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eBay continues to create problems for sellers

Sellers of used parts have expressed more concerns with eBay.
We have expressed concerns about eBay’s attitude towards its sellers a few times now and unfortunately the situation looks to be getting worse.

Auto recyclers have raised a few more issues lately which are causing them problems as sellers of used parts which we shall take a look at here.

One issue concerns auctions (not buy it now) that are finished early. The big gripe being that if an auction is finished early (cancelled), eBay still charge a final value fee, even though they haven’t sold it. A simple example of this is an item, say a set of alloys. The bidding starts at 99p and rises to say £25. Someone then comes into your yard and buys the set for the £100 you were looking for. In this situation it seems unreasonable for eBay to take a final value fee, after all they have already had a listing fee and they haven’t sold the item.

Another contentious issue concerns the new seller standards that are coming in August. Under these you will be rated under a number of headings but from what we’ve heard, if someone contacts you under the ‘not as described’ heading, then this will automatically be classed as a defect and your rating will be affected.

On the face of it, this makes sense. After all, if you haven’t described an item correctly then it isn’t a good thing. Let’s remember, you more than likely use eBay as a buyer as well as a seller and would not want goods described incorrectly to you. But where this falls, down particularly for the auto recycler is that the parts are used and also the buyers are not always fully aware of what they actually want. When it goes wrong, this incorrect buying ends up as your problem.

Let’s put this as an example. You sell a door, the colour is ‘peacock blue’. The buyer purchases it owning a blue car of that model. There are two very basic issues that can go wrong here. Firstly, his blue may be a totally different blue and secondly, even if it is the same colour, due to variations in batches, time the door has spent in sunlight etc, the door may well be a markedly different colour.

I don’t think anyone could reasonably say you have done anything wrong and even though you do the right thing and take the door back, refunding the buyer, eBay are still going to mark you down on it. When it comes to used parts there are numerous examples where items purchased can be the wrong items - with so many model variations it is really easy for a buyer to get it wrong.

This happened to me only last month. I am currently rebuilding an old BMC A series engine and bought the wrong oil pump - some have the slot on the pump and some the slot on the cam. I got it wrong and I believe I generally know what I am doing. The seller changed the pump for the correct one without any hassle but I would be very concerned if this seller was penalised because I ‘complained’ and he corrected ‘my’ problem.

For those who are top rated sellers this is very worrying. After all they work hard to achieve that level and apart from the confidence this gives to buyers, it also gives discounts on eBay fees which can be significant for anyone selling a lot of items. One auto recycler who is a top rated seller explained his concerns. He had checked the anticipated rating he would receive under the demo for the new seller standards and due to this issue he would lose his top rated status, even though he always corrects problems where they arise - all seems very unfair.

Keep your concerns coming. We have passed you rconcerns on to eBay and await their comments. We shall let you have their response as and when. In the meantime anyone who missed the previous articles can read them here:
More on eBay
Dismantlers not too happy with Ebay
Facebook page for eBay uk businesss sellers
Northamptonshire based dismantler, Rob Austin tells us he has started a facebook page for eBay uk businesss sellers. This should be a great forum where you can talk about your issues with eBay. Anyone who is interested can join the group here, then we can swop our sob stories!

June 2014

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