Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed July 4 2012 10:39:15

eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

By: Ina Steiner

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When eBay sellers printed out shipping labels beginning late last week, they were surprised to see a very different looking format. Some were concerned they might encounter problems at their local post office when dropping off their packages with the new label.

eBay made changes to the format of shipping labels without giving notice to sellers who purchase online postage through eBay's system. "There is a lot of confusion amongst eBay sellers as this change started appearing with no notice and no explanation," explained an EcommerceBytes reader. "There is also an inconsistency - the system appears to be switching back and forth from the old format to the new format for the last couple of days."

The reader, a Top Rated Seller, provided the following image of the new shipping label (we've obscured the seller and buyer information).



He described how the new label is different from the old one:

- Font size for addressee is smaller as is the return address.

- The class of mail letter designation now prints in an outline instead of a solid block letter. This will save ink/toner.

- The term "Delivery Confirmation Number" Has been replaced with "USPS Tracking number."

- Barcode is smaller and the "tracking number" underneath the barcode is smaller too.

- The detail at the bottom of the label is blank where it used to print "Electronic Rate Approved # XXXXXXXX."

- eBay and PayPal logos appear slightly larger.

Some sellers report they are having problems printing the new labels on certain printers.

"Sellers were promised advance notice of policy and system changes yet somehow not only was there no advance announcement, there is no information period," wrote a seller on the eBay discussion boards.

Some sellers like the new label because it uses less ink, others complain they are too big for the size of their packages.

Let us know what you think!




Comments (54) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jul 4 11:10:48 2012

This is the latest link in a long chain of broken eBay promises.

Perhaps Johnna Hoff would like to stop by and tell everyone again how "...eBay would give sellers appropriate notice, as was its practice...." with regard to seller facing changes.

Memo to Johnna Hoff, this is a change effecting sellers and there was no announcement which flies in the face of your recent statement. How can you expect sellers to have confidence in a company that sends a spokesperson out to blatantly lie about the company's policies regarding changes?

Perhaps the disconnect at eBay is so complete that they do not consider changing shipping labels a change that would effect sellers.

eBay has taken the time to send out two announcement emails to users since this change started being imposed. Not one of them make reference to the change in shipping labels. As usual, they are taking volumes of calls to customer service regarding this unannounced change, yet they do not feel the need to get out behind the unannounced change and give sellers accurate information as to what is going on.

This has become the standard operating procedure of eBay despite statements made by the corporate spokesperson to the contrary.

eBay has a credibility gap which expands on an almost daily basis due to the dismissive manner with which they treat their fee paying sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: Susan Averello This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 4 11:58:57 2012

It's a slightly different format on the shipping label. Is it really that big a deal? I use paypal shipping most of the time, even when the order wasn't thru paypal. I don't sell on ebay but really does it make a difference if the label is slightly reformated?

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Wed Jul 4 12:07:05 2012

You can always press the "properties" button when the print box is opened & change the size of the print area by percent.

For smaller packages/envelopes, I reduce the size to 85%. I guess you can enlarge it 110% or more if  you want a bigger label.

The only fly in the ointment is that if the barcode become a little blurry on the edges (from enlarging), the USPS can have a little problem scanning it in.

As for the top header, I just cut it off - I don't care to advertise eBay or let anyone know that merchandise is in the package. (My Bronx "Spidey-sense" upbringing)

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Wed Jul 4 12:12:06 2012

Oh yes.

The PO only needs to see the Endicia (box in upper right corner) for an item to be accepted according to my well informed clerks at my local PO. So the Electronic Rate Approved ...etc is not needed.

The bar code readers don't care what the lettering is below.

As far as letting us know in advance - my grandmother had a great saying....

"NU? FEH!"

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 4 12:21:04 2012

Gee if sellers get that upset over such a small change ( that the post office accepts ) what would they do if something MAJOR happen.

These sellers need a change of life style. They are worrying over ant hills when the moving mountain is what they should be watching out for.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jul 4 12:27:35 2012

@ Susan  To answer your question, Yes and No.... You do not sell on eBay and as such, have no experience with the high expectations which eBay sets for sellers while in turn offering those same sellers little or no consideration in return.

A big deal is that sellers were not aware any change was going to take place, so some sellers believe there was yet another a glitch in eBay's label system.

A big deal is the time which sellers who were caught unaware of the change invested in contacting eBay/PayPal. There was no consistency with what eBay/PayPal was telling sellers indicating that Customer Service was also not informed of the change. Some CSA's said it was a glitch, others said a test, still others knew nothing one way or the other.

A big deal is seller concern that the label format may not be accepted by know it all Postal Clerks who do not recognize and are unaware of the new format. Packages that may be refused due to the label issues would result in customer service issues through no fault of the seller but which could have negative impact of sellers ratings.

A big Deal is smaller font size that may contribute to mail being misdirected and delivered to the wrong party resulting in buyer complaints and sellers facing financial losses due to increased Item Not Received claims.

A big deal is that eBay claims they offer sellers advance notice of system changes but in reality often fails to provide promised notice. This speaks to the manner in which eBay takes their sellers for granted.

A smaller issue is format changes which will require sellers to make changes to their printer settings to handle the different label. This is difficult to do when the system is intermittently switching from one format to another.



Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: LadyElizabeth This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 4 13:51:59 2012

True, it's not a huge deal, but I think sellers are on edge because eBay is constantly making changes, without any notification or explanation, so any change, no matter how minor, is nerve wracking and disruptive.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: Willie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 4 13:58:48 2012

today I can't print ANY labels. What's the deal?

I noted the new form - my main concern wasn't that Greedbay did it unannounced, after all, this is Greedbay & I'm used to being lied to - it's the smaller font.  If I have trouble reading it clearly, so will others.

IF I can print labels later today, I'll just adjust the size.  Sooner or later it will once more change.  This is GREEDBAY we're discussing - changes happen constantly, none of which are much, if any, good.

I've given up on getting upset, and sell mainly on etsy.com.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: chargeback101 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 4 15:14:59 2012

WHY would any seller have the eBay logo on their package? You can create an account at USPS.com, get the same discount, and put your own website address within the 'from' label.

Giving feeBay free advertizing makes no sense at all unless you're the type of person with an eBay tattoo who enjoys getting financially screwed by your owner.

Get your own USPS account (yes you can still pay with PayPal or CC) and get that damned loser logo off your package so your customer identifies the product with your website.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Wed Jul 4 17:35:26 2012

The USPS site does not discount the shipping as eBay does.

Having a TRS status does have some benefits other than the 20% discount.

That said, the other downside to using USPS is entering all of the information again - shipping address, type of service, weight,etc. It can take a few minutes to do where as one click on eBay's shipping URL takes care of that.

At least that part of eBay's web works reasonably well. Maybe except for the occasional slow response time (server throttling or inadequate power/bandwith/whatever).


If you aren't a TRS there is only a time difference.

Then agin', all us eBay sellers are whores, we just are negotiating the price...

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: chargeback101 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 4 18:04:35 2012

AL G, what are you paying for a medium flat rate priority box with tracking? I'm at $10.80 with my own USPS account and no loser feeBay logo, with my own website within the 'from' line in big letters.

I can paste the address into the form in about 90 seconds, save the recipient for future shipments, email notify the buyer through USPS, print all labels for the day in one batch, and paste the tracking # into the PayPal payment that automatically updates at eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 4 18:26:57 2012

@ AL G

The usps website discount is the same as Fleecebay or Pigpay.

I use Stamps.com  I can generate a label for anything I want there. No muss no fuss.  Been with them for 12 months now and never had any down time....They have a the boxes including Regional and when the post office brings out new boxes they have the postage for them post haste unlike Fleecebay or Pigpay.

Hey use your paypal card and get 1 1/2% back on top of it.

Just can't understand people who are so taken by Fleecebay. Stamps with upload all the information you need for each customer and then send the tracking to Fleecebay.

Only people who like being hit in the head all the time use Fleecebay. The rest of us don't do the carrot thingy and go elsewhere where the atmosphere is calmer.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Jul 4 20:07:35 2012

If eBa'al respected You and your business they would listen to you.

What does your Seller Advocate, Griff, have to say about this?

That would be a real shame if more of you lost your TRS status. lol

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Jul 4 21:26:24 2012

Don't contribute to The Ho's multimillion annual compensation package by using either ebafia's or PreyPal's shipping label program.

USE Click n Ship. Quick download, easy to use, and same discounts plus USPS gets to keep what it ordinarily pays ebafia.

They combined Shipping assistant and Click n Ship so you can pay or not pay online. It has a few quirks USOPS needs to work out, but it's largely a very dependable labeling system.

And the best part is that The Ho doesn't get one red cent.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Jul 4 21:30:50 2012

Johnna Hoff's promises?

LIES. Count on it!

She's just another Ho pathological sociopathic liar.

In order to work at ebay, middle and upper management applicants must score very high on the sociopathy scale of the MMPI.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jul 5 07:47:19 2012

"Seller Advocate, Griff"...oxymoron, right?  or just moron.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Bijoux Dragon
Web Site

Thu Jul 5 09:52:35 2012

I sell on Ruby Lane and Bonanza, shipping 99% first class.  The USPS program does not offer online postage for first class so I use PayPal labels.

Mine printed out with the new format and my carrier refused the package.  The gal at the counter also said that the acceptance number had to be there and the class letter in the upper left corner had to be black for the machines to consistently read it.  USPS phone help had no idea what I was talking about.

So yes, the change is a problem!

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

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

Thu Jul 5 10:23:48 2012

The change doesn't look like a big deal. But then again today will be the first time I ship a first class package with the new label.

If the Post Office sends them back then I'm rattled too.

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 5 10:38:52 2012

LOL, people still calling out ole Griffs name like he is still somebody...seller's advocate??? what a laugh  

Perminate Link for eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes   eBay Rattles Sellers with Unannounced Shipping-Label Changes

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

Thu Jul 5 10:54:30 2012

I don't understand why so many still sell on ebay and why they are using ebay or PP for printing their postage. I use endicia and it is a simple copy paste to have your address where it belongs and you can have your own logo and return address--you aren't supporting ebay with them. Also a simple copy paste of the DC code back into PP if needed. Endicia always lets us know ahead of time if there will be a postage change. I have also never had an endicia glitch or down time other than previously announced for maintenance that they do in the middle of the night (for the US).

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