Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Mar 30 2015 21:39:14

Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers have uncovered a glitch that highlights the shortcomings of eBay.com's shopping cart. When U.S. buyers attempt to add multiple-quantity items listed on eBay Canada, they are unable to. And compounding the frustration is a glitch that sends them in circles.

We describe the problem in detail in Tuesday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash. Canadian sellers are concerned that the problem is hurting their sales and may even be frustrating buyers to the point that they abandon eBay and go to another site altogether.

A Canadian reader who wrote to us explained, "Sometimes, an American buyer is persistent enough to contact the Canadian sellers and do the transaction through direct PayPal invoice or other means. Others buy items one by one with the expectation that shipping excess will be refunded. The seller still pays eBay the FVF on those shipping charges unless they wish to spend time on the phone with eBay's horrid customer service department."

Frustrated U.S. buyers, shortchanged Canadian sellers. 

eBay.com's shopping cart is hindering cross-border trade, which is supposed to be a major priority for eBay, and moderators on eBay Canada discussion boards see no end in sight.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 30 22:07:58 2015

Seems to be a lot of such going on . Its not just Canada. Its internal as well. When I was using the bay , it was different things every day. One of which , is the useless shopping cart. More of the same.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 30 22:36:26 2015

This is one time when I actually can't really fault ebay.

I'm a Canadian seller - on ebay for 18+ years  so listed on .co until the rate calculator was added and I moved to listing on .ca

The rate calculator works perfectly (when I put in the correct dimensions and weight) for ONE ITEM. It never is right for multiple item purchases which is where ebay checkout fails for me.

When Canadian buyers go through checkout with multiple items, checkout always undercharges and when US sellers go through with multiples they are overcharged because it adds the postage for each item.

This is because Canada Post used volumetric calculations which are virtually always more than whaat the postage would be based on actual weight.

It gets even more complicated in that there are special discounted small parcel rates for US bound packages under 1K and international ones under 2K as long as they fall under a specified max size.

I can't imagine how a calculator/checkout could ever actually figure out whether 2 items where each alone would qualify for small parcel rate will still do so when shipped together or must go to calculated shipping based on box measurement and destination. Imagine the problems with more than 2 items.

This is why I can't set  up the X$ extra for additional items because I don't know where things are going. My listings tell buyers to PLEASE DO NOT GO THROUGH CHECKOUT WITH MULTIPLE ITEM PURCHASES SINCE THE POSTAGE WILL NOT BE CORRECT. I will send an invoice.

Since as we all know, many buyers do not bother to read beyond the title, I'm constantly refunding overpayments or risking nasty reactions from buyers by sending invoices for short payments of postage.

If I could have my way, I would opt out of checkout completely for multiple item purchases and just have the buyer see a big RED MESSAGE telling them to to wait for my invoice.

To my mind the problem is that ebay is bound and determined to push every seller into the same mould instead of allowing us to use the features that work for us, opt out of those that don't - the way a venue would,  and just let us get on with selling and serving our customers in our own way.

I'm very happy for anyone who finds checkout to be a good feature, but it does not work across the board.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: Tim This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 00:58:09 2015

Your headline is really the story here.  20 years after launching and 10 years after everyone else figured it out, eBay still can't program a shopping cart.

It's kind of amazing actually. So much so that I think it cannot be incompetence. They must make more money by having a crappy shopping cart.  The redundant PayPal fees as buyers pay separately for 5 items is one way they pad their pockets through seeming incompetence... but that incentive will soon disappear. Maybe they will "fix" the shopping cart after PayPal fees no longer drop to the bottom line?

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

This user has validated their user name. by: Jcapwet

Tue Mar 31 02:44:24 2015

I have been finding this problem when I also buy from sellers in Australia. I do have work around, I just log into ebay.uk. I found this while having this problem buying from Great Britain sellers too.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: foothill This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 03:21:24 2015

I am ongoing loosing sales due to the issue.
Enclosed some buyer examples from lost sales,

A) Thanks for your rapid reply! I am planning to buy 17 items, so do I therefore have to go through the individual payment process 17 times? Presumably you would then refund 16 or so lots of postage? This seems a horribly long-winded procedure! Is there no way of simplifying this?

