eBay £10 compo for torpedoing businesses
I heard from a naturally very distraught eBay seller this evening, who had just found out that eBay cancelled almost 100 of their listings due to an eBay screw up. However eBay will make sure they get at least a tenner in compensation for torpedoing their income.
On Friday we reported a glitch that wiped out item specifics, item condition, return policies and postage costs from many sellers listings. That’s bad enough but eBay having fixed the glitch decided it would be better for the sellers affected (without any consultation) to end all of their listings en masse, sending the following email:
eBay £10 apology email
We want to let you know that for a few hours on August 3rd, we had a technical issue that caused some information (including item specifics, item condition, return policies and delivery) to be dropped from some seller listings on the site.
The issue has been resolved; however, some of your listings were impacted. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.
Rather than have your items continue without all their original information, eBay has ended all of these listings. You can find your ended listings in your Unsold Item section of My eBay. Please review them to ensure that the item specifics, item condition, return policy and delivery information is as expected prior to relisting them using your usual listing tools.
We will credit your account for twice the insertion and features fees incurred on all the affected listings. You will receive at least £10 in total credits to offset any inconvenience caused by the need to relist your items. These credits can be viewed in the Account Summary section of My eBay within 7 days.
We will also be reaching out to the buyers who were bidding on any auction-style listings that ended early as a result of this issue. We will let them know that the listing ended early through no fault of yours and encourage them to check back to see if the item has been relisted.
Glitch impact on sellers
So sellers now have hundreds of listings to revise and relist which is bad enough, but it’s many times worse than that. The first job will be to do a full stock check to find out just how many of each product sellers have left.
If you’re exceptionally unlucky you’ll find that your multi-channel management software has already automatically relisted all of the ended items. Of course you can’t easily edit multi-variation listings so you’ll be busily recreating those listings from scratch. Add on the sales that you’ve just lost over the weekend while you were happily watching the Olympics and didn’t realise that your listings were cancelled and you’ve lost a pretty large sum.
Of course having incurred a mountain of work when you wake up on Monday to find that you’ve got no listings running on what’s always the busiest day of the week as you’ll have the weekend’s sales to post, you’ll then realise that you’ve probably lost your carefully built up Best Match scores as well as your sales history number from all of your Good til cancelled listings.
What eBay should have done
Don’t mess with people’s listings
I’ll say it again, don’t cancel listings, provide sellers with a list of item numbers which will need amending to add back in the missing information caused by the glitch. Whilst that’s a pain it’s a lot more paletable than no sales, having to edit the same number of listings anyway but having stock control and auto-relisting issues plus the loss of income while listings are down, coupled with the loss of Best Match position more or less ensuring the loss of future earnings.
One seller told me this evening that the £10 compensation is a joke, that’s less than 2 hours work at minimum wage! Who’s going to pay for the hours of work it’ll take to stock check, revise and relist 100 items?