eBay Screws up Seller Invoices Due to PayPal Glitch
By Ina Steiner
Sellers are waking up today to a warning from eBay in their inboxes: "We are writing to alert you that your monthly eBay seller fees have not been paid because your automatic payment method was declined." The problem likely stems from a glitch last week at eBay's online payment service PayPal that brought down its subscription payments program.
The outage left website owners and developers unable to receive payments for subscriptions and lasted from Thursday through Sunday. PayPal had deployed enhancements overnight last Wednesday, the likely cause of the outage.
Note from Editor: See new article from 9/6/07 clarifying the nature of the glitch.
Many eBay sellers sign up for monthly PayPal payments in which eBay automatically deducts sellers' fees from their PayPal account each month. eBay generates invoices on the 15th of the month and the last day of the month. On August 31st, when eBay processed payments, PayPal's subscription program was down.
It's unclear why eBay wasn't proactive in reviewing the possible ramifications of the PayPal glitch on its own sellers' accounts. The Tamebay blog had predicted this very scenario, which was reported in AuctionBytes on September 3 (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y07/m09/i03/s01).
Update: eBay UK posted an announcement to sellers telling them not to make a one-time payment, but eBay has made no such announcement in the US as of yet. http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/200709051220512.html
Update: Keep an eye on the AuctionBytes blog:
Update: PayPal spokesperson Sara Bettencourt said the issue discussed in this article is completely unrelated to the PayPal issue that happened over the weekend, which is resolved.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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