Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun May 12 2019 00:05:53

Beware Sloppy Messaging in eBay Seller Promotion

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay got sloppy with the wording of one of its latest promotions, resulting in customer confusion (the customer in this case being the seller) - and it could be costly for those who take eBay at its word.

On Friday, eBay advertised a free-listing promotion that indicated sellers had a choice of durations. But eBay had eliminated duration options when it put into place the Good Til Cancelled mandate (GTC) on March 18th. Now, all fixed-price listings auto-renew every 30 days unless cancelled.

Here are two excerpts from the "What is the Promotion?" section of the email invitation:

- "Invited sellers who activate the offer and then create a listing in fixed price format, with a 30-day or Good 'Til Cancelled listing duration,..."

- "The Promotion applies only to listings created with 30-days or Good 'Til Cancelled duration; listings created with 1, 3, 5, 7, 10-day durations are excluded."

Not surprisingly, some sellers believed they could use the promotion to run 100 free 30-day duration listings (not GTC). Here's a letter from one such seller:

With all the complaints about eBay's GTC enactment, I thought I better warn sellers about the newest listing special I received this morning on all 4 of my seller IDs.

I was excited about this special because the GTC had forced me into auction style only. 

I always listed 30 day fixed price before the GTC enactment. So I accepted this new listing special because it was for fixed price 30 day duration or GTC. I thought that eBay must have gotten so many complaints about the GTC only, that they must have scrapped it.

So I started on 1 of my IDs and bulk relisted about 50 unsold listings, changing them to 30 day duration & repricing each one, only to find out that I could not choose 30 day duration after all.

The GTC had "not" been scrapped.

The listing special for 30 day or GTC is a typo, done intentionally or another glitch in the never ending sea of glitches on eBay.

And if you don't catch it before you launch your listing... It could be very costly.
Not to mention the time wasted bulk listing or editing.

You'll no doubt be getting many more sellers that have caught this and many who haven't until it's too late, but I wanted to put it out there.

The promotion runs from May 10 through May 16th, and if you receive an invitation, be sure to read the fine print for details and exclusions - and heed this reader's advice about duration limitations.



Comments (13) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 12 05:46:04 2019

Wow what a surprise, Ebay accidentally sending out another promotion where they are once again going to rip of the Sellers due to the poor wording on the promotion..  Funny how the Seller Updates never seem to have all these poorly worded mistakes in them,  They just make them as vague as possible, but obviously the legal department is not worried about Ebay ripping off more sellers due to these constant glitches and other problems within Ebay.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 12 10:22:19 2019

eBay is so desperately and myopically focused on 'capturing inventory' that they didn't bother to 'update' their boilerplate 'deal' exclusionary language.  'Updates' coming so fast and furious even they can't keep up.

Or, it's purposefully misleading.  Maybe both.  

What it isn't is at all surprising for these cluelessly greedy eCom laughing stocks.  Who will continue to be NO good 'till cancelled themselves.

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Sun May 12 11:26:22 2019

This was planned as the day is long. Dirty Dirty Dirty......as usual.

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by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 12 17:06:58 2019

If this is yet another "mistake" by eBay it makes them look stupid and amateurish. Whole lot of that going on lately. If not it's an intentional plot to trick and confuse sellers into thinking they're getting 30 day listings when in fact they automatically relist with a fee attached. Take your pick. This is what eBay is all about. Mistakes which always benefit them or outright schemes plotting to steal more money from sellers.  

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 12 22:08:58 2019

@Thievesbay

Wenig knows that is the only way that Ebay will continue to show growth.  Steal additional fees that they are not entitled to or scare Sellers into paying Extra FVF for Promoted Listings or never have anything sell.  Then he wonders why he has to have extra security and take the corporate jet everywhere he goes.

Ebay needs to just dump him and get a management team in place that understands the business and not just how to steal more money from their customers.

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by: InspirationPlus This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 06:49:27 2019

Since mandatory GTC, I also have gone to all auction listings. When I got the email for 100 free 30-day or GTC listings, I thought maybe eBay had made an exception in allowing 30-day for this particular promo. I tried manually relisting just one of my unsold auction items. When I got to the duration box, only GTC was available, so I backed out of it. eBay sellers are not fools and have learned not to trust. With eBay, a good policy is always 'Proceed with Caution'. It's when you do proceed with caution and they still alter your listings is when I really get upset. My listings and my pricing are my decisions. HANDS OFF!

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 06:49:40 2019

Whoever writes Email policy and messages to seller needs to take a LONNNGGG vacation.

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by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 13 08:35:58 2019

I for one get really upset when my pricing is changed as well.  The price of my items is my decision.  I know what I need to sell the item at a decent price.  I agree HANDS OFF.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 08:40:48 2019

Too many changes.  It just shows that they don't know which direction to go in.

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by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 11:20:16 2019

Can't wait for the eBay apologists to show up and explain this is just a simple mistake we should let it go, while completely ignoring the previous 1000 mistakes eBay has made.

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by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 14:38:13 2019

The numerous mistakes of this company and the disgraceful operation of the site show incompetence. As the saying goes "the fish rots from the head" = CEO Devin Wenig. From him at the top and down through customer service eBay is all about incompetence. It's been going on for so long that at this point incompetence is accepted. It's the norm. eBay is like a disease that won't go away. Sweeping changes are needed but likely will never happen. What happened to those activist investors that were going to change eBay? Because nothing at all has changed and only gotten worse. eBay is too stupid to take any suggestions for change and are too set in their ways. That's what happens when incompetence is the culture.  

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by: InspirationPlus This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 15:05:20 2019

Is it incompetence, or is it arrogance? Or maybe both? All I know is that all the changes that are supposed to benefit sellers really don't benefit us at all. Do they think we are ignorant, or maybe desperate, that we can't survive without eBay and will accept anything they do? Do they not realize that without sellers there is no merchandise; without merchandise, there are no buyers; without sellers, merchandise and buyers, there is no eBay!

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by: skl3255 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 21:54:00 2019

Previously when I got those offers from Ebay for free extra 30 day listings I would take advantage of those promotions because I knew if they didn’t sell in 30 days I didn’t have to continue beyond the 30 days or I could  change them to another format.



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