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Mon Jan 20 2014 08:39:26

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in Warning Letter

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I just received the following letter from eBay:

"Hi _____,
We see that you have a great track record as a Top Rated Seller.

To be eligible for Top Rated Seller benefits in the US program, sellers normally have to meet certain sales, volume and tracking upload goals. We also know that things come up, and because your sales history on eBay makes you one of our most valued sellers, we're going to give you some extra time - until January 20, 2014 - to meet these goals.

During this grace period we'll continue to evaluate your seller performance on the 20th of every month to see whether you're once again eligible to be a Top Rated Seller.

Visit your Seller Dashboard regularly to track your progress. For tips about uploading tracking go to the Top Rated Seller Resource Center.

We hope this extra time helps. As always, thank you for selling on eBay."


I am a low volume seller selling about 250-300 items a year. In checking my Seller Dashboard, the big thing is I have a No Return policy and do not promise same day (or 1 day shipping). I am wondering if they are going to use this as a ploy to force me to implement these two things.

I think a 14 day return policy is entirely too lenient. I always work with any buyer that wants a refund and I even choose to pay the return shipping as I think the goodwill with buyer is worth the cost.

My metrics for uploading tracking were at the low end of 90% because I failed to use the eBay shipping system for 3 out of 30 sales. The fact that my printer was out of service for almost a week (I had to wait until my son could come down and fix it for me) and I did the mailing of these 3 items the old fashioned way (I wrote out the label, paid for tracking, mailed the pkgs, and emailed the buyers the tracking number) does not count.

I complied with all the item specifics they wanted to add to my sales even though I did not agree with all of them and I even made some of the category changes they recommended. One change they recommend is to change a microfilm from the microfilm category to the Books, Non Fiction category - I am still thinking about that one lol.

I would like to know if anyone else has gotten a letter like this and, if so, what were the results.

If eBay is going to force us to change to their 14 week policy, you may be the next one to get the above letter. I have over 5,000 sales and really depend on eBay to supplement my fixed income. I do not know what I am going to do if I lose the ability to sell on eBay. I have tried Amazon and the kind of books I sell do better on eBay. It sounds like once we receive such a letter, we are under scrutiny from then on.
D.




Comments (25) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: 4news-and-me This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jan 20 09:03:35 2014

I have been selling for 8 years on eBay and was in good standing, that was until this month.  I do everything eBay asked me to do, 14 day returns, I use eBay shipping and I print my labels from eBay, I use their calculator
for shipping, I have done everything they asked, yet, I lost my standing because in the past year 4 people said my shipping was too high.  I put in my description I have no control over what the Post Office charges but I don't think anyone reads the description.  I don't think this is fair to me.  I also put in my description to email me if they have a problem, as I said I don't think they read it.  I am now limited to what I can sell, my funds are being held and as of right now I cant list anything.  I think this is a really rotten way to treat someone who goes out of their way to make eBay and my customers happy,

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Jan 20 10:46:49 2014

" lost my standing because in the past year 4 people said my shipping was too high."

If you charged 1¢ for coast to coast UPS Overnight Air on 150# anvils, there would be some of the self entitled eBay buyers who'd think they were overcharged...

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon Jan 20 10:47:23 2014

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't. Considering all the extra effort, time, hassle, risk, and expense... it's hardly worthwhile.

These small (but meaningful) facts were among those that influenced my decision to drop eBay and move on to greener pastures.

Like you, OP, and like so many others, I believed... I trusted... I tried it all in the vain hopes that my previous sales pattern would return. I was loyal to a fault.

Eventually, it dawned on me. Why would ANY smart businessperson spend SO MUCH effort with eBay's (ever-changing) rules and policies which produces SO LITTLE (if any) gain or reward? It's completely absurd!

Of course, having my own website means that I work just as hard (if not harder and longer) than before... but, the RESULTS (and the profits) have been astounding! :-)

What a difference! What a joy!

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

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

Mon Jan 20 12:38:27 2014

You need to do postage through eBay because they get $ from that.

Good luck. Please let us know how you make out.

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 13:02:36 2014

IN Other words, .....jump higher little doggie, you are on "double secret probation"

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: edneff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 16:19:01 2014

did you manually enter the tracking number you got from the post office? if not that is why eBay was "upset"

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Jan 20 17:17:37 2014

OP, it's all about forcing you into their catalogue database transaction processing with all its algorithmic permutations.

The simple fact appears to be that eBay is striving, quite reasonably, for complete automation of transactions, with absolute minimum human intervention, and if you are yourself not fully automated and complying flawlessly with their requirements, then there is not longer a place for you on eBay.

eBay wants the whole site and its preferred sellers to be smoothly (Ho, Ho, Ho) integrated to maximize their profit from every transaction. Any one that creates, or is likely to create, work for the expensive human resources in their Customer Services Dept, is not welcome.

