Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Jan 31 2017 19:24:16

Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay revealed today that in late 2016, its Shopping Cart began experiencing technical issues that resulted in long wait-times for shoppers. It couldn't have happened at a worse time as sellers in most categories do a major percentage of their sales in the fourth quarter thanks in part to holiday shoppers.

eBay made the revelation on its blog for developers and didn't say how long the problem lasted before it rolled out a fix. You can read the details in "How eBay's Shopping Cart used compression techniques to solve network I/O bottlenecks."

Ironically eBay had sent sellers an email in December explaining that the number-one reason buyers abandon shopping carts is long delivery times, and it advised them to use expedited shipping. But PayPal says 19% of US customers will abandon a cart if the checkout process is too long or confusing.

eBay handles hundreds of millions of calls across tens of millions of users each day. Technical issues are inevitable, and kudos to the engineers who fixed the shopping-cart problem. But - especially given eBay's expectation that sellers communicate with buyers when things go awry - are you satisfied with eBay's communications around technical issues?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 31 20:53:11 2017

The real problem with Ebay's shopping cart is that it's empty.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

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

Tue Jan 31 21:17:16 2017

More secrets and lies.

Ebay seldom if ever releases glitch information in a timely manner hoping the Wall Street analysts won't find out.

They keep these glitches secret and then lie to sellers who inquire or complain.

Par for the course.

And, no, I'm very dissatisfied with ebay communications in general. They're typically self serving spin at best with occasional half truths with outright lies dominating.

Ebay can't be believed about much of anything except announcements of fee increases.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 31 23:16:48 2017

Is there ANY Attorney General or Consumer Advocate that will have the b@lls to finally stand up to eBay?

How long will there continue to be subpar service meted out to paying sellers?

How long will eBay continue to hide poor shoddy service all while helping buyers steal from sellers?

Its no wonder that eBay doesnt blink an eye when it comes to fraud and theft from buyers since THEY ARE DOING IT THEMSELVES.

Not reporting issues, hiding issues etc all impact the paying seller - its pathetic, abusive and illegal.

So I ask again? Are there any REAL lawyers out there?

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: Bubbles This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 01:26:50 2017

a bunch of technical numpties employed by eBay and incompetent outsourcing........

In a nutshell - no I am not happy with tech services.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Wed Feb 1 02:02:57 2017

Not satisfied with eBay technical communication especially when attempting to send information to the technical team. Some, if not most telephone representatives do not have technical or language skills necessary to report problems. I had to patiently explain to a rep what the word intermittent meant.

Often when reporting a bug or issue, the response is that there was a policy violation or the problem is normal or expected system behavior. Having a strong software development background, I know the difference.

The latest was that eBay will declare two listings to be duplicates if the title and price are the same but the picture is different if both happen to have failed gallery images. Today, of 170 listings submitted, 5 had failed gallery images. The bottom line is that the eBay BOT failed to check for missing gallery images, equating all missing images to be the same image.

The mantra of the eBay development team may be ''so many lapses, so little time''.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: guitar1 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 03:46:55 2017

No kidding. We can see the problems in our sales volume. EBay's staff met us at a show recently and we comment on these types of issues. The deer in the headlights routine is simply old. They still refuse to acknowledge that someone did not put this whole database together right and they continue to monkey with it slowly.

At some point their staff has to get the point and actually communicate what they are doing. If I have an error Ebay expects us to jump through hoops to fix it no matter the cost. They can't even acknowledge the issue. They have professional people, they simply need to face the facts and address it.

Even when the website goes down, we can tell, it's like watch a car go off a cliff. Ecommerebytes reports it, Site down reports it. Ebay might say something a month or so later.

They are better then that. We not simply acknowledge you have an issue, that's what we do when there is a problem.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

This user has validated their user name. by: Jono

Wed Feb 1 06:41:42 2017

Yesterday I could not pay for anything as the shopping cart was hanging forever. I tried 4

browsers. Same problem. Phone eBay support & they are utterly useless when you can get

them to understand the question & not answer something else. "Hmmmm Have you tried

deleting cookies". "Hmmmm It must be your computer. Yeah right!

eBay has enforced immediate payment with no option to combine postage. This means the

buyer has to request an invoice before paying meaning that the item is still up for sale until

the seller is alerted. Not much good if you are overseas & the seller is in bed.