B)I added 13 items to my cart and it looks like I'm being charged $4 shipping for each item, but your listing states that 1-15 sheets qualify for combines $4 shipping to the US. I tried to request total invoice from you in the cart, but I'm getting the error message that your store doesn't allow combined shipping. Please advise.
Thanks.

D) I just paid. Still don't know why there were different set up for these items. Such happened with other sellers too.

E)as you may know,i already bought a few items but for this, ebay wants me to pay immediately. do you know why? can i combine with others?

Big problem for sellers and buyers, but as we are informed
eBay have no plan to deal with the issue.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Mar 31 03:22:58 2015

With all those EXTREMELY well paid employees at Ebay one would think they could fix the shopping cart.  While it certainly is a problem for Canada, it is here is the US too.

I get complaints from buyers trying to use it and it doesn't work right.  Just imagine how many just get frustrated and move on.  A loss of a sale for me and maybe ebay alltogether.

Why these problems continue to exist is ridiculous.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 05:55:36 2015

Not much in life is Ebay's forte except stealing money from the users of the site.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: Deacon Blues This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 06:16:28 2015

As a Canadian seller and store owner, this is a real problem for me. Buyers from ebay.com are unable to order multiple items using their shopping carts and it costs me sales!  CS is unable to offer any suggestions on a work around. I pay the same fees as sellers south of the border, but do not get the same service. This is unfair, to say the least.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 07:22:07 2015

The problems at ebay cannot be fixed with the present management. These guys are only in it to paint over the rust and suck the money out of it and into their pockets.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 31 08:12:04 2015

A global ecommerce site that can't program a shopping cart correctly.

Perhaps JD can bring on some more disruptive "innovation" before he leaves.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 09:07:28 2015

I may well be MISSING a major point here, but I think I see TWO THINGS that Canada Sellers can/should do to ALL their listings to let Combined Postage/Freight RESUME.  ONE: Be Sure that NONE of your listings are shown as IMMEDIATE PAYMENT REQUIRED.  TWO: CONTACT any cross border buyer ASAP that if they WANT to get MUCH cheaper discounted postage/freight on MULTIPLE items to use BUY NOW and act to CLEAR / REMOVE any items from that buyer's Shopping Cart in order to RE-place their purchase as BUY NOW without PAYING instantly.  Then you will be FREE to aglomerate ALL those UNPAID BUY NOW purchases into a SINGLE customized Invoice and not only SEND the invoice, but PRECEDE sending the CUSTOM invoice with a MESSAGE to this same buyer as to how YOU are ''about to send'' them a REDUCED $cost invoice.  No, this will not work for every situation. Yes, it is also a GOOD WAY to solve domestic USA buyer / USA seller combined postage, too.  It let me offer a buyer last Friday SIGNIFICANT reduction on shipping that buyer's 4 DVDs even though HE had initially placed his FIRST 2 into his Shopping Cart.  Got him to REMOVE both and THEN use BUY NOW on both of THOSE as well as the TWO he had ADDED by clicking BUY NOW. 4 unpaid BUY NOW were EASY to roll into a single combined invoice. He's happy, I'm happy, J.D. can take a flying leap at a rolling doughnut.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 09:51:29 2015

Ok folks.....just remember that this is ebay and even workarounds need workarounds.

I have "require immediate payment" disabled and still bump up against the cart not working for multiple purchases.

The suggested fix by ebay for us to list on .com is ridiculous beyond words.  Works for sellers who mail the same small item all the time ...dvd etc.  They could use fixed price shipping.

Every one of my items needs calculated shipping. If ebay would put the Canada Post calculator on the .com site it would b a different story.

Again, the cart works for a single item, but NOT for multiple items.

SIMPLE FIX - do not let buyers add multiple items - give them a message to contact seller for shipping and wait for invoice.

This may inconvenience some buyers but that is better than having them run screaming when they see the shipping cost for each item added in the cart.

I get emails from ticked off potential buyers all the time - they say "you offer combined shipping but the cart doesn't work."  Yes people, I know - which is why I inform buyers of that in the listing. Please wait for invoice...not that most of them bother to read it.  

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: Shopping Cart Broken This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 10:14:03 2015

As a seller from Canada with over 30,000 multiple quantity listings I was appalled at the lack of combined item sales over the last 24 months.