The problem with this whole scenario is that it appears that there is no one at eBay with the ability to professionally implement such a scheme.

Regardless, there is no place for small sellers any more, and anyone that is not making their post-eBay plans is undoubtedly riding for a fall …

Read some of the Ho’s own words and judge for yourself …

"There's a real push to keep doing what you're doing because it's working." - John Donahoe (26 Sep 2007) ...
[Really? I can't imagine any sane person wanting to do that ... ]

"We talk and listen to customers, but for this kind of innovation, customers don't always know what they want." - John Donahoe (26 Sep 2007) ...
[So, there it is, Johnny Ho knows better than you what you want ... ]

"Even though people think I'm an expert at technological innovation, my own instinct for technology was frozen in place in 1982." - John Donahoe (26 Sep 2007) ...
[On the first part, who could possibly think that? On the second, a few of the only true words that Johnny Ho has ever spoken ... ]

"We've had the disruption, now we're having to disrupt the disruption." - John Donahoe (26 Sep 2007) ...
[And now, approaching the seventh year of the Ho's three-year turnaround of eBay, what is there to show for all this disruption? ... ]

"We had to create a vision of the future so people could let go of a very successful past." - John Donahoe (26 Sep 2007) ...
[Well, he certainly is on the way to achieving that goal, to "let go of a very successful past", that is ... ]

And some eBay shills claim that the Ho only took control of eBay in March 2008—LOL

The whole lot of this nonsense is contained in the transcript of the September 2007 Legg Mason "Thought Leader Forum" interview of eBay's Johnny Ho and is a "must read" for anyone (with sufficiently great staying power) wanting to understand this narcissistic sociopath's destructive capabilities; also telling is the picture of the Ho with which the publisher chose to head up the transcript ...

http://www.leggmason.com/thoughtleaderforum/2007/conference/donaho
e.html


For your entertainment, many more classic quotes from the eBay Executive Suite at … http://bit.ly/12xvzyA

Ho, Ho, Ho, it really is long past time for you to go ...

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Jan 20 17:51:44 2014

Hail eBay, full of grace...

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 19:24:34 2014

I don't think 14-day returns and 1 day shipping are necessary to sell. I used to lose top rated all the time when I was a casual seller as you are now because of lack of sales - I just sold part time. Didn't make a whit of difference - my sales still clipped along when I did sell and I would get TRS again.  Selling media with a return policy is nuts - that's going into the rental business and I would not advocate it.  

In future, if your printer goes belly up, always always enter your tracking numbers into the eBay system manually - that would have saved you that hiccup and possibly the letter.  In other words, keep eBay in the loop at all times.  Your buyers will see the tracking number in their purchasing history, and it's also verifiable should there be any problems with INR, etc.

Just keep plugging along - losing TRS doesn't mean being kicked off, it just means losing TRS, then plugging along until you get it back.  

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Jan 20 20:53:22 2014

Sorry, I missed the most material of the Ho's quotes ...

"Our ambition is to be the strategic partner of choice for every leading retailer, brand and manufacturer across the world ..." - eBay Employment Ad (2013) ...
[Johnny Ho is delusional, of course; then, we are all entitled to dream ...]

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: trader_chris This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 23:43:32 2014

I served in the Navy after college. It used to drive me crazy having to follow a number of asinine rules and regulations created by other people that had no direct connection to my ship, other than the fact that they seemed to enjoy making life more difficult for everyone else.

I now realize that was great training for life, and in particular, for dealing with entities like eBay. You have to treat it like a game. You may not like the rules or the frequency in which they change, but as long as you follow them, you'll be ok.

When I learned that I had to offer returns to get a TSR discount, and then increase the return window to 14 days and ship items within 1 day, I wasn't too happy, but I did it any way. I cut down on a people abusing the system by stipulating that buyers pay for returns and that returns are only allowed ''if the item arrives damaged or not as described''. I sell a reasonable monthly volume (150-250 items / mo) and I'd say 1%-2% at most are returned. Be sure to take good pictures and write an accurate description of your item (especially flaws), which will cut down on the likelihood of returns.

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: SparklyEyes7 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 23:48:12 2014

When my printer went down, I went to my neighborhood office store and used their computer to print out my labels.  It cost me a few bucks, but much easier than handwriting, having to go to the PO. I could also go to the local library and pay 10 cents a age, but it's annoying to use.

And yes to who said you should have uploaded the tracking number and you would have been  fine.

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 00:11:14 2014

They are treated totally independent sellers as recalcitrant employees!  Making selling goals for the "employee", handing out false "bonuses" to ensure compliance, and issuing threats when the "employee" dosen't march with feet high enough to please the boss!
It's totally ridiculous!

