eBay has edited the "How It Works" section of this page of the Fall 2022 Seller Update to avoid further confusion - it no longer says "once the buyer gets their order, you'll get paid."
By far the most popular topic in the discussions forums and across social media from yesterday's eBay Fall 2002 Seller Update was the new eBay International Shipping program announced at eBay Open last week.
Details released at Open were vague and sellers had hoped that the full seller update would shed more light on the new program, but instead it seems to have muddied the waters even more.
There were many questions and concerns but the number one focus was on this phrase in the update: Once the buyer gets their order, you’ll get paid.
Many sellers took it literally and immediately vowed to never use the program if it meant not getting paid for potentially over a month while they wait for the international buyer to confirm receipt of the package.
The community "seller team" moderators didn't help matters any - when asked direct questions about what exactly that phrase meant, they gave vague answers and provided links to the seller hold policy, causing sellers even more concern as it appeared they were saying funds would in fact be held.
Payouts will work just as similar to domestic orders and will follow the normal process for seller holds that can be seen in more detail here.
A seller pressed for a clearer answer:
"Just as similar to domestic orders"...so we get paid right away and don't have to wait for the international buyer to get their order "as written"? I mean why point out the process for Seller Holds?
But in return only got more vague information:
Payouts for orders vary based on account and item details that are explained in detail here. Sellers can see immediate payouts if their account meets the correct requirements.
This went on for over 24 hours, back and forth with no real answers on any questions - the only answers we did get on anything related to the new international shipping program were literally copy and pasted directly from the FAQ page, which as sellers we already had access to and could read ourselves.
On top of that, because eBay staff was not equipped to provide a clear, direct and transparent answer, the "news" that eBay would be holding funds in this program until the buyer receives the item spread around the internet like wildfire - it's been all over social media, in private groups, and broadcast on YouTube channels with tens of thousands of followers.
The first round of questions on this started at about noon eastern time yesterday and today at almost 6 PM eastern eBay has finally issued a correct and clear statement on the issue - it took them almost 30 hours to say this! 🤯
To help address the question about payout timing, we have confirmed that payouts will be handled the same as they are with GSP and current domestic orders.
Following a transaction, it typically takes 1 day from confirming the buyer’s payment for the sales proceeds to appear as Available for payout, unless the transaction was placed on hold, in which case it may take longer.
If your transaction was placed on hold the release time can vary depending on your selling history, performance or to address any open disputes. More information on holds can be found here:https://www.ebay.com/help/selling/getting-paid/payouts-work-managed-payments-sellers/payments-hold?id=4816
A seller responded to the update:
Sooooo.... all the prior official reports about payouts being contingent upon receipt of item and buyer approval were wrong? You guys REALLY need to get your messaging straight. Not a good look from a multibillion dollar corporation. It makes it appear that EVERYTHING has been outsourced to overseas support, including corporate decisionmaking and marketing.
It's not the only instance of an embarrassing lack of preparation on eBay's part when they dropped the seller update yesterday.
Also at eBay Open last week, CEO Jamie Iannone announced the image allotment in listings would be going from 12 to 24. Here are his exact words:
I'm happy to say that sellers can now add up to 24 images to your listings for free. This is double the number of images you had before.
No mention of stores and since everyone gets 12 images, that second sentence would absolutely give the impression it applies to everyone.
Yet for most of the day yesterday, eBay community "seller update team" insisted this was going to be a perk only for store subscribers.
A seller asked:
errrrrr............so the the 12-24 pics is only for stores??????
Does ANYONE have any idea what you are saying? and you want people to put millions of dollars worth of stuff in your vault?
The seller update team responded:
you are correct that this is currently for store subscribers. However, store subscriptions start as low as $4.95 per month. You can check out more about store levels here.
Again, panic and anger swirled throughout the community and across social media - this had been one of the few really positive announcement from Open that just about every seller was excited about and now they felt like it had been a bait and switch or at the very least that once again at eBay the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
Five hours later we got:
We have just received clarification for the new photos feature. This will be available for all sellers, including both store and non-sellers.
And this one may be a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things, but it's just another example of how utterly unprepared eBay was for this update - the seller update team apparently has no idea that the Store page and listing page are two very different things. 🤦♀️
The update topic said:
You can now easily upload videos to your Store’s About tab directly from your Store edit page and they’ll appear after the first image in your gallery.
It took multiple sellers pointing out several times that a video in the Store's About tab will not appear after the first image in your gallery, which is on the listing page, not the store page.
The botched communications in this update prompted some sellers to call for a deeper investigation on eBay's side to find out where things went wrong and what can be done to make sure the next update goes smoothly.
.I sure hope someone reviews this experience....some how information just isn't getting to the right people internally in ebay....... that's really dangerous.......for sellers as well as ebay.
The underlying issue is that despite eBay existing for 27 years, there is nobody at eBay with 27 years of experience (well, except Griff) and apparently no mechanism for institutional memory.
My direct experience with eBay employees is limited to a visit to headquarters ten years ago during one of their rare attempts to involve actual sellers in a decision. The employees I met (well, except Griff and the CEO) were so young and so overconfident, in that way which is tempered by experience.
eBay's lack of awareness of relevant communication skills and protocols leads to self-perpetuating hiring of personnel who lack these skills, which in turn is exacerbated by high turnover and no mechanism for institutional memory, nor even the notion that such a concept exists. Ditto for notions of quality control, field testing, etc. Perhaps some staff are aware, but aren't able to make a difference in the corporate culture.
Their process for developing new stuff, and for changing existing stuff, seems to be to only talk to each other, and they don't have enough technical experience, nor experience as either sellers or buyers, to do it well. How else can one account for the deep deficiencies in the new listing form! There's apparently a separate department for number crunchers who come up with criteria for best match, listing limits, promotions, etc.
Their institutional memory seems to consist entirely of Jim "Griff" Griffith, and it might be my imagination, but things seem to have taken a big downturn after he started cutting back on his involvement after a personal tragedy about 10 years ago.
Constant change in employees.......moving them around (who doesn't like a promotion and perhaps a raise) just wastes their knowledge and experience.....and results in a "new" iteration of this or that resulting in disruptions, revisions and stretches every change out for months, if not years. How long have they been working on the "new listing page"......is this one 5/6/7/20? 2/3 yrs from whenever they "finish it".......we'll get another one. This board has changed hands......what 3 times in the past 8-10 years?
If they were to go back to Mangement 101 and find the right person for the job.......and keep, pay them well, and leave them there, it would certainly have to be a better run company. They had numerous top people leave in the last 6 months......and you have to wonder why? Idea people are great....and companies need them.......but someone has to remember where the car is parked.
I can't possibly say it any better than those sellers, so I'll leave Jamie and the eBay seller update team with a pro tip:
If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. ~ Admiral William H. McRaven