|Mon Apr 29 2013 12:18:29|
eBay's New Immediate Pay Policy Already Impacting Sellers
By: Ina Steiner
eBay is changing the way it handles "Buy It Now" transactions, and it is causing some inconvenience to sellers already. As eBay said in its March 19th announcement about the 2013 Spring Seller Release:
"Beginning in May, eligible fixed price listings and auction-style listings purchased with Buy It Now will remain for sale unless the buyer pays right away. This change will be rolled out slowly over the course of the year and will eliminate a significant number of unpaid items on eBay by the end of 2013."
Put another way, "Today, when a buyer clicks the Commit to Buy button on a Buy It Now listing, the item is considered sold and is not available for purchase by another buyer. Beginning in May, eligible items will continue to be available to other buyers until a payment is made."
Sellers are running into buyers who are encountering problems when trying to purchase multiple items from them, so the buyers are purchasing each item separately and then asking the seller for a refund for the savings they would have received with combined shipping discounts.
Initially I believed it was due to buyers changing their behavior in anticipation of the new policy - shoppers were purchasing each item immediately so they wouldn't risk having another shopper come along and purchase the item before they've had a chance to pay.
Here are excerpts from a seller's April 24th post on an discussion thread, "What A Nightmare - Ebay' New Instant Pay - Venting":
"Over the last two days I have had to refund over 20 paypal payments to combine invoices for my customers. I sell only books and tried to explain the shopping cart, but they don't want to put them in the shopping cart because they don't want to take the chance on loosing (sic) them.
"Why they had to take something that was available to everyone voluntarily (instant payment) and force it on everyone is just one more "What Are They Thinking" moment."
Another seller responded:
"Yup, I had the "pleasure" of dealing with this Sunday. It's just another eBay money grab. You have to find the hidden button to request a combined invoice if you use the Cart, and someone else can still buy it while you're waiting on the invoice. This stinks, to put it mildly."
However, there appears to be a problem with the shopping cart, possibly related to the new policy.
In another eBay discussion thread titled, "When did immediate payment...," a seller said his buyer had problems purchasing more than one item from him. The buyer said, "I just bought 2 games, 1 PS2 and 1 Xbox. I could not select CONTINUE SHOPPING option to get the deal on shipping to Canada. Could you please refund $3.95 US for the shipping deal on your site."
The seller posted the buyer's response to his request for more information about the problem:
"Normally if I bought more then 1 item from the same person I could normally click on CONTINUE SHOPPING. When I clicked Buy It Now it went straight to the payment screen instead of giving me the option Continue Shopping which seems very odd. I did not see Add to Cart or any other options."
In announcing the new Immediate Pay process, eBay said sellers must set up calculated shipping rules in order to offer combined shipping discounts for buyers purchasing more than one item from them:
"If you use the combined shipping discounts feature, your buyers must create a combined order by adding eligible items to their eBay Shopping Cart. The discount will automatically be applied to the order total. If you don't use this tool but still offer combined shipping discounts, your buyers must add the items they want to purchase to their Shopping Cart and request a new invoice reflecting the revised shipping cost by clicking the Request Total button."
But it's possible buyers will not be willing to wait for an invoice due to fears someone else could snatch the item away from them before they have a chance to pay. In that case, sellers will have more headaches trying to refund buyers who still want the combined shipping discount. (And since PayPal charges a 30-cent fee for each transaction, it will be more costly for sellers as well.) Will that inconvenience (and cost) outweigh the current problem of shoppers placing items in their shopping cart but never coming back to pay?
Does it make sense for eBay to allow other shoppers to come along and purchase an item that's been placed in a buyer's shopping cart? And have you encountered any problems with buyers who wish to receive combined shipping discounts?