Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon May 26 2014 19:54:24

eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

By: Ina Steiner

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The cost of eBay's security breach is starting to be seen as the marketplace announced it would refund seller fees for certain auction listings and would allow sellers to cancel auction transactions for an 11-day period.

This is an unprecedented move - the reason it's unprecedented is because it impacts eBay's bottom line. But it's not as bad as it would have been a number of years ago. Auctions made up 70% of eBay's business in 2008. Now, auctions account for 28% of total GMV for its Marketplaces business.

In addition, a greater number of sellers start the bidding with higher prices than years ago, so not all sellers would take as big a loss on a listing with fewer bidders, therefore fewer sellers may be cancelling auction transactions than in years past. But clearly eBay must be seeing an impact on auctions or it wouldn't have made this announcement.

Why are auctions impacted and not fixed-price listings? As we explain in Tuesday's newsletter, eBay detected unauthorized access to its user database, so it is requiring all buyers and sellers to reset their passwords. It explained: "We recognize that the password reset may temporarily interrupt the normal bidding process for buyers."

eBay shoppers often leave proxy bids in which eBay places automatic bids on behalf of the bidder. In addition, many use third-party services to leave last-minute "snipe" bids - and even if a shopper changes their eBay password, they would have to update the password on the third-party service. If they don't, the sniping service won't bid on their behalf.

To explain it further - let's say you list a very valuable item and are certain the bidding could reach $800. But due to the password reset problem (or because bidders are skittish about using eBay immediately following the hack), only one bidder shows up and "wins" the auction for $50. eBay is recognizing that the seller is taking a hit and is allowing the seller to cancel the transaction.

The timing of the announcement is unfortunate, however, since sellers may already have shipped items for auctions that ended on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and received lower prices due to the password reset.

The risk for sellers choosing to cancel a transaction is that a disgruntled winning bidder could leave them a bad rating. eBay wrote, "We will also be communicating with the winning bidder for any cancelled auction-style transaction during this time period to ensure they continue to have great buyer experiences on eBay."

But even if eBay agrees to give sellers a clean slate if the buyer complains, will it be able to keep track of it all?

While eBay didn't say it, clearly sellers should be wary of auction listings through the end of the month, at least.

Are you affected by this news, and what will your strategy be going forward?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

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

Mon May 26 20:20:49 2014

What about the sales damage their negligence cost the rest of us who don't use auction style listings?

My sales were off 90% for more than a week which I attribute to The Hack and ebay's slimey search manipulation scheme on Google!

A pittance. Ebay should refund ALL fees for at least a week to ALL sellers and take the fee reimbursement money out of Donahoe's, Wenig's, Carges's, and Burke's bloated salaries.

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

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

Mon May 26 20:22:57 2014

And then after ebay has recovered their lost revenue from the Master Disruptors, fire them all disallowing their golden parachutes for cause.

FIRE DONAHOE NOW!

Corporate governance: an unknown concept to ebay's Board of Directors

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon May 26 20:27:51 2014

From the announcement: ''Sellers will see these credits on their June invoice.''

In other words, some sellers may not receive credits until their next invoice amounting to a short term loan to eBay.

How nice management can find a way to manipulate this hack to their short term financial advantage. Having all the canceled auction fees appear on May invoices will allow eBay to appear as though they had a successful response to the rejiggering of fees announced before the hack.

A company with ethical management would post the credits to the same billing period so as not to appear to be borrowing money from their sellers and manipulating the bottom line.

So, it has come to this... eBay now needs a temporary bailout from their sellers in order to make it appear as though the recent fee change favoring auctions has had immediate results.

These appear to be despicable acts committed by management that is scrambling to conceal their many failures.

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 20:44:14 2014

Oddly I am not feeling warm and fuzzy about getting my fees credited for 1 day. 1 measly day. Even though this hack has affected my sales, or caused no sales as the case may be,  completely  for the last week.  

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 20:51:45 2014

I've had sales, but they are down. Can I have my $400 of seller fees for last month refunded?

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 20:59:06 2014

The CEO of Target was fired over their breech.  Why not Donohoe?

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 21:04:02 2014

I am so confused about the password re-set.  I thought that ebay & paypal passwords had to be the same?  I also use Turbolister, and the password has to be the same as the ebay password.  I don't even know where to change my TL password.

I haven't been using ebay lately, because I'm scared to death of the new DSRs & defect crapola.   although I have to pay for my stupid store that they renewed with no notification, except ONE DAY notification that I missed.  Any help?

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 21:04:33 2014

Looking back....all the time that
...hoe was calling us 'malcontents' ''NOISE''
...those seller get-togethers to ask the staff questions, demand answers...

he knew about this and carefully waited until us malcontents couldn't make as much NOISE, disturbing the lies they were passing out at the get-togethers!  

Had they disclosed this hacking at the get-togethers, us malcontents would have raised holy hell!

hoe's been protecting his ears against the NOISE!

This 'settlement' is pathetic in the face of his cover-ups these last few weeks!  

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon May 26 21:25:45 2014

COH

- I have had an eBay store for several years and have had different passwords for eBay and PayPal since day one. No - they do not need to be the same.

I don't know about turbolister.

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 21:32:34 2014

My guess is that they waited until after appeasing Mr. Icahn and then after the Annual Meeting before breaking the news.  

