Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Oct 7 2014 21:41:47

UK Press Are Covering eBay User Issues

By: Ina Steiner

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News sites in the UK seem to be doing much more reporting on eBay issues that impact buyers and sellers than here in the U.S. For instance, BBC has been covering outages and security vulnerabilities of late, and this week, The Telegraph covered a seller issue. In the U.S., mainstream news sites seem to rarely cover user issues, never mind seller issues.
 
The Telegraph wrote about a seller who sold his used tablet on eBay and was then on the losing end of an eBay Money Back Guarantee claim.

"The buyer asked if he could send the mobile to a different address to the one registered on their PayPal account," it explained. The seller complied with the buyer's request, and when the buyer told eBay he never received the tablet, eBay allegedly took the money from the seller's account.

Unfortunately some facts are unclear. Could eBay see that the buyer had requested the address change? Had the seller verified that the new address was indeed associated with the buyer's PayPal account? Could eBay see that the item was received by the address associated with the buyer's PayPal account (if that was indeed the case)?

The seller said he could not reach eBay to find out why it had refunded they buyer, calling the contact process "impenetrable." But he seems to believe it was because he sent the phone to a different address than the one supplied him by eBay.

The Telegraph quotes him saying, "EBay's buyer refund policy looks to me like an open invitation to fraudsters, and the fact that the company is impossible to communicate with plays into the criminals' hands."

Interestingly eBay's current marketing campaign is focused on encouraging casual sellers to list their used cell phones, a category that attracts fraudsters.

If a buyer requests an address change, should eBay stand behind the seller if they comply? What would you do in that case, and what did each party do right, and wrong?

Does eBay make it difficult for sellers to get help with disputes?

And why do you think U.S. reporters appear uninterested in covering the problems eBay buyers and sellers experience these days?




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Perminate Link for UK Press Are Covering eBay User Issues   UK Press Are Covering eBay User Issues

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Oct 7 22:24:02 2014

Yeah, the "Tele" story is so typical; and over 350 user comments, most of them negative of eBay ... nothing's changed; but, boy, it's so good to see eBay getting the negative publicity it has so long deserved ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 7 22:58:55 2014

Last week, I tried to call ebay CS 3 different times and was on hold for so long each time, that I finally hung up.  I never got through to a live person.  

The reason reporters in the US don't cover Ebay issues?  They are too busy covering highly sensational things that panic our citizens:  the impending stock market collapse/bubble/surging market, corporate inversions, ebola, the mideast, the  healthcare/medicare morass, etc. These all directly impact readers/viewers' pocketbooks.

Reporters probably still think of ebay as a mom and pop auction site, of no consequence. Cramer rants about it as an investment without actually understanding what ebay is. And Paypal only became interesting when Apple Pay was announced.

You would think the recent Alibaba IPO would have caused more interest in ebay but it  doesn't seem to have.  Yet.

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by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 7 23:15:38 2014

Ina, it is for this very reason many US sellers fret about accepting paypal.

Going way back, shipping to a confirmed address has been a requirement of paypal. Unlike accepting a credit card payment on a merchant account where an AVS match is all that is needed to verify the payment is authentic, with paypal, they do not offer this information to merchants using their service.

Instead, they lock this information in a vault with titanium locks and guard it with ninjas or ''ningas'' as they say.

Paypal is not a legitimate method of accepting payments, it's loaded with trap doors and land mines. One wrong more and ''BOOM'' there goes your profits. To add insult to injury, you still get stuck with ebay fees, paypal fees and lose the shipping costs as well.

Very risky business indeed.

We received a message from paypal today- the one where they state they're changing the buyer protection from 45 days to 180 days?

That's only a few weeks away. We are working to remove paypal from our sales sites by the policy change. Savvy sellers will be doing the same.

Ebay and paypal are both guilty of engaging in lopsided business practices. Those who hang around much further will be writing stories similar to the one above.

Get away from these awful corporations while you can. Your turn is in queue and at some point, you'll get hosed by this evil corporate entity.

Get out while you can!
 

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by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 7 23:58:26 2014

For those who do not have a credit card merchant account, I'd like to offer more clarity.

AVS = ''Address Verification Service''

When a customer enters his/her credit card information while placing an order, the billing address, zip code and ''CVC'' number (those last three numbers on the back side of the card) must all produce a match or the sales authorization might be declined.

Your merchant service provider uses their own internal formula. If the seller has any concerns about an authorized sale, he/she can call the merchant service companies risk management and speak to a customer service rep in minutes. They are there to help you succeed and inquires are entered into their system for future reference. Unlike paypal, theirs is a fair system.

