The Ebay Rag Mag

October 17, 2008

Glitch: False Offers of Free Shipping

In a bright, hard to miss orange circle next to eBay sellers’ gallery photo is an icon that indicates that a seller is offering free shipping even though the seller has made no such offer, and it doesn’t stop there.  The glitch is two fold.  If a seller who has set an offer for promotional discounted shipping on combined purchases,  the buyer is not being charged the discounted price, he is not being charged at all.  Sellers are being forced to lose their profits and absorb full shipping costs.  On a combined purchase where shipping is calculated by weight this can be very costly.

As if the situation in itself is not stressful enough, sellers fear unfounded negative reprecussions if they choose not to honor an offer that was not authorized.

The question is, is this a sign of what is yet to come?  Another new policy that eBay is experimenting with on the back end that mistakenly reared it’s ugly face before eBay are ready to slap the sellers with an official announcement?  Is eBay going to force the sellers to raise their product prices to cover a forced offer of free shipping?  This possibility has been in speculation for several weeks.  The thought behind it is that if eBay forces it’s sellers to raise their prices to cover the cost of shipping, it’s just one more way to generate higher revenue from higher final value fees.

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