Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Oct 4 2021 21:43:26

Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay messed up on Monday, though it was nothing like the hours-long outage Facebook experienced. Nevertheless, the error resulted in at least one seller wasting hours of her time trying to fix a problem that didn't exist.

The problem was an email to sellers who offer USPS Media Mail as a shipping option in their listings. eBay sent the following email:

Dear (redacted),
Your account has active listings that offer USPS Media Mail as a shipping service option in categories that aren't eligible for Media Mail under USPS rules. In addition, eBay Labels does not support shipping label printing for Media Mail in these categories.

In order to prevent buyers from selecting Media Mail for listings that aren't eligible for the service, we recommend you update your active listings to remove Media Mail as a shipping service option for items in those categories. For new listings in those categories, Media Mail won't be an available shipping service.

Below is a summary of the top categories in which you have the most active listings. Please note that you may have active listings in additional categories:

(redacted)

If you believe a particular category should be eligible for Media Mail support via eBay Labels, please provide details in this short survey.

However, eBay later acknowledged the email was a mistake, posting the following message on the eBay Announcement board at 2:03 pm:

Please disregard today's email regarding Media Mail categories.
Earlier today, an email concerning Media Mail was sent to some sellers (subject: "USPS Media Mail isn't available for some categories"). Sellers who received the email should disregard it.  

No changes are being made to categories that are eligible for printing labels with Media Mail at this time and you do not need to take any action.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
As always, thank you for selling on eBay,
Your Selling Team

(Kudos to eBay for posting the notice prominently.)

There were several threads on the eBay discussion boards from sellers who were confused and concerned upon receiving the initial email. 

In a thread titled, "Did anyone else get an email saying that books and cd's are not eligible for media mail," a seller wrote, "I went and checked with USPS, and they are eligible. What gives?"

Later, a seller wrote in a separate thread that they had received the initial notice at 10 am instructing her to change her listings. "After revising approx. 400 listings, I just get another notice saying that was sent in error and to ignore the previous message," she said, adding that the incident had wasted 5 hours of her time and caused her aggravation.



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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 4 22:59:10 2021

Is anyone surprised at the stupidity at eBay headquarters these days?

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 00:47:12 2021

eBay is always making "recommendations" that end up being crap. No surprise though. They can't even hire the proper people.

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 03:39:30 2021

Shanna.... it was not just a STUPID MOVE,

To fully appreciate the IDIOCY of this message you have to think just HOW MANY eBay signatures of affected SUPERVISORS had to be on that CRAZY message before an AUTHORIZED employee hit "SEND".

My guess is no fewer than 3 and more likely MORE.
This is akin to employees at FORD or GM not knowing WHERE on the car the DipStick is to check the oil level in the engine.
Speaking of dipsticks .. .. ..  

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 03:45:31 2021

SECOND possible reason for that IDIOTIC eBay message re. how MEDIA itms ar NOT SUITABLE for MEDIA MAIL rate.

It was SUNDAY in USA.  Maybe this was a GIANT middle finger to eBay HONCHOS from some low level employee who DROPPED this BOMB on their last day... ?

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 08:00:05 2021

My thought when I got this message was What? Then there was a “Survey” attached asking if I had been blocked from printing a USPS Media shipping label on Ebay with a section asking me to explain why I should not have been blocked. There was no need to answer - I use Pirateship to purchase my shipping labels. I’ve been selling on Ebay 20+ years and know what is allowed Media shipping. Several years ago I had a heated discussion with my Postmaster that vintage piano rolls were allowable. Yet as a buyer I have had some items (with “free” shipping) shipped using Ebay purchased Media labels for items like dishes, toys and computer hardware. It does not take much to find many sellers using Media for new/old magazines. Maybe Ebay should separate books and magazines and then “police” the magazine shipping?  

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 11:25:24 2021

... not sure what people expect from the clown princes of ecomemerce?

As long as Walkers West's menu is correct and the drink specials announced (eBay has a bad drinking issue with its employees) - thats ALL that counts.

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: 4yourinfo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 11:33:02 2021

I don't understand people - if ebay says you now have to do 50 jumping jacks to sell your item your going to just blindly listen? Do some research call them up etc. why would a seller run to obey ebay's wishes? Even if you were afraid you will get stuck printing more expensive labels than what the buyer paid there's many other websites that will allow you to print labels shippingeasy  etc. I guess it's the same mentality - wear a mask, get a shot get a booster, now your safe can come out and do whatever, now your not safe etc.. are people so robotic?  

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: CALB This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 20:03:10 2021

The survey attached that requested information on which categories you thought should be eligible for MEDIA MAIL was also full of errors. I tried to fill it out, but when I hit SEND,  got an error message that I needed to add my email.  NO BOX to add email, so could not submit.  ERRORS.  Left the whole mess alone & figured I'd just print Media Labels elsewhere.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Wed Oct 6 04:57:59 2021

It wasn't just a case of not being able to print Media Mail labels through Ebay Shipping.  They were directing you to REMOVE Media Mail as a shipping option in your listings.  This would effectively make you non-competitive with those sellers who were offering Media, on eBay or other sites.  THAT was going to be the big deal.  Most people know there are alternatives as to WHERE to print a label, but the fact that your listing would not offer low priced Media was going to be a death blow.