For months now I have been livid about eBay enforcing immediate payment on all buy it

now items as it forces buyers to pay postage for every item & kills my chances of making

multiple sales.

On the odd occasion someone does buy multiple items I end up havoig to refund the

difference which means I lose 30p to paypal for every transaction because they are forced

to pay individually. Try explaining this to a buyer. 20 sales means I lose £6.00 but that only

happened once as my multiple sales have completely disappeard. Who came up with this

idiotic idea of immediate payment? I sell more on my own website & Discogs than I do on

eBay now. eBay used tyo be my main income. Not anymore. Devon Wenig has turned eBay

into a complete mess.

On top of this we have to deal with a shopping cart fail of the highest order. eBay gave us

the option to create sales for overseas customers but nobody overseas can even see the

sales let alone apply them because they have to be logged into eBay UK.

This problem has been going on for several YEARS!
Nothing has even been said about it for YEARS!

If they cant fix it why not at least let buyers know there is a work around & tell them to log

into the site they wish to buy from? Most UK buyers don't know that to get discounts or use

the shopping cart for a US purchase they need to log into eBay.com & not eBay.co.uk

It blows my mind that
A. This problem has never been mentioned since they created the shopping carts and
B. they have opted not to educate buyers about a simple work around.

Before the Shopping Cart nightmare & enforced immediate payments & overseas sales that

are invisible to overseas buyers I was doing very well on eBay. But over the last 3 years my

sales plummeted to an all time low.

I know eBay like to make their 10% on the shipping cost & want to double our postage cost

by getting us to join the "Global Shipping Program" but they would make much more money

if we all sold more stuff instead of putting off every buyer who thinks we all want to make

money on postage costs. eBay used to ban sellers for selling £2 items with £20 postage

costs. Effectively eBay have contradicted this on a grand scale.

I can't help thinking that there is something very wrong going on behind all this mess

because it simply does not make logical business sense at all.

markdown manager

http://community.ebay.co.uk/t5/Business-Seller-Board/WH
Y-CAN-EBAY-NOT-SEE-THE-

HUGE-LOSS-IN-SALES/m-p/4350730#M91182

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 06:48:00 2017

I had practically no sales in December and January is a repeat.  The only explanation(s) I have are EB glitches, or broke consumers.  I used to get sales from Canada, but our dollar is too strong.
If I have a glitch problem, I report it here; then I report it in technical issues in EB forum; then I wrote Griff.  He's goog replying and wants to know everything about the glitch.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 07:44:24 2017

They are so transparent aren't they? They expect the moon from sellers yet they would not be Top Rated under any platform. They dictate perfection and most sellers do their best with life events, family illness and moving yet they screw up big time during the holiday season and keep it a secret!  They should sell the company to a more competent online interface. It's antiquated and based on builds on a bad system. They suck for sellers & maybe buyers just gave up. Too many cheap Chinese items the only ones that get discounts seliing 3000 cheap items a month Why doesn't President Trump attack eBay & USPS for offering lower prices, lower shipping than inside USA?

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 07:51:02 2017

They are so transparent aren't they? They expect the moon from sellers yet they would not be Top Rated under any platform. They dictate perfection and most sellers do their best with life events, family illness and moving yet they screw up big time during the holiday season and keep it a secret!  They should sell the company to a more competent online interface. It's antiquated and based on builds on a bad system. They suck for sellers & maybe buyers just gave up. Too many cheap Chinese items the only ones that get discounts seliing 3000 cheap items a month Why doesn't President Trump attack eBay & USPS for offering lower prices, lower shipping than inside USA?

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: lisapar This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 07:59:57 2017

I have been reporting a problem to Ebay for over a year. Not sure if this is the same checkout problem, but about 4 times a month, I'll have a buyer contact me and say that while they are in checkout, they receive a message from Ebay stating that I don't ship to their address.  What?? I ship Internationally...there's no place I don't ship to.

I've called Ebay, and I get the usual ''we know about the problem and our developers are working to resolve this''.  Well...it's been over a year and I'm still getting buyers contacting me about the message. Which makes me wonder -- how many buyers have abandoned their cart?  In fact, on occasion I've received the ''buyer wants to cancel'' request, and they state ''because seller doesn't ship to my address''.

