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Sun Feb 8 2015 11:41:57

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have been selling on eBay for the past 14 years, a Top Rated Seller, on and off. After the last seller performance evaluation in December, I fell to Below Standard. eBay stated I would have two months to improve.

Lo and behold, two weeks later, I find that my Good Til Cancelled listings cannot be renewed, and my fixed price-30 days cannot be relisted.

How can I improve my performance if I am restricted from adding new inventory, and renewing/relisting ended listings? My shipping time is over 90%, and what dragged me down was the post office losing/not scanning packages as "delivered." I can't improve on both of those unless I can SELL.

I am restricted to 165 listings, approximately $5,000 in listings. At this rate, I will slowly drop to those figures by the end of two months. My rating won't go up unless the low DSRs drop off that were given in January and February 2014, but there is no way to replace them with high DSRs, as I can't sell more. Being Below Standard, my listings are at the bottom of any searches.

Thanks for letting me vent. eBay doesn't make it easy to improve if they restrict sellers from selling.
Minnie Mouse




Comments (62) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

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

Sun Feb 8 13:40:59 2015

When I was selling at eBay, I relied heavily on bright green ''Scan Me'' stickers. That really seemed to help in getting the USPS to complete the final scan on delivery.

I still use Scan-Me stickers now even though I'm not on eBay. Fortunately, an occasional missing ''delivered'' scan isn't as devastating in a non-eBay world... still, it's still nice to have all my shipments confirmed.

Try: http://tinyurl.com/kwtwlpn

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

by: serioussellers This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 8 17:41:39 2015

All of eBay's Catch 22 policies are terminal for the sellers and for eBay.  But do try the excellent SCAN ME suggestion! We plan to follow AA's suggestion when we next are ''granted'' a sale by eBay. It is a miracle that your listings are on search results, even though ''at the bottom''.  Some of us (who are still supposedly Top Rated Sellers, or should it instead be Top Rated Non-Sellers ?) are unable to sell since our listings are virtually never shown in any searches.  In our case the current number of active listings is many times higher than the 165 listings to which you have been restricted, but our items like those of most other small sellers are invisible.  The daily zero (0) views shown on the Omniture reports for many months at a time definitively confirm that sad but true fact.  Somehow eBay's monthly bill for store rent and listing fees is not invisible.  For all of the invisible sellers, the automatic payments (from Paypal, bank accounts, etc.) continue - while some sellers stick it out for a bit longer while exploring other options. Billing for services (visibility on a sales venue) -- and ''taking'' payments for services that are not provided -- smacks of fraud (and not just incompetence).  As we all know, many of these issues, problems and concerns are eloquently and astutely identified, analyzed and discussed by EcommerceBytes and its readers. Perhaps this army of experienced experts in the trenches will one day be rewarded with an equitable and just resolution.  

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 9 02:44:17 2015

@Minnie

I'm very sorry to hear you are having to go through this.  It is extremely difficult and you have to use some real strategies to keep the account and get in back in good standing.  No small task at all.

First you need to understand while the scanning of your items is very important for tracking purposes, it has NOTHING to do with your current restrictions.  This does not play a part in that.  But it still is important to try to get fixed.

If I were you, my first step would be get an appointment with your local Postmaster and explain your problems to them.  Solicit their help.  While you may think they won't help you, my experience and that of many other sellers I know is quite different.  They will help you if you give them the opportunity.

Run your Defect report.  Take a look at each one.  Make notes for yourself as to how many will fall off for the eval next month and the one after that.  This will give you some working targets.  Solid numbers to work from.  You need to know and understand where your current defects are to try and improve in 2 months or less.

While you are looking at that report, look at the defects you got in the last 30 days.  See if there are any you can fight.  See if there are any you might be able to convince your buyers to change if they are FB related.  

Take a good hard close look at each and every defect.  Learn from them and formulate what you need to do next.

Now the more difficult thing is the number of listings you are restricted to.  Look at your inventory.  Pick out your best sellers with the least amount of problems.  Make sure you post them first.  To dilute the numbers you need successful transactions without any new defects.  So get your tried and true listings up first.

If you can get a good amount of transactions going off without a hitch in the next couple weeks, call Ebay, ask if you can have a few more listings.  Tell them you are working hard to improve your situation and ask them to ASSIST YOU IN YOUR EFFORTS.  See if they will give you another 50 or so listings.  Don't get greedy, it is all a process.  Then if you get another good couple weeks under your belt, call again, ask for a few more.

I hope everything improves very soon for you.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

by: minnie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 9 03:33:36 2015

I thank you all for your comments.