Paypal does not allow it's users access to AVS. Instead, they use the shipping address and a factor. Ship to different address and you're at risk of loosing your sales income.

It's the fraudsters who'll get you every time here. With the legitimate buyers, no problem will result.
The real problem is paypal does not offer any tools to sellers to validate the authenticity of a shipment to a different address other than whats on the paypal payment details.

There are lots of legitimate paypal users that want their orders shipped to their work, friend or business address, many of these requests are benign but carry a higher risk then when having access to the AVS response. Knowing the real billing address changes everything.

We have never lost a claim when we could provide them with all the pertinent details associated with AVS and with a merchant account, claims are few and far between. On paypal, they are commonplace!


If you ship to a different address and you're dealing with a fraudster, paypal will make you pay for the mistake.

My biggest grip with paypal is the ease in which they offer a user to file a claim. With a merchant account, more effort is required and the review process is more in depth while with paypal, they simply side with the buyer a very high percentage of the time.

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by: dpetes This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 00:22:14 2014

Q. Could eBay see that the buyer had requested the address change?
A. Yes. If the seller would have been able to get a CS.
Q. Had the seller verified that the new address was indeed associated with the buyer's PayPal account?
A. Probably Not. Most likely just took buyers word.. this is a well known scam.
Q.Could eBay see that the item was received by the address associated with the buyer's PayPal account (if that was indeed the case)?
A. Yes. but seller would still lose the case.
Q. If a buyer requests an address change, should eBay stand behind the seller if they comply?
A. They should if they look at message in sellers messages, But,,,,, as the rules state, use only address that is varified and on shipping info..
Q. What would you do in that case, and what did each party do right, and wrong?
A. I would refund buyers money and request that put the new address into the pay pal system and then repurches the item.
Q. Does eBay make it difficult for sellers to get help with disputes?
A. Difficult????  No more like Imposable!!!!!!!!
Q. And why do you think U.S. reporters appear uninterested in covering the problems eBay buyers and sellers experience these days?
A. (1) possable Law suit (2) Scared to press wall street (3) Would prefer to report on kim k. or any other usless BS about other stars (4) Re hash
old info that is out of date (5) Keep the people devided and in fear of each other.

This is M O  

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

Wed Oct 8 01:14:59 2014

The ebay/PayPal criminal syndicate has no self interest whatsoever in helping sellers because there is no profit in helping sellers.

In fact, quite the contrary. In many cases ebay/Paypal will make as much or more money by aiding criminal buyers because they've
deliberately stacked the anti seller policy deck.

--ebay won't refund the FVF if seller loses case

-- even seller doesn't lose item, PayPal won't refund the mafia like 30 cent transaction fee

-- sellers pay to relist item

-- sellers pay a second FVF

If ebay illegally transfers ownership of the item to the buyer, seller is out listing fee, FVF fee, and every cent of the PayPal fee.

The harder they make it to contact the company the fewer CSRs will be needed further reducing ebay's operating costs. Expect to see more of this in coming months all around the world.

CRIME PAYS.

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

Wed Oct 8 03:39:43 2014

I think the UK press are now gunning for ebay. The shear weight of complaints for UK users about ebays dictatorial and uncaring attitude have finally reached some sort of tipping point and ebays avoidance of paying UK tax has angered many,some of whom have sufficient influence to start or at least stoke up a campaign to see that ebay washes its dirty laundry in public.
For most UK sellers ebay is now pretty much a dead duck with few sales,few views and the conatnt threat of charge backs and complaints that in some cases go against UK law.
Personally I find every time an EBay story (and the always show them in a bad light) hits the press or TV my sales and views of my own site go up. Ebay is dying on its feet,I doubt many will attend its funeral.

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

Wed Oct 8 05:53:38 2014

US press priorities are in the right place.

eBay seller "victims" will not help themselves. Why SHOULD any one else even care.

I have tried to explain your "plight" to normal people and they can not understand why you continue to complain while you refuse to leave.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Oct 8 07:42:06 2014

Ina says "And why do you think U.S. reporters appear uninterested in covering the problems eBay buyers and sellers experience these days?

The mainstream 2014 press is beholden to its advertisers. Just as big corporations control our government, they control most of the mainstream press.  The fact that the likes of Rupert Murdoch was so close to buying Time Warner in an $80B takeover bid should scare the daylights out of everyone.

Nice to see that the UK press are not a bunch of weenies.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Oct 8 08:04:53 2014

Connecticutgal indicates some things USA press are busy covering - don't forget the ''important'' news that reporters MUST cover on the Clooney Wedding, nude celebrity photos, anything remotely related to a Kardashian, etc...