Ebay states the work-around to the problem is:
1) click on the Pay Now button in the Email purchase confirmation email (not on Ebay)
2) clear cookies / cache and refresh browser
3) if using a mobile device, scroll to the bottom and select ''Classic Site'' to opt out of the mobile app

If a buyer sticks around long enough to go through these 3 steps, it works. Ebay's website and functionality is need of a complete overhaul. The developers at Ebay must be a bunch of monkeys.
 

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 09:48:43 2017

"kudos to the engineers who fixed the shopping-cart problem"

Well that's a VERY generous view!

The questions that jump out at me about this incident are:

-- why were there problems with something as fundamental as a shopping cart in the first place?

-- is sufficient TESTING being conducted before code changes are rolled out into production? (The unequivocal answer to this is NO, given that a serious problem WAS rolled out into production.)

Rather than kudos, the eBay IT department needs a complete overhaul. One might argue that the problem is not with the developers but with the managers, and this is true to some extent.  But IMHO, it's not sufficient for developers to shrug their shoulders and say "not my job" when it comes to testing, and palm the problem off to QA. The fact that such code was ever DELIVERED to QA (if in fact eBay IT even has a QA dept) is, to my eyes, evidence enough that the developers have developed a profoundly uncaring attitude toward their work.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: csmih731 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 10:06:44 2017

I used the shopping cart yesterday for the first time in the 17 years I've been on Ebay. All the purchases went through but I can't get rid of the number 2 that still sits in my cart, even though it's empty. Ugh.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 10:09:54 2017

Like Ebay the cart they have is unreliable and useless and running on only three wheels.

Both are doomed. Sooner or later people are going to realize that Ebay is past its prime and useless.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

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

Wed Feb 1 11:39:03 2017

I guess this explains why I have been receiving emails from people concerned their checkout didn't go through correctly or that it wouldn't happen at all. I have just had the worst sales month in 10 years without anybody being born, dying, sick or moving as an explanation. In other words, it's NOT ME, it's all Ebay.

Me: Hello Ebay. My sales are down 45 percent to the lowest level in ten years. Can you help me understand why?

Ebay:  You need to clear your cookies.

Me: Uhhh...okay.

Ebay: And perhaps change all of your photos, retype every title, add more to your descriptions and complete all item specifics.

Me: Ok. But buyers are telling me they can't checkout.

Ebay: They need to clear their cookies.

Kidding aside, that is exactly the kind of wild goose chase that Ebay sends it's buyers and sellers out for when there are problems. Rather than be completely open and upfront so that we can be proactive and plan accordingly. We end up drawing from the experiences of one another and need to guess what might be happening. I have said before, if Ebay even gained half the volume of Amazon their system would crumble. Their cut and paste operation is held together with a technological equivalent of duct tape and baling wire. What a bunch of clowns.

For their efforts, I have just had the satisfaction of making sure there was no money available for Ebay when they came looking for theirs. It's all sitting in my nightstand. Yes I will need to pay them eventually. But it's on my terms, when I am ready. Sorry for the inconvenience Ebay. Maybe you should clear your cookies.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 1 12:04:58 2017

I could not checkout on ebay last week, tried several times. Do not know if it was paypal or ebay but I ended up going off ebay and paypal too.
Sometimes I have to go to another browser for paypal on one of my computers so maybe that was the issue but, I did not try it and probably will not make another ebay purchase for awhile as I ended up finding the same item cheaper elsewhere and bought double.

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Wed Feb 1 15:27:29 2017

I am not satisfied by eBay's total lack of communication on this issue or all the others over the years.

If we could have given them DSR ratings, they would have been thrown off their own site for very poor performance - on every metric conceivable - not just Communication.

I'd say more, but frankly I am weary.  Others have covered it and others will add more, so eventually all that can be said will be said.  In the end no one who could make a difference will read any of it or if they do, they will be short-sighted and ineffective with any solutions.

Blech.  I need some vitamin D or something...

Perminate Link for Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year   Problem Hit eBay Shopping Cart Late Last Year

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 2 10:41:09 2017

This would explain my poor sales in late December and the first part of January.
About five days before Christmas and until after New Years, sales were terrible.

They are usually pretty good with people spending their Christmas money and having time off.

Ebay cannot get something as basic as a shopping cart working.
Not an empty shopping cart-Empty brains at ebay.



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