Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Nov 19 2016 17:34:05

eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is experiencing some major problems with its billing system, and sellers are paying the price. The latest example: eBay failed to credit sellers for their Top Rated Seller discounts on their recent invoices.

Reports began coming in to Ecommerce EKG on Thursday. Unfortunately, it looks like sellers will have to pay the full invoice and wait until next month's invoice to be credited - a situation that can cause major cash flow issues for sellers.

The problem comes on the heels of another eBay billing system error that resulted in eBay undercharging sellers. Rather than eating the cost itself "in order to make the customer happy," as it so often advises its sellers to do, eBay informed sellers who were impacted that it would bill them in their next invoice.

It's an unfortunate coincidence for sellers that the month eBay realized it had come up short for underbilling sellers, another issue caused eBay to overbill some sellers.

One of the readers who notified us of the problem advised sellers who were affected to call eBay and let them know - "the more sellers to let them know, the higher the priority is for eBay to fix it."

Not being able to rely on the accuracy of eBay's invoices is no doubt troublesome to sellers.




Comments (39) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Nov 19 19:21:14 2016

Do they run this company out of Wenig's garage?

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Nov 19 19:26:28 2016

While I agree this is a problem I don't think we should over-react to it.  They will fix it and we will get our credits.  I don't think it is going to cause most sellers some kind of financial hardship however.  The TRS discount just isn't what it use to be.  Low sales and stricter rules to qualify for it has caused this discount to be substantially different from what it once was.

For some sellers that Ebay messed up on the FVFs they charged, maybe this will help to offset some of that for them.  Meaning when they add in the FVFs they missed billing and then give you the credit for TRS that they didn't give you, possibly it won't hurt as much.  

It is important for sellers to call in if they see the problem on their Nov. 15th invoice.  Get on the list of sellers that have reported the issue.  

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Nov 19 20:11:13 2016

What I don't understand is, if eBay's been sending invoices for years in the correct amounts, what has changed which results in under-billing fees, and not taking into account the TRS discounts? Did someone erase an entire section of the computer program that covers billing, or are they trying to pad their financials so it appears they have a bigger growth than last quarter?  

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Nov 19 21:34:45 2016

My bill looks OK

Account summary October 16 - November 15 Pacific Time
Previous balance$427.19
Payment received Oct 24 - Thank you-$427.19
New fees Includes promotional savings where applicable
Insertion fees$54.20
Final value fees$536.29
Subscription and onetime fees$19.95
Subtotal$610.44
Discounts and credits
Top rated plus discount-$106.97
Credits-$1.44
Subtotal-$108.41
Total due$502.03

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 19 21:45:36 2016

Heads up! Just to add more salt to the wound. When you eventually become suspended because of their ''errors'' they will send an email to all your buyers that that, while legally is an ''opinion'', more or less tells them you are a criminal.

The letter is designed to trigger a cascade of paypal and ebay INR disputes to make you LOOK LIKE a scammer with the goal of ruining your business so you will have great difficulty using your ebay contacts to start a website customer base. This letter goes to everyone you sold to or otherwise contacted in the last 90 days.

Hence why i'm checking out a bit early after 12 years of baying. I'm done with both ebay and paypal's BS!

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: Part Time Seller This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 19 22:54:21 2016

If your bill is wrong you need to call eBay.  When I called this morning the eBay rep told me that they will make a note of the IDs of those who notify them.  Don't rely on eBay to correct your bill unless you call.  

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: rstpete This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 19 23:12:13 2016

Dont rely on ebay to fix the errors for those that call either.  

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 19 23:15:04 2016

deadbay is junk. Closed my final account. Moved on baby! It amazes me ,the things I do not worry about. I can breathe. Diversify. Ebay is outclassed ,outsold , by most all ecommerce venues. Theyre all trying to push the small seller out. Ebay stoops lower each day. Glitches , outages , errors , one after another. I really do not see it all as mistakes. Action at the proper time , means great value to someone , at that certain time. Who knows what deviate plan, the wizard of ebay has.

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 19 23:42:58 2016

While I agree with Marie that this in itself isn't the end of the world, it's worrisome on top of the constant glitches already reported. The last two companies I worked for imploded, and the first indication we had was problems with billing and money handling.

I doubt eBay will implode and I still like selling there, but it appears that the old barge is now springing leaks faster than can be patched.  

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Nov 20 02:32:20 2016

@jack

Since they have made two mistakes on the invoices for the period, it isn't likely that it was to pad their financials.  One mistake was FVFs not billed or billed at a lower rate and then these TRS discounts.  So it is doubtful that it was a conspiracy to benefit their financial statements.

