The eBay community chat closed out 2021 with sellers looking to tie up loose ends and get some end of year answers, but unfortunately not many were forthcoming.
So far it doesn't seem to be "new year, new eBay community chat" - actual helpful answers were few and far between this week as well.
One seller even remarked on the lack of assistance to be found from the weekly chat.
After a few months of monitoring the weekly chat, I have a couple of observations:
- Problems of a technical nature seem to go over the heads of the moderators.
- Do moderators have enough experience using eBay to create listings, fulfill orders, or capture accounting data and import it into an accounting package?
- The timing and format of the chat does not give posters enough time to post, react, or even attend. If the chat could open a few hours before eBay staff started posted responses, would moderators be able to effectively respond with thoughtful replies instead of reflexively repeated paragraphs from web documentation? How convenient is it to post in a forum that is open for only one hour each week?
After the chat closed, leaving no opportunity for the seller to respond, Tyler@ebay gave this answer.
Thanks for your feedback on the Community Chat. I can definitely take this input under advisement, and I'd also be happy to share some insight with you as well:
Known technical issues are things we can speak to, and we do. If you are reporting a potential technical issue that is account specific, or would require account-specific troubleshooting that isn't something the weekly chat can help you with. That's why we oftentimes ask you to contact CS to report them.
A qualitative question like this is difficult for me to answer for you. I can tell you that the Community team both buys and sells on the platform via our personal trading ids. As to your accounting questions, I'm not certain we have experience capturing accounting data or utilizing the software packages you mention.
The time and format of the weekly chat is something we've discussed changing - but the reality of the situation is that there is not a single time that will work for everyone involved. The format of the chat is out of necessity. As a three person team our resources are limited.
Ultimately, the Community is a peer to peer support network, not a customer support channel. The Weekly Chat is our team's commitment to address questions that you may have about eBay, and be frank with you when the questions, concerns or comments you share with us are out of scope.
The following is not an exhaustive list of posts in the chat, just a few I found interesting.
For many, many long months the regulars on the Selling Board have had to deal with threads by sellers being shifted to Managed Payments. In the past, we were told that ebay should be finished transitioning everyone by the end of 2021. Can you confirm that the transition is complete?
(Of course, now we will spend many long months dealing with posts about the 1099-K, but that's a topic for another day LOL)
I can't really speak definitively to this, but I can point you to an article we released in September when we announced that the majority of all sellers enabled (link here).
I know we never seem to see anyone from the Managed Payments team on the boards, but it would be nice to have that department show they care. The reporting for MP is terrible and borderline unusable. Does eBay not realize they would make more money if sellers weren't constantly having to fight against buggy and poorly though out site designs?
if you'll let me know which reports you're having trouble with and how they could be improved to your benefit I'll happily pass that along. If you would prefer not to do so I can pass along this comment above but I have found that generic complaints about tools get addressed by the product team far less than specific complaints or suggestions for enhancement.
The seller responded:
What I really need as a seller is ACTUAL sales numbers, shipping money collected, refunds, and cancellations broken out in a meaningful way. I don't care about how much sales tax was charged other than for sales in my state. Plus a proper breakout on fees and shipping label charges would be nice. Lumping them together doesn't help me any.
Tyler promised to send those examples to the team.
Another seller replied on this topic as well, but did not get a response from eBay staff:
The fact that the reporting does not have a column for Variations means it takes me hours (days) longer to reconcile. Not all of my variations are sourced at the same price- so having to look up nearly every sale is the bane of my existence.
Another seller also had concerns about how foreign currency appears in Managed Payments reports that they have brought to the chat before but have still not received satisfactory assistance in resolving.
I have posted a several times about difficulties with capturing information from Managed Payments. I did not receive a reply to the most recent post. I have a simple request. If eBay would provide a summary for each payout showing sales, fees, postage, net amount paid, and additional categories, if necessary, into a simple summary with one line with total from individual items enumerated in the payout, all in US dollars. The suggestion that the Payouts report could be downloaded is a nonstarter. Each report requires time and some skill to import into Excel and nothing is totaled. Some entries may not be posted in US dollars. Why must eBay make everything so complicated? Please find someone who can respond substantively.
Velvet's answer (after the chat closed and the seller could no longer respond) showed she apparently either didn't understand the seller's issue or didn't remember the several other times they have asked the same question in past chats going back at least to October - these reports are not helpful to this seller because of issues with how foreign currency is displayed.
When you click into a Payout ID from the Payouts link in the Payments tab, you can see a summary for the sales, fees, postage, net amount, and the total payment amount received.
The Reports we make available to download into Excel are so sellers can organize and use the numbers as they see fit. I'll include a few links below to help pages that discuss how to best utilize these reports though, and if you have a specific mock-up or detailed version of a report you'd like to provide us, we'd be more than happy to pass that on to the Payments team.
eBay Fee Billing Issues
Hi. I keep seeing reports pop up about store billing issues- people being billed weeks and even months late.
