|Mon Mar 25 2013 21:53:36|
How Should eBay Compensate Sellers for Last Week's Meltdown?
By: Ina Steiner
eBay sent an email to sellers on Monday to provide information about last week's meltdown that caused listings from 10,000 sellers to disappear. The letter promised sellers compensation.
Since the glitch, I've been hearing from sellers who were impacted. For 12 hours, they were completely in the dark about what was happening. eBay then posted a notice on its announcement board, and sellers were uncertain as to whether they should relist the missing listings or wait in case eBay relisted the items.
The problem intensified on Friday as sellers tried to figure out which of their listings eBay had put back online, and which ones were missing.
"I was thinking I only had about 2600 listing up, but Ebay keeps posting more on my account," a seller emailed me on Friday. "Now I could have been wrong about the number as I don't always have it memorized. But I have to do some investigating and make sure they aren't bringing back listings that I closed because I was out of stock or whatever my reason might have been. So far they have brought back a couple hundred listings and they are still coming. What a damn mess !!!"
Another seller wrote that all of his listings were back up as of 5:00 am Friday morning. But, he wrote, "I did manually relist my best sellers and now they are double listed. I'm sure that's some sort of eBay policy violation." (It is - eBay prohibits duplicate listings.)
Another seller who provided regular updates as to what was happening with her listings wrote to me on Sunday. "Yesterday they told me not to relist that they would relist my auctions, but they couldn't tell me when. I just called again, and he told me that they will not be relisting them, that I should relist them and they will credit me the fees. I asked why they don't update their announcements or send an email, and he couldn't tell me why. This is horrible, and basically, I am losing a weeks pay because of this and they don't care."
Reading about the compensation to sellers is telling how serious the problem was - eBay rarely issues refunds in cases of technical glitches or outages. I also found it quite interesting that no one signed the letter sent to sellers - it's signed, "Sincerely, eBay Selling Team" - a departure from eBay's old culture where executives signed their names to such notices.
Here's the letter eBay sent to sellers impacted by the meltdown.
Dear (seller name)
We wrote you late last week to let you know about a software issue on Wednesday, March 20 that mistakenly ended some of your listings and may have temporarily hidden others from search. As promised, this is the follow-up on what eBay is doing.
Our teams have been hard at work around the clock to rectify this quickly and get your listings restored:
- The software issue was fixed Wednesday within a few hours of when it happened.
- Hidden listings were restored to view by midnight PST that same day.
- Most ended listings have now been automatically relisted. Note we did NOT automatically relist your multi-variation fixed price listings, and we did not relist your auction-style listings if you had more than 35 auctions ended.
We know there can be concerns about inventory management for multi-variation listings, and that it can be disruptive to your service to have a large number of auction-style listings all ending at once. That's why, in these cases, we've chosen not to automatically relist without consulting you first. One of our customer support representatives is reaching out to you personally to help you get this inventory relisted as quickly and easily as possible.
Meanwhile, if you prefer to relist any of these items on your own you are free to do so. The automated relisting process is now complete. If you have items that were not relisted, you can find them in My eBay, purchase history, unsold items to relist.
Either way, there will be no adverse impact on your standing in Best Match search, your seller feedback, or standards.
Here are a few additional steps we will take to do the right thing for our sellers:
- You'll be issued a credit for two times the insertion and any advanced listing upgrade fees for all impacted listings.
- If we did relist any auction-style listings on your behalf, we scheduled them to end at the same time of day (not necessarily on the same day of the week) as the original listings. In that case you will also see a credit for the scheduled listing fee charged as part of the listing restoration process.
- We are refunding final value fees for any hidden auction-style listings that ended naturally during or within an hour of the time the time they were impacted (Wednesday, March 20, 10:00 am PST- Thursday, March 21, 1:00 am PST).
These refunds should be reflected in your next eBay invoice.
Again, we apologize for any inconvenience. As always, thank you for selling on eBay.
eBay Selling Team
Let us know what you think of the compensation eBay is promising these sellers.