EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2945 - November 28, 2012     2 of 7

eBay to Refund Sellers Impacted by Item Condition Glitch

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eBay sellers have been dealing with a couple of confirmed glitches over the past week or so, one impacting the new Item Condition "notes" field, and another impacting the ability of users to look up completed listings.

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moor confirmed the Item Condition glitch on Tuesday, stating that eBay was crediting the sellers who were impacted by the technical issue.

eBay launched the Item Condition notes field in mid-November, telling sellers the feature could help prevent misunderstandings about the condition of their items. "Your item condition notes will be prominently displayed near the top of the item page where buyers are more likely to read them. This will help you avoid buyer questions and prevent issues with items not as described."

But when eBay rolled out the new feature, there was a glitch impacting sellers who used the Sell Your Item tool to list their items. eBay explained the issue in a letter it sent this week to users who had been impacted:

We're writing to let you know that as a result of a technical issue in eBay's Sell Your Item listing tool, some listings were displaying sample text in the item condition notes field and not the text you may have entered.

Impacted listings included the following text at the top of the listing near the item condition: "Example: The right leg of the chair has a small scratch, and on the seat back there is a light blue stain about the shape and size of a coin."

The issue was resolved the week of November 19, and the text has been removed from all listings. Rest assured, eBay will automatically refund all fees (final value fee, insertion fee, and feature fees) associated with the impacted listings - both for listings of items already sold, as well as active listings. You will see these credits on your upcoming billing statement.

We appreciate your willingness to take advantage of new features like this one designed to help you sell. Introducing these improvements without a hitch is important to us. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
As always, thank you for selling on eBay.
The eBay Selling Team

While eBay has removed the text from the Item Condition notes field of all live and ended listings, we were able to find some listings cached in Google that showed the message. One was for an iPhone, the other for some collectible coins - in both cases, they containing the following message in the Item Condition field: "Example: "The right leg of the chair has a small scratch, and on the seat back there is a light blue,...(see more)."

A seller who alerted EcommerceBytes to the letter was unaware of the glitch. When he called eBay to learn what the letter meant, a customer service representative told him it was a spoof email.

Meanwhile, sellers have reported difficulty accessing the Completed Listings feature, which Moore confirmed was a glitch and said eBay was working on it - see Tuesday's EcommerceBytes Blog post to learn more.

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

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