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Tue Oct 15 2013 22:42:44

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

By: Reader

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Hi Ina,
I discovered a major problem the other day with an eBay format that most people are not aware of. Since eBay has changed best offer to require buyers to pay immediately, it has created a small skim for PayPal that could add up annually to tens of millions of dollars in extra fees that would not have been collected before the change.

In the old Best Offer format, after the seller accepts the offer, the buyer could add the item to their shopping cart, continue to shop, make offers, buy a few things from the same seller and make a single payment for all of the items they made offers on. That can no longer be done. Now, the buyer has to pay immediately and if they make multiple offers, they have to make multiple, separate payments to the same seller, with each payment getting hit with the $.30 fee.

That small fee doesn't seem like much, but it does add up and over the course of a year can add up to a substantial amount.

I noticed this a few days ago when I was printing my PayPal invoices. I had received 4 offers from a customer on the Best Offer beta format (another train wreck that has more negatives than positives) and I accepted all 4 of those offers. The buyer could not make a single payment for those 4 items, so they had to make 4 payments. What should have been a single $.30 fee was now a $1.20 in fees.

I then printed invoices from another buyer who made offers that I accepted and I had 3 payments from that customer because they could not add the items to a shopping cart and make a single payment. That cost me an extra $.60 in fees.

That is one day and a slow day (about a dozen customers) that I was dinged for an extra $1.80 in fees. Just as an example, if I am getting charged those extra fees every day at an average of $1.80 per day (because buyers are forced to make immediate payment), that would add up to an additional $657 in fees that would come out of my pocket annually. That is an extraordinary amount of extra fees collected on a small scale from a single seller. If you're selling hundreds of items a day on that format, you could end up paying in the tens of thousands of dollars in extra fees annually that would not have been charged before the change.

I contacted eBay about it and after speaking with a customer service rep, he passed me on to the department supervisor who I spoke with at length about this problem. I spent almost an hour on the phone with them and both said they had never heard about this.

They did some looking into it and discovered I was correct and she said she would be forwarding this to upper management immediately. We'll see if that happens, but from the tone of her voice and the depth of the questions she asked, I feel she was going to bring this to their attention.

I'm not sure if this was done intentionally by eBay, but if it wasn't, some decision makers at eBay will have some serious explaining to do and hopefully a boatload of fees to refund to sellers.

I'm also starting to think that is why my repeated suggestion to eBay over the past few years to add a "lot offer/bulk offer" option is not even getting consideration, even though I'm always told it's a fabulous idea by eBay staff. In that format a buyer can fill out an offer sheet, make a single lump sum offer for multiple items from a single seller and make a single payment. It works great (had it on my old website) and increases sales, but if eBay is intentionally forcing immediate payment, they would never consider that option because they have created a new, deceptive revenue stream at the expense of every last seller who takes offers.

Something is fishy and it's the new best offer immediate payment requirement.
Sincerely,
Brett




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 05:35:24 2013

Ebay: Gee, we have never heard of that- we are reporting this immediately to upper management!
Seller: Good, that's just what I wanted to hear- you are TOP-NOTCH customer service over there, I tell you!
Ebay: thank you for choosing ebay- hangs up- says to his buddy at ebay- Double that suckers fees and Hide his ads-te-hee-hee.
Brett, they planned it this way and are blowin smoke up your rear.
The only think they are good at is LYING AND STEALING from their customers.
You have noticed 1 way out of many that ebay STEALS and DECIEVES to steal us blind.
MH
PS a rep at ebay said the other day to me ''I need to inform you that this conversation is being taped is that okay? I said sure, but I am taping you guys too. The rep says, NO, that's not fine, we will have to end this conversation- I said gosh- I was just kidding but that is what they said- LOL.
They also recently *Bleeped* the word ''FRIGGIN'' when I used it.
Can't say FRIGGING on the boards- LOL.
Ina, please do a story on all the words that are now censored on those boards- that would be a fun thread.

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: justsaying This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 06:12:36 2013

@Massachusets Howler--sounds like you touched a raw nerve on that one (tee hee) !)  We should all tell the eBay CS when we call that the conversation is being recorded--wouldn't that blow their minds?!

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
Web Site

Wed Oct 16 07:43:30 2013

Thank you for raising this issue, Brett.

A conscious plan to skim money and defraud... oh pshaw... a conspiracy theory.

That is not fraud. That is just a glitch.

G - Generating
L - Loot
I - In
T - The
C - Computer
H - Hole

What you ran across is just one of those pesky little mistakes that happen out of nowhere. A, uhhh, ecommerce black-hole. It just sucks a little money instead of light and matter. And it's not like you GOT the money already.

The eBayPayPal experience is made of a multitude of procedures (five) and the programs that run these tasks each contain about 100 lines of Code.

Do You know Code?
eBay know Code... or was it eBay no code?

But it's code, and glitch... and it's just 30 cents every transaction and most of you don't sell that much anyway.

Besides, didn't you just sign a User Agreement saying that you can't get a refund because we have no obligation to show your item to anyone???

Oh... this is different.

Call the Lawyers and add something to the User Agreement that says "Customer allows eBay/PayPal, et all, to take any money for any reason at any time - and not give it back."

They'll sign it.

"PayPal is the world’s most-loved way to pay and get paid."

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Oct 16 10:58:24 2013

John Donahoe is CEO, and during his tenure, it has been corporate policy to ignore the protests, complaints and suggestions from sellers.