I use a GREEN highlighter and highlight the ''USPS TRACKING #'' to mimic the delivery confirmation slip.

I have one or two defects for each month Feb 2014 to June 2014 for open cases item not received.  All buyers were refunded.  Two will drop off in March's evaluation, one will drop off in April (if I am still around).  There's nothing I can do except wait for these defects to drop off.  Nothing can offset them.  The neg/neutral FB are too old to ask for revision.

As my fixed listings expire, they cannot be renewed.  Currently I have 90 listings running, and if I try to relist, I am told I cannot because I am below standard.

I thought I had 165 listings, but it seems that number just goes lower as listings end.

In January I had 5 sales, none in February so far.  I'm afraid to end any listings early to try and replace with  others as I may not be able to.

It seems hopeless.  I think I better look for another venue to sell on.  I have items listed on Bonanza, but those sales are few and far between.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 9 03:45:29 2015

@minnie

Don't refund those buyers that are filing INRs, that is how you are getting the defect.  If you can get them to just hang on a couple days until the package is delivered and then close the INR as delivered, it will help you.

If you take the stance there is nothing you can do, then this isn't going to work out well for you.  Or at least not the way you want it to.  

If they are allowing you 165 listings as you stated before, then you can still post more listings.  They are blocking your GTC because you had too many of them.  

February is a lousy month for sales.  For me it doesn't typically pick up until after tax day.  

It is true, it is going to be challenging.  But if you'd sit back and digest my suggestion, you might just see you may just make it.  It will be hard work, but it may work out for you.  I hope so.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Feb 9 06:46:19 2015

Oh the glorious punitive defect system and the stress it causes.

Great way to get rid of your sellers eBay.  Nothing like a company who runs their customers off.

Defects for a simple return, defects due eBay glitches (yes, we've had more than one item that was already sold auto-relisted by eBay).

I feel your pain OP.  No sane company would implement such a system.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 9 08:46:37 2015


.....take the opportunity and RUN far away from this fraudulent and unethical company that is run by MORONS.  Ebay is hell on ecommerce wheels.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

by: Toy Boy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 9 09:07:55 2015

Hi OP,
glorious Ebay did the very same to me! Same procedure. Made me call them every month to raise my listings count, am now at 600 was 5000. Who am I to kiss their behinds all the time?
So a smart lister from the UK showed me the way.
I list in a category that remotely fits my items AND allows VARIATIONS !
Every listing allows up to 30 VARIATIONS ! So I have 50 free listings, right? 50 times 30 = 1500 items listed in 50 listings, all for free !
And that is all that Ebay deserves, our money for invisible listings, not !
Still this is no guarantee for sales ! Sales are S LLLL  OOO WWWW on Ebay, even Amazon gives me more sales. But nothing compared to 2012 when I had about 3 sales a day. On ebay it is now 3 a month. Customer base is still there, exposure is gone.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

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

Mon Feb 9 10:34:16 2015

"No food for you until you have gained weight!!!"  

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Feb 9 10:56:28 2015

@Minnie - I honestly don't know why you want to continue selling on eBay. They have told you in no uncertain terms that they don't want you there. Let's face it: According to the great minds running eBay you're "defective." Start listing your merchandise on other venues where you can build up an inventory. I sell on eCrater and have almost 5,000 items listed. Minnie, do you really want to be forced to kiss eBay's butt every month to try to get your listings increased? Why put up with the stress and frustration when there are marketplaces that will welcome you and not treat you like you are some piece of trash they need to be rid of.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 9 11:17:44 2015

