EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 134 - January 09, 2005 - ISSN 1528-6703     6 of 6

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters from Readers

In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From feedback to payment services, from increased fees to posting policies, AuctionBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.

Thanks for creating this great newsletter! I hope to attend eBay live this coming year and come by and thank you in person.

Three comments on #133 (I hope they are helpful?)

1) on the article on packaging. I note the author is from Canada. The USPS does NOT like it if you wrap a box in paper as she suggests - ask me how I know. Here is a quote from USPS packing tips: "Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, or cellophane tape. "

2) What I do instead to recycle boxes: Several shipping supplies vendors sell fast dry paint that is the color of cardboard boxes, called "maskout paint" If my recycled boxes have printing on the outside that might be confusing, I hit them with a quick lick of my box paint Here is one example:

3) Regarding the comment on raising rates. "SIGH"................. I have been very happily using Pitney Bowes' "ClickStamp" service which works well and costs $5.00 per month.

However they have now discontinued this service to NEW subscribers in favor of a different system that costs... guess what ~$15/mo. I am hoping they don't come back and tell me that I must "upgrade" but I suspect at some point they will. I do like the way the PayPal shipping service works except that they currently will not allow you to generate a postage label for an item not paid for with PayPal. I understand that they will permit that in the future.

Happy Holidays, Jim



I was glad to see your article mentioning AuctionDrop. I think they are doing a good thing.

Have you looked closely at the eBay Giving Works program or its relationship with "MissionFish" in charity auction listings like those you mention AuctionDrop is doing?

When AuctionDrop sells on eBay, you mention that they include eBay fees among hard costs. Did you know they also have to pay fees from these donations to Missionfish? Did you know that these listings appear to confuse buyers by saying "100% of sale price goes to Unicef" for example? Where is the mention of eBay's surcharges and income from donations? How can it be 100% if 3-30% goes to Missionfish, even if eBay's 3-7% is on top and billed direct to the seller in addition to the donation.

I would invite you to look at the public discussion by ebay members on this subject located here:

eBay Giving Works Board

Tsunami Crisis discussion board

Two of the Tsunami Relief & Ebay Fees threads:

Thank you for your time,


Hi Ina,
I enjoy your frequent news items about eBay. I was especially happy to see you covering the mess that calls itself eBay Giving Works.

In response to the urgency to help tsunami survivors, many eBay Powersellers attempted to set up a charity auction. In 5 days, we received not one single answer to any query of an eBay staffer regarding opportunity, issues, etc. Many British sellers simply started selling on behalf of charities. The GB auctions were shut down without discussion or negotiation. This despite the fact that eBay UK has a different user agreement, not bound by US charitable giving rules.

The MissionFish API technology more often than not failed, frustrating even those who were willing to work within the enforced structure. After constant harangue from many sellers, eBay and PayPal deigned to add a text link for PayPal cash donations. So while Amazon racked up over $10 million in cash donations from a 24 hour push to help and Overstock jumped in to assist - pledging to give its own fees - eBay created many many frustrated and unhappy sellers and a big fat goose egg. I don't normally bite the hand that feeds me; in this case, eBay totally dropped the ball. A lot like our president, they had to be shamed into doing the right thing. I for one am very disappointed.

Kind regards,


It is really a shame that organizations working to help the needy and the victims of disasters transfer their worthy approaches into business relationships that limit what other worthy efforts can do. If ebay looks at this with the good heart that they basically have, they should release the restrictions on the Red Cross and others. As always, those that give with a good heart receive more in return than they give.


Happy New Year!
Although I am just a "little guy", My businesses have profited in many ways by reading every single Auctionbytes. I have three auction id's...two active and one new one at Overstock about to become active.

Your thoughtful and insightful writing and reporting are one of my most valuable assets. Most Sincerely,


Merry Christmas, Dave and Ina,
I have an idea that might gain notice from eBay via your newsletter: an Anti-sniping button included in the listing options that the seller could activate when listing, automatically extending an auction by a few-minute period with the last bid. A seller would have the option to implement it, and it SHOULDN'T require ebay to impose an additional fee, since the final value fee would be increased as well with each additional bid.

Thank you for all the help and information you provide in your newsletter.

May your New Year be Happy and Prosperous beyond your wildest expectations.


Hi Ina,
Everyone...buyers, sellers...complain about mailing prices, pitiful insurance rates - with dubious results on a claim.

For instance, confirmation delivery. I had an item that was missing. But, I had confirmation delivery with the post office. They could not find it - I had to refund. When I complained, I was told to refer to the third page on their USPS postal site....there is no requirement that it be scanned.

Of course the list goes on. Private Insurance companies....DSI, U-Pic, Self Insure, etc. Another avenue is to look at the Congressional committee who handles the Post Office. They are quick to respond, I don't think they receive much mail.


Hello Ina,
I thought it was good to let you know that foreign sellers on eBay should check their ebay bill on the 5 p eBay UK action.

I'm a Dutch Powerseller and just listed some items on eBay UK using TurboLister. All were fully charged, not at the 5p rate.
Best regards,

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