Agree that running right over to eBay to change hundreds of listings without getting confirmation that such an action was absolutely needed was an over-reaction at the least, foolish at the worst.  Something so important had to be vetted first.  For most of us, this is not our first rodeo, so a caution flag would be appropriate.

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 6 12:35:14 2021

@Pace306

ahahahahahahaha!!  "clown princes"  EXCELLENT play on words (and appropriate).  I sprayed coffee all over my monitor ;)

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 6 15:02:15 2021

Perhaps they if eBay didn’t take it upon themselves to decide what is ‘appropriate’ for any operation they have absolutely nothing to do with in the first place they could remove the opportunity for such a comically boneheaded ‘mistake’.

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 6 18:30:25 2021

Polly :)

Im glad I made your day !

But Snapped - is %101 correct - and thats I think what galls most people.

Most eBay employees DONT sell on eBay and the few that do - dont (like alot here) LIVE OFF IT.

They dont understand (and I use Tool as an example since he mentions it from time to time) ... that for people like him (or even myself) - money holds for long times with no good reason(s), forced returns when the facts are as clear as day in your favor, surviving abusive business practices - all these things and more - take a toll on smaller sellers.

Lets see Iannonne give up his salary and benefits and live off selling on his own platform - I give him a week before he files chapter 11.

He has no idea where to source goods from, he has no idea of shipping costs, he has no understanding of cash flow issues, hes got no idea of how to handle returns!

At least Amazon actually sells things itself - and takes it on the chin for some of these issues. Amazons returns are SKY high (the stuff they get back) and they eat it all and resell it all at auction.

Are small eBay sellers supposed to eat those kinds of losses? Are we all rich? IF we were rich - we would just be BUYING not selling on eBay.

It angers me to NO END, when you as a seller call in to get help and they shovel cr@p back at you just because they didnt think things all the way through when they decided to play cc processor.

Ive been an eBay sellers since 1998 with an almost perfect record (almost %100 feedback for years) and I get more respect from the girl at checkout in my grocery store then I do from eBay and they made millions off me, the girl at the grocery store made nothing.

I think that most here feel that way.

I dont begrudge eBay making money - just dont be low down thieves about it.

The Many Saints Of San Jose!

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: Mazdaman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 7 00:05:22 2021

And eBay management wonders why the surveys they send us to waste our time are answered with a big "0" when they ask if we'd recommend eBay as a selling platform?

Wow.  it seems they've finally laid off all the humans, and now rely on their bots - programmed by overseas "programmers" -  to run the company!

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 7 00:34:08 2021

>>employees at FORD or GM not knowing WHERE on the car the DipStick is to check the oil level in the engine.

Some new cars dont even have dipsticks - you have to trust the sensor is right when its saying low oil

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: Gumball This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 7 00:43:58 2021

I did not do anything as I did not understand the problem. The few books that I had on were in the Book Categories, and that was the categories they were telling me were wrong. It just did not make sense.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: toyspast This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 7 02:36:07 2021

I read the email in a different way.  I had had a few items that wouldn't allow me to print a Media label in the past, and I thought that was the issue they were talking about. I clicked on the survey to tell them the items that I feel were being wrongly treated which were in the category of role-playing games. I had sold a bunch of D&D books that I had listed in the RPG Dungeons & Dragons category which were game related books but they wouldn't let me print Media. Anyway, didn't matter, because it wouldn't let me send the survey.  I've since put the books in the books category, but that's at least one category that should allow Media labels. Frankly, they should just let you print whatever label you want and shouldn't matter which category it is in.

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: wrslss1222 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 7 05:47:01 2021

I wish eBay did have the ability to warn sellers that their item is not allowed to be shipped via Media Mail.  I see too many times where eBay sellers state in their listings that Video Games are being shipped via Media Mail.  Video Games are not part of Media Mail allowed by the Post Office.

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: shoppingguru This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 7 09:33:38 2021

There is something very wrong with this story.  Not necessarily that it's not true but that I was told by a CS agent when I called something very different.

After I had received the emails and had that this is a crock moment - then the  this a SPAM Spoof thought,  I called eBay.

I spoke with Concierge  - out of USA.  They told me it was a SPOOF email.

Now either they lied to me , or the woman was ill informed.  However, what she said was she had so many calls that day on this and it was a Spoof email and to ignore it.

So if it really was eBay  -  and comments above detail eBay publicly accepting responsibility. - why would their staff want to scare the bejesus out of people.

After all the worse thing to do with a spoof / spam email is to click on and many people have mentioned they interacted with it.

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 7 19:24:58 2021

@ toyspast,

You played into eBay's game. When you moved your D&D books from toys to books, eBay will charge you an additional 2% FVF, 12.55% vs 14.55%.

Perminate Link for Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message   Sellers Scramble over Mistaken eBay Media Mail Message

by: toastedmutt This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 9 15:34:39 2021

Are Role Playing books allowed by USPS to ship via Media Mail or are the not allowed as is the case with other activity books?



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