Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon June 27 2016 12:06:21

Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sellers have already begun taking action to reduce their exposure in the event of a postal disruption in Canada. As we noted on Wednesday, some have put their stores on vacation and are ceasing all selling activities. On Friday, eBay reached out to Canadian sellers, urging them to keep their stores open and continue listing.

Some sellers plan to continue selling regardless of a strike or lockout - one seller noted they planned to use couriers for domestic shipping, Cash Pickup for local sales, and daytrips south to use USPS for international shipments. "It may be more convenient and less expensive to use Canada Post but if CPC isn't available, I'm not going to let that stop me. The big online retailers aren't closing for a mail strike/lockout either."

However, others see no viable alternatives to Canada Post, and some sellers were skeptical on whether eBay would fully protect them in the event of a mail disruption. One said the reason eBay wanted sellers to keep their listings active was "so that eBay can continue to collect fees."

Another seller wrote, "I don't get it...why is eBay telling us not to put our stores on vacation? What if the strike lasts 3 months, Buyers are expected to wait 3.5 months to receive their orders? And we just sell and give refunds and get negative feedback?"

"What a mess," the seller continued. "I'm not going anywhere near this type of crazy. Putting both stores on vacation immediately and ending any auction listings. I just hope everything I already sent out makes it. Maybe I'll do Craigslist and store consignment this summer. Well at least it didn't happen in October/November!"

Another seller referred to the "where possible" clause in eBay's message, where it wrote, "eBay will be monitoring, and where possible adjusting, estimated delivery dates and eBay Money Back Guarantee timelines to ensure that sellers are not penalized for shipping delays."

"That leaves a lot of outs," the seller noted. "eBay can do as they please without the outs and clauses, but they refuse to commit to help sellers. Just more wishy washy of the same non concrete answers."

While not all sellers will feel this way, here's an example of the kind of thinking eBay Canada must overcome if it doesn't want to see a decline in listing activity:

"Really? I don't mean to be harsh, but all I can say is, good luck with that. Honestly, over the years I've come to be extremely cynical about eBay's pronouncements and announcements. They almost never work in practice after the fact in the way eBay touts them in advance, and it's the seller who is left holding the bag. That has been especially true where eBay fee revenue/cash flow is concerned.  
 
"As if that history isn't enough, can you imagine the flood of calls to CS after the strike by sellers who remained open, got burned, and are expecting action on eBay's part? 
 
"I agree with Pierre. eBay is desperately trying not to lose fee revenue if the strike ensues. These glib assurances don't convince me that it's worth the trouble or the risk to continue to remain open for the few customers who might be willing to pay courier charges, given eBay's history of poor follow-up.  
 
"eBay's stated "seller protection" in such situations has never been guaranteed in reality. I prefer to protect myself and my hard-earned reputation 100% - besides, I can use the time for R&D or R&R."

Today, Canada Post issued an update on its negotiations with the union, saying it had recently tabled offers for the separate negotiations under way with Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW-Urban and CUPW-RSMC), which represent its delivery agents and plant employees.  Canada Post stated:

"We understand the impact that a work disruption would have on you and your customers and are therefore doing everything possible to reach a negotiated settlement quickly. We are not there yet, which means a work disruption remains a possibility at the end of this month. There is still time to reach a deal and we remain at the negotiating table."

It also stated, "In the event of a full disruption, Canada Post will not operate, deliver or accept new items."

If eBay wants sellers in Canada to keep selling, it may have to put some concrete policies in place to reduce risks to sellers rather than offering vague reassurances.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 27 13:42:56 2016

WOW , then go sell somewhere else. We get no quarter here. We have many disruptions here. Ding ! Ding ! Ding ! Did one say concrete policies & ebay in one breath? LOL

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 27 16:51:10 2016

I love to see ebay beg and squirm when people actually take action. Hehehe im giddy

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

by: siamsuper This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jun 27 23:46:22 2016

I added Canada to my exclusion list. I already know with 100% certainty that ebay will not remove any defect from the seller's accounts. They have made this false promise in the past. When you call the oxygen starved morons in customer service, they have no idea what you talking about and they cannot remove the defect and then they put you on hold until the call disconnects.

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 28 08:17:26 2016

I have changed all my listings and have removed Canada and all foreign shipping. I do not trust Ebay to do the right thing.

