EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 189 - April 15, 2007 - ISSN 1528-6703     8 of 8

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters from Readers

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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.

Regarding our change to allow subscribers to receive AuctionBytes newsletters in HTML format:

Eliminating having to scroll through entire articles that hold little or no interest to me to get to the ones that do, such as the OVMS military show in this issue, is a great timesaver.
You done good.



1) The HTML newsletter was fine and did its job. The only thing that was a problem for me (Mozilla 1.7.3 on Linux Red Hat 8) was that I could not vertically scroll the content using my mouse's wheel. I have seen this happen in SOME HTML content. It has something to do with the HTML structure; the cursor/mouse focus gets hung up in one section and can't continue down the page. Instead I had to use the window's slide bar to get down the page.

2) Your postage survey: I filled it out a few days ago and have forgotten all of what I wanted to say. However, a couple of the questions did not really offer enough options to give a real/accurate answer. Also, you may not have realized that the rates to other countries are changing much more dramatically ... surface rates are being eliminated. Thus the cost to ship some items such as books will go up hundreds of percent.


Re: eBay Announces "Proactive Fraud Reduction" Policy

Hi Ina.
I just read your story. Unfortunately, ebay is targeting items through word searches only, not by an actual fraudulent products that exist on ebay. For the sellers that have been selling authentic items for years, they are randomly attacking those with outstanding feedback and just as ourselves as a Powerseller, versus those that are still on ebay selling non-authentic items. It has been mismanaged, and they are not targeting the right sellers. It has hurt our business, because of the non-contact through ebay that they want to take in a stance against sellers. With this tactic, they are annoying the bread and butter sellers, while those that are still on continue to do so freely. Thanks,


Re: eBay Announces "Proactive Fraud Reduction" Policy

Ina - this business of delaying auction indexing is the lamest excuse I've ever heard from Ebay. The other day I had an auction listing delayed 7 hours. It was for a 4 X 6" drawing of a kitten listed for 9.99 plus 1.00 shipping. I'm a 100 percent positive feedback seller - selling for 8 years! They cannot tell me my auction was investigated for fraud. This delaying business has been going on for months and months and only now they are begrudgingly giving people the correct amount of listing hours instead of delaying them and taking the delayed hours out of their listing time. There are several threads on this on the discussion boards. When this problem was brought up to Bill Cobb at the last Town Hall Meeting, they say he knew nothing about it.


Re: "Turbo-Lister Transition Demonstrates Some eBay Challenges"

Some sellers who use one of eBay's basic listing tools give the company's replacement version a thumbs down. eBay retired "Turbo Lister 1" on April 4, replacing it with Turbo Lister 2, or TL2 as it's also called.

I have been using TL2 since beta stage, post 100-150 listings a month and quite frankly I very few complaints. I did avoid importing my TL1 listings to TL2 when I started as that was known to be an issue. The only issue of mine right now is that using a "custom seller location" rather than the city,state results in my seller zipcode not appearing in my listings. Other than that, all is well here.

Keep up the good work with AuctionBytes.


Re: "Turbo-Lister Transition Demonstrates Some eBay Challenges"

Hi Ina.
Thanks for highlighting the Turbo Lister 2 problems so many of us are encountering.

The real problem in my opinion is that eBay are rolling out updates on an almost daily basis which do not seem to be robustly tested properly.

I can't help feeling that because it is a free product eBay do not give it proper attention. It does not seem to have hit home to eBay that when they provide the community with bug ridden products like this that they lose credibility with many sellers, cause a bad eBay experience for people and ultimately means the people affected are less likely to use eBay (as sellers and buyers).

It is a shame because working properly it is a great product.
Kind Regards


I have just been scammed. I listed my old notebook computer on ebay UK.

Had several bidders but the winning bidder is shown as "Not a registered user". I have emailed ebay about this but so far have not had a reply.

Now I have just received an email from this "winning" bidder who wants to overpay and get me to send it to Nigeria!

I assume that this person made his bid before he was de-registered. It would be nice if ebay could program their system to cancel all bids made by a de-registered member. I also received about 40 (yes 40) emails from different ebay "users" offering to sell me computer equipment from China.

If ebay doesn't do something about this many of us are going to find selling on ebay too much of a hassle.


Dear Ina,
I read the article about Meg Whitmans chance of surviving, but the last sentence whether the changes that have taken place will add up to more sales and bidding????? In all this past eight months that I have written about poor sales, and they still are, lots of watches but poor buyers. In all this time I notice you have yet to ever mention this in your column, or even ask for a survey-could it be that you are trying to be politically correct and not offend Ebay by mentioning this-its not got any better, I watch other sellers sites and I ask other dealers-I think as its said, its old and stale and good auction sales are a thing of the past. My shop continues to improve daily-doesn't sell at auction, put it in the shop and I get buyers, sometimes the very next day-this shows people just want to buy and be done with it,


Dear Ina:
Is there any way you can find out if OTHER sellers are experiencing what I have lately? I have had THREE payments reversed due to chargebacks, because the buyer had their credit card lost/stolen AFTER the buy on e-bay.

Turns out many of the credit card companies are too busy, lazy (God knows what) to go over every single charge on the errant card, and are simply reversing all the charges for a 60 day period.

Luckily, all three of my buyers had used a confirmed address, so even after contacting them, and receiving (and forwarding) e-mails stating that they were okay purchases and should not be chargebacks, the chargebacks went through. So naturally I asked for a refund through Seller Protection as per pay-pal policy.

In all three instances, I was told initially that this policy doesn't apply to "fraudulent" transactions, and that since the charge was charged back by the credit card company, it was too bad for me.

I asked (in one instance five times, ending up by cursing and demanding to speak to the supervisor) "If it doesn't apply to fraudulent transactions, or stolen credit cards, what DOES it apply to??"

They went 'round and 'round, trying to avoid refunding me, insisting that somehow without ever having met the party involved I should have KNOWN that these were stolen credit cards. (Huh??)

Never mind that these cards (all 3) were stolen AFTER the fact of the e-bay buy! And I had e-mail from all 3 persons involved stating same! Plus followed their demands with shipping in the alloted time, using a trackable service, and shipping only to the confirmed address)

I really haven't seen anyone else in a blog (of course pay-pal doesn't allow community forums) or anyplace else that has complained about this. But I never gave up, and got all three of my refunds. I am wondering how many people this happened to, that simply gave up, and accepted what was first told to them?

It absolutely has to be their initial policy, to tell the seller that it's "too bad" because they stuck to it like GLUE, until this last time, I started to swear, and they finally let me speak to a supervisor.

Is there any way to find out if others have been ripped off by pay-pal because they were denied Seller Protection, even though they didn't do anything wrong??

I would appreciate your help, since I haven't seen any type of forum to discover other victims of this (probably illegal) policy!!

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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