Back to the question at hand:  are we now supposed to end all auctions that were listed this past weekend and not list till June?  I had some Fixed Price Listings expire this week with 5-10 watchers, as well, but am not sure if these should be relisted or not till June. The direction provided by the Ebay release was not clear.

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: onlythebest This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 21:47:55 2014

It seems that ebay is refunding selling fees during this period. I just received mine. Interesting though that the selling fees on Shipping are still incurred by the seller. Hummm.

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 21:48:06 2014

@COH
To get into turbo lister you use your ebay log in info.

You have to close out your ebay store if you no longer want it. I don't normally stick up for ebay but come on, you can't blame them because you got lazy and didn't read the agreement. It clearly says in the first few lines of the agreement that it will be auto renewed. Also before mine auto renewed I received 3 emails telling me weeks in advance that it was going to auto renew.

ebay and paypal passwords should never ever be the same. They hack one like they did and they are in to your bank account. While we are on the subject, note to all buyers/sellers, your password should not be 12345 or password!!!

Just log into your ebay and paypal accounts and change the passwords then you are done. Do both just in case ebay isn't telling us something else.

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon May 26 22:03:12 2014

We use Turbo Lister, and it must know your current password.

You need to change your password on eBay, then change your password in TL to match that new eBay password.

PayPal can and should have a separate password, and it most certainly should be one that utilizes best password security practices.

Strong passwords should be six digits or longer, should include both upper and lower case letters, should also include numbers, and a symbol.

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: anng This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 22:12:13 2014

Duh - am I totally missing something here?

The auctions that closed and were paid May 21, 22 or 23 (for us 7 day work week folks) were most likely SHIPPED within 24 hours. How does eBay expect anyone to cancel that and retrieve items shipped? Sounds like they are rewarding the late payers and shippers to me..

Typical day late, dollar short....

Fortunately (or not as it turns out), I HAD auctions closing the night of May 21st. Surprise - a bunch of items didn't selll but several did and while I don't KNOW they would have had more bids, I sucked it up, and shipped the items as soon as paid for (immediately for 3 items) as I've  ALWAYS put my customers FIRST.

NOW nearly 1 week later they say it's ok to cancel?

Fools.

They should be refunding far more than auction fees for the mess this has created and the losses incurred by sellers. And yes, MAJOR heads need to roll and for more than just the breach - but for the rather suspicously timed delay in disclosure and communications since.

It's clear to me that their ''disaster planning'' was not particularly well planned.

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: former ebayer This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 22:20:25 2014

Ebay charges a extra fee if you end listings early. Another way to increase their revenue at the cost of sellers. They never have sent a direct e-mail to sellers to update their passwords. And the site was hacked how many months ago. Do I smell a  Target. No ebay stinks worse than Target. Sad , sad, company that could be great.    

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 22:21:22 2014

What I see, is that Ebay's management withheld the hacking information from their Stockholder's, at the Annual Meeting. The evidence shows that they knew of the hacking prior to the Meeting. Thus, they chose purposely to not disclose the damaging facts to insure they would not be fired or ask to resign. I am not sure, but I would think this would amount to some type of legal negligence, when dealing with stockholders.

As for sellers and the direct hit to their bank accounts, that this mess has caused, is not even on the agenda for Ebay's present  management and hasn't been for a long time.  

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 22:29:30 2014

Maybe there is more hacking and fallout on the way? ebay has a lot of learning to do still it seems.


John Leyden, The Register:

New XSS vuln hits eBay as rubbish passw0rds persist.
Tat bazaars own password rules don't apply when users pick new sekrit w0rdz

http://bit.ly/1nK9uty

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon May 26 22:49:46 2014

Ebay should reimburse sellers for their monthly store subscription fee. ALL sellers and buyers were affected and will STILL be affected in the coming months. I am sure Target lost customers for days, months and probably permanently. Before this hacking came to light ebay's reputation was already greatly diminished and now I fear even more buyers will drop by the wayside. Once the August defects hit and sellers are purged or leave, ebay will become a wasteland.  

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: LAbay This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 23:26:30 2014

Due to the fear of identity theft, many buyers will simply shut down their eBay accounts. The actual fallout form this hacking incidence is yet to be determined.

Perminate Link for eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout   eBay to Refund Fees, Allow Cancelled Auctions, in Hacking Fallout

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 26 23:50:17 2014

I was "notified" that I should change my ebay password BY ebay on the night of Sunday 25 May 2014 at 11 PM ET..

That of course was DAYS after the news broke and after I changed my PW's.  

And an--um--oddity--I absentmindedly entered my Paypal PW when I was changing PW's--not what I had intended to DO there but--and I got a notice from ebay---"You cannot use ANY PW you have EVER used on ebay again"---um--I never HAVE used that PW on--ebay.

So all this blather about them being SEPARATE and SECURE---drivel.

I also got an email from BidNapper--sniper service I have not used in a while as it seems no longer needed on ebay---sigh--to CHANGE my PW on their server  when I change my PW on ebay so I COULD use them if I wanted to.  

I have also noticed that on almost ALL of the sites I go to--none of which has any sort of financial interest--ie content only sites such as Houzz and Pinterest and others---I have had to LOG IN where as usually I am auto logged in when I go there.  This is all in the past few days since the hack occured.  

The ONLY sites where I am consistently AUTO LOGGED IN these days???  Ebay.  And Paypal.  

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