:39 2018

@Silver Ice King
@Carol Is Here
All I can tell you is that, as a computer programmer here in the eastern US, there is absolutely no incentive for Americans to be good at software development.  Silicon Valley imports Indians like crazy and the rest outsource whatever they can to India.  It absolutely doesn't matter that they're paying 50% of the money for 10% of the results (at best).  If you're good, they tell you you're too expensive because God forbid anybody but the golf team make any money.  If you give a little to get hired, they grind your skills down to nothing so the Indians don't feel sad.  Customers just put up with the shovelware that results so why bother.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Jul 9 11:58:35 2018

As a former IT Specialist on the East Coast, I am thankful I didn't have to deal with much of the Silicon Valley's hiring practices. That said, I stopped working in 2008, so I'm sure things have changed a great deal. It wasn't so much better for men when I started working in IT. Female workers were so rare that you never had a problem finding a job, but you sure had to prove yourself.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Jul 9 12:30:51 2018

I agree with sasikat9. While I've moved some of my more expensive items off eBay, I have been searching for a new platform as well. Over the past week I have decided to go with Shopify. They are consistently listed as the top eCommerce Platform. A fairly new by standards company but the growth is fantastic and given no sales on eBay, what could be worse? It's even less money to sell.  

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by: extremetm This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 12:42:18 2018

None of this is going to matter in a few months anyway. When this product based trainwreck is finally rolled out, most small to med sellers will be put out of business. If the unprecedented glitches and changes don't do it, the lack of views or the hundreds of ads on every page will.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jul 9 13:29:14 2018

So eBay is planning a major release next month to address the problems. That leaves almost a month (if not longer) during which their sellers are paying for glitched-up listings. And he admits that sellers have reported these issues multiple times, but eBay can't be bothered with doing anything until this guy can address the issues "holistically"? Just when you think eBay couldn't get any worse....

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 14:07:11 2018

"And he admits that sellers have reported these issues multiple times, but eBay can't be bothered with doing anything until this guy can address the issues "holistically"?"

"@syedmhaq" - another self righteous eBay blue who demeans sellers? or a good guy ... ?

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 14:41:50 2018

@pace306

"And he admits that sellers have reported these issues multiple times, but eBay can't be bothered with doing anything until this guy can address the issues "holistically"?"

"@syedmhaq" - another self righteous eBay blue who demeans sellers? or a good guy ... ?


How about a guy who is in way  over his head and has no idea how to get his head above water now.  I am sure that Ebay probably also cut his staffing with all of these cost cuttings they have been doing.  Used to think he was a decent person, but when you work at Ebay or for EBay you just become another one of the clones of Wenig.

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by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 14:45:52 2018

And then the next question is, will the "major release" actually fix the problem, or make it even worse?

With their track record, I'd bet on the latter...

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 14:50:07 2018

@rktoys

I do understand which is why I mentioned the O-1 visas they use and bring them here to work instead of Americans.  Then they try and make it sound like its because they are an international company so they need to have all these international workers.  If they want to farm it out then build your next headquarters in India and let the executives move there and live where they send the work.

I do feel for you as I saw that trend happening many years ago and said then that it was going to destroy that industry for Americans because they would not work for peanuts.  The Indian programmers come over and live here while making half the salary but have 5-10 roommates in the small little one bedroom apt because that is all they can afford on what they make here plus still send all the money home to their families.  These companies only care about saving every dollar they can, not about the production and potential gains they lose because of hiring the lower level talent.  Then when it all blows up it will all be blamed on some low level manager who had no control over any of it but will take the fall to protect Wenig and Cutler.  

I think Kupbens is the next fall guy since he issued the apology that has now been once again proven fake.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Jul 9 15:01:09 2018

@dans parts

Given their track record of fixing glitches prior to the layoff's, one can pretty much deduce that with their postings for new tech's it's only going to get worse with the inexperience of the platform and the toxic environment.

I saw their 133 postings for programmers, but only 22 for the testing group? Man oh man....Kaboom.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 15:20:39 2018

Silver - I only ask because I remember OTHER blues popping in and really "going to town".

They made up their own rules, they lied, they made sure people got the wrong info - so before I condem people - especially with the statement that was made ...... I had to ask

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by: gramophone-georg This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 15:28:37 2018

Ina- this disaster has been "tested" before- here's a thread from November 2017:
https://community.ebay.com/t5/Product-Catalog/Product-Landing
-Pages-Are-A-Disaster-If-You-Let-People-Purchase/m-p/27774307#M631

https://community.ebay.com/t5/Buying-Selling-Basics/EBAY-WEBSITE-design-FLAW/m-p/27760386#M42648

Same
eBay moderator, same problems, same excuses.

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