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

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

Tue Jun 28 08:37:15 2016

Ebay cannot be trusted that is a proven fact. The corporate office believes sellers are wrong all the time and the buyers are right all the time. Ebay will monitor, really like they monitor bad buyers, NOT! Or they monitor the USPS to make sure they are scanning packages, NOT! Please take this as a warning ebay is not going to protect you, they cannot even calculate business days for handling time when there is a holiday. Programmers who are asleep at the wheel, and not top notch. Customer service agents who literally do not understand our american system. It is clearly get the fees and screw the sellers.I have said this before there are class action suits ongoing that ebay cannot win concerning ebay's assault on honest sellers with their 100 percent guarantee with the seller's paypal funds. YOU CANNOT TRUST EBAY.
CLOSE YOUR STORES OR STOP SHIPPING TO CANADA NOW!!!

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 28 08:39:50 2016

OMG,if you are shipping exclusively thru USPS, Canada Post, , your ebay business would be finished, long before the strike ended.

This email from ebay is crazy talk, ebay say they will not punish you, but their buyers will destroy you, with harassment,  negatives, bad reviews and defects  seriously what customer is going to be ok with an undetermined amount of delay?

Q: where is my item, when will I get my item, I paid for

A: I have no idea



Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 28 09:53:30 2016

I am a Canadian seller and have already put my store on vacation. Does not stop sales completely - I get at least one a day - I assume from buyers who have had a particular item saved and finally decided to buy.

Today will be the last day that I will take packages to the post office - may still have items stuck in the system if there are work disruptions next week, but I have found that my customers are usually very understanding.

I have no confidence that ebay will "protect" me from any nasties that may come my way as a result of the postal disruption. Their past behaviour of throwing sellers under the bus at every opportunity does not bode well for us in the current situation.

Fedex or UPS are absolutely not an option for me. Postage rates have had a severe negative impact on my business year after year as rates increase and I know that customers will absolutely not pay the even higher cost of using other shipping options.

I really wish posters would stop with the "just sell somewhere else" ebay seller bashing. If your type of item lends itself to other venues, good for you.  All of us are not as lucky. I absolutely need calculated shipping because of weight and size of my items (antiques, collectables, glass, china etc) and I ship domestic, US and selected international destinations).
The first alternative site, ecrater, ubid, etsy - whatever that incorporates a Canada Post rate calculator like ebay has will get my business. I have tried other sites over the years, but not being able to show postage cost on the listing to the potential buyer looking at the item has made those sites a waste of time for me.  

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Tue Jun 28 10:39:30 2016

I have seen this movie before (Postal strike), and it always seems to get resolved within a couple of days...We are going to leave Canada active on our listings, and just wait and see what happens. If it indeed becomes a problem, we will just exclude Canada at that time. No need to get all hysterical just yet folks...

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Jun 28 13:47:00 2016

Good luck to you in Canada! Keep me posted.

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

by: BackOff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 28 22:44:52 2016

Off Topic. Regarding Taking action: Last week I had another deadbeat buyer and I have immediate payment required set up on listings. This buyer actually accepted my counteroffer for an item only to cancel moments later saying his "little boy pressed the accept button". Fine. Here's my resolution: I called ebay and badgered them until they refunded the minuscule listing fee. Why? Because I had other people watching the item, which was now unavailable and I have to pay to relist it. I encourage every one to call ebay and demand a listing fee refund or credit when you have deadbeat bidders and non-paying buyers. I guarantee they will find a way to deal with the deadbeat bidder issue quick when they receive thousands of people calling about this issue.  

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Wed Jun 29 15:14:51 2016

Out of curiosity I logged onto eBay Canada to see how many Canadian eBay Sellers had actually put their listings "On Vacation". For the items I checked, there were "0" Canadian listings and 25 "North American" listings primarily located in the USA. So, too, for "John Wayne" in movie DVDs there were 4,000 listings with only 180 Seller listings shipping from within Canada.

Off hand I'd say that the 2016 Canadian postal worker negotiations appear to be tracking the 2012 scenario that took the better part of a year to unsatisfactorily resolve with legislation and the threat of court orders. eh?  

Perminate Link for Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue   Possible Mail Disruption Affects eBay Canada Revenue

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Thu Jun 30 22:27:30 2016

Wow. Today there are 13,762 John Wayne DVDs on the eBay Canada site. 6,006 are in North America, with 157 located in Canada. None of the high end ones of the 157 Canadian listings display a "vacation" setting but then it could be that those listings are not being displayed in the search results.  



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