eBay Removes all Traces of Sellers in the New Invoice Format sent to Buyers

Posted on October 5, 2008. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , |


Something is going on with the invoices that eBay buyers are receiving.  It seems that buyers are being sent a new type of invoice that is lacking information about the seller – no eBay seller logo, eBay ID or store name, and no way to contact the seller if the buyer has a question.  The invoice to the buyer states the invoice is from ebay@ebay.com with no way for the buyer to communicate with the seller.  Note that the example below has identifying information removed (ie the auction numbers, the buyer’s name, etc)

Having had experience before with eBay’s frequent programming “upgrades”, I know that sometimes eBay unchecks default boxes so that is the first thing I went to go see about.  I thought perhaps that may have been the cause of the “problem”.


 Interestingly, the logo and branding preferences have been moved to the Marketing Tools section in the Manage My eBay store section.

And then once I pulled up that section in the marketing tools, I noticed that the box had somehow been unclicked which would allow my invoices to include my store logo. 


 Of course, if I reported this to eBay I would be told that I somehow must have made the change myself and didn’t realize it.  I have had too many experiences with eBay gremlins before so I know better than to report these kinds of things as I will treated like I am losing my mind.  So, I do what most sellers would do – take the simply route of checking the box again and clicking the save button.

However, doing so now does not change how the invoice appears when eBay sends it to the buyer.  My invoices sent to buyers still lack my logo, my seller ID, my store name, and the buyer still has no way to contact me if they have a question.

I understand that eBay is proceeding with their Amazonification process.  This particular change is obviously designed to sever the relationship ties between eBay sellers and buyers so that buyers have in mind that they are purchasing directly from eBay instead of an individual eBay seller.  Again, eBay doesn’t get it.  Removing all traces that the eBay seller exists (no seller name, no logo, no contact information) will not create more eBay branding in the buyer’s mind.  What it will do is frighten and frustrate the buyer.  Several buyers think these new invoices, lacking seller details, are fake.  And buyers who have a question about their order respond back to eBay@ebay.com and expect the seller to respond.  Imagine the buyer’s frustration when the seller doesn’t respond to an email they do not know about.  I have to wonder how the average DSR rating for seller’s communication will fare now.  And the number of unpaid items will surely increase.

There was a time when I was baffled about eBay changes and would shake my head in disbelief.  Now, I expect such unusual things from eBay that nothing really surprises me anymore.  I guess eBay’s new philosophy is that eBay would be a wonderful place if it wasn’t for all those pesky sellers.  Why else would eBay think it so important to remove all traces of our existence?





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15 Responses to “eBay Removes all Traces of Sellers in the New Invoice Format sent to Buyers”

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I will be the first of of the chute to say “SO WHAT?”. Frankly, the Amazon communications process reduces the amount of nonsense questions that we get from Buyers and A’s payment process is head and shoulders above using Paypal. What is not to like? All I want to do is collect the payment and ship the product. Anything else is unnecessary overhead and eBay is welcome take it on.

Sue, the big “SO WHAT” is …..

There is NO NEED for communication between the buyer and seller through Amazon. As an Amazon seller, when I receive an email telling me about an order I actually have an order WITH PAYMENT.

eBay buyers who receive an invoice may or may not pay the seller. Often the buyer has questions BEFORE payment but AFTER they purchase. So the big deal is that on eBay, if a buyer can’t communicate with me they likely won’t pay.

On eBay, I am not only an online seller but I am a collection agency as well since part of my job as an eBay seller is to extract the money from the buyer. And a buyer who doesn’t even know who I am from an eBay invoice and has no way to contact me probably won’t pay me.

This does not sound good to me either. I have been developing a close relationship with my customer for years. It is part of “good customer service” that eBay has stressed for so many years.

How are we to give good service, before and after the sale, if they can not get in touch with them. If they cut the tie between my customer and me, it will probably be the final straw.

I multi channel now, but eBay has always been the main outlet. Leaving will not be what I want to do, but there won’t be much choice after this.

Ebay has managed to drive away many buyers and sellers since Spring, (myself included) this is just one more idiocy they have chosen to perform.

Trying to convince buyers they are buying directly from ebay is nothing short of fraud. Ebay sells nothing in terms of actual hard products except overpriced coffee mugs with exhorbitant shipping fees.

Creating a lack of communication and overall confusion seems to be what they are best at these days, it certainly isn’t running an effective business.

brews, are you self-hosting your logo? I found I couldn’t get the invoice to accept a self-hosted logo, but it worked when I uploaded the logo to Picture Manager.

Nadine, I am using Picture Manager.

The invoices you are sending may not be appear to be any different than before. That is because only a certain percentage of buyers are receiving the “new” invoice format. The new invoice format appears to be in the test phase right now. And, naturally, I am one of the lucky sellers whose buyers get the stripped down invoice.

