EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 219 - July 20, 2008 - 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.

You can also read the AuctionBytes blog, which has a place for reader comments under every posting (


I have edited my primary criticism of eBay's absolute anonymity of bidding many, many, many times since I originally posted it and I would very much appreciate it if, one day when you have nothing better to do, you might peruse same and let me know if you can spot any obvious errors of fact or logic therein; or indeed advise me that I should seek the help of a psychiatrist to try to find something else to be obsessive about. Link



Hello Ina:
Is everybody as frustrated as I am with the new Ebay formats for "MY EBAY"? Very slow as to what it was. Pain in the neck when you go to favorite searches, especially if you have many. You now have to go to a menu to put all on one page, and the only way to organize like you had them is to do an A-Z sort. Then you have to do this every time you log on. Also, there seems to be no way to put the order of the main page. I don't want to see what I'm watching as the first entry, I want what I'm bidding on first. Much time is wasted with the new format. I've written to Ebay a few times, but no replys yet.

From the editor: See this article on the My eBay test:


Your recent article about Shopify got me thinking.

A lot of us want to get away from ebay and our own website is one course of action. How about some informative articles on our choices for web hosting and how they rate. I know I need some knowledge about this and I am sure many others do too.


Hi Ina
This has been happening now for about 2 weeks. Buyers filing for INR are getting e-mails that say they have won the claim but there are no funds in the sellers account.....ebay auctions that show the 200.00 or 2000.00 in Buyer Protection.

Paypal has said according to Board Pinks to call and they are making the buyers whole.

But it is STILL happening...and what about the buyers who are taking the e-mail at face value and NOT calling! This is BAD.

Reference the Paypal Board and Trust and Safety Board on eBay.


Strange. I noticed that when I ran fixed prices and sold items on the completed seller screen, it was showing the same persons name on both but this one below is another glitch

more details. apparently its shipping addy.


Hello Ina
Bulk editing will not work if the items you are trying to edit have been listed without item specifics.

I have over 400 listings and must end and revise each one. I am doing it a little bit at a time. I think I read, however, that when the new policies do go into effect, that items without item specifics will not be automatically renewed.

The bulk editing tool will not let you edit items without item specifics and it will not let you add item specifics. Hence, end and start over.


FYI Now store owner's left side bars with their custom categories are missing from listings and eBay refuses to comment. Vickie

Note from the Editor: Janelle Elms addressed this issue in her OSI Rock Stars newsletter - scroll down to "eBay Stores issue - not all seller's affected." She sent me an update to say most of the stores are now fixed.


eBay are currently running promo ads on free-to-air TV in Australia (at least in Sydney). Now why do you think that they would be doing that?


Technology & Marketing Law Blog - eBay Not Bound By Robinson-Patman Act-Windsor Auctions v. eBay

Interesting post that seems to indicate the Best Match Practice on eBay can be interpreted as a "breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" since the search method favors some sellers over others.

The outcome of this part of that case should be interesting to follow.
Best Regards,


Thought you'd might find this thread interesting:

"Just received an amazing email from Paypal.

Say farewell to retaliatory feedback

eBay has changed its feedback system to ensure that buyers like you, can leave honest feedback without the seller trying to even the score by posting neutral or negative feedback back. If you were unhappy with the service levels of things like postal charges, or the speed of delivery then let the seller and other buyers know."


Hello Ina,
Just to let you know eBay fixed my missing feedback count on July 1st (it only took 39 days!). And in the following days they also fixed 4 of the other 5 people's feedback counts mentioned on the thread (the one not fixed has a slightly different problem, hopefully it will also get fixed!). If you know of any others that are having the same problem please send them to that thread And maybe their problem will get fixed too.


Re: eBay Feedback Change: Neutral Means Neutral

I have to say I am bitterly disappointed by this change and I know many other sellers will be. Despite all the hoo-ha, believe it or not, many of us completely supported these changes.

I have worked my ass off, especially since May 19 to get my items shipped promptly, provide good customer service. I have 99.9% feedback, 1 neutral and no negatives over the past year.

I have set myself above my competitors by my excellence. Now eBay is discontinuing both the neutral feedback counting and effectively removing the 98% requirement to be a powerseller.

This is just like 2 years ago when they completely reversed their decision to put store items in core.

I just feel like throwing in the towel after this, what is the point in working so hard when eBay just goes and reopens the door to bad sellers again.
Kind Regards


I've enjoyed your reportage of eBay's often duplicitous rhetoric. When eBay sends me one of their mealy-mouthed missives I look at AuctionBytes to see what your take is.

Yesterday's offering pointed out one of my greatest complaints... that Non Paying Bidders can do so much harm. Not only do these people not pay, but they then get to leave negative feedback and affect DSRs as if they had indeed received the item. Many sellers are now afraid to even file an NPB since it creates such antipathy with deadbeat bidders. I can't think of anywhere else in the business world where the venue whom you pay to provide a customer forces you to become the collection agent and then asks the NPB how they feel about you.

I love this quote:
"For example, since we debuted the new Feedback system in May, we have removed more than 60 percent of the negative/neutral feedback left by buyers in an unpaid item (UPI) process."

So, roughly 40% of feedback left by people who don't pay for their items gets to stay and is now more greatly valued in Search Standing.

Ina, I hate to be Oliver Stone, but part of me thinks that this indefensible and illogical policy must serve some greater purpose such as pushing eBay sellers to Immediate Payment Through PayPal (to negate dealing with the UPI process.) I think eBay's recent dalliances with PayPal only in Australia might be revealing as to their ulterior motives and desire to close eBay to other forms of payment. With organic revenue growth looking weak, cannibalizing even more of the sale seems plausible... maybe necessary.

Ebay knows with strong certainty who has paid and who hasn't since they control 90%+ of the payment flow. How they can let a NPB leave a negative and DSRs under any circumstance is well beyond me.

What do you think?
Kind Regards,


Is it just me or does it seem that you are taking a wide swing around current ebay member grumbling/dissatisfaction. Your news seems to be just business as usual. I have never known so many people to be leaving. Whats up?


Hi Ina Steiner,
I have enjoyed your books and your website. Now, as you continue to go along with everything ebay, I just have to wonder: How Much Ebay Paid You ?

I no longer believe any of your so called rosy pictures of ebay. You disappoint me and thousands of your followers.


You know, Ina, why doesn't eBay stop messing around with feedback and just eliminate it completely. That's where they're headed in my opinion. It's really worthless to so many sellers anyway, why bother? We're dealing with a monopoly to begin with that is all one way - the eBay way. And gradually, the bigger sellers are moving away from eBay as are the buyers. I can see it - I KNOW eBay can see it. Perhaps they should dip into their multi-millions of profit and do some positive advertising instead of constantly messing with the very people who support them.


Hi Ina,
I find your site to be informative and required reading. I am a boycotting seller on ebay, and the leader of 2 ebay groups. In one of my groups, a member from the UK posted that he was 1 of 6 people offered the chance to have combined eBay and PayPal fees free for a year.

Naturally, I am curious, and wonder if this is for real....Considering the current climate at ebay, and not wishing to ruin it for him, I won't mention his ID, but perhaps by my reporting this more can be found out about it. Why just 6? Only in the UK?
Best regards,

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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