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Mon May 5 2014 07:56:51

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
We have had an ongoing issue with eBay for a very long time in regards to the tracking upload requirements and I am wondering if other sellers are experiencing the same thing?

We serve a lot of local buyers. Many who purchase multiple items from us. They all complain about the eBay checkout.

When I send them a combined shipping invoice, and change the shipping to local pick up option, only the first one gets selected for local. All of the remaining ones show as "shipped with the item above" and we get penalized for every single one of them.

I have had an ongoing complaint going with eBay and of course, I never hear back from them in regards to this issue.

Are there any others that are having this same issue?
Donnalene

Editor's note: Donnalene provided further explanation:

There is definitely something wrong with eBay's system. A buyer requests an invoice from us requesting local pick up and a combined invoice. I click on eBay's tab, "send invoice" and I change it to local pick up option and send it. Once I do that, the new invoice shows a local pick up selection for the first item only. All the subsequent ones show "shipped with the item above".

For EVERY single one of these, we are penalized for not uploading a tracking #. And every tracking report I generate shows this. I have phoned eBay so many times I've lost count. Their representatives never solve the problem. There is a glitch somewhere in their system.

The only way I have figured out a way around this is to send one invoice at a time and not combine them. Yet, with the high volume of sales we do. This is too time consuming to continue to do. Because we then have to mark each one individually when they come in.

This new "defect" system they have put into place makes it nearly impossible for us to remain a top rated seller. Our excellent communication and fast shipping time no longer matter. And since we can't stay a top rated, then pushing for perfection in the tracking area no longer matters.

Thank you for taking the time to hear our story. I was curious to see if any other sellers were dealing with the same issue of combined shipping and local buyers tracking #'s.

I enjoy reading your updates. They prove to be very helpful for us.
Sincerely,
Donnalene




Comments (34) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.
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Mon May 5 08:15:47 2014

Yet another way eBay sets up small sellers for punitive consequences. An educated estimate indicates that the new Defect Rate will result in a new purge of 90,000+ small sellers in August.

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: Truk This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 5 08:31:22 2014

They also don't give your the TRS 20% discount on Local pick-up items or LTL shipments because no tracking to upload
We sell a lot of heavy and expensive items that ship LTL and we get cheated out of our discount on final value fee's every time

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon May 5 09:56:11 2014

Dannalene....How about a work around?  Would it be worth it to you to invest $1.93 to have these local transactions qualify for TRS discounts?

Send your buyer the invoice as you do now and have your buyers pick up their widgets from you..

Buy some #000 padded envelopes. Include a Thank You note and some packing peanuts ( to increase thickness ) and purchase a label through eBay or PayPal with tracking at the 1 - 3 ounce first class postage rate. Postage cost = $1.93.

Copy and paste that tracking number into the PayPal transaction(s) and mail the envelope.

Buyer gets to pick up their goods, you get to show tracking to eBay, buyer gets a thank you note, everyone should be happy.

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

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

Mon May 5 11:11:06 2014

Yes local buyers get burnt....forced "free shipping" is the cause.
As a west-coast seller I need to factor worst-case (Florida or Maine) shipping cost into my prices. While this is trivial on small nick-nacks (1-2  lbs), this difference can be substantial on medium / heavy items (5 lbs - 100 lbs)

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon May 5 11:48:03 2014

This is not a new issue but one that has been around since Ebay started the TRS Plus requirements.  It has excluded local P/U from the beginning.  You can still be TRS, you just won't get the discount on this particular transactions.  

And yes it is all transactions with a local P/U as the method of shipment.  Each transaction counts.

This is exactly the same for sellers that do ship with tracking on a multiple order, but don't quite get the shipment done in the 1 day handling time.  Each and every transaction will not qualify for the TRS Discount.  You remain TRS, just lose the discount on those transactions.

And of course either way, with our without tracking, if you fall below the 90% threshold for uploading tracking, you lose TRS plus all together, but you can remain TRS.

@ Mr.Me

There is no "forced free shipping" on Ebay.  We all can make the choice to do it or not.  Ebay offers some perks if you do, but it really is not so bad if you don't.  

For some items FS works very well and others not so much.  I run a mixture of listings and some have FS and some don't.  Ebay says you are lowered in the searches if you don't do FS, but my items that I do not offer FS do not seem to suffer because of it.  And my items with FS do not seem to sell more than items that I do not have FS on.

It is just a choice.  One you can make for yourself.  What is best for you and your little business.  It has been proven time and time again that buyers do like FS.  

By the way, Ebay didn't start this.  It's pretty standard all across the internet, to include Amazon.  Personally I think it should be called shipping included, but Ebay did not coin the phrase Free Shipping.

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Mon May 5 13:24:37 2014

I try to get all local buyers to pay cash outside of ebay.  
Usually works like a charm. Just sayin' :)

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 5 15:16:04 2014

BTW, ebay and paypal do not allow paypal payments for local pickup, because of the no tracking.  It voids the seller protection.  Completely. You have no proof of shipment that is trackable online.

So just say no to paypal payments for local pickups, it's illegal on ebay and paypal anyway.

This comes up all the time. We just say ''sorry, that is unsupported.''

So if someone wants a local pickup and you want to do it, go into selling manager and change the shipping for the items to local pickup, then you have no tracking requirement.  

Then they come and pay you cash, and there is no tracking to upload.  

It's messy and a PITA, but that will solve your problem.

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 5 16:07:44 2014

Marie,
I don't know what you sell, but it seems to me that if you charge the whole cost of shipping on ebay today you get slammed in search so bad you sell nothing.

That's how it seems to us now.  It's pretty bad.  

Now, if you are selling something very unique so that you have no competition, it might not matter about free shipping as much.