@Minnie ... It is a STRETCH, but as far your packages NOT getting DELIVERY SCANS... 2 thoughts.  1.) Your GREEN Highlighing of the Zebra Stripe MIGHT be part... or ALL of your problem with NO delivery scans.  NOT all scanners are created equal and PERHAPS your GREEN ink filling in all the WHITE space between the BLACK bars is confusing scanners?  2. I'm not jumping back to your reporting, but did you use EBAY/PayPal for shipping labels ?  Did you follow eBay's SILLY SUGGESTION that you TAPE OVER the shipping label?  Yes, I did say SILLY suggestion.  PAPER labels on standard Copy Paper GLUE to any Kraft paper mailer OR Cardboard BOX phenomenally WELL using "just" Elmer's Glue-All.  Takes only about 5 minutes to become PART OF THE BOX.  I absolutely sympathize with and and MY ONLY suggestion to IMPROVE your situation QUICKLY is similar to what MARIE said... with a TWIST.  I would FIND perfectly NICE, Brand NEW, Brand Named items at a DOLLAR STORE.  LIST those at the a LOSS or MINIMAL profit and let the market buoy you UP as these items sell.  Back when I still recommended eBay to Newbies (no more) my first suggestion to THEM was similar in that I encouraged them to TAKE A LOSS on selling off nice, clean, used DVDs they were tired of to get a RUSH of sales, favorable feedback, and be on the path to setting up even a SMALL store.  If you have the WRONG dollar stores nearby you will think me CRAZY, but there is a chain here in HOUSTON that is FOREVER stocking brand name shampoo, SEALED DVD / Blu-Ray movies, and Over the Counter drugs that are Private Labeled for companies like CVS Hy-Vee Walgreens Kroger Western Family.  Generic Zyrtec 45 ct for $1.15 and NO state sales tax is a bona fide winner at $3.75 plus freight so EASY to sell quickly / smoothly at a minor LOSS for $4 and FREE postage.  Losing a LITTLE $ on EACH one of those sales to get back on the horse is a CHEAP price to pay.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Feb 9 11:18:50 2015

@Annie - Thank you for the link to the stickers, which I have bookmarked. The only time I have problems with delivery scans is around the Christmas holidays, and I will definitely be ordering the stickers for later this year.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Feb 9 11:41:11 2015

Annie is right on about using green stickers.

We buy florescent green stickers and print our own message on them.

Instead of Scan Me, we message our buyers: "Thank You For Your Purchase, We Appreciate Your Business".

That way, before the buyer even opens their package, they see a Thank You message from us.

Since we started using them 99% of our USPS items get scanned on delivery, and our feedback has remained at 100%.

As to the land mines eBay places in the path of sellers, the issues have been well documented.

eBay has intentionally devised a system by which the vast majority of sellers are destined to fail.  

The offer of 2 months to right the ship is virtually impossible to achieve given the reduced search visibility imposed by eBay after the seller rating downgrade makes it virtually impossible for sellers to complete enough transactions to pull themselves out of the hole eBay digs and pushes sellers into.

About the only way a seller can overcome the deck being stacked so heavily against them is to find a few items that can be sold virtually at cost.  Having the lowest price on a few items will push those items higher in search and may possibly result in enough additional sales to offset the low rated transactions.

This is all part of eBay's race to the bottom on prices, and is a prime example of why eBay can not grow sales.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

by: kirk57 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 9 12:14:57 2015

Doesn't ebay learn and implement remedies for our concerns? Do all the complaints fall on deaf ears? Their "precious" buyers need things to buy so why mistreat sellers?

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 9 12:17:42 2015

First of all I cannot stand sellers who blame the USPS or any shipping carrier for their slow shipping times.  I have been shipping items for 6 years all over the world and have only once in thousands and thousands of transactions ever had any shipping problems with any carrier, so when this seller says "what dragged me down was the post office losing/not scanning packages as "delivered" I say that is a blatant lie.  Delivery problems are so rare that when a seller blames their chronic delivery delays on a carrier I know that it is nothing but an excuse for their own poor performance.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 9 12:33:09 2015

The lack of scanning a package and the package arriving late are two completely different things.

Just because a package doesn't get scanned does not mean it isn't in transit, it only means it hasn't been getting scanned.  For whatever reason that happens.  

@angryllama

Great call about the green highlighter.  That certainly could be causing the issue or adding to it.

I too put clear tape over the bar code on the label as well as the buyer's address.  I do this to protect it as throughout the time that the carrier has it and the more the label gets rubbed, some of the ink also comes off.  This way there is no risk of it being damaged or becoming hard to read / scan.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Feb 9 13:04:22 2015

@Marie - I wish I could remember where I read it, but apparently you are not supposed to tape over the Intelligent Mail Barcode as that makes it difficult/impossible to scan. I do put clear sealing tape over the recipient's address so that even if the rest of the label is destroyed, the package would still get delivered.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 9 13:08:48 2015

@Jack

I've been doing it for a very long time and I have no issues.  My tracking on Ebay is uploaded at somewhere around 99.50%.  So all I can say is it works well for me.

I do however really like Angryllamas post regarding the highlighter.  I think that is such a GREAT observation and is likely what is creating the scanning problem for the OP.

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Feb 9 13:08:51 2015

This is directly from a USPS newsletter:

Why can't I tape over the barcode?

Our equipment cannot scan barcodes with tape over them.  

eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies   eBay Seller Deals with Catch 22 Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 9 13:11:10 2015

I have no answer for you Jack.  I can only tell you it works very well for me as is evidenced by my percentage.

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