That is the direction eBay now gives, that you must upload the logo to picture manager to use it on invoices. (which is doubly frustrating because the uploaded picture seems blurrier than – more compressed than? – the self-hosted one.) One has to wonder how hard these guys work to “make the site easier to use” and for whom it is easier… it certainly does not seem easier for either buyer or seller.

Right after the announcements in August I started noticing an odd generic invoice randomly. The first few times i thought it was a glitch. As time has past the frequency of the generic invoice increased. About 2 weeks ago I did the same as you went to check my settings, but they were all still checked.

In consideration of the time that I began to experience the new invoice I think the change is to remove any personal messages that the seller might solicit paper payments with. Secondly, I agree it is to mask my presence as though I am not even a part of the transaction- just my customer, eBay, and my merchandise. I get to purchase the products, list the products, and pack & ship the products, but I don’t get to have a face.

This doesn’t seem a bit off to you Sue? Put aside your fantasy that this will relieve your workload and ask yourself if you really want to be faceless to all your customers if there comes a time you no longer want to sell your products from the eBay venue? Every sale is a lot of work and up front cost for the seller – you bring the product and do all the work. eBay is erasing you from the customers mind- you will have to have a pretty heavy marketing campaign going out in each Package for the customer to even know someone else was involved.

How might that affect repeat customers?? Is you customer going to think oh I’m going to go to Sue’s store to see if she has another one of these? Maybe, but maybe not – she might just think I’m going to log in to eBay and buy another… She may end up buying from you again or she may buy from a competitor, but in her perspective she is buying from eBay.

I am the first stop for many of my customers and that is because they know me – my store – my brand. If I don’t exist in their eyes I won’t be the first stop. I do have a heavy marketing campaign in every package.

Remember – if you give them an inch they’ll take a mile.

The branding tools are a feature eBay used to pitch the benefit of having a store along with the listing frame. They have now began the process of removing both yet have not lowered the cost of the degraded product. Being robbed is an issue for me.

When a buyer requests a combined item invoice from the seller now, that eBay email I receive also does not include the buyer’s user ID either.

This explains a lot to me or at the very least gives me insight as to what the heck is going on. My DSR score for communication has always been 4.9. I have had to sit here over the last month scratching my head because I can’t figure out what I was doing to bring that down to 4.7 in less than 30 days.

I went back and looked at invoices since Aug. 12 and see some in the new generic format and some with my logo and contact information. None since Sept. 1st have my logo.

What I just don’t get is why Down-a-hole is so determined to ruin sellers reputations and drive them away. I don’t have an MBA but as a self employed business owner for 18+ years I don’t see how he can continue with these policy changes and expect his customers to continue to take it. It is as if he is trying to bring down eBay.com in the US.

We have enough to do without having to send another message to let buyers know that the ebay@ebay.com link doesn’t get them back to the seller.

Quite frankly I tired of all the BS being piled onto sellers on eBay. I’m also tired of living in fear of the buyers leaving negs and low DSR scores when I know I’m giving damned good customer service.

What the hell is Down-a-hole thinking?!?!?!?!

One more thing I’ve been experiencing is that by buyer blocks have not been working properly. When I check the box to allow buyers with FB over 5 to bid it still blocks them. I had one buyer over the weekend with a FB score of 25 win three items and get furious with me because his bids were blocked on other items he was interested in. He is taking it personally as though I purposely blocked him and has already told me he intends to give me three negs on those items he did win. I tried to explain the glitch is with eBay’s sytem and not my buyer requirements but he thinks I’m lying to him. Other bidders had no such problems and they had lower feedback than he did. THANKS EBAY 😦

This is just part of eBay’s bigger strategy to plug the revenue leak originating from direct communication between buyer and seller. They tried to control communication with anonymous e-mail (think Craiglist’s system) in 2006 but failed due to technical problems and member protest. Now they are implementing it again on non-USA sites and soon on eBay.com. I’m thankful at least eBay has allowed almost 10 years of direct communication before they found it necessary to control the communication channel. The one benefit is that an eBay.com e-mail may actually get through my Yahoo and Hotmail users.

Wow! Thanks for this update. I’ve added a customer message with our toll-free number in case they have any questions. You can never let your guard down around ebay, it seems.

Interesting, they did not do this to my account. Nothing has changed about the settings but they must be scrubbing the email somehow or filtering it

There are no store logos when I send out a email via ebay but in the settings, all is still checked? Hmmmmm? I don’t know, maybe they are just trying to be like Amazon, why don’t they just sell themselves to Amazon and become little bay or a arm of Amazon so that they don’t have to compete with them and constantly change and change things that some feel don’t have to be changed?

I tried to block 0 feedback bidders due the UPI’s that they keep reminding me to file but I don’t want to hurt our DSR’s and each time more and more 0 feedback bidders keep on bidding. Its a catch 22 situation since you file a Unpaid Item Strike and then they retaliate by leaving you all ones on your DSR’s

It is important to me. What I sell is customized Clothing and therefore needs communication between buyer and seller…..

But ebay apparently does not want to listen to it’s sellers.

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