With the tampered search ebay has, if you don't toe the line they slap you down pretty hard.  

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

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

Mon May 5 20:03:27 2014

Wot? Not yet another demonstration of eBay's incompetent database programming?

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the criminal ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon May 5 21:03:06 2014

@steevo

I don't see the same problems as you apparently do.  Now I have to say, that all of 2014 has been the lowest sales I've EVER had on Ebay in the 10+ years I've been selling.  But it has nothing to do with FS or no FS.

But back to FS.  It is great for many different items / categories.  Then there are others that is just doesn't work well for.  Sellers just need to know their categories and what works best for them.

What works well for me may not work for someone else in a different category.  I mainly sell in two different categories.  One FS is definitely the way to go and sales are normally better because of it.  But in the other no.  They are lower $$ items and customers just don't like it.  So they do better with shipping separate.

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 5 22:44:39 2014

Marie, you have no idea nor do any of us as to why we have the lowest sales ever.  

Is it the tampered search?  Is it free shipping?  We don't know.  

But we are not making the nice income on ebay that we used to make. And we know that ebay takes you out of search the more you misbehave, which might be not having free shipping, not shipping fast enough, or just having mean customers who slam you in DSRs, for which ebay inc. reacts by lowering your sales.

It's there.  Our sales are now low, really low. The system is working as designed.  Great, huh?  

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue May 6 01:30:45 2014

@ Steeve

I didn't mean to sound like I knew why sales were so low.  I apologize if it seemed that way.  All I can say is that the structure of my listings are the same as they were before this sudden downturn in sales.  And for me that downturn happen starting mid January of this year.

Nothing happened to my account or my listings between December and January to cause Ebay to pull me or drop me in searches.  It just happened that sales took a very big nose dive.  I was and am TRS plus and well within their requirements.

For me, I have no flags to tell me or make me think there is a reason for this.

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 6 08:42:40 2014

Lack of sales seem to be a problem for EVERYONE, whether it's eBay or any other venue.  High end and necessities seem to be selling as usual but for anything less, sales have plummeted.

IMHO it's the continuing bad economy, especially catching up with many people on the edge.

Horrific increases in heating and electric bills this winter(on top of the continuing increasing "routine" expenses like taxes, food, gasoline, etc. - all of which continue to increase while your savings account is earning less than 1% and you haven't had a salary increase in how long??) took care of any kind of non-essential purchases, and it's worse than the government wants you to realize. We are nowhere near finished with the Great Recession.

People would like to get back to normal the way it used to be, but it isn't happening.  

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: LinneyPinney This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 6 09:08:12 2014

The people on ebay who are getting exposure are the diamond sellers and those who have .99 starting bid auctions no matter what their feedback rating is or how bad their photography is. eBay lies. I sell on 5 venues and ebay is by far the worst with the horrible complainer, mean customers. Of the last 9 sales I had on ebay, over the last week, only 2 people were nice. The rest were terrible. To compare, on etsy, in the last year, with 751 sales, only two were mean and the rest were sweet and professional. You take that sort of customer base and add all of the above with the economy and It makes for a mess! I agree with @timeaftertime that the economy has been a challenge. I was slammed with huge tax increases this year due to the new tax laws that even my CPA could not predict the impact of these laws on my business.  I have spoken to many others that have experienced the same thing. We have a failing economy and ebay is not the place to try to make a living anymore. Other sites are better. You just have to find the right nitch for your product. Only 500 to go to get all of my stuff off of ebay for good. whoo-hoo!

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: forevervinyl This user has validated their user name.
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Tue May 6 09:26:02 2014

How about just make up a tracking number from an old order. Your customer isn't going to complain and it marks as shipped.

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

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

Tue May 6 09:26:56 2014

And Linney, if you are getting that many complaints, look within.

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Tue May 6 09:28:56 2014

Since this thread is derailed, I will add slow sales are due simply to a glut of items for sale and visibility manipulation with   decreased site traffic. It doesn't get any simpler than that.  Ebay doesn't care about your quantity of items sold or your average sale price.  They would rather have more sellers with lower prices and spread out the sales over a larger number of sellers.

Any one else noticed the significant decrease in what buyers put in for best offers over the last couple years?  

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: fredhanbar This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 6 09:36:15 2014

I had that problem a few months ago. Once I entered the tracking # for a multiple purchase,the balance disappeared into the paid/shipped category. I only received credit for tracking the first item. A eBay cs rep told me to go to the far right of the item where "send invoice" is the first option. Clicking on the option arrow will drop down a tracking option. That in turn opens up a number of blank boxes for ALL the items on that invoice. Cut and paste into each box and you have satisfactorily tracked every item.

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: Maureen This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 6 09:42:03 2014

I thought I had the mystery of the search feature figured out. Being a Power Seller & TRS my experiment produced lots of sales. After Christmas sales ended, so did the sale activity. I am lucky to sell 10 things a month. They have buried me down in the totem pole. I have stayed out of radar. No slaps or nasty emails.100% Rating. Even though they offer these free listings,which I do take advantage of, it's very discouraging to spend time listing and no results. I am wondering that when using the free auto 3 times relist feature if that has created another snafu in their exposure program?    

eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers   eBay Penalizes Sellers Serving Local Buyers

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 6 10:25:28 2014

You missed the point of of the new "defect" system they have put into place. It was precisely created to do away with the 20% discount! Making it nearly impossible to remain a top rated seller. Excellent Service is not eBay's concern, profit is.
As is shown with the Latest Seller Update! We sell a limited number of items, with multi-listings, at a fixed price. We have not created a storefront, because of the simple reason, 50 item listing a month works fine. Now comes the new increase (100) free auction listings a month! Guess what, more fees! More bonuses for the crud on the top!

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