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 00:18:57 2014

I have never used a printer for ebay labels and just use a Sharpie on the package---if it is a Priority Mail I might use the blank labels from the PO or one of their boxes and hand write the label.

But I ALWAYS upload the tracking ASAP the same DAY as I mail the package.  

This protects you in several ways not only the "One Day Shipping"  part--it keeps your customer in the loop as to WHERE their item is;  it gets ebay off your back;  it provides a trail if the package goes missing for all to see.

I suspect that the OP got a warning shot across the bow for NOT uploading--not any other hidden issue here.    

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 00:20:53 2014

Sorry hit send too soon---

But it would be SOOOOOO nice and professional if ebay could find it in their little black corporate hearts to TELL US what we did WRONG before they fire these shots.

But we ARE talking about Ho's R Us here ain't we.

That Ho ain't no pro.  

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Jan 21 00:50:25 2014

@ trader_chris,

"Our ambition is to be the strategic partner of choice for every leading retailer, brand and manufacturer across the world ..." - eBay Employment Ad (2013) ...

My calculation is that eBay is not interested in any “narrative” qualifications to a seller’s terms of doing business with buyers; eBay’s computer algorithm cannot quantify such qualifications; eBay is only interested in presenting sellers with a predefined range of conditions acceptable to eBay, and sellers get to tick their choice of those pre-defined conditions, and sellers had better “deliver” as per the boxes they have ticked or undoubtedly they too will eventually get one of those “stomach-turning” emails …

It’s all about smoothing and automating the transaction process and reducing the amount of expensive human resources that are required to keep the buyers happy and to maximize eBay’s return on each transaction. Let’s face it, if the Ho cannot do something about eBay’s abysmal share price soon, surely he his own future has to become suspect …

The simple fact is, if you are other than a “leading retailer, brand or manufacturer” you do not feature in, and are superfluous to, Johnny Ho’s plans, and the first time his poorly constructed Boolean algorithm detects that you have not kept your side of the agreement you have entered into, no matter how minor the infraction, you too will probably be out on your ear …

Johnny Ho may well be delusional but it appears that he is actively moving on with his plan … after all, we are all entitled to dream ...

But, just think, if Omidyar had traded in all his eBay shares for Amazon shares in August 2007 he, and Meg, would now be eight times wealthier than they are today; Omidyar has to be thinking about that, as should be any other major “long” eBay shareholders …

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Tue Jan 21 00:50:39 2014

You don't have to use Ebay shipping. I use Endicia and just make sure the tracking number gets posted within the time frame. It's worked so far...

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: LinneyPinney This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 01:31:06 2014

I lost my top rated status on the UK site only. First I got a warning and then I lost it. I still have it in the us. Why did I lose my TRS in the UK? Because I sold only 89 items instead of 100 items to UK buyers in the required time frame. Why did this number go down? Because now, I use eBay global shipping and UK buyers hate it and they hate paying duties. Typical situation with eBay. Whatever.  

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

by: Silverdog This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 05:24:37 2014

Ebay is out for one thing, and that is to make money off of anyone, anytime, anyplace, any-where !!! That is the bottom line!!! They do not care what your profit line is, as long as they get thier cut !! Do you think they would give you a discount for charging any kind of shipping to help your profit margin ? NO WAY !!!! pay them and shut up is ebay's motto !!!! it does suck !!  

eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W   eBay Extends Grace Period to Top Rated Seller in W

This user has validated their user name. by: TraderBoo

Tue Jan 21 09:12:27 2014

Last month I lost my "Top Rated" status seal. Three months earlier, I got the warning email that warns me that I “didn't meet one or more of the US seller performance requirements for Top Rated Seller”, and I should do something about it, or else I’ll lose my "Top Rated" status. There were no specifics as for what the problem is. Looking at my dashboard revealed nothings at first, but then I noticed something about shipping. After downloading my shipping report, I saw that there was a few late shipping for a few packages six months earlier to the warning email. I got grace period of three months to correct the problem and after that I did lose my status.

Here is what I see is wrong here:
A. There were no specifics in the email about what I did wrong. A seller has to do some detective work to find out what iss wrong.

B. Then there are no suggestions as how to fix the problem.

C. With six months look back, everything already happened. After the three months grace period, ebay looks back at your past, six months earlier. There is no way in the world that anybody can actually correct anything.

D. One day shipping is a draconian rule and it is especially hard to accomplish for one-man business like myself. It means that I can never leave my office for anything. I can’t leave for business trips that I need to do to acquire merchandize. No vacations or sick days. I’m not even sure if weather conditions are a factor, my guess, it is not.

By the way, after a month I start seeing the “Top Rated” seal back on my pages. I don’t know what I did to correct that, I just do business as usual. I got no email to tell me anything about it. It just seems to be so random.

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