eBay add message to seller displayed in orders awaiting dispatch

By Chris Dawson October 28, 2018 - 11:08 am

eBay’s add message to seller facility has been a nuisance for both buyers and sellers for years. Buyers add a message and quite rightly assume that sellers will get to see it. Sellers use automation to despatch their orders and quite rightly don’t have time to check hundreds of individual orders per day just in case the odd buyer has used the add message to seller features.

Buyers are able to use the add message to seller at the point of purchase and sometimes they’ll even use it for something innocuous as “Thank you, can’t wait to receive my item” and at other times it can be rather more important requests such as in the case featured in the image where they’re requesting for two items to be put together and shipped as a single unit.

eBay have recently made the messages harder to miss by adding them to the ‘Manage orders awaiting dispatch’ view in Seller Hub. Previously it would have taken a click to read the information left by the buyer in the add message to seller flow, and whilst this isn’t a massive change, it does make sellers busy lives a little easier when despatching orders and make it less likely that they’ll miss an important message whilst at the same time making it quicker to ignore the times a buyer is simply adding a friendly greeting.

You may not notice this change if you use third party software to despatch orders – the display in that instance will depend on how your provider has integrated with eBay. For those sellers who use Seller Hub and the ‘Manage orders awaiting dispatch’ screen on the eBay site itself it’s a nice touch and one of the small incremental changes that eBay make which will doubtless be appreciated.

  • Brett
    10 months ago

    Basic functionality that just about any other company would have incorporated from day one. But this is ebay, a company run by a cabal of clowns devoid of all knowledge of ecommerce but adept at deceitfully generating money purely for the benefit of the stock market and shareholders. eBay is a comprehensive online sham and their wiki leaks moment is close than they think.

  • Andy
    10 months ago

    We get this all the time with listing.

    We sell cable in all sizes an colours, and as soon as one becomes out of stock the buyer simply purchases one that is in stock and sends a note saying “Hi can you send me a white one”

    If we miss the note we simply sent out the cable they ordered (probably yellow) then ultimately results in the item not as described return saying “I asked for white but was sent yellow”

    Or we refund and loose our PayPal 20p each time

    Sorry for rant but had 2 of these today already

  • Terry
    10 months ago

    I made a decision to check the box to remove the ability for customers to include a message at checkout. My experience was largely as the article describes, some innocuous messages, but then there were others with people demanding shipping services they had not paid for, alternative carriers, demanding delivery earlier than the E-Bay estimate, demanding immediate shipping, and so on.

    It was simple for me, if you buy a product and pay for service ‘a’, then that is what you will get, but you won’t get a+ or a++ or indeed b-, nor will I make special trips to the Post Office on a Saturday morning with one parcel and so on.

    Since switching that feature off, I haven’t noticed any specific drop in sales and I am saving time because I do not have to spend time checking and reviewing orders to see if anyone is trying to get creative. If a customer really wants something, then they have to go in and send me a message in the message system, which they rarely, if ever do.

    In addition, if you get a message which cannot be fulfilled, or lacks clarity, the shipment then gets delayed whilst the situation is resolved with the customer, running the risk of late delivery strikes. Given the penalty mechanism on the near horizon, removing the ability to message at checkout feels like a good idea.

    • Tom
      10 months ago

      This sounds amazing! where do you switch it off?

    • Terry
      10 months ago


      If you go into your Site Preferences, the click on the link to ‘manage communication with buyers’, it takes you to a new screen.

      Towards the bottom of that screen is a section entitled ‘What your buyers can do’.

      One of those is – Include a message at checkout when they pay

      If you edit and switch that to no, I believe that does the trick.



    • Brendan
      10 months ago

      Thanks Terry, we sell car parts and customers add in their vehicle reg at checkout. We never see these or would have time to respond to confirm fitment while offering same day dispatch. Buyers seem to ignore the actual listing where we ask potential customers to message us reg details before ordering anything.

      If eBay has any clue they would have addressed this issue as every car parts seller has it plastered on their description to send vehicle reg details before ordering. It would save us a lot in return costs and time as the buyer inevitably blames the seller for part not fitting and cost of return.

  • JoeB
    10 months ago

    They may have added this (they’ve also added a ‘promoted listing sale’) but at the same time they’ve taken away other information like the sales total and whether the buyer has paid extra for a P&P upgrade.

    Typical eBay improvement, make it worse.

  • Philip
    10 months ago

    It’s a good addition but most (?) pro sellers use third party tools to process orders rather than sequences of web pages so there’s a big risk that these messages will not be visible on the workstation screen when the order is processed.

    So I have the send message with order option turned off in my preferences.

    If there’s a material change to an order I would rather that it be documented in M2M messages that can be reviewed in the event of a subsequent dispute.
    Most messages sent just take time to review and don’t add any value as far as I’m concerned (eg. “Thanks”, “Can’t wait” etc).

    There’s no reply channel so I have to initiate a M2M convo and paste the original question into the first message so CS can see what’s going on.

    Some people see it as an invitation to dictate different terms of sale – eg. “please post today”, “do/don’t require signature”, “Please deliver to this other address” etc.

    I’ll do whatever I can to make a customer happy but using the payment screen as a back door messaging system is not the best flow for handling requests in my view.

  • Simon
    10 months ago

    I previewed this change over a year ago and switched straight back because they’ve removed the ability to search by email address. I spoke to the UK product manager and he said it’s part of a wider change to remove email from sellers completely.

  • Toby
    10 months ago

    This is all well and good….but how about they add it to the actual invoice bit. So when i print it off and use it for order picking, any extra details are right there? At the moment when we are busy and printing off 400 orders, not only do i have to check down the screen for messages, but once i find one, and it is worthy of adding to an order, I then have to try and find that order after it has been printed to add the note to!
    On my own website any notes are added to the actual order and so are printed off with the details of the order itself.
    All in one place, no messing, no time wasting, not errors.
    Surely this way would enable third party software to pick up the info as it does the actual item details? Ok so a bit of an update, but can’t imagine it being hard.

  • Antony
    10 months ago

    To Terry.

    Thank you for the above very helpful information. I have now turned ” to remove the ability for customers to include a message at checkout” off.

    I have always found that message facility at check out to be problematical as that message is not shown in Ebay Sold e-Mails received. I do all my dispatch from Ebay e-mails received. Now buyers can send messages through the normal messaging channel (if need be) instead of through checkout, resulting in there being no chance of the message being accidentally missed.

  • Raul
    10 months ago

    This option was there, nothing new. The problem is not all the time eBay pass the message. A lot of customers send the messages but we did not get them.

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