eBay to refund sellers over overcharging issue affecting stores


eBay sellers have been left baffled after losing thousands of free listings in some categories on August 1. Sellers wondered if eBay decided to end the promotional benefit for stores without notice or if it was a problem, and they reported that eBay customer service representatives offered answers unsatisfactory when they inquired about what was essentially an issue of overcharging.

An initial post from an eBay moderator who responded in a topic on the problem was not reassuring. “Since some people have it and some don’t, I guess the promo ended as others noted here. Promotions vary and are offered to different groups of people at different times. That said, I’ll contact the tech team to be on the safe side, and let you know what I find.”

The issue was pressing for sellers, as listings they would normally consider free under the long-running promotion were counted towards the number of free listings that come with an in-store subscription.

“This is something eBay needs to clarify as soon as possible as some will sign up for the store based on what it says you receive,” one seller wrote.

The eBay Store Help Page lists insertion fees for different store levels. For example, a seller with a basic eBay store receives 250 auction-style listings in certain categories, after which they pay 25 cents/ad. They also receive 1,000 free registrations at a fixed price in everything categories and 10,000 free fixed price ads in select categories.

The moderator came back 2 days later to confirm that it was a problem: “I heard that they were able to find an issue on August 1 where some sellers did not benefit from the free insertions of the “selected category.” This was a problem and not a sign of things to come.

The moderator said eBay is proactively crediting sellers and, she said, they would “check again towards the end of the month, for any sellers who had activity on August 1 in selected categories but who had incurred an insertion fee (in any category) later that month because of this issue.

This indicates that sellers who experienced the “problem” could experience the same issue next month, potentially endlessly.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is the co-founder and editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on e-commerce since 1999. She is a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is the author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” ( McGraw-Hill 2006). His blog was featured in the book “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (September 2005 – present) and Investigative Journalists and Editors (March 2006 – present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send topical tips to [email protected] See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

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