@rstpete

They have made errors before on various different types of fees that affect our invoices.  While it is annoying to be sure, it has been my experience that they have always given credits that were due to the sellers for billing errors.  I know it is frustrating and I know that Ebay does plenty to cause us to distrust them.

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 20 04:14:06 2016

''What I don't understand is, if eBay's been sending invoices for years in the correct amounts, what has changed ..''

Aye mate, there's the root.  And frankly, THAT's what should be reacted to, or might some say, over-reacted to.

Because it's not just THIS 'glitch', and not just the monetary 'inconvenience' - which incidentally IS a big deal at ANY amount (per seller) when one considers the huge amount (in sum) of float that both eBay and PP use to finance their shenanigans.  

Almost on a daily basis, this company demonstrates increasing technical ineptitude, nevermind that of eCommerce itself.  It is a floundering vessel patched, glued, held together with new coats of paint and polish while it's guts rust and crumble.  It's remaining crew, whipped daily, it's rations ever diminishing, it's captain, a pretentious swashbuckler with a synchopantic parrot.  It's only one more leak.  All is well mateys, full speed ahead to the bright horizon.

What has changed indeed.  And how much MORE seawater in your grog will you 'tolerate'?  

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 20 09:12:11 2016

For ME, the question isnt about the amounts or that eBay made/makes mistakes - thats all a given if you know eBay well (like we do here).

Its simply - when sellers make mistakes they get 40 lashes and then some, but when eBay makes mistakes ... "eh its no big deal". Well IT IS a big deal. You should hold yourself (eBay) to the same standards you want your sellers to be held to!

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Nov 20 09:54:04 2016

I tried to print a shipping label recently and got the message that I needed to add a back-up payment in PayPal.  I've had one for years.  Made no changes and the next day things were working as usual.

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 20 20:24:23 2016

My invoice also did not account for the Top rated seller discount. What I find surprising is rather than issue revised invoices, Ebay is going to enjoy the float benefit of our money for 30 days. Ebay made the mistake, Ebay needs to fix it. It will cost extra time and money. THAT's a cost of doing business. All of us know the consequences if we operated in that fashion.

My bigger question is what are they doing to cause these problems? Monthly invoicing has been the one thing I can say has worked flawlessly for as long as I can remember. What tests, scenarios, or analyses are they running that would cause anyone to mess around with the billing system for any reason?  

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 20 20:40:51 2016

Just read this note from Ebay sent today:

We are aware that the recently-issued invoices for certain eTRS sellers erroneously omitted earned eTRS credits. We are working to correct this so that the discount is appropriately applied at the time payment is made. For this cycle we've aggregated the discount amount, so your net payment will reflect the discount.

You don't need to do anything. We apologize for any confusion.

Seems they might be resolving this quickly.

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

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

Sun Nov 20 20:53:32 2016

Wenig must be sweating it out trying to do everything by himself  :o)

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 20 21:23:26 2016

"Seems they might be resolving this quickly."

Yes.  And apparently rather easilly considering the aggregate diversity and complexity where such might relate to each given individually affected account.

So, perhaps it isn't really a 'glitch' per se, but rather a purposeful recoding to reflect an imminent 'retirement' of the discount all together.  One that would leave the "aggregated discount amount" readilly available (assuming such from them is trustworthy at this point) - so to speed next quarter's 'growth' calculations - while the specific itemization would take some time to reconstruct.  

And the ineptitude in this case simply reflects one of the monkeys prematurely flipping that switch?

It would be interesting to actually ask that question of them.

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

by: Jim Y This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Nov 21 00:02:37 2016

Ebay is losing total integrity with these mistakes.  How can we trust them now?  I didn't get my discount either. Then I looked at past months and can see it isn't much anyway.  I should get 20%, but it's something much less.  

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 21 02:39:36 2016

@jim y

You should understand how the discount is calculated.  It's been the same for a very long time.  You are correct that the discount is not at all what it use to be years ago, but what we have now isn't new, its been here quite a while.  

It is NOT 20% of your total FVFs, never has been.  FVFs on shipping charges to your buyer and FVFs on international sales do not qualify for the discount.  That isn't a new rule.

TRS sellers have never gotten a straight 20% off their total FVFs.

Perminate Link for eBay Billing System Is FUBAR   eBay Billing System Is FUBAR

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 21 02:39:37 2016

@jim y

You should understand how the discount is calculated.  It's been the same for a very long time.  You are correct that the discount is not at all what it use to be years ago, but what we have now isn't new, its been here quite a while.  

It is NOT 20% of your total FVFs, never has been.  FVFs on shipping charges to your buyer and FVFs on international sales do not qualify for the discount.  That isn't a new rule.

TRS sellers have never gotten a straight 20% off their total FVFs.

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