Ebay finally admitted to us they would never fix the Canadian to US sellers cart dis-connect issue due to the minimum amount of buyers it affects, and told us as a work around to our business model being steam rolled we should delist the 30,000 items and start from scratch on the .com side.

Wow, took a dozen years to build that catalogue and to scan that many items again was an insurmountable task. We were astonished at the lack of respect, as we were told ebay's revenue was not as heavily dependant on sellers so we were basically on our own to adapt or not survive.

To compound this problem, the shopping cart also does not work on mobile devices, for anybody, to combine items, hence killing sales as the momentum on mobile purchases is large and growing daily.

Fix the shopping cart, fix the sales problem.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 11:17:27 2015

Ran into another opportunity for eBay to make more money on the checkout process.

Buyer bought a large vintage item that I estimated would weight in the 3 to 4 pound range.  As the US Post Office charges by the pound - 4 pounds rate would be charged.

I also estimated the size of the box.

Buyer lives many states away triggering the high end of Priority Mail rates.

After packing and weighing my estimated weight and dimensions were in agreement with my actual weight and size.

Ebay’s shipping calculator charged the buyer $35 including my fee for packing supplies.  The actual came to less than half that.  

eBay’s shipping fee was based on gross Post Office charges and ignored the on-line Post Office discount.  

I shipped and processed a shipping refund to the buyer’s Paypal account.

Up front, eBay charged me 3 bucks for the shipping fees.

After refunding the buyer, the eBay’s shipping fees should be closer to half that.

But there is no refund on shipping fees.  eBay keeps the extra money.  My money plus how many other over charges on shipping.  A few measly thousands of bucks a day?  Wow!

Those eBay cracker jack eBay MBA’s have come through again!

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 11:38:59 2015

For those unaware, the available shipping services and ship-to regions are dictated by the particular eBay site. The same is true for buyer location. It's based on the site they registered with. Ideally, features would be based on the physical address of the shipper and/or recipient.

I believe eBay made some poor coding decisions in the past from which they cannot recover without a complete rewrite. I still have confirmed shipping calculator bugs logged with Developer Tech Support from 2013.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 14:33:41 2015

I went through this problem twice already with Canadian buyers. When I called Ebay CS I was told the problem was on the buyer side and they could not help me. When the buyer called he was told the problem was on the seller side and so they could not help him.

The first sale fell through. The next sale I figured out a workaround by charging the buyer for all the items he wanted to buy as if they were a single item.

I directly asked the customer service representative if this was not in fact a problem with the shopping cart and poor programming. She told me that there was nothing wrong with the shopping cart and this problem was unique to this transaction.

Was she poorly informed, lied to by her supervisor, or just told to lie to callers?

I was happy to read this article because it is one more confirmation that Ebay's corporate policy is to lie to buyers and sellers so as to deny any responsibility for maintaining a properly functioning selling venue. The site is on the verge of technical collapse due to years of corporate neglect.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 15:30:41 2015



Really, Im suprised at you people. Our super duper heavy duty ex CEO makes $23million just for leaving, was hired with NO experience, hasnt raised the stock price in 10+ years, and is SUCH an expert in global trading that Odummy hired him as his consultant!

HOW DARE YOU ROTTEN HORRID MONEY GRUBBING SELLERS DARE QUESTION THE ALMIGHTY OZ ... I MEAN DONOHUE? DONT YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH?



Another day, another eBay "feature" that doesnt work right ... (I'll bet you Amazons works!)  

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Tue Mar 31 18:26:19 2015

If all those handshake-bonuses and golden parachute bonuses had instead been invested on finding and hiring EXPERIENCED and COMPETENT programmers, and had been used to hire EXPERIENCED and COMPETENT project managers, these types of problems (among the long list of others) likely wouldn't be happening.

Go figure.

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Mar 31 20:52:15 2015

EBAY MANAGEMENT MORONS : We DON'T WANT cross border trade. It's a pain in the A$$. Stop shoving it down our throats you dolts.

Still waiting for THE PERFECT AMERICAN SELLING VENUE.
Hurry UP already ! ! !  

Perminate Link for Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte   Shopping Carts Are Not eBay's Forte

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

Tue Mar 31 23:42:51 2015

I think that unless there are major changes in Ebay's attitude toward sellers, search and shopping cart, none of it will matter to anyone in a year or so as they will be shopping and selling elsewhere.  

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