I mean, don't they have magazines devoted to this stuff? Supposedly real reporters have to get in on the action?  Nothing like a segue from a beheading to a celebrity wedding.


Panic inducing or not - I would simply like to see truthful, FACTUAL reporting without being agenda driven (good luck with that!). To me, THAT includes factual impact of a large ''venue'' business on customer-sellers that are cumulatively an invisible factor in the economy.


How large a factor? I don't think we know because there is no good coverage.

Consider:

the income provided to support families

taxes paid, money spent in a community

jobs impacted outside the seller: packaging industry, shipping (USPS, UPS, FEDEX, etc...), marketers, manufacturers of sourced goods, the secondary market of thrift stores and social programs they support, charities that receive unsold inventory, online services related to selling and websites.

Probably much more.


So KUDOs to UK covering the eBay effect. If an event happens in the world I am always sure to check the Guardian, BBC, and a few others coverage.  Their coverage can run circles around what passes for USA news coverage these days.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Oct 8 09:50:47 2014

My favorite headline has to be from Huffington Post, and they run a similar story often:  "(Insert Name of Celebrity) Doesn't Look Like This Anymore"

If I were a "reporter" I would be embarrassed to write such fluff.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Oct 8 10:55:20 2014

BTW - did that Bloomberg reporter that took an interest in eBay on one of the previous threads here go missing? Go MIA? Last I read on the thread was he stopped communicating.

No surprise at all.



 

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by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 14:18:42 2014

Ebay doesn't give a toss if you sell anything.....Ebay seller updates = total failure for sellers.

New Paypal 180 days to refund/ dispute ?  Don't stop there, why not make it lifetime refund/dispute/SNAD eligible ?

The contempt is mutual.....

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Oct 8 19:23:10 2014

Both Dan Wilson and Chris Dawson are outrageous eBay shills, of the first order. Having said that, if Dan is, for once, disagreeing with Chris (and eBay) then it is more likely they are simply playing the "good cop, bad cop" game; regardless, you will find very few criticisms of eBay on eBay, oops, Tamebay ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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by: WhatWas This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 19:59:00 2014

All the real journalists were let go years ago, so now you have independent contractors generating content for blogs or submitting stories for peanuts.

Digital and TV media is competing for eyeballs. So they have to write what sells - celebs, weddings and what hat Kate is wearing this week.

Real old-fashion journalists and news outlets like PBS and BBC have to focus on big stories and comparatively speaking, are barely reaching any eyeballs/ears...  

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by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 23:01:47 2014

I had one other thought on the Paypal 180 day buyer "guarantee."  Amazon bought Zappos several years ago and Zappos offers 365 day returns.  I wonder if Amazon is thinking of expanding this policy to the site and paypal wanted to get ahead of the curve with a half year return policy.  Never mind that it will positively slay sellers in the process.

Honestly, I don't know how Zappo's can offer 365 days.  

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

Wed Oct 8 23:23:54 2014

UK press in action. It just remind me the problem Microsoft face years ago with the Internet Explorer and the competition case in Europe.  

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by: ItsALLAboutME This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 23:49:01 2014

1. How would mainstream media know about these issues? I only see them referenced on this site.
2. How much credibility do you think this publication is likely to be afforded by mainstream media? I see the same, few readers expressing the same, few viewpoints issue after issue, and I see other, innocuous comments being censored.
3. I certainly feel like I've wandered into a private chat room by mistake, perhaps genuine members of the media have experienced similar and don't take you seriously.

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 00:21:52 2014

There ARE other media covering the ebay series of mis-steps and I certainly will go seek out the Brit info.

CNET ran an article on the recent woes and MANY people have commented and the SAME things that are talked over here sometimes have popped up there--the extremely poor treatment of sellers;  out and out theft sponsored by ebay/PP--the usual.

"The Haggler"  at the New York Times is interested in this but cannot devote his entire time to just ebay--too bad tho!!!---and he tends to do more of a mediation service than just complaints.  BUT if you have a specific incident--get in touch with him.

I am sorry for the poster who made some crack about how we can't seem to stop complaining (as we are whipped and tortured)  but "REFUSE" to leave.  

This shows a complete and utter LACK of understanding of the situation and how it applies to a LOT of sellers of items that just don't lend themselves to a stand alone web site, Or cannot be sold on Amazon; Ruby Lane;  ETSY and the like.

WHERE exactly this person feels we SHOULD go is left unstated.

Comments on that?  

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by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 00:26:14 2014

Small sellers can not compete with Zappos.
Zappos charges more for shoes than many other shoes stores is how they do it.
They get alot of abuse too with their returns which they have to blow out. Actuarially they probably  get more business, but small sellers can not compete with that sort of scale.

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