eBay reports Royal Mail postage printing issue is resolved

By Dan Wilson March 21, 2014 - 2:29 am

We’ve received quite a few emails in the past few days about sellers experiencing problems using eBay’s services involving printing your own Royal Mail postage labels and the like.

Have you been experiencing problems?

On Thursday, eBay gave Tamebay a comment about the issues: “We are aware a few sellers were having problems printing postage labels. This affected a small number of sellers and has now been fixed.”

The difficulties I’ve heard were various. Some people reported simple problems even accessing the service and it taking several attempts to get started on buying postage. Others note particular problems buying specific products and others say they were forced to abandon the process altogether because it was so sluggish.

It would be interesting to hear from people as to whether the problems are entirely resolved at the business end for sellers. Leave a comment.

Glitches happen from time to time and I recall, a year or two ago, something similar occurring. But this strikes me as quite instructive and worrying.

Here we have an eBay product integrated with a third party carriage provider and that wasn’t working and eBay took time to communicate. It’s a pain in the backside for sellers who rely on that service.

Now, with mandatory Managed Returns, announced last week and coming later in the year, all sellers will have to rely on an eBay product that will be integrated with third party postage services and rather more complex than the one that was broken.

That has to raise alarm bells about eBay’s technological capabilities of launching a flawless managed returns system that hundreds of thousands of sellers will be required to rely on.

  • Lynne
    4 years ago

    Problems with Ebay postage have been on going for months so I’ve tried it out this morning 7am and got this message on my first attempt.

    Parcel weight is over max. weight of package type. Please correct weight value or change package type.

    Entered it again exactly the same and it went through.
    This was a small parcel 500 grams and entered correctly .500
    I will let you know how I get on today.
    I will be surprised if it is trouble free but pleased they are looking into it, they have taken their time on this one which has frustrated a lot of sellers. It certainly wasn’t working correctly yesterday (Thursday)

    • Alex
      4 years ago

      Lynne is absolutely correct, it has been erratic for some months but printing UK labels is usually a bit easier than international.

      Sometimes, a work-around is to log into your PayPal account, find the transaction, and print the lable from there. Regardless of destination, between the hours of 11pm and 2am is when the ststem is most likely to be down. Late Thursday and late Friday appear to be the worst times.

  • Dennis
    4 years ago

    I’ve not checked it today but over the last month on trying to print Royal Mail postage through eBay I’ve had a page with a red box saying something like “Service Unavailable – Try Again Later”, I’ve had the page saying it’s not responding, I’ve had the list of postage options showing only some of what should be available, I’ve had what Lynne mentioned above, and even after finally getting through and purchasing postage I’ve had page not responding again – but been able to print the label through the “Postage labels” option in My eBay. In other words it’s been a completely flaky shambles for quite some time and obviously not properly tested before going live – which is a bit of a worry (and a little weird) for a multi-million dollar company.

  • Louise
    4 years ago

    Even more worryingly, I attempted to print a postage label – luckily for me only 90p – I tried twice, and my paypal has been debited with this amount (twice) and in each case the final page where you print the label failed, leaving me having to go to the post office and buy a further 90p stamp – so £2.70 to post a small item instead of 90p. I spoke to Ebay and they have promised the £1.80 will be refunded to me…… within 20 days!! It shook my confidence in using this system.

    • Anne
      4 years ago

      If after inputting the information you press to move on to the print postage lable screen but it goes to ‘cannot load this page’ try the back button on the brower 99% of the time the print postage label screen comes up

  • Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

  • Lynne
    4 years ago

    Hi Louise, If this happens again go to Postage Labels which is just further down from Awaiting postage you will see the postage label there and can use the Reprint label or Void label. The stupid thing if you void the label , the customer also gets a message to say the label has been cancelled , so its always best and try reprint first ( that normally works no problem).

  • Tony C
    4 years ago

    I tried eBay’s integrated postage solution once and once only. I decided I would never try to use it again, because it insisted on me putting in a postcode when the package was going to the republic of Ireland, where they don’t really have postcodes as such – and I hadn’t been given one by the buyer for that reason. Duh.

    Even the RM site themselves do not insist on a postcode, so why should eBay be so up themselves about it?

    Personally I now use the Royal Mail online postage system for everything international, and just common-or-garden stamps for domestic. Although I know that using eBay’s postage solution gives you an automatic despatch time DSR, which in itself is stupid, still wherever possible I avoid eBay’s built-in third-party ‘integrations’.

  • Urbanfox
    4 years ago

    I have had a nightmare with the eBay label service. I have yet to work out why sometimes it takes you to the old version which only has 5 or 6 postage options and sometimes it takes you to the newer version.

    The newer version works fine for me but the last two weeks I have mainly been directed to the old service and that is where I have endless problems.

    No matter what computer or browser I use none of the labels will print. The money is debited from my account but when the label pops up the area is blank. So far I am around £55 out of pocket from labels that haven’t printed. Even if I go back in to eBay to the postage label section the only options I have is to re-buy or void.

    After a lengthy chat with eBay and being told on numerous occasions to try again as it’s fixed the same problem occurred. In the end the lady suggested I should go down the post office instead or use the Royal Mail site. I tried to explain that this option defeats the whole object of the integrated label service but it fell on deaf ears. I have lost faith in the old label service and won’t even attempt to use it again.

    If anyone can shed any light on why they are still using the old service then I would be interested to hear.

  • Dan
    4 years ago

    interesting article, for someone that was going to trial the ebay postage – i liked the idea of being paid and then the postage coming out of the payment and thus knowing roughly, what was left was mine to withdraw etc.

    but now im not so sure.

    currently i use smartstamp, and its mostly good, it generates a pdf proof of postage to get stamped etc and is usually quick.

    is it true that using ebay postage gives you an automatic high rating for dispatch??

    • Lynne
      4 years ago

      Its still not without problems today , I
      selected 2nd class postage this morning and its £3.20 (small parcel) it should be £2.80? . 1st class is showing the same £3.20. ( as it should be) is this deliberate or a mistake with the maintenance done yesterday, my faith in Ebay is dwindling 🙁 so many mistakes happening lately.

    • Lynne
      4 years ago

      Problems again this morning 14/04 🙁 System unavailable. Please try again later!

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