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Thu May 4 2017 21:17:08

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating with Buyers

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Good evening. Boy just when you they the rocket scientist at eBay have put Hal 2000 in charge of their systems. They go one step further to once again prove they are operating on Fortran or CPM80.
 
We had a potential customer reach out to us today with a question of application on one of our products. The item was not the correct item, but we do carry and list the item that would work on eBay.
 
As I typed in the response to this eBay member. I did what I have done in the past, I pulled the eBay item number (even typed it in) from the correct item to the message. Up pops a wonderful little message stating I cannot use any outside references for this message. Tried a couple of different ways, basically came up with the same thing.
 
Call the genius department on the phone, they called back quickly. The gentlemen that answered was nice but informed me I can no longer put eBay item numbers in the message area from a buyer or potential buyer. The only way to do this is to click on the buyers id and go to their area and click on contact and send a separate message using this area and using the specific eBay item number in the response.
 
I don't get it, if they are so good at AI or databases, they could set this pull down in the eBay message center that the original message came in on.
 
If I have to use multiple messages just to simply respond to a very simple question for a $6 sale. They can continue to shrink their sales. I really don't care. For every action on eBay that they take, there is an incredible opposite impact every time these guys do this.
 
I don't try to drive eBay customers away to other sites, if they are so afraid of this, do what Amazon does. Otherwise, every time they implement a new policy or enforce an old policy, there is more work and more issues dealing with eBay, they are becoming less and less of my business every time they do this. I have been selling on eBay since 2002 at one point doing 6+ figures every year, not less than 1/2 of that. This is simply crazy on their part, their database guys just simply have no understanding of real world communications.
 
Short story on this, I simply sent back an email stating the part they were asking about was not what they needed. Between the phone call to eBay and the stuff just to try to respond, I figure I put in way more effort than the $1.50 I make on the item. Did not go any further, I guess eBay does not want the revenue. OH WELL!
 
Regards, 
John




Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu May 4 21:39:54 2017

Unfortunately, eBay is so paranoid that a sale is going to be negotiated off the site, and thus losing them fees, that they fail to see that their paranoia is leading to lost sales because of all the hoops sellers and buyers have to jump through.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu May 4 23:33:00 2017

I got into a back and forth conversation with a potential customer today.

He wanted 1 bushing out a set or 15 I had listed.

He worked on the C-17, we know people in common, I gave him a price for 1 bushing with shipping, and explained if he bought more bushings he could save money on shipping. I sell bushings for $2 each, it costs $2.77 to ship 1 or up to 8 of them. In all of this back and forth I thought for sure ebay was going to step in. They didn't and I'm surprised. . .

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Thu May 4 23:44:11 2017

They aren't using Fortran, they are using the IBM system they put on PS2's and that almost bankrupted IBM in the late '80's.
All big monoliths of corporations end up shooting themselves in the foot by doing stupid things beyond all logic.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri May 5 00:30:03 2017

So eBay wants sellers to take the most circuitous route possible in communicating. If I have to go to all that trouble I might as well 'code' my email address and sell it direct.  

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: Oh Really? This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 00:47:42 2017

I send buyers active links to the listing page. I do this frequently and as recently as two days ago and I've never seen this message.

example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/123456789012

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 00:49:33 2017

I too have received that popup message stating references outside of eBay could not be used in my message. But I was able to ignore it and hit SEND anyway. The customer got my response with no problem. There have been a lot of weird popup messages all over the site but I just ignore them or close my browser and then start over. I also keep getting emails that I have tons of active content in my listings when I do not.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: Aahz This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 01:02:16 2017

Same experience as "Oh Really?".  I just replied to an eBay message from a buyer with links to 4 other listings of mine about an hour ago.  No problem whatsoever.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: rosachs This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 01:51:59 2017

eBay seems perfectly content to throw out not only the baby AND the bathwater, but the sink you washed the baby in, the vanity the sink was mounted in, the bathroom the vanity was installed in, and sooner-or-later, the whole house that the bathroom was in.

They seem to have their 'law of diminishing returns' bass-ackwards...the more you restrict, the more you lose.  Too bad they weren't that paranoid about hackers stealing their member data......

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: Daisy909 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 06:52:52 2017

Similar thing happened to me yesterday. I have a rare item listed and the only other one I found was sold a year and a half ago on ebay. Tried to link that listing in my message to a potential buyer which ebay forbid. It did let me link up to the Pinterest page I originally found it on tho. Go figure!

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: skl3255 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 07:37:24 2017

I had a buyer contact me because they wanted to make an offer on a highly collectible vintage Warner Brothers Toy item for which I did not have a best offer option available. The item had already been marked down by 23%.  They asked for free shipping.  I attempted to reply with a counter offer and I was trying to explain to this customer that I couldn't accept his offer because after paying my fees to Ebay and Paypal and then also paying their shipping that I would incur a huge loss.  When I tried to send the message I kept getting blocked with an error message stating that I was not allowed to provide contact information. Yet I hadn't done that.  I did not reference any email or web site.  I did not provide any personal information. I had to delete my references to Ebay and Paypal. I even had to delete the name and manufacturing information of the item I was trying to sell. I had to delete the name of the shipping service I would use to save them money on shipping.  My item was in pristine condition including the box which had never been opened and double boxed so there was no wear.
I finally got the message off without providing any reasonable explanation because of the bot restrictions.  However, I then  turned around and resent my entire message unedited to the buyer in a separate message that wasn't connected to an offer. No problem.  You would think it should have been the other way around as in the first message I was actually sending the buyer a counter offer that I would accept for which Ebay would get their cut.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: Runs.With.Scissors This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 08:15:09 2017

It's no surprise to me that some sellers do not experience the
same results/problems while others do, when navigating the
ebay site, because  ebay has multiple different program versions running, that may produce different results among some sellers, for some functions.

