Saturday, December 20, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Why can’t I leave my buyer negative feedback?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 6/20/2013

Dear eBay Queen: I sent a package to Puerto Rico (it’s still in transit, in Florida) from here in Kansas. The buyer paid for media mail, which you and I both know takes weeks to arrive. I noticed today that the buyer opened a case and eBay placed a hold on my PayPal account for that amount. I sent eBay the tracking number today, along with information about to which state that the package is supposed to be delivered. Well, early this morning, eBay made a decision and refunded the buyer’s money — a full refund with shipping! Do you have any suggestions on what I can do? Again, the tracking number says “In Transit.” In the past couple of days, the buyer has been sending me messages calling me fraud (I have 100 percent feedback) and saying that I scammed her.

This is a situation where I wish sellers had the option to leave a buyer negative feedback. What should I do? — Eric, Ottawa

Dear Eric: You said you sent the tracking number to eBay. Did you put that tracking number in the case and in the listing? If you didn’t, that could be part of the problem. In a situation like this, I would contact eBay immediately by phone, explain to the customer service person what happened. I think eBay was a little overzealous with resolving this transaction in the buyer’s favor. eBay should have at least waited for the tracking number to show delivered.

Dear eBay Queen: This morning, I responded to an eBay inquiry, saying yes, I accept USPS money orders. The item had a starting bid of $70 and a BIN of $95. A short while later, the person wrote again, saying she couldn’t figure out how to use the BIN without being sent immediately to PayPal. None of my listings require immediate payment. I told her she ought to be able to hit the BIN and just wait for an invoice. Eventually, she gave up and placed a bid (no other bidders, so who knows whether she upped the opening bid; We will have to wait till Sunday to see if she gets any competition).

I just got off the phone with customer support (India). Here’s the deal:

Beginning a few days ago (June 14), eBay instituted something called “Streamlined Checkout.” This option shows up with each purchase. Selecting it takes the buyer directly to PayPal, where if he or she does not pay immediately, there’s no transaction. The customer service rep agreed that eBay did a terrible job of informing people about this new system and promised to escalate the issue. He said eBay would consider explaining the feature more fully and making sure buyers understand that selecting Streamlined Checkout eliminates the possibility of receiving an invoice or of using another payment method.

We all know eBay has outsourced their customer service. Have they also outsourced the design of the site, new features, and communications with sellers?

Unless my bidder gets into a bidding war (unlikely since the item’s been relisted several times), I’ve lost $25 on this sale and also will get docked the PayPal fees. — D.Peterson; India

Dear D: I’m not aware of the new changes to the seller updates in India, but I do know a little about the updates on the main eBay site.

You mentioned Streamlined Checkout, which doesn’t affect sellers; it’s just for buyers, and has them linking their PayPal account with their eBay account.  Here’s the information:

I understand why you are upset. At least you will not be out your PayPal fees, since your buyer has said they will only pay with USPS money order. When I first read your question, I thought you were thinking of the new unpaid item when a buyer uses “Best Offer” and doesn’t pay immediately. Beginning in May, in the “Computers & Tablets,” “Jewelry & Watches” and “Art” categories, when you accept a buyer’s Best Offer, the item will remain for sale until the buyer commits to buy, and in most cases, pays.

Since the transaction is not completed until the buyer commits (or pays), you’ll be able to accept multiple offers to increase your chances of selling the item.

For more information on the spring seller update, got to

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 271182266927. Have you ever canned fruit or vegetables? If you are using any old jars, you might want to look them over. Check out this “Rare 1864 American Improved Preserve Fruit Jar Quart size.” It sold for $7,898.99 at

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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