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eBay: No I don’t want to talk to you! #EUCatalyst

By Chris Dawson May 29, 2012 - 3:18 am

At today’s eBay session at ChannelAdvisor Catalyst a titbit came up which at first sounds insignificant, but in reality could drastically improve the selling process for many sellers.

eBay let slip that in the next Seller Release they’re intending to give sellers the option to bar messages from buyers at checkout. This would be an “Opt Out” for sellers and if the option was selected the checkout comments box simply wouldn’t be available.

If you’re like most sellers (and me!) you’ve missed messages from buyer such as “Please ship to an alternative address, Please leave behind the shed, please knock loudly and wait ten minutes so that I can get to the door or please don’t send until next month as I’m about to go on holiday!

Quite frankly these messages are a nightmare for sellers to deal with. In a well oiled warehouse orders come in and are fulfilled in the minimum amount of time. If you’re using 3rd party software the messages might not even be visible in your vendors solution.

There should be no need for buyers to message the seller, and if they need to they can use alternative methods such as the contact form or simply pick up the telephone and talk to their seller. Messages which are at best poorly highlighted and at worst not visible serve to frustrate both buyers and seller.

The only thing eBay couldn’t confirm is what would happen if the buyer left a message in PayPal, but I for one will be turning off messages at checkout as soon as the feature is available.

Buy It, Select the correct shipping address and pay for it is all I want from a buyer. I’ll pick it, pack it and ship it and really don’t want nor have time to deal with specific delivery requirements. All they do is slow the delivery process down.

  • 9 years ago

    eBay let slip that in the next Seller Release they’re intending to give buyers the option to bar messages from buyers at checkout.

    There should be no need for sellers to message the seller

    I would agree that buyers shouldn’t be speaking to buyers and sellers shouldn’t speak to sellers. Seriously though I disabled the ability for the buyers to leave me notes in PayPal years ago because of this very reason. Removing notes at checkout is a good idea. Otherwise you have 3 different ways for the buyer to message you.

    • 9 years ago

      Oops, it’s complicated 🙂

    • Hereford United fan
      9 years ago

      This is great news. How do you disable messages in paypal? I have been asking paypal and ebay for this for ages and they say it can’t be done.

      Thanks

    • The Shopkeeper
      9 years ago

      To block messages from buyers checking out through PayPal go to Profile > My Selling Prefs > Getting paid and managing risk > Block payments > “Display “Add Instructions to Seller” text input field:” > Select “No” and SAVE.

      Bish, bash, bosh! 🙂

    • 9 years ago

      Mmmm….
      That option is not listed or showing in my PayPal “Profile”. I use Website Payments Pro but I don’t know if that would make my Profile too much different to yours.
      I have checked through my options in various sub menus and can’t find this useful feature.
      Any one else know how to disable buyer messages in PayPal if the “Getting paid and managing risk” option does not show?

    • 9 years ago

      Excellent spot, Andy – been looking for that for ages. Brilliant.

    • 9 years ago

      Ditto.

    • The Shopkeeper
      9 years ago

      Pleasure. 🙂

      Not sure why if you’re using Website Payments Pro your menu would be different – have you tried Google’ing it?

  • Dan
    9 years ago

    What a world!

    I actually like seeing a message come through – As they usually say “So pleased with the item” or “Thanks alot!”

    But then again, I like other human beings!
    And think the best way for everyone to get along is to have communications!
    Not just pickin it, packin it, shippin it!

    Crikey!

    • fusion
      9 years ago

      No, its a pain when they leave messages that are not shown on an ebay invoice/packing slip then complain that you did not change the address etc.

    • Gary
      9 years ago

      If you receive random “thank you” messages through the ebay message service you loose your right to automatic 5**** DSR scores for communications.

  • Richard
    9 years ago

    Reason number 4356 why I prefer to deal with small traders rather than faceless big box shifters who don’t want to communicate. With this and recent changes to the communication DSR, it’s clear which eBay seems to think is best. Sometimes being the ultimate cheapest and having to shift vast quantities to make the business viable, isn’t so clever long term as many have found out.

    • Gary
      9 years ago

      It is not about not wanting to communicate.

      It is about the method of communication.

      To include a message with the paypal payment or with the checkout procedure is asking for trouble both for the buyer and seller.

      ebay should only permit a single route for all messages and that is through their message service. That does at least offer up some gaurantee that it will be read.

      The checkout and payment processes are not the right places for this and thinking about messages can otherwise distract buyers from what is an important procedure.

    • fusion
      9 years ago

      I agree, messages directed to a seller should just go through one method (ebay messaging). This also then allows for the seller to reply confirming, encase any changes needed to happen.

  • Brian Ebethinking
    9 years ago

    Its not about faceless box shifting. When you get to a certain size selling hundreds of orders every day. It must be scalable, if a customer orders and completes the checkout and payment. It is their resposbility to put the correct address and take delivery of the item. We go over and above to try and accomodate customer demands regarding delivery and we appreciate people are busy. However we cannot change and amend every address and leave every item for someone where they want – thats what post boxes are for. If you order larger items you need to be there for delivery.

  • CJ
    9 years ago

    I actually relied on this massively when I stared my business in 2010. As I was starting out and certainly couldn’t pay for a shop, I could not do multi-variation listings. So for 6 months I asked buyers to use to the add message feature and it worked really well for me.

    Now I turn over 9ka month and it really winds me up when I see messages about ‘please do this that or the other’ in a place where my fulfilment house will never see it.

    So now I’m glad it’s going, but others starting out might not be.

  • Mark
    9 years ago

    I don’t even see messages. Orders are automatically printed and shipped off invoices.

    • 9 years ago

      It really does depend how big the company is, how many orders they handle and what software they use

  • st georges dragon
    9 years ago

    the only communication I need is a flaming big hammer to pound into the thick pillocks on ebay that if you read the description and look at the pictures there would be no need to ask bloody stupid questions, or ridiculous messages

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