As far as John Donahoe is concerned, sellers are little more than bottomless pockets into which his company will continue to reach into until there is nothing left to get.  

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 12:56:21 2013

If you try and record THEM they immediately end the call.

Incidentally, I appreciate Bretts post.

Nobody TRUSTS a THIEVING Partner.
MH

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 12:57:05 2013

Intentional Theft by DESIGN.
MH

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 16:08:19 2013

PLEASE PEOPLE - JD needs MORE type 1 jet fuel for the Lear - have you no heart?

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 16 18:07:36 2013

I don't think this is really a problem related to best offer. Immediate payment required has been available for BIN for a long time.  And I like it!  

That there are some complaints in the rare case someone buys more, well, I deal with that individually.  I'd rather keep the money, personally.  

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Oct 17 02:35:17 2013

You aren't the first to notice.  There are reports of this on the Ebay threads.  So you are not alone.

One would hope that any seller this was happening to has notice it.  It is scary to think that a seller is unaware of the fees they are paying.

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Oct 17 02:39:57 2013

@Steevo

This is different.  It was in the Fall Seller's update or maybe the Spring one.  Ebay was going to make ALL BIN listings IPR.

There is however a small distinction between the forced IPR and the IPR we can attach to a BIN or GTC listing.

If we do it, then it is as it is now.  The buyer has to pay right after clicking on the Buy It button.

With the forced IPR, there is a small difference.  Buyers can throw the stuff into their shopping cart and then click to pay and they will have the option to pay with Echecks.  They do not make a purchase until the pay or implement the echeck.

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 03:31:32 2013

I would wait until the conversation is almost finished,then say to the rep,oh BTW,I recorded our conversation since I have a short memory span.;)

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: Dazzle This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 05:57:43 2013

Can't believe you guys are still taking about all the ways eBay constantly comes up with to skim more money from the buyers and sellers alike. That multi-bizillion dollar salary the Ho makes has to come from someone - grow up folks - I haven't sold on ebay for well over 2 years at least and don't miss the hoop jumping and empty pockets one single bit. More on and start a new life - you can do it and you'll feel human again and no longer a slave. Oh it's scary out here but at least I'm steering my own ship and not at the mercy of ebay.

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 08:14:43 2013

For the last 2-3 years, I always recorded calls made to ebay and paypal. Depending on how I felt at the time, I told them the call was recorded then hung up.
I know it cannot be used in court etc., but it makes me feel good when they come back and lie about it and I tell them I have it recorded. I know ebay doesn't care, but in the last few years I am sure all csr were told what to and what NOT to say.
Also record all calls from Amazon. Think maybe they have moved to foreign country for the csr dept. Last call 2 days ago, very broken english and did not understand Amazon own policy.

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Oct 17 09:55:55 2013

@shiloh

That is SO illegal in many states.  You should consult your state laws in a case like that or you could end up with very large problems.  Telling someone after the fact that you recorded the conversation does nothing to protect you and everything to potentially hurt you.  And for your risk, it won't do much good as it probably would not be admissible in court if it came to that.

@Freddy

Just be careful.  If you are turned in for doing that and if your state law doesn't allow it, you could have unwanted legal issues.

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

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

Thu Oct 17 12:39:30 2013

The good thing is that buyers and sellers are not finding many other ways to shop. I will never be able to understand how that eBay CEO kept his job for so long and how can they attack sellers again and again thinking that it is a good thing.  

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

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

Thu Oct 17 12:44:18 2013

The ONLY right that eBay sellers have is to move to a new venue.  Complaints are pointless, I left five years ago when I realized eBay was just going to get more and more greedy. I don't understand why so many sellers stay when they are so unhappy.  

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 13:10:52 2013

The calls you make to ebay and paypal are recorded, by them.  

Since they notify you that goes both ways and you may freely record such calls. You do *not* need to notify them.

Just make sure your recording has their system message or the person notifying you ''calls recorded''.

There is no problem with recording a recorded line yourself.  It's completely legal.  

The notice they gave you applies to them as well, obviously.  It is by no means illegal for you to record it as well.

I have discussed this at length with attorneys on a mailing list I participate in.  

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 13:17:05 2013

The calls you make to ebay and paypal are recorded, by them.  

Since they notify you that goes both ways and you may freely record such calls. You do *not* need to notify them.

Just make sure your recording has their system message or the person notifying you ''calls recorded''.

There is no problem with recording a recorded line yourself.  It's completely legal.  

The notice they gave you applies to them as well, obviously.  It is by no means illegal for you to record it as well.

I have discussed this at length with attorneys on a mailing list I participate in.  

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 13:32:22 2013

Marie, it may be illegal to record someone without their knowledge, but it is unheard of for someone to get prosecuted for recording someone without their knowledge in an effort to protect themselves. The court system doesn't waste funds chasing small cases like that. Also, what do you have to lose by recording them? Sure, it may not be admissible in court, but it may be, and sometimes is used, and if nothing else it could be used to show everyone the truth. Many laws simply require you to tell the other party that they are being recorded, and the person above did that to EBay when they were speaking to them.

New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees   New eBay Policy Skims Millions of Dollars in Fees

by: renaissancegirl This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 16:07:49 2013

I would think this would also be frustrating for the buyer having to make several payments. Although, I did accept a best offer yesterday and have not yet received payment.  

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