This is one thread that has a few posters reporting it-
And there was this one from back in Sept that Velvet replied to-
Some sellers aren't receiving notifications from eBay when they're finally billed and other sellers are- but the e-mail sent out is incredibly vague as you can read here-
There are a lot more posts both here and elsewhere about it. I've seen reports every month from small numbers of sellers. What's going on and is this going to be fixed any time soon?
For some sellers it will affect their tax reporting since their December store fee wasn't billed until January.
I'm unaware of a technical issue that would delay subscription charges like what you have noticed. I would encourage those involved to report to CS and request that a ticket be filed for review by the tech team.
Subscriptions should be being charged on or around the 1st or 15th of the month, depending on the old billing cycle dates prior to eBay managing payments. The only exception I can think of to that would be the final month of a yearly store subscription, which would not be charged at all (since we bill in advance for that fee).
I have a comment/question in relation to the April 2022 USPS surcharge coming.
Assuming that it is a done deal, which of course it is, as sellers are we going to have to account for the surcharge somewhere in our listings, either with a increase in sale price or handling fee? Or is the surcharge going to be coded into the shipping amount if we are using calculated shipping?
It has long been a pet peeve that eBay's shipping module coding cannot seem to account for dimensional shipping, even if I put the correct shipping dimensions in with the listing. We shouldn't have to specify large package if we are bothering to put dimensions in. It seems like a pretty simple programming change that has been ignored for years.
And don't even get me started on the inability of the eBay shipping module to not account for a residential address when it comes to UPS/FEDEX.
All of this should not be a insanely complicated coding project.
I appreciate the feedback regarding some shipping concerns you have. I can speak directly to the upcoming surcharges you referenced. They will work similarly to the holiday surcharges buyers just experienced.
How you list shouldn't really change. If you're using calculated shipping and everything is entered accurately in the listing (dimensions/weights), then the buyer should be charged the correct amount (including any qualifying surcharge) at the time of purchase.
January Seller Check In
Any plans for a January Seller Check In?
I haven't heard yet, but I've asked and will keep you updated!
(After chat ended)Edit to add:
I heard back on this! There is no Check in for January but it will return in February.
Would you also ask the team to resume sending the email invites for the Seller Check Ins? I missed the last couple because I didn't receive the notification and didn't realize they were going on until it was too late.
Happy to make the request! There may be a way to subscribe to notifications or upcoming events, and I'll make sure that is shared.
Hopefully by February someone at eBay will have found the record button so sellers who are unable to make it or miss the notification can catch the replay - unlike the December seller check in.
Moderation of the eBay community
The Selling discussion board is getting a steady stream of (hysterical) posts about the new tax reporting threshold, which seems to have caught many off-guard. I'm specifically concerned about the outright misinformation contained in many of these posts and the fact that they're allowed to stay up. Do the moderators have a brief to remove inaccurate information? While I can understand that moderators don't want to limit people from expressing their opinions, the stuff I'm seeing isn't a matter of opinion — it's just plain incorrect.
Any hopes that eBay will take a stronger stance on keeping misinformation off the boards?
There's definitely an influx of new posts about the tax thresholds, that's for sure!
We've worked to make sure proper resources and information are floated in on-community searches and will continue to work with members who may be confused about what this change means for their business and their obligations. While minor inaccuracies are something that happens, we do have a Community Guideline about not sharing patently false information. If you see a member posting in bad faith (ie, they are spreading misinformation and have been corrected on other threads and continue to perpetuate the inaccurate information on this topic) please report it to the moderation team for review.
There seems to be more than usual, dredging up old threads.
With the constant changing of eBay policy and procedures, it seems that 6 months would be an optimal time to have all threads automatically be locked to further posts.
Is there any considerations for this or is it not a problem?
This is an ongoing conversation we have as a community team. Allowing enough time for conversations to occur and naturally die down is the goal, and I agree with you that 6 months is a pretty good general rule (with exceptions of course).
The broader question is a systemic one: how do we implement this in such a way that it doesn't monopolize the team's time for weeks, and with minimal impact to community performance as decades of posts get locked or archived. We are working on that still, and it is something that remains top of mind for us.
In the meantime, if you come across threads that have been dredged up from the deep, you can report it to the mod team as a 'zombie' thread and they can address it and lock it.
While the chat moderators made it clear once again that eBay does not consider the chat, or the eBay community in general, to be an "official" support channel, one does have to wonder why even bother with the pretense of "a discussion with eBay staff" if the best answers sellers can expect to receive to most questions are some form of either "I'll pass this on to the team" or "please contact support"?
That doesn't seem like much of a "discussion" to me, but at least this time they didn't direct anyone to a competing platform to re-engage with customer service.