I have 2 ebay ID's (linked to one PayPal account), using 2 different email addresses on ebay. . . . My email and messaging ebay correspondence characteristics within these 2 ebay accounts differ from each other in several ways.

One that comes to mind, for example, is the ''your item sold'' emails that I receive from ebay.  In one account, ebay won't show me the buyer's email address, but, in their ''your item sold'' emails on my OTHER account, they DO include the buyer's email address.  It has been this way for well over 2 years!

Not showing the buyer's email address in a ''your item sold'' email is laughable, because regardless, it's always available to me in the PayPal transaction record.

The paranoid shoot-from-the-hip policy decisions made by
ebay over the years never seems to change.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: Simplyselling This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 08:41:04 2017

Every single time I need to send a proof to a customer on eBay my blood pressure rises. It's guaranteed that the first few attempts to attach the image fails. I have to find another one first and once they works I can then try to attach the real proof. It is a PAIN!  So I started using Inkfrog for this and it works perfectly.  I'm sure it would work for the scenarios mentioned above too. I tweeted this issue to eBay the other day and of course no response. There is no logic in their systems.  

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 09:14:38 2017

I have not experienced not being able to place an ebay item number in a message, but I cannot put them in best offers.
Recently, I have not been able to use the word ''invoice'' in messages referring to revising the bill to combine shipping for them on ebay. However, sometimes (rarely does anyone do this so assuming it is only sometimes) it will actually let a buyer give me their email address.  Sometimes it won't take the word ''paypal'' but I can usually send ''ebay''
It is getting more and more ridiculous all the time, you have to type messages over and over to get them to send.
I am usually not trying to get or give any outside info unless it is to get a payment for an ebay unpaid item because of paypal not working!

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri May 5 11:14:55 2017

@Runs.With.Scissors

What really irks me is how they can't manage active sessions.  If I go there on my phone, I get bounced from mobile to desktop constantly.  It will also let me get pretty far into my account, only to go "oops, log in again" at random points.  And after I log back in, it's lost my mobile/desktop setting again.

The site is just awful on a smartphone.  Desktop is too cluttered, mobile is laggy and missing features.  I'd use the app but it's not good for anything that's not listing or buying.  For instance, I can't respond to questions because I only get 1 line and no option to CC myself.  Forget managing your account or running sales/promotions.

What do they do with our fees, burn them in a furnace to heat the boardroom?

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri May 5 11:26:28 2017

@RKTOYS

I tried to send a message yesterday to a customer on mobile. The 1 line messaging was so hard to read and correct I just put the phone down and went to my desktop.

The mobile app is good for the CHA CHING, not much more. . .

I would NEVER place a listing with a mobile device, don't buy with it either.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri May 5 11:33:40 2017

At one time, eBay ran on ASP.  That's where the isapidll in the URL comes from.  An ASP session's timeout is based on last response.  So a 20 minute session can run forever as long as you move around once every 19 minutes.  Storing it in a database (vs memory) prevents it from being lost when shuffled between load balanced servers.

PHP's a little different in that the time period is a static lifetime.  But it's trivial to set it to, say, 24 hours and override the system callbacks to save it to a database like with ASP.

If they use some kind of Java platform, I don't know, probably follows the PHP rules?  Still, it's ridiculous that some days I can be on for hours without a login and some days it's every couple of minutes.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 5 11:47:09 2017

I'm apparently in the group that sees the amber popup warning while typing in the message, but if I ignore it and hit Send anyway, it goes through.

Exactly what triggers it is unclear -- probably some sort of points system at work -- but I think it generally gets upset over listing numbers because it can't tell them apart from phone numbers.

I've seen email addresses passed through sometimes, but maybe half the time they're blocked. I haven't spent much time testing this in detail, but the system seems to have better luck figuring out when you're trying to disguise your eBay email contact address than when you're trying to pass through an email address that's not tied to your account.

Getting back to the original point here... I pass listing numbers and full URLs for listings in eBay messages routinely, and have no problems doing so, but at the same time, it does not surprise me that they may be applying different standards to different users, for reasons that may make no sense, or for no reason at all.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri May 5 12:00:48 2017

@toolguy
I like the register sound too.  There was about a year though where it made that sound for every single event though.  Other than that, it's really just the business end (bookkeeping, followup, etc) that suffers.

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri May 5 18:19:21 2017

Echo @toolguy: "I would NEVER place a listing with a mobile device, don't buy with it either."

eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi   eBay Restricts Sellers from Fully Communicating wi

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 6 13:59:40 2017

eBay relies on computer technology - primarily, SOFTWARE technology - to run its business.

However, the state of eBay's ability to develop good software on which to run their business is equivalent to that of a tire company where no one knows what rubber is.

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